Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I remember my first airplane flight! Honeybuns and I were very young, college-age, not yet engaged, and he was taking flying lessons at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois as part of his education there. During one of my many visits to that campus he rented a plane and we, along with his roommate and his girlfriend, bravely boarded that Cessna 172. I was in the co-pilots seat, scared to death! He went through all the check-lists and we confidently taxied down the run way. I remember begging to just take a ride around on the ground, please!! Did we really have to fly? I was content with circles on the ground! I'd never even enjoyed roller coasters, still don't and it seemed that this ride would far surpass anything I'd avoided at the county fair. He reminded me that he didn't pay that exorbitant price just to play on the ground.
We gained speed down that runway and soon experienced LIFT! I couldn't believe the sight and the sense of freedom. The ground grew farther and farther away and I had to take some deep breaths to keep from hyperventilating! And I'm positive that I "blacked out" every time he banked the thing to the right or left.
His roommate in the seat behind me was filling up the barf bag. I tried not to look! I was having enough trouble taking care of my own bodily functions. The clouds grew near while the fields and roads below took on cartoon quality. Why would those airport people rent an airplane to a bunch of 18 yr olds anyway? Ludicrous!!
After an hour or so we safely landed and I remember the sense of pride. I'd done it! Face my fear of heights and lived to tell the tale. I learned that I have a need for speed AND heights!
Since that day we have flown thousands of miles, a couple of trips have taken us halfway around the globe. I'm so comfortable flying that I can now read, eat, play cards, knit or visit with the person in the next seat at 30,000 ft. Soaring through the clouds is just as common as driving down the interstate. Actually it's better because you can get to your destination quicker!! (After you clear security, that is!)
And a couple of weeks ago the Tulsa Air and Space Museum sponsored a "Rocket Race" at the Tulsa International Airport. Yep, manned, privately owned ROCKETS are the latest and greatest mode of shooting oneself into the upper atmosphere. Honeybuns spent the day and night out there right in the middle of the mix. He would climb aboard one of those rockets in a minute, he's waiting for the invitation.
Not me, I'm drawing the line at 2G's. My life doesn't need to be going any faster than that!