Throw a duffel bag at me… really, it’s ok

Twice I circled the arrival lanes at Anchorage Airport.

No husband.

He had called two hours earlier, and I must say, after nine weeks it was about time.  The kids and I scrambled into the old Chevy suburban and trekked to town… 45 minutes on a good day… one hour on a bad.  Today it was very bad.  I was glad to at least be at the airport.

Working oil pipeline camps, he was normally gone 4 weeks and home 2.  This time he’d been called for an emergency… then they couldn’t find a replacement for him.

All these weeks later, I was about to make my third circle thru the arrival area.


….a familiar duffel bag hit the hood of my car and rolled up on the windshield.

And there he was.  I think.

Needing a haircut when he originally left town, it now touched the top of his shoulders.  He had a beard, crazed bloodshot eyes and his flannel shirt and jeans hadn’t seen a washer in a while.

My clean-shaven, well-groomed husband looked like a hippy… and I was supposed to recognize that??

At that particular moment he wasn’t too thrilled with me, but we’ve laughed about that homecoming many times over the years.

The other day I was thinking about the circles I drive in my mind as I read THIS by Emily Freeman.

I do a lot of circular things… in my head, while driving, while walking.  The driving and walking circles are generally because I’m lost.

The circles in my head are generally because I’m lost in fear.

In March I made a committment to outline my book – thoroughly.   And add 10,000 words to it.  The outline is done and I’m happy… it’s the first time I’ve had a concrete writing plan to work with.

Then I placed the words already written in their appropriate slots.  And I wrote a few more words.  A very few.  Not even close to 10,000.

And for the last couple weeks it’s just been.. kind of.. sitting around… taunting me.

In the meantime I have sorted thru old tax records to “neaten them up a bit”, sorted books, organized utensil drawers in the kitchen, and generally let the fear of making a fool of myself blot out the things I really want to do.

Emily’s words inspire and make me wonder what would happen if I went all out for what drives me… those things that poke and prod and say “pay attention to me”.

I keep thinking of the boy who wanted to fly, an aunt who wanted to sing, the music and art my grandmother created but the world never saw… all the amazing ideas, talents, and giftedness of family and friends.  Why do we have these things circling within on an endless loop if we’re not meant to do them or be them or share them?

And I’ve been remembering the kind-of-scared, kind-of-brave and slightly naive version of me who loaded her pregnant self and two-year old son into a truck with her husband and headed 3,000 miles north so many years ago… not knowing where we would live or how we would live.  What happened to her?  And where did this wimpy version come from?

And the big question…. how many more loops do I get thru the arrival lanes?

Time’s flying… thanks for throwing the duffel, Emily.

5 thoughts on “Throw a duffel bag at me… really, it’s ok

  1. That was a profound post from Emily. I copied it (sorry trees) and pasted it in my journal. One I will want to reread time and time and time over. Oh to be able to think and write like that. But, first, to confront those nagging fears that hold us back, that limit my thinking and my writing. Well said post, interpreting her words into your life. Very inspiring!


  2. Life has so many twist and turns , of surprises that keeps us moving on despite of the trials we face each day. Your story makes me feel that I am not alone and that like you and me, there’s more out there who embraces the with as much positivity as they can. After all , life is too short and we just need to enjoy and make the most of it. Have a wonderful day!


  3. The fears…they certainly bind us. Chained and bound with things that probably will never occur. Yet, they do seem real. But, then there’s FAITH! The trust we can have in a faithful God. Praise be to Him!!


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