Fearful flyers represent! Today is the day! I head to the airport at an ungodly early morning hour to fly out to Las Vegas. I will spend my night there in a hotel that is off the strip, and the only hotel in Las Vegas with no gambling. That’s OK with me because I don’t care about gambling. It is the hotel where I will meet my group that I will be spending the next week with in Death Valley. Yesterday I opened my final bulletin from the travel group and saw that they had included the names of the guide and the fellow travelers. There will be one female and one male guide, which is nice, and there actually are eight woman in the group, and only two men. I felt very encouraged by this as I was worried that I could be the only woman, and the one always sheepishly asking them to please stop for a moment while I relieved myself at the trails edge (keep hydrated!)
I have lists upon lists and I need to feel all ready to feel in control. I don’t know why I have never liked to fly. I have noticed that it gets easier for me to do when I have had periods in my life when I was flying frequently. I think it just seems so impossible for something so big to get off the ground, and stay up there. One time when I was leaving and on the runway we headed back in due to a problem. Great. I consoled myself thinking that at least they had found it before we got off the ground. I had a seat over the wing, and I watched them fooling around with the wing for an hour. When it was time to go I told myself that the guy who had to sign off on the repair would not sign anything that would send a plane full of people to their deaths. But it’s always tranquilizer and white knuckle time for me every time we hit that dreaded turbulence.
I did have one memorable flight. I was flying to Austin, Texas to visit my son. I turned out to be seated next to a Texan. The conversation surprised me because usually people keep to themselves. We talked about everything, with him giving me suggestions on what to see there. The talk turned to music and he pulled out his IPod, giving me one of his earbuds to listen to songs. Then he consulted another big guy across the aisle and up one seat about places to go and things to se. This lively conversation turned to music too, and I was amazed when the two of them began singing! That was one flight that I never wanted to end! I left the plane with a very warm place in my heart for the people of the Lone Star state. They are bigger than life.
So flying can actually be kind of fun, I tell myself as I await. Flying nerves get all mixed up with the excitement of embarking into the unknown.