Joan’s Journey: A Flight Forward, A Look Back

Hey Journeyers. Fasten your seat belts. This afternoon, we are on a very bumpy, gray route, high in the sky, from Los Angeles to Baltimore. I left LAX with sunny skies and 68 degrees. I am flying to BWI airport, which reports 48 degrees and rain.

Why? In an unexpected development relating to settling my affairs in Baltimore, I decided to return “Home” before severe winter weather arrives that may cause cross-country travel havoc.Joan's Journey: A Flight Forward, A Look Back

Now, my flow of writing pauses with the word Home. Isn’t my current residence at Holiday Villa East in Santa Monica my Home? Does Baltimore then become my “Former Home?” What about Houston—the lovely city where I lived for 26 years and happily raised my children?

As seniors, we have gathered a lifetime of experiences and, perhaps, Homes. Webster’s Online Dictionary defines “Home” as a dwelling place, together with a family or social unit that occupies it; a household. Agreeing with this definition, is there any harm in calling multiple dwellings Home? I think not.

As I look outside the plane window, I see impenetrable dark skies over the Rocky Mountains. The seatbelt light is on and my stylus cannot hit the keys. I have no choice but to close my eyes and contemplate my first return home since moving to senior living in Southern California.

Ten months have passed since I’ve seen lifelong cherished relatives and friends. To date, I have not been “Homesick” living at a senior residence in a totally new location and lifestyle. Will returning home, especially so close to the holidays, change my feelings or cause regrets? Will finalizing my business affairs in Baltimore bring sadness—or relief?

In my stomach, I feel that queasiness of the unknown, which is odd, because I am returning to the known. Perhaps I have a touch of air sickness, which is also unlike Joan the Gemini Journeyer.

As the bumpy Southwest Airlines flight and the ominous skies continue, I’m mentally preparing for this new milestone of Joan’s Journey. On the return flight to LAX, I will stop for three days at another home, Houston. In the next few blogs, I will divert from life at senior living, to the experiences and feelings of returning to a past lifestyle.

Joan’s Journey will post again once more in 2014. and I invite you to share your senior living experiences in the Comments Box below. Until our next blog, enjoy the trip, day by day. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Note: Southwest Airlines Flight #4431 emerged from the dark skies to land at BWI Airport, where Joan was met with the black, rain-filled night of suburban Baltimore—and one of her dear friends. Follow Joan in upcoming blogs as her journey takes a new look back at her former life.

Joan London, a former Houston Chronicle correspondent and noted magazine writer/editor. She specializes in freelance writing/editing of issues relating to seniors. London moved to a senior community in Southern California, where she has enhanced her quality of life and is close to her children and grandchildren.

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