Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I'm back home again after a great trip west. Leaving is always hard, especially when sweet little grandchildren beg you to stay. This time, my thirty-something son tried to lure me into an extra day so we could enjoy one more game of Settlers of Catan. But alas. . . it was not to be.

Air travel stresses me out. Not enough to ground me, but enough to make my blood pressure elevate until I'm at the gate. Today, I had the added pleasure of being sick. It settled in Monday evening after a gluttonous meal at Tucanos Brazilian Grill, a restaurant famous for tempting even the most self-controlled into making little piggies of themselves. I thought my stomach was rebelling over my overindulgence, but two days later I was still queasy, and that adds an altogether new level of flying stress. For the first time, I made sure I had access to the ole emergency bag in my seat pocket.

I bought a new phone a few weeks ago, a Blackberry, and evidently I've never turned the thing off, because today on the plane, when the warning came to "turn off all electrical devices," I didn't know how. I pushed the button on top, which, as it turns out, is not the power button but the mute button, which was on and which I had just released. Melodic strains of Julie Andrews singing "Spoonful of Sugar" pealed forth throughout the cabin. As heads turned in my direction I tried to explain, "It's . . . it's the Pandora Application . . . Disney radio . . for my . . . my grandchildren. And I don't know how to turn the thing off."

The man in front of me leapt to my aid, offering to reboot my phone to begin the shut down procedure. (That any phone needs to be rebooted at all just boggles my mind. . .) I wasn't sure if he was simply being exceedingly helpful, or if he was a "Mary Poppins-hater." In any case, I probably shouldn't have a phone that a) I can't turn off; and b) comes with an instructional DVD.

An older lady took the center seat beside me. Halfway into the flight she was hunched over, asleep. Moment by moment, her body slumped in my direction until she had pinned my right arm. I was typing, an awkward thing on a flight in the best of circumstances, but now my right arm was rendered useless. I felt claustrophobic and my restless leg syndrome began settling in. Again, I fingered the ole bag with rising panic, when a one-two combo of a shoulder stretch and air turbulence awakened her in the nick of time!

Because of the broken foot and the air cast, I was entitled to pre-board and have a wheel chair from check-in to the plane. Think twice before leaping at this perk. First, the repeated shifting of bags from lap to floor and back as you go through security was more daunting than merely walking through. Secondly, it cost me about twelve dollars in tips. Thirdly, that trip to the ladies room before boarding gets weird when your wheelchair escort is waiting outside the door. Nuff said!

So, I'm home again and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, enjoying a lazy morning before heading back to work. And there's a boat load of work to do! I'm finishing up my segment of a Twitter project a dozen or so authors are engaged in. We're tweeting the journals of men who blazed the Mormon Pioneer Trail. Harvard University is even interested in seeing how this is received, so keep an eye out for the historic tweets.

Secondly, I just received word that a literary romance/comedy/drama/ was accepted and will be published very soon, so I have an emergency edit and to do this month! I also have three book reviews scheduled and a stake Seminary activity to plan. Busy month, right?

I'll also be hosting a big contest for "Free Men and Dreamers." So check back!

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