I’m not a huge fan of flying but I accept that it’s the way to get from point A to point B. It’s only when turbulence strikes that I get really nervous. That was my experience yesterday. I was probably hyper aware after meeting someone this week whose friend had survived a significant plane crash in Little Rock, Arkansas 16 years ago. When the turbulence hit yesterday, I was remarkably and unexpectedly calm.
Here’s my 5 minute brain dump…
Yesterday, I flew home on one of the worst flights I’ve ever had. The flight itself was mostly fine. Easy getting to the airport, barely a line at security. And yay! I got an aisle seat! I hesitated for a moment before I sat down next to two kids but the pickings were slim for aisle seats and they barely took up any room. And they both looked to be close to Evan’s age.
I laughed as the flight attendant came by and reminded me to put my oxygen mask on first and then help the children. I looked at them and said “I guess I’ll be helping you guys.” She also checked with me on the children’s drinks. Sure, she can have Sprite! No, he’s sleeping. He’s fine.
So where did things go wrong? It was a beautiful day in St. Louis when I took off. Temperatures in the 70s, blue skies with few clouds, low humidity and a gentle breeze. But according to my husband at home, it was a rainy, rainy day.
I wasn’t surprised for things to start to get bumpy as we approached Baltimore but the turbulence (which kind of freaks me out) took me by quite the surprise.
The plane dropped. I have no idea how many feet. It felt like a hundred feet but I have nothing to base that on. It was just a sudden, violent drop. So much so, that I immediately had pain in my lower back. It was jolting and jarring and a bit scary. And it was like that for the next 20 minutes of the flight.
When there was a small break in the weather, the flight attendants practically ran through the cabin to pick up the trash. But the kids beside me were sort of laughing about it. I was nervous but I ended up chatting with them about turbulence and my husband’s time in the air force and everything they had learned at a science museum in St. Louis while they were visiting their grandmother.
Maybe it was my maternal instincts kicking in and keeping me calm, for their sake. Or maybe their presence simply calmed me.
I made it home in one piece and expressed my sympathies to the crew that had to go right back up in that storm. With a sore back, I’m happy to be safe and sound at home. On the ground.