Monday, March 23, 2015

The Little Airplane vs. The Big Nor'Easter

This is the BEFORE picture. Note the happy, unsuspecting
smiles of two friends/ who don't anticipate a potential
death match over a vomit bag.
Perspective is crazy. Not just in the I-can-pinch-your-head-when-you-stand-far-away way, but how your definition of what is good, or what will make you happy can change based on experience.

Last fall I got on a flight to North Carolina for a writer-girls weekend (shout out to Jodie, Christina and Skype-Donna!)

During the layover in Washington-Dulles where I met up with Christina (yay!) we were told our flight was 20 minutes late. Boo. But then that moved and then it moved again. So after a while we were going to get in late, but I was just hoping to get in soon. Then, we go up in the air in a cigarette with wings and fly through a Nor'easter.

Do not get in a plane and fly through a Nor'easter. It was like driving on a rumble strip through the mountains with portions of the road blown out. My new definition of happy very quickly became to land without having puked. I had my little sick bag ready and I was eyeballing Christina's, ready to kype it as needed.

About an hour after the "we're landing soon so put up your tray tables" announcement, we started flying up instead of down.  Not good. The pilot said cross winds were high, but we'd try again.

So. We go lower and lower, and I breathe harder and harder thinking non-puky thoughts, and we're so low I could literally reach out my window and pick a weed off the Tarmac...and then we sore up into the windy heights again. Me and my stomach were yelling "Nooooooo!"

Pilot man lost his nerve, which in retrospect, I'm okay with. I'd rather have a pilot be cautious than end up sliding down an inflatable slide while firemen spray foam at the plane. But at the time, I didn't feel that way. Again, perspective.

So, now I'm praying harder than I've prayed since the last time I got pulled over, and deep breathing, and also trying to figure out what we'll do if the pilot makes good on his threat/promise to take us to Dulles instead, if our third attempt isn't successful. I'll be happy if we can just land here. At all.

We fly lower, and lower, and I pray harder, and harder, and continue to think non-puky thoughts, and then....BAM. We hit the runway. Hard.
This is what waited at the other end. This
and lots of chocolate and laughs. Yes, it was totally
worth it.

And you know what? We applauded. I applauded. Because at that point, the only thing I wanted in the world was to be on the ground, and I was! And as a bonus all my dinner was still inside me!

All this is to say, I want to be grateful for the little things, without a Nor'easter in the mix. So today, I'm grateful for pretty weather, and windows that open, and cats that didn't wake me up early. For sweatshirts and yoga pants, for breakfast. I'm grateful for my laptop and that the battery lasts a long time, for auto back-up so I don't have to live in partial panic that I'll lose EVERYTHING some day by accident. I'm grateful for toilet paper, and indoor plumbing, for warm water, and clean clothes. For eyeliner! For clean water, for coffee, and for fun mugs. For beaches, and friends, and even experiences that make me remember how much I have to be thankful for.