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Rough Reentry

I arrived home late Friday evening leaving behind the sunny skies of Tucson. The day I left, temperatures were scheduled to rise back to normal. Whatever. I was a little worried about my itinerary given the previous week’s storm and the moronic fact that I thought booking a layover in Chicago was a good idea.

I made it, but it was a bumpy flight. If I was the spin doctor for Southwest Airlines, I would say the landing was exhilarating. The pilot came on the intercom when we touched down and said, “Well folks, if you ever wondered what it was like to land on an aircraft carrier, there you go.”

Unlike my flight to Tucson, I had a substantial layover in Chicago so I decided to poke around a bit. Man, the people in the airport stores were crank-yeee. I guess several feet of snow and ice does that to a city, but it caught me off guard a bit. The clerk in the Life Is Good store was quick to remind me that her car had been buried for several days and every time she dug a path to it, a snow plow came by to undo her progress. She was still bitching as I ran from the store. I decided that I could forego the t-shirt.

When I finally arrived home, I decided it best spend some time with my men. (Hey Mill Run, sorry about that – promise, I’ll be there next week, and I can’t wait to catch up.) I envisioned insightful conversation and leisurely shared meals and heartwarming exchanges of love. Snorty, Grouchy and Bossy ripped apart my Hallmark dreamland and threatened to take up permanent residence.

The morning didn’t start off great, and then unexpected sleet threw a bigger kink into plans. Since no one in the Fast family is ever going to be recognized for expertise in transitions, the tensions and bad attitudes mounted quickly. The ice melted outside, but unfortunately, it took a while longer for our attitudes to follow suit.

Somehow, Lyle and I made it out of the house even though we were both seething by the time we got in the car. We agreed to re-evaluate our plan after we got a bite to eat. He wanted Mexican. Hello, I just spent the last week eating some of the best Mexican around. Why would I want to eat that? Yes, those words did actually fly from my mouth. Thankfully, his filter was higher at that moment than mine. Lyle suggested a couple Chinese restaurants. I started to snap at that, too. Why? Because I could.

I stopped. Really stopped. I reminded my mean self how much Lyle hates Chinese food. He was sending out a peace offering. I grabbed it quickly, and the rest of the evening started looking up.

It’s interesting how such a small gesture can make such a large impact, and I would have never noticed had we not stuck it out to see it through. So what, we didn’t have the day I had imagined. Expectations are overrated. Our evening (and shift in thinking) was nothing huge or life altering, but it is in those small minute to minute actions and words and sideway glances that life is made.

Steamed shrimp and veggies, hot and sour soup and brown rice served as a great reminder. I’m glad that I climbed out of myself long enough to recognize the deliciousness that waited. What keeps you coming back for more?

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