Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Coming Home

**Start at the beginning: Part 1 London, England

I left London, England on Saturday July 19, 2014 and I was ready. I really loved the city and I could picture myself living there one day. I joked with everyone how if I didn't have children I think I would have stayed, but my kids will grown in no time and I just might go abroad and live for a while.

In all my other posts I only mentioned once how I was off the grid. What I mean is that when I left Georgia I cut off the data on my phone. Nobody could reach me unless they called the "hotel" that I was staying at. My best friend called me early Thursday morning and told me "Don't think just because you fly half way across the world I can't find you"! It was great to hear her voice. I do admit by Thursday I was getting a bit homesick and the staff where I was staying helped me out by getting an international calling card and letting me use their personal cell phone.

It was fun being off the grid for a week. My family knew where I was, they had the phone numbers and my brother knows a few people that actually live in England. I felt safe where I was staying and London is the most surveilled city on the planet. There are CCTV signs everywhere.

On my way back to the states I sat beside a man that lived in Virginia but was originally from Australia. I can't remember his name, but he was very friendly and we chit chatted a little bit on the flight back to America. I kid you not, when that plane landed in Detroit, Michigan as soon as I got off the plane I cut the mobile data back on and my cell phone started going, bing, bing, bing, bing. It was the best sound in the world. Why everyone had tried to message me when they knew my data would be off is beyond me, but I could feel the love.

I went through customs in Detroit and that was interesting. One of the employees was barking at some woman to cut off her cell phone while she was in line. He was being a bit of an ass but that is just my opinion. Authority doesn't suit everyone. Anyway, I took my picture at one of those airport kiosk things and gave it to the person at customs when I went through and declared I had key chains and shot glasses. LOL. They said that was okay and let me through. I found my next gate and sat down and called a few people.

The first person I called was my estranged husband. I thanked him for sending me on the trip for my fortieth birthday. I told him something else that day......I told him I wish he could have been there with me, and he placated me with saying he wish he could have been there too. He was with me though, so were my family and so were my friends. I carried all of them in my heart.

By now, I am ready to board the flight to Raleigh, NC so I can go home.I get to sit by the emergency exit and I end up sitting with a man named Bill. The best part about talking with him is that I found out his daughter has Asperger's. For those of you that don't know, Asperger's is a form of autism. Please do not misunderstand me I am no expert on autism. But we bonded over this because my youngest son is on the autism spectrum. We talked about how it was when we heard the diagnosis, and how it is for our children now. He told me his daughter goes to college and still lives at home but she drives and she is moving towards being more independent by living on her own eventually. I told him how my son can pick up on the emotional undertones of what people are saying and how he builds these intricate toys  out of pipe cleaners. I found out that Bill works in the same town that I do and I told him he should stop by and we would have lunch sometime. I am so happy that I met him.

We finally made it to Raleigh and after getting off the plane I look through the crowd and spot my brother and my nephew and I hugged them and told them I was happy to see them. They asked me about my trip and asked me what I wanted to do first. I told them to take me to the store so I could buy a pack of Marlboro Lights and take me somewhere, anywhere to get a glass or glasses of sweet, iced tea. They took me to a pizza joint in Raleigh and the first thing I did was suck down 3 big glasses of sweet tea. I know, I know, I just left London and there was tea everywhere, but not like we make here at home in North Carolina.