Homeward Bound – Italy

by Funhog Family on May 23, 2023

Our journey home began at 6:30a with a leisurely stroll from the apartment to the train station for our 7a train to the Rome international airport to make our 10a flight to Dallas.  All of our travel this trip has been logistically fairly easy.  We have baked in enough time at each interchange, so that we are never rushed, but instead waiting for the next leg to happen.  It was not always like this when I have traveled in the past.  I used to try to pack as much into every minute that I would be racing, almost late, for the next thing.  We saw plenty of frenzied travelers running around like the white rabbit from Alice’s wonderland saying “I’m late! I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!”

We got to the airport by 7:50a and it took us 1.5hrs to make it through all the ticketing and various checkpoints.  Neither Tirzah, nor I, was able to sleep much on the plane ride to Dallas.  We had a four hour layover in Dallas before our flight to Phoenix.  It took two hours to get through customs and we witnessed many panicked people who were missing their connections.  We were able to get a bite to eat and then it was time for our flight to leave at 6:50p.  We did not actually get on the plane until an hour after we were supposed to leave.  The captain told us that it was because one of the toilets was having some issues, so they finally decided to just close down that toilet for the flight.

Jet lag was catching up to the both of us about this time, so as soon as we were in our seats we went to sleep for the two hour flight to Phoenix.  We woke up in a holding pattern over Phoenix.  There was a dust storm that was preventing us from landing.  We spent an hour above Phoenix waiting for the weather to clear.  The plane was getting low on fuel so we must land or we would have to divert to another airport.  We started final approach and just as we were about to land, there was a lightening strike at the airport.  This means we were not allowed to land, so we had to do a touch and go.  Since we no longer had enough gas, it also meant we would have to divert to Tucson.  We flew down to Tucson to get some gas, along with every other plane that got stuck circling above Phoenix.  There were not enough gates in Tucson for all the planes, so we were stuck on the tarmac.  Fortunately a gas truck was able to eventually get to us to fill out tanks.  We were in a race against time because the flight crew was fifteen minutes away from timing out.  We got back into the air just in the nick of time, otherwise we would have been forced to stay the night in Tucson.  Then the short flight back to Phoenix landed us there by 11:30p.

We met Marty on that leg of the flight and it was great hearing his testimony of all the Lord has done in his life.  He was a big burly man who wants to teach prisoners how to start businesses.  His hope is as he lives for Jesus and he teaches them how to help themselves, that they will be hungry to learn more about our Savior.

Tirzah was such an amazing traveling companion.  She was continual learning as we traveled, to the point that by the end of the trip, she was fairly comfortable navigating the many different styles of transportation we used on this trip.  It was fun watching her blossom as she became more comfortable talking with strangers and learning to navigate her vessel more fully.  I watched her on the plane ride home be able to communicate with the stewardess when given options in food or drink and let her know which would best bless her.  This was growth that was a blessing to see.  We both came home with hearts full of thanksgiving and praise.  The Lord created this trip and was part of it from beginning to end.  We got a chance to be used, and we were just thankful to be a part of it all.

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