A bird just flew over my head. Not directly over it; kind of off to the right but still pretty close. I wouldn’t normally mention that except that I’m inside. I’m sitting in Concourse A of the Detroit airport. I’m almost halfway home but there’s still another three-hour flight and an hour in the car. I’m tired.
I think that the plane I flew here on may have been purchased at a garage sale. It looked pretty rough and smelled like a couch that somebody once gave me because they didn’t want to throw it away. My seat on the plane had all the support and comfort of a well-used lawn chair; not the fabric kind, the one made of pieces of striped plastic wrapped around an aluminum frame. It felt like it leaned to the right a little; like it might give way entirely and shoot me out of the tiny oval window. A little disconcerting.
I was one row ahead of the emergency exit row. Before takeoff the flight attendant came and asked the man in that row if he was willing and able to assist people in the event of an emergency. He said he would be happy to. Less than five minutes later a young woman asked him to help her stow her carry-on in the overhead bin. He said he couldn’t possible help as he had extreme back pain and couldn’t lift more that ten pounds. I’ve never lifted one before, but I’m quite sure the emergency exit door weighed considerably more than ten pounds. The exit row has more legroom than other seats. I had to work through the fact that his legroom was more important to him than my safety. Did I mention I’m tired?
The tip of the wing looked a little funny, like maybe it was flapping in the breeze a little. I noticed a sticker on the engine that said proudly made by GE. I think they made my fridge. Am I in a fridge with one bad wing? Okay, now I know I need sleep.
I try to sleep but the no-support-leaning seat makes it impossible. I finally wadded up my jacket and put it in the hole where the lumbar support should be. That helped the pain in my back and greatly improved my posture. I was now sitting like I was expecting to meet the Queen. So, my back felt better but now every time I dozed off my head would drop forward and then snap back up, waking me up every few minutes. I think I may have given myself repetitive strain whiplash.
Anyway, I’m now safely in the airport. I’ve had something to eat so I feel less angry and while I’m writing this, a really cool fountain is making designs with water jets. It’s a bit like watching a lava lamp…soothing and somehow familiar. I have another couple of hours before I board my flight for New Orleans. I’m pretty sure the fountain can keep me entertained for that long.
The fountain makes me think of God; mysterious, full of wonder and simply a blessing to watch. I’ve seen a lot of God this weekend at the youth retreat. I saw Him in the faces of the kids as they came up out of the water from baptism. I saw Him in the eyes of the leaders as they watched their flock press in to God’s presence. I heard Him as I spoke to young woman about purity, authority and trusting Him. God is so good.
I have no idea why God’s let’s me live this great life. I’m so grateful for His mercy. I love that He loves me…no matter what. I want to learn to love others like that. I want to love everyone…no matter what. He’s got a lot of work to do in me. Thank God He’s God. All glory to Him!Random Thoughts: Part Two Mar 12/07
It’s been approximately 14 hours since my last entry and here I sit; no longer watching the soothing fountain, as I am currently sitting in Nashville studying the rituals of a strange collection of individuals known as ‘the ground crew’. They drive around in little train-type vehicles, loading and unloading luggage, pushing mobile stair cases into position and guiding massive aircrafts into parking docks with multi-colored light sabers. They’re quite fascinating.
I’ve slept approximately 90 minutes since I woke up 24 hours ago. (That includes the repetitive-strain-whiplash nap on the garage sale plane.) You may be asking yourself, ‘Why isn’t she safely home in bed?’ I’m asking myself that same question. The answer: free stuff. As I was preparing to board my plane last night that voice of free stuff came over the intercom. Anyone who has ever flown knows the voice. It’s a mixture of hope and exhilaration; something between Mother Theresa and Bob Barker. ‘Due to an overbooking on this flight we are looking for volunteers with flexible travel plans who would be interested in taking the next available flight in exchange for compensation.’ Compensation means somebody is getting free stuff. Why not me? I approach the gate on a recon mission: get a feel for the deal, find out what is actually on the table. I talk to the agent and get the scoop: if I change my flight I get comped for my hotel, dinner and a free round-trip ticket to anywhere in the continental US or Canada. Sounds like a winner. I make the deal.
Now really, it is a good deal. One of the benefits of being a writer is that I’m nothing if not flexible. I’m already wondering where I’ll go with my free ticket from heaven, wondering what hotel I’ll stay in and what I’ll eat for dinner. As I’m counting my proverbial chickens I neglect to consider the cost. My luggage will not be joining me on this mini vacation. The only belongings I have with me (probably because I’m a writer) are my laptop, notepads and four books. They fill the time, but you can’t brush your teeth with them. Too late for second thoughts…I’m on the shuttle to The Clarion.
The front desk gives me a complimentary toothbrush and I buy a stick of ‘Sure’ at a neighboring gas station. By an absolute miracle of God I have a blue hairbrush in my carry-on…I didn’t even know I owned a blue hairbrush. I use my dinner coupon on a grilled chicken salad and retire to my room. I watch a couple hours of TV and decide to take a bath. There’s something about traveling that makes me feel dusty. I watch some more TV and I can’t sleep. I want to sleep, but I’m too far past tired to close my eyes. By 4am I decide to change my 3:42pm departure to the 6:25am. I’m already up; might as well head home.
So, that brings me to here: watching the ground crew at the Tennessee airport. Last night when I started this little memoir I was tired. Now, fourteen hours later, I’m more tired, in a different city, and still in the same clothes. Did I mention my makeup is already in New Orleans? Yeah…no makeup, improper hair care products and the same clothes I put on twenty-four hours ago. But hey, I got free stuff.
I should be in my house in about 5 hours. I love my house. I don’t have wireless on my laptop so I can’t post this until I get home. I know this isn’t what I normally write, but this hasn’t been a normal day. Thanks for hanging with me through it all. Peace and love. God bless.