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The Big One

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My husband asked me to pack a bag for an unknown destination. Meticulously sorting through my wardrobe, I consider every possible activity and climate. Will we swim? Hike? Dine casually? Upscale?  I pack my whole wardrobe.

We arrive at the U.S. border with all travel documents, including airline tickets, safely hidden from me, inside my husband’s leather jacket. It is still on the chilly side here. Spring has been teasing us, a matter of days ahead. He hands the customs officer our passports. “Where exactly are you headed to?”, he asks.  My husband takes out the printed tickets, places them in is hand and replies, “It’s a surprise for her birthday”. The customs officer looks closely at the tickets.  He bursts into a smile bigger than the tiny booth he is confined to. “Have a good time”, he says and waves us on.

The anticipation grows as we near the Detroit airport. We enter the terminal and I know this has to be the big reveal. I imagine the reaction of the airport attendant if I tell her I didn’t know where I was going. As I struggle to pull my overloaded suitcase towards the desk, my husband hands me my ticket.



they say what happens

here stays, but I saw snowflakes

dance in the desert
















Kim is our pub tender as we serve up some haibuns about birthdays.

dVerse Poets Pub

40 responses »

  1. Another husband who is good at surprises! What would we do without them, Mish? I have had the same dilemma with knowing what to take on a mystery trip. That customs office was a nice guy. On my first and only visit to New York, I got a horrible dressing down from one for a minor mistake on a form I filled in on the plane. I love the idea of snowflakes dancing in the desert – a great birthday surprise!

  2. A truly beautiful Haiku to accompany a fantastic story! ✨

  3. Aww, this is so lovely. Sounds like quite the surprise and just endearing. I love this piece–it’s so beautiful in how you recall such a memory or moment. I especially love the haiku! Lovely piece. ❤

  4. love it, what a great surprise!

  5. What an amazing surprise! Lovely haiku, too.

  6. What a wonderful surprise!

  7. Glenn A. Buttkus

    My wife is a bit of a detective, and she handles our finances, so it was pretty hard to surprise her. The best I could do, when asked what a check or a card charge was for, was tell her it
    was none of her business. I worked out of Palm Springs for years, and one winter it snowed there; imagine the tourist’s shock.

    • All the secrecy was worth it in the end. I’m sure she appreciated it too. The snow was flying around the peaks of Red Rock. A magical contrast to the city.

  8. I love the anticipation you build in your haibun and can feel the growing excitement. “VEGAS BABY!” indeed! You have a prince of a husband, Mish.

  9. Beautiful haiku, and well done to your husband for keeping that secret!

  10. Beautiful haibun
    Happy Monday

  11. Love this one! The snowflakes dancing in the desert… brilliant!

  12. I love it! You have a great husband!! Snow in Vegas… that is great!

  13. That’s too sweet!!! Love the beautiful haiku that caps off this heart touching story!

  14. What a nice surprise! (K)

  15. Aah! That was nice! He really hung onto the surprise😊. I’ve been there once and enjoyed every moment of my stay. 😊


  16. Fun to read travel memories! You are adventurous!

  17. Extra points to your husband for the confidence to pull it off.

  18. Hi Mish. I’d never heard of haibun until this challenge. I had to look it up! The way your haiku and images enlarge then contrast and conflict the prose meaning is subtle, impressive and instructional. Thanks, Max


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