Tuesday, September 1, 2009



I haven't had homework in a long time and to be frank, I don't miss it. At all.

But ~j suggested on her blog that we check out this blog- travelinoma.blogspot.com for an interesting thing to do. So I did. (Had my crash course in blogging been a bit more comprehensive I would know how to make that into a link but, alas..)

Back on topic...I was...intrigued.

And now I have homework.

Today one was supposed to plan a magnificent trip. Anywhere. And Oma describes how she does it. The woman has it down. But I have decided that I am not a planner. I freely admit this. It just doesn't hold my attention. And I'm okay with that. I am the first to admit that I miss a lot. And I'm okay with that too. What I do see though, I really see. And I see it for as long as it takes because my itinerary doesn't tell me that I have to be somewhere else in forty five minutes.

When I read the assignment I thought, "Hey, I have just come back from the proverbial 'tripofalifetime'! I believe I will write about that instead."

And so, let me tell you about my recent trip to New Zealand.

I tried to plan. I really did. But it is a whole COUNTRY and we had two weeks. And so, when we got off the plane I really and truly had no gameplan.

And so we winged it. Wung it? Let the winds blow us where they would? You get the picture.

And then it was over. And I needed (for some unknown and inexplicable reason-probably because people keep asking me) to be able to account for how I'd spent this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

No, I did not see Hobbiton. But I saw hills that looked a lot like it in the same part of the country where they filmed it. And I met an amazing "solo" mom with one of the most gorgeous children I have ever seen. I sat on her couch and we talked about how her life had changed in the past several months and I made a new friend.

I did not see the beach where they filmed "Narnia" or "Whale Rider" but I did ride in a boat deep in a cave on the other side of the world with my husband's arm around my waist while a million little glowworms shone above us. It was magical.

I went nowhere near the South Island reported to be the really "beautiful" part of New Zealand. But I held my husband's hand in one of the most beautiful zoos I have ever been in and I handfed a tropical bird. We went everywhere together on our first trip ever alone together. Twenty two years into our marriage. (You see, we walked home from our honeymoon. Another story for another time.)

I saw museums, botanical gardens, islands, lots and lots of cafes, and people from all over the world.

I saw the strangest bathroom I have ever seen in a place called Kawakawa.

I saw a sign in a window that read, "Morality, like art, begins by drawing a line somewhere. " It was flanked by two adult entertainment stores.

I saw the haka performed and I went to a Maori "unveiling" for a man I had never met but would have liked to have known.

I saw a young man whom I hadn't seen in two years climb out of a car in the pouring rain and run across a parking lot to embrace his father and me. Then I saw it again because his sweet companions were kind enough to film it for us.

I met person after person who opened their homes and hearts to us and told us about how our son had turned into the man he has become. How the message he had brought about the Gospel had changed their lives. How much they loved him. And how sorry they were to see him go. And it made giving him up for two years suddenly worth it.

I met the kindest, funniest, and most amazing man who had looked after and loved my son for those two years and I heard him sing "Moon River" and call Dobbie his "huckleberry friend."

Not planning seems to work for me.


Travelin'Oma said...

I loved the descriptions of what you saw, and of meeting up with you son. It sounds like the trip of a lifetime!

Carla said...

Okay, so having had little success leaving comments on your blog previously - I will try (yet again) to let you know how I enjoy reading these ... and I really loved this one! Good job sweetheart!