This is the time of the Chinese New Year’s celebration. Everyone goes back to home villages to visit family during this time of year. This is not an easy trip to plan since you can only buy train tickets two weeks ahead of time, you can only buy them from the place of your origin, and you are competing with millions of other travelers. Having seen the lines of people trying to get home for the holiday in China, I once foolishly wondered why they put so much effort into going home given the barriers. I merely had to think about my own family to put it in perspective. Take the movements and placement of members of my family this Christmas for example…
From Shanghai, where they live, to the Middle East for a reunion with fellow teachers, and a visit with a father on a kibbutz, taking a cloth Christmas tree in their suitcase.
Swaziland doing voluntary service.
Paris serving as a nannie.
Going from northern Minnesota to Florida, leaving winter behind, to have fun with the grandchildren.
San Diego Cluster: Where Daisy the pug received steps to enable her to get up on the couch.
North Dakota Cluster: Where everyone primarily spent Christmas with the individual outlaws this year. A quiet day at home with turkey.
Phoenix Cluster: From NYC to Phoenix to join family and extended family snowbirds for the holidays and see how much Taylor loved her new chair.
From Michigan to NYC to explore the Big Apple.
Michigan Cluster: In the snow and rain from Minneapolis to Michigan via Rockford to stay with a niece overnight (who was apart from the North Dakota cluster), in order to join others arriving from Boston for the gathering, all prior to the Michigan snowbird going southwest to see how much Taylor enjoys her chair, and how well Daisy can get on the couch. Returned to Minneapolis, transporting Minnie Mae’s china with them in order to give it to the South Dakota niece enroute home from Philadelphia.
Minneapolis Cluster: From South Dakota to family gatherings in Minneapolis, on to St. Louis to move a family member to Philadelphia, then back to Minneapolis where the dishes were to be picked up, having been brought there from Michigan by an uncle and aunt. Alas the dishes were forgotten in the back of the uncle’s van, while they proceeded to arrive back at home in South Dakota.
The uncle was last seen with the back of the van open along the highway hoping against hope that someone would steal the dishes before next year’s Christmas round robin.
Multiply this by millions…