Visit brings comforts of home

Emily Young and her teammates showered Alexis Olgard's dog, Lilly, with love during a stop at the Olgards' home after a road win over Washington State. Courtesy of Emily Young

On Sunday, after we beat Washington State, our team was in for a special treat. Because our flight out of Spokane wasn’t set to take off until 7 p.m., it left us with some time to relax and mingle at junior middle blocker Alexis Olgard’s house.

The smile that being home brought to Alexis’ face was more than worth the trip. But she wasn’t the only one who felt the warm comforts of home.

As we drove up the mountain, I looked at the houses and tried to compare them to those in my hometown of Schaumburg, Ill. We passed street names like Euclid and Maple, the very same street names in my suburb.

When we arrived at the Olgards’ house, Alexis’ dog, Lilly, was the first to greet us. Every one of us adoring girls who has abandoned pets at home for college pampered Lilly with attention. As we toured Alexis’ room and we learned about her childhood, we couldn’t help but reminisce about our own rooms at home.

The Olgards were so welcoming and hospitable; it was like they had just adopted 12 new daughters. As we sat outside, overlooking the mountains and enjoying each other’s company with fresh fruit, homemade pizza and warm cookies, I knew that each girl on the team had found the true comforts of home.

After we boarded our flight and we were finally up in the air, I felt different than I did on most other road trips. I didn’t feel aggravated that I had to take my laptop and shoes off for TSA, or stressed about homework that needed to be done. As I looked out the window, I thought about how lucky we were to have had the opportunity to visit Alexis’ house and what a gift every day of life is, win or lose.

Thirty thousand feet in the sky, this is what came to mind…

Everything on the ground

Seems more interesting in the air

I guess the grass is greener

When you’re not there

Look down at the traffic

No need to care

Suspended in time

Neither here nor there

A different perspective

Of what we have every day

Somehow mundane thoughts

Seem to pull us away

The sun and the grass

The majesty of land

Simple clarity

In a life full of demand

I look into the sun

And I know I have it all

Alive and living

Nature’s loudest call