Yesterday I dropped Mrs. Flying Dutchman off at the airport along with the young Dutchlings. They are flying to a country far across the seas to visit Lolo and Lola (Grandpa and Grandma.) They walked past the security checkpoint at about 7:45 pm Monday night. I waved and watched until they were out of sight. Then I drove the quick hour and a half back to our house in the beautiful Central Valley of California.
I drive along a lot. In fact, most of the time. But driving that minivan back just felt plain eerie. There were no requests for kid songs. There was no constant chatter. This is something I would normally LOVE but with my family winging their way through the night over a black ocean, it just felt…strange.
The weirdness continued when I entered my house. There was finally the peace and quiet that I LOVE! But…it was just weird. All the bedroom and bathroom doors were closed to keep the dog out. Nothing strange about that but when I reflexively opened the doors to ask my kids what they were doing… there was no one there. I knew that.
The flight to where my wife and children are going takes 16 hours with one refueling stop. Strange as it may sound, Mrs. Flying Dutchman does not like flying. On our last vacation air travel was involved and the Mrs became violently ill on every approach to landing. As I puttered around the house that night and the next morning I worried about her. I worried about the flight. I tried to keep myself busy with work around the house (mostly cleaning up after the packing frenzy) and with prayer of course. I did and do completely trust my sovereign God to see my family safe to their destination.
Finally the next day at about 4:00 pm I called my in-laws to see if they had arrived. I was greeted with the jubilant voice of my father-in-law at which point I knew they had arrived safely. I spoke briefly with my daughter and then to my wife. Unfortunately our fears had been realized. The fancy electronic gizmo that is supposed to quell nausea from motion sickness did not work and she barfed non-stop on the approach to land at the refueling stop and also their final destination. I felt bad for her but I was still overjoyed to hear her tired voice. They were there and they were safe. I spoke briefly with my son and reminded him that he was the man on the trip and to take care of his mother and sister.
So the house is still just as empty but the weirdness is gone. I know my family is safely on the ground. I know, it’s weird for the Flying Dutchman to worry about air travel but the fact is I just don’t trust airliners. I know the pilots are trained way beyond my skill level, and the aircraft are maintained way beyond my skill level. It’s just that I have no control over what happens on an airliner. I have as much control as God wills me in my airplane. Somehow the fact that they are safe makes the peace and quiet a little more bearable. I know the noise will be returning soon and that gives me joy.
So in the mean time I will replace wing skins during the day on my RV-4 and in the evening I will work on my RV-7 tail and the hours will pass like a blur. Before I know it I will be picking up my family at the airport, complaining about the traffic, putting on a kid’s song tape, listening to chatter, and being very content and happy.
Has God changed me or what? May God bless you and your family today.