Greeting at the airport

This week I went to the Tyler Pounds airport to pick up my wife who was returning from visiting her family out West. The airport is a new regional airport in Tyler Texas. It only has two gates for the flights to go in and out. What makes it so great for me and others is that there is little to no traffic at the airport. You can pull right up to the curb in front of the terminal and wait for the arrival of the plane. There is no warning coming from outside speakers about parking too long or leaving a vehicle unattended. The parking lot for the terminal is directly across a three lane road next to the terminal. So basically, I drive up in front of terminal and can wait for the plane’s arrival. There are no police officers walking up and down the terminal area to handle all of the traffic. It is such a nice experience I am always happy to go there. It is the total opposite of going to the airports in Dallas, Texas or Los Angeles, California.

So, this week I went to the airport to pick up my wife and drove her back home. I had arrived at the airport just as the plane was landing. I was parked directly out front of the terminal where my wife walked out and greeted me. We had to wait a little longer for the baggage to be unloaded which takes about 5 minutes. When my wife first walked out of the terminal I hurried around the front of my truck to welcome her with a hug and kiss and to remind her that I loved her. She told me that she had to go back and pick up her luggage, so I told her I would just wait by the truck.

While standing by my truck I noticed at least four other cars pull up to the front of the terminal and several other people got out of those cars and appeared to wait for someone just like I was. One woman who appeared to be in her early 20s, seemed to be pacing up and down next to her car a little bit more than most of us. She also seemed to be smiling from ear to ear and could hardly control her anticipation of the arrival of the plane. Slowly, people started exiting the terminal with their baggage. I then witnessed the young woman as she spotted the man she was waiting for. I watched her run up to the man and jumped up on him wrapping her arms and legs around him. There seemed to be such a joy emanating from both of them that I could not help but think of how happy they both must be. I watched them embrace each other and then walked to her car holding each other tightly, smiling from ear to ear. In my mind these are two young people, just starting out in life and very much in love with each other.

When my wife exited the terminal with her suitcase she walked directly to me in the truck and warned me that the suitcase was pretty heavy this time. She got into the truck and I struggled to get the heavy suitcase in the backseat. As we were driving home I told her of the young woman’s action when she met the young man at the airport. She smiled at me and stated she was not sure that if she did that I would be able to catch her without falling down. We both laughed and proceeded to drive on home.

This got me to thinking, does my wife know how much I love her and how happy I am to see her when she comes home from a trip? I know that each time that I greet her at the airport it is with a big hug and kiss. But, do I show the same kind of enthusiasm that the young woman when she picked up her man. I know that I am very excited to see my wife again and I believe she is glad to see me. I do agree that if she came running up to me and jumped into my arms I would have a hard time accepting such a gesture. Maybe it’s because I’m older and weaker than the young man that I watched catch the woman at the airport. Maybe it is because the fact that we have been together for so many years that I take for granted that she knows how happy I am to see her. Maybe it is because she is so exhausted after a long day of traveling through airports that she would find it hard to run up and jump into my arms. As I think of it, I do not see a lot of people over the age of 40 years old running up and jumping into the other person’s arms. But it sure is impressive to see someone do that. Even if was just for that moment, it seemed like the whole world centered on that couple for those brief moments at the airport. Witnessing their actions made me smile and reminded me about how excited I was to see my wife. I am sure that running and jumping into the arms of the person that you love is a wonderful feeling. But I am also sure that as I’ve gotten older the results of such an action might actually be dangerous.

So my thought for today is about how I can show my wife how excited I am about her arrival without the run and jump. One of the ways I tried was to have a large glass of ice water waiting for her in the truck. She loves her cold water and I want her to have the water available for the long ride home. Another way that I show her that I’m excited about her coming home is that I’m usually at the airport waiting earlier than the planes actual arrival time. Maybe it’s the fact that I make sure that the truck is clean and I have shaved with clean, fresh clothing. Now that I am retired, fresh clothing is represented by a collared shirt and clean blue jeans. And I am sure that each time that she sees me waiting by the curb and she sees me smiling from ear to ear. I always tell her how excited I am to see her and then on the way home I say it again several times.

But is it enough, when I think back of the vision of those two young people meeting at the airport I wonder? Should I try other things, like giving her flowers when she arrives? I used to do that on special occasions but after about 15 years she asked me not to buy the expensive flowers. Do I run around to her and planta big old 5 second kiss on her? I don’t know. But I do want her to know how much I care and how excited I am that she is home. What to do –what to do?



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