I was warm and life was good. Last November, I was having a take-your-breath-away experience in Houston, Texas. I love the heat. Give me 80 degrees and some humidity and I am one happy camper. Warm nights and mornings and I was in heaven. Of course, I was working a trade show during the day, but step outside on the deck for lunch and the hustle and bustle of the trade show world quickly disappears as the sun wraps its arms around you and pulls you in tight for a slow dance.
What takes your breath away? A thought can, an action, a movement, a frightened moment, an exciting one. That is how I felt as I was coming off the plane from Houston to Minneapolis. I was coming home from an eleven-day trip, two trade shows back to back. Twelve-hour days. Lots of work, but also lots of take your breath away moments. For example, when Stephanie came up to me and wanted her picture taken with me because she would not have made a double wedding ring quilt for her daughter without Quiltsmart. Or when Steve, a number 1 computer guy, asked me to explain how I did something on a software program. Another great moment was when a customer walked up to the booth and in front of a gathering of people shouted, "I love your product. I love your service." A well-known TV personality said she saw my ad and liked the picture. A well-known designer and book author spent a huge amount of time talking with us because she wanted to use our product in her designs. I felt like I was squeezed tight by people, many I had never met before. A hug when you do not want it to stop. And I squeezed back. A warmth I did not want to let go. So much to think about. So much to act on. So much to keep straight.
I did not want to leave the friends I had seen and worked with, played with. From Tallahassee to New York, from Vancouver to Cleveland. From Australia, Israel and Holland, from Canada and Mexico.it was worldly, sunny and fun.
It usually is sunny, even when cold, in Minnesota. That is one thing I like about it. But this day, as I arrived in Minneapolis, it was gray. There was snow on the ground. As I departed the plane and stepped across the threshold into the jet way, the wind caught my bare ankles like a knife, piercing. It took my breath away literally, as I saw my breath for the first time this season right there between Houston and Minnesota. If I turned around, would I be back in Houston? Would it I be warm again? An unexpected surge of emotion ran through me and before I left the jet way, my eyes welled with tears. The kind that sit on the edge, ready to roll out and slowly drip over the cheeks. But, they stayed perched, because there was no rational reason for me to send them over the edge. I had been gone 11 days, a long time to be away from my family and friends. I needed them and they needed me.
I made it to baggage claim and waited at gate 14 for several minutes. My husband called on his cell. He had to circle. No one else was at that gate. It seemed odd, but the buzzer went off, and the luggage did come out. A few more people come up. Must be most of the plane was only connecting in Minneapolis. Going somewhere else, maybe somewhere warm. Somewhere where your breath is taken away, but not from the cold.
Outside, I waited for Mike to circle back. I wanted to see my kids and my husband, but I wished so badly it was warm. I could see my breath again. The cold can force tears, even when you are not emotional. If you have ever been cold, you know that the tears can come. As I waited in the cold, the tears that had so well perched, toppled over the side and ran slowly down my cheeks.
The car turned in to the arrivals area, my red PT Cruiser "sports car". Can't help but smile at that. My husband smiled and welcomed me home. He gave me roses and a kiss (okay, a little fantasy there.just a kiss). As we left the airport, the streets were lined with snow sprinkled pine trees, already dressed with little white lights. It did look pretty, I thought. I began to warm, thanks to the heated seats. (A great add on.Who's idea was that?).
My husband made dinner and good smells filled the kitchen. My kids gave me kisses and hugs and told me of their adventures while I was gone. It is amazing how they grew in 11 days. My baby dog, Candy, ran to greet me and licked my face when I picked her up. Then she snuggled her head into the little spot between my shoulder and my neck.
Back in my house, the heat on, a fire in the fireplace, I snuggled into my farmer jeans, turtle neck and favorite sweater. The snow on the ground made for a light darkness. The moonlight reflected off the pine trees glistening with liquid snow. It was warm and cozy, like a quilt, and I felt comfortable where I was. I had forgotten the warmth that the cold can bring.The next morning, I wrapped myself in my benchwarmer coat, dug out the boots, grabbed my briefcase and headed to work via the barn. The air was crisp, the snow still on the ground. My sheep baaed like babies as I entered the 75 year old barn. I fed them oats from my hand. Their mouths against my hand like sweet kisses. I could see my breath and theirs and this time it was good. I was warm and life was good.
More On Articles