Monday, January 17, 2005

I take another drink of nice hot coffee on a cold Sunday afternoon

I take another drink of nice hot coffee on a cold Sunday afternoon. I’m sitting in my house shoes seriously considering crawling back under the electric blanket. Like I said it’s cold! My wife walks in and asks if I’ve walked the dog yet. I confirm her suspicion that I haven’t and she informs me that we need to take her. So off we go, out into the chilly air.

When we get back home it’s time for our church group so out we go again. We gather to grow as Christians and friends for a couple of hours, then it’s to the grocery store to pick up some pesto for supper. We cook, we eat, and we get under the electric blanket where it’s nice and warm. She writes in her journal, I will probably read a little after I finish typing this on my laptop. In other words, we have a nice, normal, run of the mill Sunday evening in San Angelo Texas U.S.A. I can’t help but wonder how different our evenings will be in the not to distant future.

Our lives will soon be anything but "normal". We have committed ourselves to this fact by purchasing something called a "Round-the-World Ticket" from American Airlines (well, them and their worldwide affiliates) for each of us. In less than a month we will be heading west over the Pacific to begin a trip scheduled to last nearly four months covering countries from New Zealand to Korea; Japan to England and countless places in between. We will be returning home from the east over the Atlantic Ocean having completely circumnavigated the planet.

We have been preparing for a while now. We have travel size everything to fill our backpacks and clothes made of quick drying materials; our dog will be well loved by a sweet couple and our house will be watched over; we’ve been vaccinated for all kinds of diseases and have prescriptions for malaria and dysentery; we have purchased travel insurance and my boss has had plenty of time to find a replacement for my position. Still though, unexpected things keep popping up. Last week, for instance, while trying to get a visa for Australia we realized that my wife’s passport is still in her maiden name; the tickets are obviously not. The procedure for changing a name on a passport usually takes six to eight weeks. Did I mention we were leaving in less than four? Sure, they’ll expedite the process, but it ain’t cheap!

I know it’ll all be worth it we’re finally on our way. I can’t stop daydreaming of swimming in the great barrier reef, eating sushi in Japan, and touring Stonehenge in England. With all good things comes a little bad though, and I have to admit that I’m not looking forward to some aspects of our trip. I sure am going to miss this nice warm electric blanket!

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