My last write-up was a while ago. Shortly after that post, Melissa and I headed to Gray Summit, Missouri, for the Basset Hound Club of America’s annual gathering. This gathering is usually in a different place each year; in 2011, it was in Kentucky, last year, it was in Massachusetts, and next year, it will be in Wisconsin.
The trip to Missouri kicked off a strange bit of travel – completely planned – for myself. We drove to Missouri – it’s an eight and a half or nine hour drive from Saint Paul – on Saturday, October 5th. On Monday morning, we were at Purina Farms in Gray Summit. By mid-afternoon, I was heading to the St. Louis airport – a friend of Melissa’s was kind enough to give me a ride there.
I was flying to Hibbing, Minnesota; my hometown. Meghann, my sister, was already back in Hibbing; she had arrived from Japan earlier in September. Our grandmother was turning ninety years old and Meghann had made plans for a photo shoot with our parents and grandmother.
The last time I flew into or out of Hibbing was August of 2000. I was still living in Hibbing at that time and I was heading to Colorado to visit my cousins. I remember flying south and seeing Lake Mille Lacs pass underneath as I headed to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. That flight was rough; it was in a twin engine turbo prop.
Flying north from St. Louis to Minneapolis, farm fields stretched out under the airplane; small streams dart here and there; now and again, a river whittled its way through the landscape.
I have flown into and out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area many times; the trip to the west coast in July being the most recent prior to October. By no stretch am I a frequent flier. I fly more often than I did when I was in my 20s; as household income and my age have increased, the occurrences where I take flight have also increased.
For much of my life, the act of passing through the Minneapolis/St. Paul area was seen as an unfortunate have-to. With Melissa having grown up in Saint Paul, and her parents having always lived there, the metro area turned into an occasional destination. With move to the metro area now heading toward being eighteen months ago, it has turned into my new home and it’s a homecoming for Melissa.
The flight to Hibbing was odd; the doctor who had delivered me was on the flight along with several others who seemed vaguely familiar in that I’ve-seen-you-before-maybe-twenty-years-ago sort of way. No turbo prop, this time. It was a small jet.
The time in Hibbing was brief – around 36 hours – and then it was back to St. Louis; by the end of the week, we were back in St. Paul and soon there after, back to the daily routine. Back to this place that is now my home.