A Picture and a Thousand(ish) words: Surprising Jordan

Hello friends!

I am joining Meg from Marmalade Mementos for her newest story telling project, A Picture and a Thousand(ish) Words. "Each month, I will be adding an insert into my Project Life album that I’m referring to as “A Picture and A Thousand(ish) Words.” This challenge is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: one photo, and an accompanying story. While I personally will literally be striving for at least the 1000-word mark each month, the overall goal is simply to tell more of the story, whether that ends up being two paragraphs or three pages!  I would love it if you joined me in this storytelling quest!" -Meg

I wanted to use this picture to tell you this week's story!

My youngest sibling is 18 years old (I keep asking myself where the time went because he was just a cute kid who didn't talk much with a goofy little smile). Jordan (my younger brother) graduates high school on this coming Thursday. He and my mom were talking a couple months ago about how he wished that I could be at his graduation, although he understood why that wasn't possible. Her and I were talking about it on and off. It wasn't until after I changed work spaces in April that I even had a chance to take leave to come watch him graduate. Mom and I concocted a plan to surprise him for graduation! We made plans for the last couple of months and never said a word to him about it.

So yesterday I jumped on an airplane and flew from Frankfurt to Washington D.C. and then on to Tampa, where my father came to pick me up. So thanks to traffic Mo and I were a bit late to the airport (it's over 2 hours from where he lives), but we made it in enough time. I got my ticket and we said bye at security. It took me a little while to make it through security and Border Patrol in the airport, but it was kind of helpful to have my cane with me. The flight itself was pretty uneventful (and ridiculously long). I don't like long flights.... I got a window seat (which was nice) but it meant that I didn't get a lot of chances to get up and move around (the people in my row slept a lot), which meant little moving around for me and lots of discomfort. It was an 8 hour and 45 minute flight from Frankfurt to Washington/Dulles airport. I had enough time to watch Hercules (The Rock version), the first two Hobbit movies, and most of the third one. The airplane had wifi so I was still able to talk to people. 

Once I arrived in Washington/Dulles, I had to go through security and customs, which didn't take too long, but still long enough to be a problem for me. Once I got through that, I went to a local counter and asked for a wheelchair. I knew that it would take me a long time to make it around the airport, so I figured a wheelchair would be better. I only brought one backpack and my camera bag with me so that way I didn't have to check bags and wait at baggage claim (plus it's only enough clothes to make it to Thursday afternoon). The only thing is that my other gift to my brother is a laptop (which is kind of heavy) and carrying my backpack started to take it's toll on my back and knee (especially after sitting for so long). Luckily there was a wheelchair nearby and they helped me get to my gate.

While waiting to board my plane I asked the gentleman at the counter if I could get help pre-boarding the aircraft, because it takes me a little while longer. The gentleman was nice enough to upgrade my seat to one with more leg room, get me a wheelchair when I got to Tampa, and get me set-up for assistance on the way back to Germany. The upgrade of seat was free to me. They had to check my bag though because it was too big to fit in these overhead compartments. 

The flight from Washington to Tampa was really uneventful, and sadly there was no sleep to be had for me. I got to Tampa just after 1230 am, where my father was there to pick me up and bring me back to their house. It was nice to briefly catch up with my parents before I crashed on the couch, needing to get some sleep.

So because Germany is 6 hours ahead of the East Coast, my brain decided it was time to wake up at 0445 after just a couple hours of sleep. That was also when my brother had to get up for his last day of high school. He isn't the most aware of his surroundings so it took him a couple of times of walking by me to realize that there was someone on the couch. He originally thought it was our mom, but eventually figured out it was me. SURPRISE!!!

Now onto the search to find a swimsuit for the beach. I need to get some color and balance out the Irish and the Italian in me. If you decide to participate, let me know. People are using blog posts, Project Life, Scrapbooking, and journals to do this project. Share it on Instagram with #1000WordStory!

Make sure to follow my instagram @jennlmcclure91 for more pictures and stories about my trip for his graduation! I got lots planned for this week, and it all starts today.