Iowa day 4 – going home, musings, and a little history

Today I head home. Rachel and Geoff left for church around 9:30, and I departed shortly afterward. The train that was passing when I left was a double decker, which stopped for a few minutes, then started backwards. I wonder what that was all about.

I decided that I couldn’t leave town without visiting Cafe Diem one more time. Their coffee is really good, and I wanted another waffle. It is a good place to hang out and write. I had originally thought to drive into Des Moines and find a coffee shop there, but the warm and friendly atmosphere here beckoned me to come inside.

After I ate my delicious waffle, I spent a little time browsing around looking at travel blogs, and all the ones I found are to exotic faraway places. My little trip to Ames pales in comparison in some respects, but I am of the opinion that everywhere is interesting. Here’s a little information about this quaint midwest city, from Wikipedia:

The city was founded in 1864 as a station stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad and was named after 19th century U.S. Congressman Oakes Ames of Massachusetts, who was influential in the building of the transcontinental railroad. Ames was founded by local resident Cynthia Olive Duff  and railroad magnate John Insley Blair,near a location that was deemed favorable for a railroad crossing of the Skunk River.

Ames is also the home of Iowa State University, whose campus takes up a major part of the city proper, and whose mascot can be found around town in various attire. This mirror mosaic version on Main Street is my favorite!

 

Writing while I wait in the Des Moines airport…

 I love to take back roads, when I have time, so I took the opportunity. Miles and miles and miles of newly planted cornfields flew past me. I marveled at the wide open spaces, and the big sky. Very mind clearing and heart opening. Along the way, I got a phone call that my flight was delayed 45 min. So I got here with time to spare, still feeling pretty relaxed.
Announcement overhead: They need 12 volunteers to check their carry on bags or they will check boarding group 4’s bags. I’m in boarding group 4, and I want to hang on to my bag! If I didn’t have a connection I’d check it, but I don’t trust the airline to care about my stuff and get it moved to the right plane.
Another announcement: The flight is overbooked and they need 6 volunteers to take a later flight. Are you kidding me? Does this happen all the time? Seems crazy to me. What do they do if no one volunteers? Draw straws?
Now at Dallas Fort Worth Airport….
No rushing this time. Google just notified me that my connecting flight is delayed 2 hours!!

Obviously, I made it onto the plane and they didn’t confiscate my bag. I was imagining myself wrestling someone over it, and am very glad that fantasy didn’t come to pass! I had a window seat this time, so I got to see the farmland from the air, and later the beautiful changing clouds as we flew above them. I was very hungry when I got here, glad for some time to rest and recoup. I got a veggie burger at a place called UFood Grill. It had to be the worst veggie burger ever. I only ate a few bites, but the baked potato fries were a little better, so I ate enough of them to ease my hunger pangs. Airport food, yuk. By this time I was feeling very imbalanced, shaky, and tired.

So I decided to sit right there in the middle of the busy airport and meditate. I wrapped my silk shawl around me (I had read that silk can keep negative energy away), put one hand on my suitcase, closed my eyes, and went inward. It was an interesting endeavor, and 20 minutes later I opened my eyes feeling more grounded and alert.
Checking google on my phone, I found that my flight is delayed even more, not leaving here until 10:12 pm, arriving in Houston at 11:30. Then I have to get my car, and drive the 30 min home.
I again observe the people around me. Young, old, all shapes and sizes, some rushing frantically to catch their next flight, others taking their time, or just sitting. People on their phones. I wonder about their stories. I see a team of adolescent girls all dressed alike, most likely returning home from a tournament . There are couples, friends, family groups, lone travelers like me. Some are traveling for a happy visit, or a wedding, some for a funeral. This is an international airport, so I see a diverse crowd and hear snatches of different languages.

The masses of humanity are everywhere. Tomorrow I return to work, to the patients and coworkers who are a part of it all too. Everywhere there is life, hope, and heartbreak. I am glad to be on this journey, one soul touching other souls.

Epilogue:
The plane didn’t take off from Dallas until midnight. Delay after delay until I was too tired to care, or write, or even sleep. I finally got home to my sweetie at 2 am! I am very glad I made this trip, and reconnected with my daughter. It’s been a long time since we had one on one time.

2 thoughts on “Iowa day 4 – going home, musings, and a little history

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