“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”- Lao-Tzu
Our journey of five thousand miles began with a single plane ride.
As students left the school Friday afternoon, we breathed a sigh of relief and said to each other, “Ok, phew, at least we have a little bit of time to pack.”
The sigh of relief was short-lived. Saturday afternoon we found ourselves scrambling to get ready for Sunday’s flight. I dumped a pile of clean laundry on the bed, looked at it, and then threw up my hands in exasperation, “We have a week of work in Unalakleet- so I need professional clothes, and then we have a road trip from Anchorage to Boston- so I need casual clothes, and then we have to get ready for the wedding- so I need clothes to look presentable in, and then we’re going to Mexico- so I need beach clothes, and then we’re driving back up- so I need even more casual clothes! What do I bring? How do I pack?” Eventually, using the least common denominator theory of packing, I narrowed down my outfits to items of clothing that would work in multiple contexts and stuffed it all in a duffel bag.
Sunday afternoon, loaded down with one suitcase, three duffel bags, the dog’s crate, and the cat’s carrier we headed up to the airport to begin our journey. We waited anxiously for the plane to arrive, wondering “Is all our stuff going to fit?” and “How are the pets going to do on the plane?” As the other staff members we were travelling with began to assemble at the airport my anxiety steadily decreased. I whispered to Kyle, “Look, Molly only has one small bag and Beverly just has one small suitcase! Maybe there will be enough room for all our stuff.” It turned out we had plenty of room, so that left me with just one worry, “How will the pets do on the trip?”
Well, it was a waste of time worrying about that. Before the plane had even taxied to the end of the runway Thunder was curled up in a ball in the aisle of the plane, calmly and soundly asleep. He didn’t even wake up when the plane took off! Meanwhile, Toes was thrilled to be in her bag and just kept purring and purring. This left Kyle and I free to admire the view. Looking down on the ice chunks that were still floating on the river Kyle remarked, “Wow, it’s 50 degrees and sunny and there is still ice!” I replied, “Well, nevermind the ice, I’m just thankful that it’s good weather and we were able to fly out and start our journey today.”