On my way.
I am sitting in Chicago O’Hare airport, an airport that I guess was at some point in the past considered modern. At this point it seems a bit tired and worn. Undoubtedly, it is not an airport for the 21st century – if finding outlets for a computer is any indication. In Terminal 1, the outlets are few and very far between. Moreover, there is no free wireless. I found out from a gentleman at the local Brookstone stand that the airport used to have free wireless connectivity. However, the Daley administration (I guess that of Richard II) did away with it. Because I had been thinking half-jokingly that the lack of modern amenities might have something withChicago being “Chicago,” I was prepared to ask the gentleman about some political cause for this state of affairs, but thought why bother. Why bother, indeed! I was right.
Yesterday, 8 August, was insane, in part because the day before, Sunday, was sane. I made a final trip out toFredericksburgand visited with friends and took in the blessings ofSouthChurch. (It was good to see you, Tony! And thank you for allowing me a few words, Paige!) Of course, as a practical matter, the hours I spent in Fred, which could have been given over to packing, made yesterday that monster that it was.
I woke up and had a quiet time of reading: a blessing, but the clock was ticking. I packed the kitchen. Oh, nuts. Let’s just say the Packing Elves had a field day, with me being the field. I can still feel their cleat marks. Then, my bank card decided to go “pfft,” which made getting traveler’s checks a bit of a minor detour. And then it was a sprint to get some last-minute stuff to storage, two runs to the Salvation Army, a run to Jennifer’s house to drop my travel items plus some stuff for Nate and the house, and then the rental car returned. Kudos to me for renting a car for these past few days, as having it was truly necessary.
Somehow, it all happened. After dropping off the car, I walked back to 11411 and did some final cleaning, and had a few quiet moments with Big Foot. I will miss that extremely companionable cat a lot. He was a delight at every turn. God and St. Francis, watch over him, and his side-kick Squirt McGuirt.
Jennifer came by and we drove back to her house together. I was emotionally spent, and was in quiet tears in the car. (They are upon me now.) At her house I kind of puttered, and kind of did not, and drank a lot of water. I am even now barely hydrated. I wanted to breathe. Even with the broken ribs, I was able to get things done, but not without cost.
At last I took a shower and kind of got myself together. Jennifer ordered pizza, which was good. She and I then did a final run to 11411, where I had a last good-bye to Big Foot and Squirt, and I dropped off the key. Later that evening, when it was quiet, when Grace and Nate headed upstairs, she and I had some time to talk and pray, and I read her a chapter out of “Goforth in China,” the chapter about Rosalind Goforth, who is also the author of this account. To sleep. A sound and intense, if brief sleep.
She drove me to the airport at about6am. I negotiated security without event. The flight here was easy. And now I sit and wait, as the flight toBeijingis delayed about 3 hours. Thank you, my Dearest Friend for all you have done, and continue to do.
I am still exhausted, and I look forward to being able at last to rest on this long flight.
P.S. After about an hour on the phone with Boingo tech reps, I can now access the internet at the airport, so I can post this.