Fear Not

I am always, ALWAYS thankful for safe travel.  Air travel especially is a marvel in this day and age.  When you look at the statistics, which I don’t happen to have at hand, going somewhere by plane is many times safer than going by car on a road trip.  Yet we all get in cars and travel without giving it too much thought.  But many people have a phobia about getting on a plane.

Maybe it’s being strapped into something akin to an aluminum can, with dozens of strangers….

Maybe it’s knowing that one man’s alertness, judgment and skill determines whether your flight ends well or badly….

Maybe it’s wondering what you would think about for the last 120 seconds of your life should you be accidentally sucked out of the plane….

Maybe it’s walking down that aisle and discovering that your seat for the next three hours is next to… a baby.

A baby that’s already been on the plane for two hours.

A baby who is possibly putting on that look of “I’m done here.” and whose mother is nervously bouncing her up and down on her knee, hoping for the best, whatever that is.

Meet Eleanor.

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Ellie’s carseat had the window place, she and her mom were in the middle seat and I was in the aisle seat.  I always choose aisle seats.  Somehow it lessens the claustrophobia.

The nice man across the aisle from me felt obligated to say what a good baby she was the whole flight from Ft. Lauderdale.  “Smiled all the way.” he said.  I know babies.  Two hours of smiling at one stretch is about their limit.

Sure enough, as we sat endlessly watching people trying to put their way-too-big carryons in the over head bins, Ellie got tired of being bounced and cajoled and started to, well, cry.  She got red, and angry.  She let her mom know that she didn’t want to be stuck under a blanket to nurse, most definitely not that.  She was hot, sweating, infinitely uncomfortable.

Honestly, at that point I was overcome with sympathy and compassion for mama, because everyone in the plane was turning around and holding her responsible.  Her worst scenario was coming to pass and she had emptied her bag of tricks. (No really the worst scenario would have been trying to put oxygen masks on herself and the baby… I’m guessing.)

“You know, it can’t get much worse. Give me the baby. Maybe stranger shock will quiet her down.”  Was that brave of me or what?  And a second later, with no argument at all, it was me and Ellie.  Seat mates.

She really was a good, sweet little child and this story turned out much better than I hoped.  The change of perspective, someone else’s lap, and the air vent that we opened full blast in her face, quieted her down right away.  Personally I think she didn’t want to be bounced any more so I held her quietly and sang in her ear.  As the jet engines roared  to life (and they were about six inches outside our windows on either side – love the back of the plane, not) and we took off on our journey, Ellie went back to her mom and fell asleep for all but the last few minutes of our flight. Nothing as peaceful as a sleeping baby. I got to look at her the whole trip which was sort of a blessing for my blood pressure.

Sleeping child, sleeping mother.  Peace for the whole plane.
Sleeping child, sleeping mother. Peace for the whole plane.
Leaving me free to crochet and enjoy a snack.
Leaving me free to crochet and enjoy a snack.

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I Don’t Care

I’m all cared out for today.  The trouble is I’m going on a ten day trip in the morning.  I should be packing, but I don’t care.  I’m going to do it differently and just not pack anything.  I’m going to get up in the morning, get dressed and go to the airport.  I’ll take my computer and my night mouth guard.  Maybe some underwear.

Will this have consequences in the following week?  Maybe, maybe not.  That’s why it will be a great experiment.

It will be nice not to have luggage while I’m traveling.

I can wear the same thing all week.  I can go to the thrift shop. It will be fun.  Maybe it won’t be fun.

I don’t care.

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)