Whew, what a Summer! I typically take four or five business trips a year, but between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year already, I've been on four. This past week was my fourth trip. In June, I went to Oklahoma City for a conference with my colleagues. Two weeks later, I was in Fort Worth, Texas, for a high-level management summit. Immediately after returning home, my daughter and I went to Pittsburgh for a family wedding, and a few weeks after that, we went on our big Summer Vacation roller coaster trip. We came home after the trip for about three weeks, then I went to Atlantic City for yet another high-level management summit, immediately followed by one more week-long adventure with my daughter to Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and Ocean City. This week, I returned to Oklahoma City for another conference. All told, from June 8 thru today, September 4, I was on the road for 37 days, 19 for work, 18 for play. I say again, Whew!
Flying to Oklahoma City is never easy, but I'm fortunate (for those who like Southwest Airlines...I do) that I can fly on an airline that benefits me. However, despite earning lots of points for free flights, Southwest keeps tweaking their schedules and now there are very few direct flights to Oklahoma City from Baltimore-Washington International, and vice-versa. Gone are those Friday mornings when I want to rush out of OKC to get home as soon as possible. Today was a long day of travel, beginning with a flight out of OKC at around 6:00 a.m., a layover in St. Louis, and finally touching down at BWI at around noon. I know there are worse trips, but I can't help but be completely exhausted after a week of high-level meetings and decision making, then a day on the road before finally collapsing at home. I just don't fly well. Being over six-feet tall is a challenge on even the shortest of flights, with all airlines stuffing as many seats onto a plane as will fit, made for average-height people. I'm never going to be comfortable while flying, and your Federal Government is not going to pay for me to fly in comfort. Anyway, upon arriving at home, I was ready for a nap and some relaxation.
I was very excited to be home and reunited with my daughter, Melody! We don't like being apart. It's just the two of us all the time, anyway, so these business trips really disrupt our regular schedule and daily routine. I am so fortunate to have my parents nearby, and they were willing to move in to my home to take care of my girl while I was away. Dad actually did a lot of work around my house during his time here, and for that I am so appreciative. Mom always helps Melody organize her room and provide that motherly influence that I just can't provide, and I know Melody loves having them both here with her. Between my parents and my in-laws, Melody is surrounded by so much love. She's the only grandchild on either side of her family, and the assumption is that she is spoiled rotten, but the truth is that she is spoiled with love. It's so easy for us to feel the challenges that circumstances have presented to us, but God continues to show us the way, providing us with love and support that family and friends give us. Life is good.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!