Flying high on wings of my own

Let me begin by recanting my sad story about my home septic woes from last week.
It wasn’t a miserable Monday after all. It turned out that all I had to do was replace a dirty filter.
Thanks to “Good Man Joe,” I am free to flush!!
Meanwhile, so here I am on a much merrier Monday (May 7) and on my way to the land of the Welsh. I can hardly believe I am in this story!
I can’t believe I did it! First of all, I wasn’t even sure I’d get through U.S. Customs at the International Falls crossing without extra scrutiny. My vogue statement for the debut of “Yours Truly” as a world traveller included having my 21-year-old daughter straighten my hair and hence I looked nothing like my passport photo.
Secondly, I also managed to fight my way into the compression pantyhose I needed to wear in order to protect my vascular system from the bane of an eight-hour flight, although I pulverized the pair of surgical gloves that I had to use in order to shovel the pair of high-density leggings up my torso.
Heaven help me if I have to pee anywhere between here and my layover in Amsterdam.
I had less than 40 minutes to make my flight connection in Minneapolis and I’d never been in that airport before. I had worried about this for weeks, but everyone was right. It was easy to find my way through the maze—although I didn’t get where I needed to be without walking as fast as my legs could carry me.
The airport’s automatic walkways are awesome, except when you forget to step off properly. Me, my 17-pound carry-on bag, and my 15-pound purse went for a tumble when my feet hit the carpet at five m.p.h.
I was okay, though. I was embarrassed until I realized no one in the entire airport knew who I was and would never see me again.
One hour and 45 minutes have passed in flight time and oh, no, I have to pee and I’m in a window seat. Nine flight attendants are serving liquids from all directions and as much as I would love a glass of water right now, I’m going to pass on that.
Having to ask the guy next to me to move so I can get out is only going to happen once on this flight if I can help it—and I’ve still got seven hours before we land.
He isn’t much of conversationalist and I really don’t want to bother him. Besides, he is fast asleep and his poor head is flopped forward like a rag doll.
I’m gob smacked that there are some 350 people bound for an overseas destination and all together at the same time in a machine with only two wings—one of which I am seated over.
I booked this seat not realizing that I would be looking out my window at the rivets and jet engines. But then again, I’m now some 39,000 feet above the ground and beyond the clouds.
The temperature outside is minus-40 C and there’s not much to see anyway. Wait! Is that ice on the wing?
It’s 5 p.m. and I can smell supper. My Grandpa and Grandma Drennan would have been pleased to know they serve the meals around here right on time. Besides I’m starving.
Oh no, I just realized I asked for a vegetarian plate when I booked my ticket. What was I thinking? While everyone else is eating steak and baked potato, I’ll be picking through my black bean and apple bake looking for signs of life.
Thank heavens I packed that Snickers bar.
It’s 6 p.m. and I must admit supper wasn’t so bad. Turns out making a meal preference reservation didn’t make any difference, as noted by the flight attendant who looked at me and said, “Chicken, chicken salad, or pasta?”
I still chose pasta (I watched “Food Inc.” and I’m ruined for two-legged beakers that didn’t originate from my local organic farm).
It’s now 6:30 p.m. and I finally got up the nerve to ask my co-flier to let me up so I could go pee. It felt so good to stand up that I was going to ask the flight attendants if I could volunteer to serve refreshments for the rest of the flight.
The line-up to the bathroom was long and stirring with conversation. I met someone from every continent standing there. It was an eye-opening experience to the fact that even though the world is small sometimes, it remains a gigantic mosaic of cultures.
I need to travel more.
We’re four hours in and the flight tracker on the little TV screen in front of me indicates we are beginning our path over the North Atlantic. How awesome is that?!
And not one “anxiety pill” has passed over my lips. There’s not an ounce of nervousness in me as I fly into the future.
Yet as corny as it might sound, I could just burst into tears in this moment because of how grateful and happy I am.
I used to think life was a beautiful thing as long as I held the strings. I’m learning more and more every day that life is still a beautiful thing even though I don’t always have control over what happens in mine.
But I do control the most important and beautiful thing of all—my attitude.
And folks, I wish you could see what I see right now.
That is one big beautiful ocean out there.

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