Leaving on a jet plane

On a 21-hour travel day that saw me roll through five busy airports, I wore my “You are Beautiful” T-shirt and observed.

I left yesterday from Fort Lauderdale airport where I saluted the resiliency of this great country. I flew to O’Hare, drove to General Mitchell to catch a flight west, enjoyed a quick layover in Denver, and a rerouted flight to LAX with a late night/early morning drive to San Diego.

Enroute, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the freedom, diversity, and innovation we all enjoy as a matter of course. We are better even than we think and, if we need to remind our elected officials about who we are and why we vote, then we have the means and the voice to do so.

I am appalled by President Trump’s immigration ban and its ham-handed enactment. A thorough vetting of the people who move freely about this country might make us safer, but this inflammatory legislation does not.

I feel safer when a TSA agent thoroughly screens me and my fellow passengers, not when my government bans refugees and immigrants, the very people upon whom our country was founded.

Still, I have faith in the inherent goodness of the American people and I spent plenty of time yesterday witnessing it in action.

I traveled through five airports yesterday and here’s what I saw:

Parents of twins taking turns walking their babies up and down the aisle during a three-hour flight and passengers reflexively reaching out to high five the sweet toddlers.

A flight attendant leading an entire plane in a short, amusing round of yoga.

A sweet lap dog calming a scared traveler.

A strong young woman in a gorgeous headscarf yanking a stranger’s large bag off the carousel for her.

David Koop, a very talented piano player,  rocking the baby grand at General Mitchell Airport. I heard him bang out “The Theme From Ice Castles” and, like magic, I found myself skating gracefully with Robby Benson around a lovely rink in Minnesota, rather than stuck at the top of an escalator waiting to check my very large bag.

A gate agent smiling indulgently and looking the other way while a mortified woman (who may or not have been me) hastily jettisoned jeans and other heavy objects from a seriously overweight suitcase.

My coworker Sandy calmly and immediately rebooking three of us on a packed flight to LA when she got wind our flight to San Diego was canceled. By the time we boarded she had booked a rental car and secured transport of our luggage as well. Smart phones are nice but smart people who rock them are even nicer.

People in general are kinder than you think. People in airports are especially so.

I would not recommend my Tuesday travel schedule, but I am grateful for the cool places it brought me, and the opportunities it gave me to appreciate all that is great and worth fighting for in this amazing country of ours.

My thumbs up got cut off, but here I am enjoying the exit row on my early flight out of Fort Lauderdale Airport. You Are Beautiful, America, and the people who travel through and work in your airports prove it.
The view from my window heading out of Milwaukee. Gorgeous, am I right?





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