Quito, Ecuador

One of the things about flying for an Airline, is that you never know what’s going to happen next. I was contentedly flying to Haiti, month after month out of Fort Lauderdale when the earthquake hit. We stopped service and I was thrust into the wake vortex that is known as “Availability.” This means that from day-to-day, I never knew what I was going to fly. This was a problem because of this:

And this:

And this:

Every month it seems like it’s a juggling act. My writing schedule with Bird Talk Magazine tends to be hectic and when I’m not flying, I’m writing. When I am home on a day off, I sometimes write eight or nine hours a day. So I do the best I can with looking for trips that are efficient for both me and my family. This month, I ended up with a trip that gets me to Quito, Ecuador where I layover long enough to sleep and fly back the next morning. Granted, I have to get up at four a.m. for the flight back and the 9000-foot altitude kills you, but I’m usually lounging in jeans and a t-shirt in my own home by one or two the next afternoon. So it’s not all bad. And I can buy roses for my friends at an incredibly good price. Here are some roses I got for my friend Beverly who takes care of Mattie, the dog while I’m gone:

The birds have their “Auntie Nan” to take care of them while I am gone. She gets roses too!

And they just love Nan. I trust that Nan and Beverly will look after the Greys and Mattie like they were their own. So while I am gone, the last thing I need to worry about is my family. When I am flying, it’s not like going on vacation. It’s work. Hard work. And at the end of the day I go to this:

And this is my coffee maker in my room. I brought the creamer:

This is my hotel bathroom:

But this is what I usually end up doing after the flight. Well, without the socks and the uniform. At this point I’m usually in my “Jammies”:

But at this point, I’d rather be home with Parker and the rest of the family:

But as it is with life, things change. And with this change, my family of Greys and my dog will learn to adjust once again to being without me for some nights while I am on the road. But that’s okay, because to be honest, I don’t think they really miss me. They have Beverly and Nan to look after them and they have established relationships with these wonderful people. I have trained them to accept other people and to develop their own way with them. I think it’s critically important that your animal family members be flexible enough and open enough that they can have their own life, their own friendships and their own relationships with other people. Because you never know when you’ll end up having to fly to Ecuador.