I am not a flier. As a family, we traveled by car. Never by plane. My sophomore and junior years were my first adventures of flying. Fast forward...control issues, 9/11, and lack of flying led to a very irrational fear of dying while flying.
I sometimes use the motto of "Go Big or Go Home." Not wanting to freak out, I saw my doctor and got a prescribed tranquilizer to chill out. I had six pills...three for going and three for coming back.
Medicine taken, we sat in the plane ready to leave O'Hare. An older gentleman was not feeling well, locked himself in the bathroom, and after many minutes, he was taken off the plane. That meant bringing the gateway back. Some of his family members got off. That meant bringing the gateway back again.
The pilot came on later and told us we needed to land in West Palm Beach to refuel and to avoid some weather in Miami. I wasn't ready for this, so I popped another pill as we were getting ready to take off. What a waste! After finally getting the "thing" that pushes the plane away working, we were no more up than we were coming down in Miami. And as we landed, our connecting flight to Honduras was taking off with two of our group members on it.
Now came trying to get 20 people to Honduras on the same flight. I don't remember much of the time, other than buying a blanket in a gift shop (it was freezing!!!), and sleeping throughout the airport. I slept on a chair, on the floor, I didn't care where. We were given vouchers for a hotel and three meal vouchers. One member got to leave Saturday night. Five Sunday morning and fourteen of us left Sunday night.
As our flight was on the way to Honduras, the pilot came on to let us and the flight attendants know we would be entering some bumpy weather and to strap in. Um, dark clouds, lightning, and turbulence...just what I wanted! When we landed, it was not just me, but I heard several others clap. You know when people clap when you land, it was a bumpy and stressful flight.
Coming back from Honduras, we had had a prayer session the night before and I truly felt like God was asking me to trust Him and His power. His peace is bigger than my tranquilizer. I only told one of our translators what I was going to do and as people questioned if I had taken my medicine, I didn't lie, but allowed them to know that I was good.
Taking off from Honduras was tough. We drove down the runway, made the corner, revved the engines, and STOPPED! We repeated it. And again. By this time, I'm freaking out a little and having an intense conversation with God. I had seen the pilots looking through manuals and flight plans and was hoping they weren't beginners. The flight attendant came on and explained that they were adjusting the speeds for the new weight of the plane. Uh, hello...speed of plane needs to be fast. Duh! We took off and it began.
God is so good! Each flight I was able to switch with a gentleman from our trip that allowed me to sit near his wife. She was amazing! She would talk with me, reassure me that it was okay, and rub my back as needed. I even dozed off a little on the plane (which didn't happen when I had taken the medicine).
I finally let the cat out of the bag and told people in Miami that I hadn't taken the medicine...they were all so proud and excited.
When we were getting ready to land in O'Hare, I guess we had been circling the airport when our plane took a sudden dive. I was convinced at this point that our plane was going down. The flight attendant had been walking by afterwards and checked in on me (he knew about my unease) and I told him that I didn't like the sudden dive. He told me that the pilot has to follow what the traffic controller says. Nonetheless, I still didn't like it.
|Playing around with miniature effect on camera...downtown Chicago|
|Overlooking Miami...however, don't you hate it when the pilot asks people to look to their right...I envision the plane tilting.|
|Without medicine...I actually had a personality on the plane. Not sure if the others cared for it or not. :)|
|I LOVED watching planes coming in and being so close overhead.|