I’m in Cleveland for the weekend attending my daughter’s bridal shower.  When I left middle-earth land it was 70 degrees out.  Trees are already bursting from their winter slumber, with buds popping to and fro.  Here in Cleveland however It’s mighty nippy out; was 19 degrees when I arrived yesterday but now we’re up to a “balmy” 23.  The flight in wasn’t without hiccups but fortunately it wasn’t like my last flight experience where the pilot announced mid-flight that he’d be turning the plane around to make an “emergency landing” due to an oil-pressure gauge problem.  “And, folks…don’t be concerned about the fire trucks and ambulances you’ll see when we land; it’s just standard protocol,” the pilot said in a smooth-as-silk voice.

Yep….I’ll confess to being scared out of my mind during that one.  Rocket-man however, three rows back, apparently wasn’t the least bit concerned.  He continued on with his crossword puzzle as if the pilot had simply said, “sit back and enjoy the ride.”

So on this flight, during the initial leg we first taxied at an excessively slow snail’s pace, then stopped on the tarmac for close to thirty minutes.  The pilot said planes were backed up at our connecting destination, hence the need to give things a chance to clear a bit .  That would of course, considerably narrow my window of making the connecting flight into Cleveland.

You’ve got to be in decent shape to hoof-it from E concourse to C….just saying.  I arrived hot and sweaty with three minutes to spare before boarding.  Whew.

As I boarded the plane for the second leg–which was a full flight–there was a young woman in front of me with a huge thoroughly stuffed backpack.  As she turned this way and that, she knocked me with it twice during the boarding process.  She seemed oblivious to the fact.  Then, once on the aircraft, as we has just passed the first class seats, she stops abruptly and turns to face me, knocking the person in front of her with her pack.  “So, can I just sit anywhere I want to on this plane?….You know, like a bus,” she asks me.

Seriously, I thought she was joking.  But she asked twice.  Clearly this had to be her first time flying!

“Um, no,” I replied.  “You have an assigned seat number. Just look on your boarding pass.”

“My boarding pass?  Okay…so exactly where on my boarding pass? ”

Fortunately, a flight attendant was nearby and stepped in to provide assistance.

And…with all the travel I’ve done through the last four decades I’ve never sat next to a screaming child, not even my own ( I was blessed with babies who were pretty good little travelers …on a plane that is!).   But I got to experience it yesterday.  Oh yes indeed. My ears are still ringing despite noise cancelling earbuds.  It’s a good thing the flight was short… only an hour and ten minutes…though it felt like ten hours to my head.  I thought of ordering a libation–not coffee, but the alcohol kind–to dull the senses but at 8 a.m. it was just a wee bit early for that.  I breathed through it all and kept my nose down and buried in my book.  It was not easy to concentrate on “Silence” by Shusaku Endo with all the wailing and wiggling going on…not to mention a couple of snack pretzels thrown in my direction….one landing smack dab in my coffee.  I KID NOT.

Sigh.

I just had to keep remembering something my hubby said before dropping me off at the airport: “Enjoy or Ignore. That’s all you need to do for this trip.”

He’s so smart.  That’s what we should all do every day.

“Easier said than done,”  I replied.  “But really, I will give it a go.”

So far, there is a great deal more of the former than the latter.  For one, there was manicure moment to enjoy with my daughter and her fiancé’s family.  It’s a rare thing for me to get a manicure.  I got the gel business while the other gals opted for the traditional. After that there was a family dinner out with the future in-laws…lots of laughter…two great bottles of wine….more laughter…then hugs all around before I hit the hotel hay.

Mine are the sun-loved, oldest looking hands of the bunch. Sigh.

Now, if I can remember to set my clock forward and not miss my flight home tomorrow all will be wonderful indeed.