170: Flight

Dancing on the beach

M and I are home.  Safe and relatively sound.  We traveled from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Nashville, Tennessee where we spent about 30 minutes before boarding another flight to Cleveland.  I am almost convinced the Universe wants me to fly as our flights were mostly smooth.  There was one big bump on the first leg of our journey that scared the heck out of me.  I am sorry to report that a noise grunted out in lieu of a terrified scream did escape me in spite of my efforts to control it.  I’ve never heard such a loud THUMP on a flight before (as if something hit the plane) and the fact that the pilot’s hurried announcement included an alarm sounding in the background was not a comfort.  Although the sound I made was not loud, I do wish I had refrained from making any sound at all because there were a couple of little girls seated nearby who were afraid of flying and I didn’t want to make things worse for them.  The flight attendants did such a great job of reassuring them at the beginning of the flight that they didn’t need some frightened old grandma making them scared again somewhere in the middle of it when they had relaxed.

Made for flight

I think it would be a wonderful thing to be able to board an airplane and act like all the normal people.  What is it like to take a seat, buckle up, have a conversation with a fellow traveler, read a book, eat a snack, sit back, and just relax while in flight?  Even the birds don’t have it that good.  As for me, I don’t relax on a flight.  Ever.  I tense, I grip, I do this weird OCD-like counting thing, and I keep the plane up in the air by sheer force of will.  If I relaxed and enjoyed myself, the plane might fall.

Kitesurfing on a windy day

During our first full day in Florida, while the winds were gusting at ridiculous speeds, there were a lot of kitesurfers (or kiteboarders) out taking full advantage of all that wind.

Sustained winds filling the windsock

As I watched and photographed some of the kitesurfers, I wondered if doing something like that might cure me of my fear of flying.

Up in the air

It looks like fun…


Flying through the waves

And good exercise as well.  It would also have an element of control.  Not complete control, of course, or I doubt the young guys out there flying around on their kiteboards would be much interested in the sport.  But there would certainly be a lot more personal control than there is when one is a passenger on an airplane.

It's easier if someone helps

So.  I’ve given up my secret.  It’s not being up in the air that bothers me half as much as the lack of control.  Should something go wrong, there is nothing I can do.  Gasp!  Worse yet, if I don’t like what’s going on during the flight, I can’t leave.  Not without a parachute, at any rate.  And can you imagine them letting me open a door to leave?  No, I think not.

I do like having my feet on the ground.  Or in the water and on the ground.  Giving me the name of a bird apparently didn’t inspire me to want to fly.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  There was a time, when I was much younger, when I did want to fly.  I almost joined the Air Force because I wanted to fly.

But life grounded me before I fully committed.   I did other things, and now I have this unexplained fear of flying that doesn’t seem to improve with experience.  Perhaps the Air Force is better off without me.

Coming into Cleveland, it was easy to see we were home.  It was cloudy with sloppy, half-melted snow on the ground.  We had a few quick sunny spells, but nothing worth donning sunglasses (or sunscreen…ha!).  It is warmer than I expected after viewing all the snow from above.  53 degrees on the drive home.

And now, after a good, long soak in the disco tub with the air jets going, chromotherapy lights flashing, and some bath salts labeled “Stress & Tension” (presumably the idea being they reduce stress and tension, not cause it), I’m relaxed and glad to be home.  It is, to me, one of the gifts of the fear of flying.  Instead of having post-vacation blues because I’ve reentered the cloudiness and sloppiness of the Bogs at the end of winter, I am grateful to be back on the ground.  Any ground.

Plus I get to sleep in my own bed tonight!

Palm tree and sunrise dreams

Having had to get up at 3:30 this morning, it’s gonna be an early night.  I’m just waiting for it to be at least close to late enough to fall into bed and off to sleep where I might, in my dreams, fly in a way that is fun.

30 Comments on “170: Flight”

  1. Welcome home, Robin and M! 🙂

    It’s great to hear you survived the flight and obviously enjoyed your holiday. And I see you are still wearing your holiday footwear (we call them thongs here). Will your “bogs” shoes be returning?

    You did well to capture the seagull in flight. I really like that photo and look forward to seeing more of your Florida photos.

    Sleep tight in your own bed. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Joanne. 🙂

      I will keep the flip-flops on for a little while. Then I think it’s time to get a good shot of my feet in my Vibrams.

  2. k says:

    It is always to get back home, isn’t it?

  3. anhinga says:

    What a delightful post. I experienced your white knuckles right along with you. That alarm going off in the background when the captain spoke was scary then, I’m sure. Funny now (to me, anyway). I am one of those relaxing, reading fliers. I just love it. My husband could never relax–for the same reason as you. He was a private pilot and was not in control of THIS plane. It drove him crazy. Love the way you eased back into winter with your spa bath. You do know how to live.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you so much, Anhinga. 🙂

      Perhaps someday I’ll learn how to sit back, relax, and let others take control while I read a good book.

  4. Welcome back! Glad you had a good trip (you really got some great photos)! I feel the same way you do about flying – I love it, but it can be quite unnerving!!

  5. Marianne says:

    Glad to hear you made it home safe and sound. I totally understand your fear of flying, Robin. I’d be a nervous wreck.

    Once again, very beautiful photos. I can’t believe how fast the time goes. It seems like you just went there and now you’re back.

  6. Karma says:

    Lovely! Flying isn’t my favorite, but I can handle to get some place wonderful. The shot of the parachute with the amazing blue sky is gorgeous.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Karma. 🙂

      I just manage, by a hair, to handle the flying. My husband suggested I ask the doc for an anti-anxiety med next time, but I don’t think it’s quite that bad yet.

  7. Vacations are great, lucky you have arrived safely, thanks for sharing all your wonderful photos and experiences.

  8. starbear says:

    Welcome home – have been enjoying the trip with you through your Beautiful images!

  9. penpusherpen says:

    always best to sleep in your own bed, Robin, you can totally relax, and spread yourself out and …..sigh!! This is mine!! 😉
    Glad you survived the flight, and kept your screams down to a small grunt.(ladylike one hopes? 😀 ) … Sweet dreams my friend and welcome home..xx

  10. SWK says:

    Welcome back!

  11. Glad you’re back home safe, Robin. I love the last shot, it’s so dreamy. And the ones with the kites and the kitesurfer are stunning. I’ve seen kitesurfers at the beach, too, but it looks kind of painful to me. I’d rather swim in the water than hit it at such speeds.

    • Robin says:

      You have a point there, SunsetSeaSoul. I hadn’t thought about how hard those guys and gals must hit the water when they’re being swept along on a kite by the wind.

      While out on our boat tour we were told about one kitesurfer who got blown to shore and crashed into one of the high rise hotels. He survived it (and still kitesurfs) but…OUCH!

  12. Derrick says:

    Wonderful thoughts – and I’m with you – I HATE flying… I’d much rather drive. Love the images too, quite fitting and well done!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Derrick. 🙂

      They say that driving is not as safe as flying, but it sure doesn’t feel that way when I’m up in the air. I’d rather be in a car, too.

  13. Barbara Rodgers says:

    “It’s not being up in the air that bothers me half as much as the lack of control. Should something go wrong, there is nothing I can do.” That’s my fear exactly! Lately I’ve developed a fear of buses for the same reason.

    When we took a flight to Florida in January of 2009 we took off in a snowstorm. We could barely drive to the airport, except that our son drove us in his Jeep. I felt surely the flight would be canceled. But they boarded us and began de-icing the plane. When we started to take off all I could do was keep telling myself, over and over again, under my breath, “They do this all the time. They know what they’re doing. Trust your fellow humans.” When we finally broke through the clouds the sun was shining and we seemed to be in another world. I couldn’t get over the fact that we were flying above a storm! Slowly my heart stopped pounding…

    Happy you’re home safely and I enjoyed your pictures, especially the seagulls!

  14. So glad you made it home safely.
    (Sounds like you may need a drink or three next time you fly, to relax you a little 😉 )

    • Robin says:

      lol! Thanks, Michaela.

      I’ve often thought of having a drink or three while flying but I worry that might make the anxiety worse. One of these days I might give it a try.

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