The miracle of flight

My young friend Kate has carved out a career for herself that combines two of her great loves — travel and empowerment.

As such, she has ushered groups of young people through adventures all over the world. She recently told me about a conversation she overheard in a restaurant bathroom line.

“A lady was complaining about how long her flight to Italy was going to be and I wanted to tap her on the shoulder and say, ‘Yeah. But when you get off that plane you’re going to be in Italy! It’s a miracle!”

Like Kate, I never take for granted the miracle of flight. Earlier this year I buckled into a seat in Chicago, watched six movies and stepped out into Hong Kong. Mind boggling.

Last week, I took a morning picture of snow piling up on the crab apples outside my window at work, and a sunset picture on a Florida beach. What a world!

Orville and Wilbur changed the world and I tip my hat to them every time I board a plane. But I am also exceedingly grateful, especially during harsh weather, for everyone else that makes sure my bags and I arrive safely.

We flew home from Florida last night and, as I waited for our plane to be de-iced in Chicago, I watched the ground crew out there working in abominable conditions. They hauled fuel lines across icy pavement, loaded bags in wind tunnels, and drove convertible pushback tugs to send us on our way.

No matter the weather, some poor/brave worker stands sentry, waving giant planes into their gate. I’ve seen them standing there in drenching rain, icy wind and blistering heat. I always want to tap the window and give them a thank you wave.

I’m not sure they’d see it. So, here’s to them, the gate and TSA agents, flight attendants, air traffic controllers and pilots who work every day to bring us the miracle of flight.

This was the morning view out my office window last week…
…and this was sunset on that very same day. Miraculous.
I was pretty excited about that particular climate change. I clicked my heels, boarded a plane and Voila! a beach! I was so happy, I clicked my heels again! Big mistake. A few days later I found myself right back in Wisconsin, which was even colder than when I left it.
While we waited to be de-iced in Chicago, I watched members of the O’Hare ground crew do their thing. I could not imagine a colder job than refueling airplanes during a polar vortex. Hats off to them! (Figuratively. Keep your hats on folks. It’s wicked cold out there!)

The whole time I was watching this fellow hook his little truck up to a trailer, turn something on, and then unhook it, I was thinking about how cold that looked and how I really hoped our car started when we got to Appleton. It did. But…
I have never seen ATW look so cold. For a minute, I thought the miracle of flight has taken us to the North Pole.

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