Five Minute Friday: Fly

Fly

Gentle Reader,

A bit of business: There will be no new content – Facebook page, newsletter, posts – from June 10 – June 16. I’m headed to the coast to celebrate 12 years of marriage. I thought about scheduling some things, but then I’d have to get online to share those things via social media, and I really, really want to be completely unplugged for a whole week. More than that, I need to be unplugged for a whole week. So I’ll catch you on Tuesday, June 19, for some chit-chat about The Beatles.

Kate says: fly.

Go.

I hate flying.

I was 16 the first time I hopped on a plane. The ride was less than an hour, but I was pretty sure I was going to die. My dad told me later that all the color drained from my face and he was concerned that I would pass out. All by myself, in a tin can of terror, surrounded by people I didn’t know who might want to talk to me. It was terrible. I buried my head in a book and prayed that nobody would notice me. And that the engine wouldn’t catch fire.

Several years passed before I flew again. Chris took me to Alaska to meet his family. When we arrived in Anchorage, we had to transfer to a small commuter plane to get to his hometown. (By small, I mean seats less than 20 people). The crew left our luggage behind because the plane was too heavy due to a load of fish – and transporting the fish was way more important than me having pajamas. As we barely skimmed over the tops of trees and narrowly missed crashing into mountains, I was again convinced that death was immanent.

The worst, by far, was the 17-plus hour ride to London. Do you have any idea how freaky it is to fly over the North Pole? All kinds of existential questions assaulted me – Who am I? Why am I here? Can polar bears jump high enough to reach the plane? What time is it when you’re standing at the North Pole? I’m going to die, aren’t I? Add in a screaming baby and a husband who needs to stretch his legs and can’t and I was not happy, in any way.

But then…

The destination is reached and the horror of flight quickly fades. It was worth pushing through the fear to visit my aunt and uncle for a week, worth meeting Chris’ family, certainly worth visiting Buckingham Palace.

I think that applies to life, too. Sometimes it sucks. It hurts. It’s scary. But for those whose faith is in the Risen Savior, the destination will blot out all heartache over the journey.

Stop.

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13 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Fly

  1. Enjoy your trip, and good call on unplugging. A good reminder for me next week when we travel. I’m going to shelve social media in exchange for real conversation, play time, and real books! Hope you have a great anniversary trip. Jenn, FMF neighbor

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  2. Congratulations to you and Chris on 12 years of marriage. Uncle John and I wish both of you many more years together and want you to know we love you both very much! Have a wonderful time on the coast!

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  3. I love flying.

    My Dad was in the Air Force so, of course, most of the time, when he was stationed at different bases, we flew.

    I actually don’t remember the first time I was in an airplane because I was about two or three when Dad was stationed at an Air Force base in Spain.

    I do remember bits and pieces of the return trip, but only because the plane had to refuel in the Azores (this was about 1959-1960) and because I got air sick. No, I didn’t vomit, but I didn’t appreciate the nausea. The flight attendent gave me a small tank of oxygen and I breathed into a really cool mask for a while. I didn’t find out until years later that the tank was empty.

    After that, I was fine with flying, that is until I had my first anxiety attack when I was on a flight (three different planes actually), from Idaho to Virginia. I had another one on the flight back. I was pretty bad. My “resting” heart rate was 140 bpm.

    Fortunately, after months on medication, I decided I didn’t want to live on drugs forever, and weaned myself. I think I only had one attack since then and after that, nada.

    I’m fine with flying again. My favorite part is the take off when the aircraft is accellerating down the runaway and lifting off the ground.

    My wife and I went to Europe the year before we started having kids and yes, we flew over the pole. I don’t think it made much of an impression, but back then, you could still smoke on international flights and my wife is allergic to all kinds of smoke, so the migraine she got was grim.

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  4. I hate flying too- I think it’s the total lack of control! But focusing on the destination helps and it is worth it in the end. Congratulations on 12 years of marriage! Hope you have a happy anniversary and that you enjoy your break!

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  5. Congratulations on 12 years of marriage! How wonderful to celebrate with the idea of becoming completely unplugged for a whole week. I think you have made an excellent choice. See you on social media soon enough. So go and enjoy!

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