Anything I write that has to do with writing will be in From Pico's Pen, my author's blog. Everything that doesn't fit any of the sites I write on will be here. This is my practice. I could have kept it private and farmed out the good stuff but I found my readers like too much of it to do that. It isn't a diary because there are things I keep to myself but you can learn a great deal about me from the randomness you will find here.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

First Flight In Thirty Years – Lessons Learned

Last week my mother was admitted to hospital and since she is a frail 89 years old, things didn't look very positive. My sister contacted me and said that mom wanted to see me and one of my brothers if it were her time. I'm too broke to afford airfare so my family pitched in and set up a whirlwind visit for me. I am deeply grateful to all those who made that happen.

This all happened on one of my days off which was good, but it doesn't mean I wasn't busy. That morning I tore the roof off my mini woodshop and using materials I've scavenged, put a proper roof on it. Just after finishing was when my sister called.

I had time to shave, wash my hair, change clothes, pack a quick bag and eat. By that time all the flight info came through and Francine got to bring me to the airport in Moncton.

1) That brings me to my first lesson on flying: Don't wear steel-toed work boots. I had planned to switch to me work shoes before leaving the van, but I forgot. Yes, I set off the metal detector and after removing everything else remotely metal, set it off again. Temporarily baffled I looked down to think and noticed my work boots on my feet. I padded through the detector with no problems after that.
2) Lesson two became evident well into the flight. Go to the bathroom before you get on the plane and if at all possible hold it till you get off. That bathroom was so physically small I was almost unable to use it with the door closed. I accidentally kicked the door several times trying to find a comfortable position. My knees were okay, but there really wasn't a place for my size thirteen feet. Yes, I bounced my head off all the low places on the ceiling between my seat and the washroom.
3) If there is any chance that you will need to fly somewhere any time in your life, don't watch Air Crash Investigation episodes on Youtube. I experienced the worst air turbulence ever on the way home. If someone said we suddenly lost several hundred feet of elevation on our way out of Toronto, I would have believed them. Shortly after that the pilot warned us that it would be rough all the way to Ottawa. It got better after that. I'm sure God was laughing his head off. In Ottawa, I worried when I saw how small the next plane was, that would take me back to Moncton.
4) I'd make a terrible airline pilot. The weather cleared before getting to Moncton and the view for me was spectacular. We got enough fuel? Never mind the flight plan. There something way over there in the distance and I want to have a closer look.

I appreciate my niece Stacy for picking me up at the airport, navigating through Toronto and entertaining me at the same time. I'm not used to that many people or cars. After all my current hometown has a hand-painted welcome sign that says population 20.

My sister Minnie who took the time to set this all up, giving me the opportunity to spend some time with both my parents and then driving me to my brother's place.

Hank and Katie for providing me with a bed, breakfast, a ride back to the airport and good conversation along the way. The coffee and donut were nice too.

A big thank you to everyone else involved that I wasn't told about. Swinging all that on such short noticed was a feat beyond me and my means. It was so nice to be able to spend some time with mom and dad.