Something to chew on

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I don't like to fly. Well, scratch that. I do fine up in the air. It's the thought of flying that I really don't like. But I've come up with a little system that helps me get into the air without having to self-medicate or curl up into the fetal position, crying on the floor:
  • Step 1: The rabbit is always in-hand.
  • Step 2: I step on the airplane with my left foot, touching the plane with my right hand as I step in.
  • Step 3: I pick a seat on the right side of the plane somewhere between aisles 11 and 15.
  • Step 4: I listen for the landing gear to come up. I feel some comfort knowing that the pilot doesn't think we're going to need it anytime soon.
  • Step 5: The "ding" when a flight attendant tells everyone we can now feel free to use electronic devices such as laptops, iPods, DVD players, etc.
  • Step 6: The flight attendants actually get up and take drink orders.
When all of this happens in a timely manner, I feel fine and finally settle down.

Unless it gets bumpy. Last night's flight from Austin to Nashville was good for the most part. Before we even left the ground, the captain told us there would be some bumps as we headed up because of the clouds and rain. He told us. I was prepared. So it wasn't too bad when we hit said bumps and quickly got above the clouds into smooth sailing. Smooth sailing that is until we started our descent into Nashville. We were landing in the same weather we left: cold, rainy, wet, cloudy.

And we hit some bumps. I mean real bumps. Turbulence like I don't remember experiencing in several years. The kind that rocks you back and forth in your seat and knocks your elbows into the armrests on both sides. I gasped, prayed, clutched onto Cole's arm until the rockiness pulled him from my grasp. It felt like it lasted for about seven minutes.

And all this time, there was a little girl across the aisle from me, I mean little, maybe two years old tops, all throughout this turbulence she is giggling like she's on the tilt-a-whirl at the amusement park. Not just little giggles, but laughter. The pure laughter that must be one of the prettiest sounds on earth. Uninhibited, uncensored, joyous laughter. I'm on the verge of tears and she's having the time of her life.

The bumps stop. We hit smooth air. And it turns out it wasn't seven minutes, but probably just 12 seconds. I open my eyes again, and the little girl across the aisle -- binky still in her mouth -- is yelling: "Do it again! Do it again!!!"



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