Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Notes from the Tarmac

In an earlier post, I referenced a time when I went flying in a single engine plane where the thrills were cheaper than water. Today I would like to revisit the joys of flying in a passenger jet.

"Joys" is a relative term at best. I thoroughly enjoy flying. For the first ten minutes. Then, depending on the distance to the destination, there is a delightful duration of dizzying doldrums.

I have had very good luck on planes, I must admit. I have never had terrible attendants, nor have I been on an international flight without a personal tv that I could watch anything from movies to shows to music videos. I've never sat next to anyone who smelled of sewage or anyone who tried to snuggle during the flight or anyone who tried to convert me to his or her respective religion.

In the same respect, sitting in coach is not sitting in first class. One time I sat on a plane to Guangzhou in China for 15 hours. My personal tv had terrible options to watch so I ended up watching the same movie 4.5 times in a row. Why didn't I sleep? It was early on in my plane riding days, and I had not learned the trick of lulling off to the constant rumble of jet engines jarring my nerves. The flight home wasn't as painful. I was able to get exactly 60 minutes of shut eye before we hit turbulence. Then again, the ride home stretched out over 18 hours instead of 15.

The ten minutes of sheer pleasure comes from take-off. Take-off is simply lugging giant hunk of lead down a runway hoping it will take to air before too long. If you've experienced this extoling feeling, you would extrapolate that you could quite possibly expire. Yet the plane is extricated from the pavement and at that exact moment your very existance defies evolution and its laws of human flight. What's more fun than breaking rules?

I love take-off so much that at one point I signed up for pilot lessons. I spent $50 on the application fee and I was signed up for classes. Two weeks later I had a serious sit-down with myself and decided that I had better things to spend sixty-thousand dollars on than an off-handed decision to go to piloting school. I disenrolled.

Today, my apartment has a large south-facing window under which sits the sofa. My wife and I often kneel on our couch and watch the happenings in our neighborhood. It also permits a great view of planes coming to and going from MSP airport. This spot is where many of our dreams take form. Often we sit and relish the thought of where we will go next or where we have been. From this seat our dreams have formed into plans. Some have even made it to the budgeting stage. Others have fizzled out before we left our perch on the couch. Usually in a fit of laughter.

Goals are the best motivation to get through dry spells in life. What are your dreams that make the mundane worth it in your life?

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