Random Thoughts at 34,000 Feet (Up)

This is going to be a long flight and I’m bored already. Oh how I wish I had not forgotten the crochet hook. My plan for four hours of waiting was to crochet more of the bookmarks for my Cambodian kids. I have a big ball of thread and no implement.  Since I wasn’t going to read my book, it is in the suitcase in the bin over my head. I’m not getting up to dig it out – too much trouble.

No needlework, no book, that leaves eating and sleeping.  I know better than to think there will be much to eat on this domestic flight.  No one eats any more on domestic flights.  Well, I was wrong, here come the peanuts, all 21 of them (I counted). That shaved a minute and a half off the flight time. I know better than to think I’m going to fall asleep with the baby being loud behind me, and the person coughing all the time somewhere back there.  I must not breathe their air.   

It’s hard to sit straight in these seats for very long. I twist and look out the window until my neck hurts. All the scenery is pretty far away. Oh, but there is a big river, If I had to guess, I’d say Mississippi.  Maybe we’re getting close to Minnesota. 

Trying to make myself sit straight again. Suddenly aware of how many times and places I do sit crooked. Like in my car, always leaning to the right, away from the door. I think my bones and muscles have adapted to poor posture. Need to pay more attention to that.  They’ve done something to make these seats harder.  It’s punishment for going economy class.  For that we all get punished, and someone has already done the puzzle in the airplane magazine.  They are trying to make me go crazy. 

Clouds look like popcorn. Mmmm…. popcorn. Butter. I’m thirsty.

More male flight attendants than female on this flight, kind of interesting. And the guys are doing all the refreshment service in the cabin. The lady must have gotten the first class cabin. Wonder if I’ll ever ride first class?  In my dreams…  What have they done to make guys want to be flight attendants?  Maybe it’s because they let them be comedians and make you tube videos.  Guys love that.

It is so noisy in here. There were a bunch of announcements and I hope they weren’t important because the engines drowned out the words. I didn’t catch a one of them.  I want some noise cancelling headphones.

I can see the top six inches of head of nearly everyone in the plane, from the back. Head tops are curly, straight, bald, that one needs a color touch up, grey, white, baseball cap. I can tell which women have gotten professional cuts – they have actual styles.  I try to guess how old everyone is based on the back of their head.  

Woman across the aisle has an outfit that looks severely odd. I’m trying not to stare. Lime green ankle length dress with a straight skirt and what looks like a three foot long hood hanging down the back. Looks high fashion, matches her jewelry and haircut. She’s spent some money somewhere but I wonder if she’s comfortable.  That shiny white box is her purse?!  She is so “Project Runway”.  Thankful for my comfortable clothes.

Chocolate. Nice lady next to me gave me a Hershey kiss. She’s going to her grandson’s wedding. She asked me where I was going. We are aware of the opposite prevailing emotions behind a wedding and a memorial service, but acknowledge that we are both going to be seeing a lot of family.  She says that is going to be good.  So do I. 

What on earth am I going to do with my mind for the next two hours? Aaarrraaghh! (silently) Look through my purse for the tenth time for that stupid crochet hook. 

Wonder if the husband made it out of Tampa and back home safely.  Worry about him.  Worry about him driving my car.  Hope he doesn’t crash the car. 

Thinking about my car some more. Can hardly believe that we got 5 people and four sets of luggage in LC (little car). It’s a good thing the ride to the airport was only 50 minutes. I guess I’m getting more used to, and more appreciative of that car. It definitely has some good technology and gets good gas mileage. I’m getting used to putting my “stuff” in the back seat, getting used to the awkward drink holder that I can never get my cup out of, getting used to taking the husband’s phone out of the cubby he always tries to put it in so that I can move the gear shift, getting used to the way I have to climb up and out of my seat, getting used to waiting five minutes while the husband gets out of his seat.  

What time is it? Are we there yet? Oh gosh, 45 more minutes….

I can tell we are in the midwest. The land is all divided up into regular sized squares, none of those irregular lines around the geography of the south. Every once in a while, where the roads intersect, there is a conglomerate of buildings, a town. There’s that big river again, with a barge. Has to be the Mississippi. Every inch of land is some kind of field – so many different shades of green and brown and once in a while a yellow one. The cloud shadows are so obvious from up here.  The early settlers would turn over in their graves if they could see this land being so covered with farms and houses.  And they would never believe that I would be seeing it from the sky. I don’t believe I’m seeing it from the sky.  Hope the plane doesn’t crash.

Can hardly wait to get a crochet hook and make up for all this wasted time. Must go to Walmart as soon as I get to Hayward. Wonder if I’ll ever live in Hayward again. That would be kind of full circle, no it’s more like a double circle. I started there and left, came back to start our family and left again, and to return would be the second homecoming. Two circles. I never would have dreamed there would be a Walmart in Grandma’s back yard – never in a million years. Wish she could see it.  Wish the early settlers could see a Walmart.  They wouldn’t believe it. 

Engine speed is changing now and I can feel us moving to a lower altitude. Such a difference in noise level. We must be getting close to Minneapolis and I am so glad. My neck is really stiff now. Have to move and stretch soon or I’m going to self destruct. So glad this isn’t a 16 hour flight to South Korea. Hope the plane doesn’t crash. 

Ooops. Forgot my sunglasses. Oh well, Wisconsin in the fall – the sun might not shine the whole time I’m there. The lady in the lime green outfit just stood up. The dress has ruching up the sides and all kinds of chiffon draping and fluttery things in the front. Never seen anything like it. Can’t believe she wanted to wear that on the plane. What was she thinking? We are definitely pointing down now.  Hope the plane doesn’t crash. 

Beep, beep, boop?

What?  Who did this? To those of you reading who are not also bloggers, I will explain.  One of the latest updates to WordPress, my blog host, includes a cute little “beep, beep, boop” message wiggling around in the center of a blank screen for a few seconds after certain commands are instituted.  It’s a thing to look at while you’re waiting.  Evidently someone thought that us bloggers would lose interest and wander off if we didn’t have something new to look at for three seconds while our post is being published.  I’d like to meet the originator of this idea and try to figure them out. I’m always amazed at the things people will think to do.  Actually, sometimes I’m also amazed at the things people don’t think to do – the old rule, never say never,  applies equally to never say always. Both good things to remember.

This last week, every time I sat down at the computer I lost interest and wandered off.  One day I didn’t even turn the thing on.  But that’s ok.  A week of inactivity online doesn’t bother me much and gives me the opportunity to write about what I have been into while I haven’t been writing.

– Equate extra strength Headache Relief,  for the headache that doesn’t seem to want to quit.  Although I’m probably not doing my stomach any favors, I’m grateful for the four or five hours of relief and super wakefulness that I get from swallowing a couple pills.

Hello headache, my old friend...
Hello headache, my old friend…

– Intraocular injections (shot in the eyeball), for the eye problem that was dramatically improved, in the doctor’s own words.  I’m grateful that it’s working and that I don’t have to get another one for five weeks, although I am getting used to everything about them (except the cost…)

the back of my eye
the back of my eye

– Childcare, for several of my yòoung friends who I realize I’ve been missing.  How come you guys can grow up in what seems like no time at all? Gracie, Lydia, Josh, Zeke, Shiloh – grateful for time spent with you that makes me feel younger even while I marvel at you getting older.  I’m troubled by the fact that I’ve never played X-box.  Is that weird?

Childcare for her, adult care for me...
Childcare for her, adult care for me…

– Old letters and old files, for the urge to purge and to organize. Lots of stuff has been burned or shredded, but lots else has been rediscovered and readied for the next project, memoir writing.  I’ve always been alarmed by my lack of memory for details of the past.  Not only did I forget all those details, but I forgot that I’d written them down in letters to others.  This morning, reading letters written to my mother ten years ago, all I could think was “Really, I did that?” and “Did some other person’s life sneak into my letters?”  Grateful for the written record of the past.

I'm more prolific than I remembered.
I’m more prolific than I remembered.

– Appliance shopping, because the washer and dryer that have wanted to leave my house for years, finally broke free.  Grateful that within hours of starting to shop for replacements I came across a used set that is probableyten years younger.  After only one session with the furniture dolly, the truck, the hoses, wrenches and plumbing tape, they are installed in my laundry room and functioning almost correctly.  The printed message under the temp dial that says “all rinses are cold only” really means they are scalding hot only.  I think I know how we can fix that.

the Laundry twins, Hi and Dri
the Laundry twins, Hi and Dri

– Air travel websites, for the supposed improvement of doing it yourself.  Instead of calling a knowledgeable person and telling them when and where I want to travel I can now spend hours online hunting for the best connection at the best price.  And American Express Delta Frequent Flyer card, how dare you revoke the companion ticket feature without telling me.  Planning my revenge…

Did. Not. Happen.
Did. Not. Happen.

– the garden that was, the heat that is, that yard that will be.  Grateful for the healing work that takes place in me when I’m outdoors.  Grateful for green things, if they’re plants – not, if they’re worms.

Good green
Good green
Bad green
Bad green


– Face time, with friends and family who care.  I am realizing that the purpose and value of life is all in the relationships I find and nurture.  Realizing also that God is that friend and that family member who makes it all possible.  Having less work away from home has given me more time to nurture the relationship with him and I am so grateful for that.  Gives me some precious times of discovery, comfort, peace and excitement. Arlette and I took a lovely walk yesterday and talked of all these things.

Nature walk with my friends Arlette and God.
Nature walk with my friends Arlette and God.


My friend Arlette (and maybe God too, on her left)
My friend Arlette (and maybe God too, on her left)

I Can’t Believe…

I can’t believe how many hours I have spent since 10 pm last night trying to book flights online for the trip to Cambodia. And oh, how many things I have learned that one cannot do in one’s frequent flyer program.  And how many websites do really strange things for hours, then suddenly do what you want them to do even though you haven’t changed anything. I still haven’t figured out why the chosen password consisting of 6 alpha letters and 4 numerals didn’t fit the description of 6-20 alphanumeric symbols.  I am so dismayed when I get a Delta agent on the line asking where I want to go and when told Phnom Penh and given the airport code PNH, she asks how to spell it, then in surprise declares that it’s in Cambodia. Really? Has it ever been someplace else? I don’t expect the average person to know how to spell Phnom Penh, but an airline ticketing agent is something else. You must also consider that she doesn’t have to know how to spell it when all she has to do is choose it from a drop down box. Hmm…. 

I am finally finished though. I was able to get on flights with my group (they got their tickets without me! long story). I am smarter, having done it myself and can now probably handle it alone in the future.  All three of my speaking engagements at church went well and were effective, I was told. I had excellent material to talk on.  Cambodia, here I come.