I knew what I was going to write about today this afternoon as I was flying, but I had to adjust my message a little due to news that came shortly after we landed. More on that in a minute.
As you may have guessed from recent posts, I was on a work trip for the last little while, and today was the day we finally came home. We had some delays along the way, which I really didn’t mind because with my family not here I really had nothing to get back to but desk work. The per diem is also always nice.
As we were flying up the Japanese coast we were directed to fly on a path that looked like it would take us near Mt. Fuji, which is always fun, but not very common.
We actually saw the summit more than 100 miles away, but as we got to within about 10-15 miles it dawned on me just how great it feels to come home. I have mentioned numerous times before how much I love the majesty of Mt. Fuji and have thoroughly enjoyed seeing her rise above the horizon these last two years. She has also been a beacon of sorts letting us know that we were close to home. I doubt I will ever have something quite so remarkable as a landmark, but I will never forget her.
I really do love to travel and see new things, but no matter how long you are away, there is just something wonderful about coming home. As you can see from the pictures, she was looking quite lovely today, which is good because the crazy people I climbed her with a few weeks ago went back up for a second serving of punishment today. Fortunately, the weather looked equally as lovely as the day I did it with them.
Normally when I would land from a trip in the past, I would call my wife just to let her know I was on the ground safely, but seeing as how it was after midnight her time I decided not to call her. As luck would have it, a message I had sent before taking off hadn’t sent but did go through upon landing. She happened to still be up so she called me to see how it had gone. It is always nice to hear her voice after a long trip, but the call was short so she could try and get some sleep.
I went inside and was going about my business so that I could go home and do some laundry, much needed after that many days on the road, when my good friend came up and said congratulations. I’m not sure why he was still there so late on a Friday, but I just looked at him funny and told him thanks but I have no idea what he was talking about since I had been in the plane all day.
Then he explained himself and confirmed my suspicion that my Palace Chase package had been approved!
The short explanation for the uninitiated is that I get to move back to the States and be with my family again. We have been working on this for close to a year, and it is finally happening. I cannot begin to express how happy this made me. My commander also came up to congratulate me, which he also deserves a ton of credit for with all of the effort he put into it.
When I finally got to my desk to check my email myself, I just sat and stared at the email; not really believing the email was real. After months of back and forth and denials and clarifications, and the efforts of others, it had finally been approved.
As excited as I am to get back to flying more regularly, the real joy of this approval is that I get to go home and be with my family again. No more staying up late just to say good morning before the kids go to school. No more missing out on the fun they are having. And, no more having to tell my sweet little kiddos I have no idea when I will see them again.
I would keep writing, but I am starting to get speechless again just thinking about how excited I am.
This whole situation reminds me of a line from the great movie Mr. Holland’s Opus that I believe is actually from a Beatles song that Lennon took from someone else but either way, here it is: “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”
When my commander and I first sat down about a year ago and talked about my desires he told me that he wasn’t sure how we would do it, but that one way or another we would get it done, and true to his word, it was a crazy journey getting there, but we got it done.
Life is full of all different kinds of journeys, and there is no way to know where those journey’s will take us. Some of them are planned and only last a few days or weeks, but the biggest ones, the ones that matter the most, never really stop. The adventure called life just keeps on going and going. That is why today, I am more grateful than ever to have come home, and even more grateful to be going home.
What are you grateful for?