I’m leaving (on a jet plane, as a matter of fact) for a trip home for my Dad’s 80th birthday. Good times – I can’t wait to see my family. Before I do, there is the ordeal of packing, airport security, and the actual “flight experience” itself. I’ve been flying for about 26 years and I cannot tell you how much it has changed – and for the worse. Flying used to be fun – you could pack a reasonably sized carry on bag, throw in whatever you needed in the way of shampoo, etc. and zip off to the friendly skies.
Now, it is an ordeal.
It begins with the packing. Honest. I think I can do this with the lunch-box sized carry on that is now standard on airlines. I’m furious that they charge to check a bag. (What a scam.) Fortunately, I’m meeting up with my wonderful, God-given sisters along the way so I don’t have to pack a blow dryer or find teeny bottles for shampoo, etc. (heads up Pat & Peg – I’m using your stuff ) so I can pack my prescriptions, a toothbrush, and that’s about it. The other sisterly bonus is that I can wear yoga pants and a big t-shirt for most of the trip (we’re doing a LOT of driving), so I don’t have to pack a lot of clothes. Rock and roll.
The flight itself is 2 legs – you’d think Boston to Minneapolis would be a direct flight, but nooooooo. The Boston TSA ordeal is next – never easy, or effortless. Apparently, 51 year old white females are a high terrorist risk, because I always get pulled out of line for a special screening. (Memo to self – wear throw away sockies & bring spare pair.) Forget about bringing along some hand sewing (though I would love to) – the one or two needles (no scissors) would certainly be construed as weapons. It does not matter that the TSA website says they are allowed – the actual TSA agents all think they are hammers, and when you are a hammer the whole world looks like a nail. (Adam Carolla) The actual flights are next, and anyone who has flown in the past 10 years knows the drill there, so I won’t go on about that.
I have reasonable hopes that I’ll arrive in Minneapolis in one piece, and then begin the driving marathon. I’m good with that – I’d rather drive than fly (no surprise there) because I love, love, l-o-v-e getting out on the plains and seeing SKY all around me, breathing clean air, looking at barns and fields and maybe see a few spring calves along the way. It is my homeland, my people, my life source – my umbilical cord to my roots, and it needs to be renewed regularly. I’m always calmer, refreshed, and less strung out when I return. Happy Birthday Daddy – thanks for bringing us all home.