Despite the fact that nomad blood coursed through her veins, Breezy had never really traveled much; at least not when compared to all the different places in the world still left to go. She had been to Washington D.C. on a field trip with her school and she had been to Hawaii with her family, large box vacations, mostly. So when her husband sludged through the door one day after work, shed the layers of the day at the door, sat down and said, “They are sending us to Nebraska for two weeks,” Breezy was ecstatic. “We’re coming too.” Her husband’s grin peeked at the corner of his mouth. “Ok.” It was settled.
The day of the flight was sunny and clear. They all woke at the break of dawn and headed to the airport. Rai’s easy and welcoming smile won her lots of admirers and, admittedly, made the hectic and stressful gambit of security protocols easier for Breezy to manage. She cleared the hand swipe (wasn’t even sure what they were checking for) and waited at the end of the long line for her husband. He had disappeared. Turns out he was arguing with one of the security officers about a small hunting knife he had forgotten to unpack.
Breezy’s husband was the type of man that was prepared for anything. He kept a prepacked hiking backpack in the closet by the front door, and another prepacked backpack in his truck. It was one of the many unique and interesting things that Breezy loved about her husband.
It had made packing easier, but he had forgotten to check the front pockets. The knife was very sentimental to him. It had been his great grandfather’s and was gorgeous with a bone handle. The officer said his only option was to go back to the front of the airport and mail it to himself (somehow) He didn’t have the time and he didn’t have to means, so he had to give it up. He grumpily stalked past Breezy and headed for the gate, with Breezy hurrying after him.
The flight was fairly uneventful, besides the awkward struggles of breastfeeding a squirming infant in a small chair, with people giving short unapproving glances. Breezy figured they were unaware of the pain change in altitude had on babies – breastfeeding equalizes pressure in the babies ears – and continued unconcerned.
When they landed in Nebraska, Breezy was surprised at two things: the immediate heat of a humid summer day and the noise. There was a constant hum of bugs. They typed the hotel into the GPS and took off. Rai babbled incoherently and swiped at the toys laying around her carseat. Breezy watched out the window and felt uneasy. There were no mountains. She could see the road ahead stretch imperceptibly into the distance. Corn field after corn field flashed by the car. The roads here didn’t wind, either. They were straight and then intersected like giant squares of highway.
They made good time and reached the hotel before night fell. They went to their rooms and collapsed in a sweaty and tired heap, falling asleep soon after.
The next day, Dah as Rai called him, went to the concrete plant early, leaving Breezy to immediately explore her surroundings and watch the first of many spectacular sunrises that can only happen in the flatlands. She explored the hotel: pool, laundry room, breakfast room with outside patio. She explored the surrounding neighborhood: small pond to walk around, hospital, apartments. She walked to the small strip mall down the hill from the hotel and decided she must look lost or out of place. Several nice people stopped and asked her if she needed a ride somewhere. It was sunny, and she was carrying a baby in a sling around her front, but she decided to wear makeup the next day, anyway, just in case.
Dah would come home late in the evenings and they would go out to eat with the other team members that had come along. They would then wake early, leaving Breezy and Rai to eat Hotel continental breakfast, watch the sunrises and figure out new and creative things to do with their days.