Join Me for the First "Story Weekend"
I’m going to try something new. It will either flop or take off or land somewhere in between. Here’s my idea: Every Friday, I’ll post a topic and you can share something related to that topic from your own life (in the comment form). You don’t need to be a writer to participate. You don’t need to edit or make it perfect. You only need to want to share. It’s not a contest and there are no prizes. I’m going to give this experiment four weeks to see how you feel about it. Have fun! . . .But there are some rules:
1. The story must be true.
2. It must have something to do with the theme for that week, interpreted any way you like.
3. No more than 100 words (that’s generally about six lines in a comment form). The shorter, the better.
4. It contains nothing that the majority of my blog readers would find offensive (and I get to decide what that is!)
In the interest of fairness, I won’t publish a comment that is more than 100 words or that I think might offend.
I’ll start it off, and I really hope you’ll join me. I love reading little slices of life!
This weekend’s topic: FLYING
It was a sad nighttime flight above California after the Fourth of July memorial service of a friend. I tried to sleep, but my mind was full of thoughts of a life cut short too soon. I raised the window shade and saw tiny sparkling flowers of light thirty thousand feet below me. They were everywhere. My friend would love this, I thought, and I felt her spirit with me as we flew over a black carpet glittering with fireworks.
For my 40th birthday, I decided that I wanted to skydive. I attempted to convince (guilt) my husband to join me. After his initial refusal to allow either of us to jump, he researched it and then nervously agreed. The skydive was both beautiful and exhilarating, however, my favorite part was when, after landing safely, my husband ran over to me, yelling “I want to do that again”. 🙂
Flying is something that only birds should do, in my estimation. My flights: once at night in a small plane through a terrible storm, once with my little brother who threw up his orange juice all over me, once with a boyfriend who had never flown, once with my elderly mother who she let ME hold HER hand because I was scared, and the worst time was when I had to fly to see my son who was in a coma in ICU in Memphis, TN. Flying has never been fun, and I’m fine to never fly again.
My first time flying was with my daughter who was about 10 months old at the time. Short flight – 35 minutes, from Birmingham, AL to Nashville, TN – on a plane that was nearly empty. The whole flight there were 3 flight attendants surrounding us in passenger seats playing with my baby. No time to be nervous about flying for me, and baby loved loved the attention.
We had been going together for just over 5 months. Bob said “Lets fly to My Aunt and Uncle’s for the weekend.” I said I had never flown before, Bob said “It will be great and don’t be afraid” The flight out I was really terrified, looking out the window where Bob insisted that I sit, first I would see clouds then ground. This made me very quesy. The flight home was a lot better, I even got up to walk to the other side of the plane. Still I would rather drive than fly.
I finished first grade with straight A’s so Dad surprised me with a trip to Fort Lauterdale, just he and I. I wore a white and pink striped seersucker sundress, a white sun hat and white maryjanes. We had a wonderful time on the beach and I sipped Shirley Temples for the first time. I was exhausted when we landed back in Philadelphia, sunburned, itchy dress and maryjanes pinching my toes. My Daddy picked me up. I woke up the next morning in my bed, wondering if it had been a dream.
The first and only time I have flown was Phila. to Fla. to visit my sick sister. I was curious about flying but also scared to death. My other sister and I arrived at the airport bar at 7:30 a.m. It was packed with people. Off to a good start. I decided that I needed a buzz -on before I buzzed off. I ordered a lg. beer and this vase arrived filled with beer. Had two more on the plane and for some unknown reason I didn’t get drunk though I sure wanted to be. I was much better on the return trip. No beer.
I was 18, finally getting away from N.Y., and flying to college in Arizona. Relief, excitement, trepidation and regret fought with each other in my heart, but this was a move that I was committed to make. Successfully. Once at cruising speed, I was transfixed by the infinite expanse of sky and clouds illuminated by the setting sun. It seemed then that the panorama I could see mirrored the dream I was about to experience – vast, unknown, beautiful and maybe a bit more than a little frightening….
For as long as I can remember, my dream is to fly. A Hot Air Balloon is at the top of the list. I can remember when I was a young telling my Dad I could Fly. I would run as fast as I could and spread my arms wide and then JUMP. In my mind I knew I was flying. As I got older, I often look to the sky and watched as a plane flew out of site, wishing I was on it flying to a new life and destination. Now I fly in my dreams sans a plane. Like when I was a child but for real. The longing in my heart has only grown.
I spent a year planning my last trip to England, including a trip to the Bronte home in Haworth. The entire visit from beginning to end was perfect! As the plane hovered over Dallas/Ft. Worth on the return flight, however, I realized that, no matter where I go, Texas is the most beautiful place in the world to me, and tears filled my eyes. I’ll never forget that moment, looking out of the plane window and thanking God for Texas!
My first time flying was when I was in my 20s and was in a 4 seater small plane piloted by my cousin. He did all he could to freak me out, sudden drops, rises, dips and circles but I have never felt anything so close to pure undiluted freedom as I did that day.
I have a picture of my dad in an open cockpit plane with his sister wearing goggles and a helmet. Her kids gave her the flight for her birthday–I think dad was around 85 and “ant” Lois is the older sibling. They remembered the barnstormers coming to North Dakota when they were kids. Their last name was Weeks so when the high school had a play all 4 kids would run across the stage when they said, “The Weeks flew by.” My hubby’s grandmother was a wingwalker. Dad died in 2007. I am so glad to have his picture.
Feb. 2001 – Orlando to Newark flights canceled due to a freak blizzard – crazy me decided “let’s hop on a flight to Kennedy – there’s a blizzard so grandma and grandpa (who live near JFK) have to be home” – wrong!!! Land in Kennedy – FIND NO WORKING pay phones (we didn’t have cell phones back then). Decide to take a cab ride home in a non-yellow taxi cab (we swore we were gonna be murdered) – 6 hrs later in the Blizzard we make it back to Northern New Jersey!!! This was our 1st trip by plane!
Wondering how things are going when your first house is being built, but too far to just take a ride? My first flight was in a 2 seater air coup taking me directly over our new home. A great way to find out if was complete and ready for us! And what a nice way for a young mother of 3 to relax and enjoy the wonders of God.
Soaring high above the Pacific N.W., I remember the air smelling different and somewhat like pine. The book I was reading tore at my soul and I couldn’t quit crying. I turned my head toward the aircraft’s window so noone would see my tears. My sobbing was hard to control as I dabbed at my eyes and nose with kleenex. This author really knew how to evoke emotions! Finally we landed and as I walked down the aisle, a warm hand touched my shoulder as an elderly lady said, ‘you’re afraid of flying but its all right dear, we’ve landed now’.
My first experience with flying was when I went to see my cousin in Nashville, Tennessee. I had been told that ‘taking off’ could be kind of scary, but once that was over I would be able to ‘settle down’ and enjoy the rest of the flight. Well, apparently this take-off was worse than most. It felt like the whole plane was going to fall apart. There was an elderly lady sitting next to me, and I said, “Could I please hold you hand? This is my first time flying.” She said, “Certainly, sweetheart.” Well, I had her hand in what must have seemed to her a ‘death-grip!’ Finally, we reached the height the pilot wanted and everything was nice and smooth. I was so enjoying looking out at the clouds and the beautiful land below. Then, I heard a sweet voice saying, “Honey, if it’s o.k. with you, you can let go of my hand now!” (ha ha ha!)
As a child looking up at a soaring, circling bird, I would imagine what the bird sees, trying to feel him/me floating and rising through the air as the scenes on the ground change. After thousands of airplane flight hours, I still never tire of imagining myself in the body of a bird seeing and feeling the scenery change and the wind beneath me. I think “mighty wings” every time I see a soaring bird . One can take any message from that phrase: patriotic, religious, philosophical, earthly respect, etc.
I flew to LA with my daughter and 15-month old granddaughter. We sat in the middle of the center section. The baby was good but kept moving from lap to lap. The gentleman in back of us asked that we make her sit still because he couldn’t see the movie. While standing in line for the restroom the lady behind me identified herself as the man’s wife, told me to ignore him, he was just grumpy. As we waited to deplane, he sheepishly told us what a good baby she was. His wife had reprimanded him!
Flying is about being fearless. So is Love. Placing your vulnerbility sight unseen into the hands of others never sure of the outcome. We are all risk takers. Every summer I journey from Ireland home to Canada to see my 86 year old mother.She,white haired and born again , her bun wound tight around her faith and me her aging spiritualist , there is good to be found in everyone daughter. Her last sewn seed. The time together spent measuring just how far her apple has strayed from the tree. We are adverseries and best friends. We are a crocheted square in the sisterhood of all women. And yet each year though joyous the hello’s may be, I find myself searching for new ways to say goodbye to the first person to ever write in the history book that is my life and I find my task daunting. If the promise is three score and ten , then what comes after a promised kept? She would say Glory Land. I would say I have no words to capture the absence of that kind of abiding love. Soon I know that I will develop a fear of flying because so it is written, so it shall be. That flight, my excess baggage charge for the weight of all of our memories will cost me more than all of the stones I have scattered on my road all of these years just so when I needed to,I would know the way back home.
I’m loving all these responses! I’m not doing a very good job of policing the length of these comments. I hesitate to stop the flow, but please do try to keep them short to encourage others to read them. And thanks so much for taking part!
Just a short comment here Diane…Keeping it 100 words or less is very difficult. I remember when we were kids and we had to write 100 plus words.. 🙁 Now I can’t say hello in less than a hundred words. I did use your suggestion about the 6 lines in the comment box = approx. 100 words. lol
Thanks again for sharing your friendship with all your fans and giving this opportunity to participate in your world. Love you lots, Cindy
Maybe we can vote on length? I personally will read any length piece, but I worry others will skip over long posts. What do the rest of you think?
I like the idea of limiting the content. It was a great exercise in paring down to the most salient features of the story!
I don’t have a flying experince to share but I love reading all of these.
In 1998 to celebrate the end of college tuition payments for our three children, we headed to Alaska. The Alaska Railroad took us to Denali on a beautiful clear day. We decided to take advantage of the rare opportunity to see Mt McKinley without cloud cover and went to a small airport. The pilot banked our 6 passenger plan multiple times very close to the mountain and it was truly spectacular. My fear of flying disappeared on that flight! I am sure it had a lot to do with my responsibilities of a parent becoming much lighter. I haven’t been afraid to fly since then.
These stories are wonderful! Diane, I have to agree that if they get to lengthy, I start to skim…I think you are right in asking for 100 words maximum…I know that my story is 7 lines, but I counted and used 101 words…only 1 over so I thought that was ok.
LOVE this idea of yours! (-O:
flying to me brings sad memories. The only times i have flown was to come home again. My gram died, flew home. My husband left, flew home. My husband REALLY did it this time!!, flew home. I was up in the air flying but i was really “goin backwards”.
A bit of a scamp at 5 I was frequently told by the nuns, parents, priest and sister “Watch out or God will get you for XYZ”. Headed north one Christmas, I was thrilled and excited for a white Christmas until I learned we were flying. All the way to the airport I was car sick for the 3 hour drive. Dry heaving for the 37th time, daddy sat me on the trunk of the car and asked, “Are you sick or scared?” I whispered, “Scared.” “Whatever of? I fly all the time with work!” Daddy was career AF. “Da, God’s gonna get me. Don’t make me go!”
I have flown all over the world with my dad and mom, we travelled all over the US and to Europe in the 80’s and 90’s … he passed away suddenly in 2000 and I have not been on an airplane since. Just doesn’t seem right to FLY without him. I don’t know if I will ever be able to travel on a plane again. I miss him soooo much and it will never be the same again, maybe someday … but for now I will just drive there …
I learned to fly gliders in my early 40’s! The first time I banked a sailplane my heart soared, my spirit was free and I was hooked on aviation. If you have a gliderport near your home, I’d encourage you to try it. Flying isn’t just for men. Women soar!! 😉
Small single-engine plane. Enveloped by unexpected fog. Redirected flight path into Dulles Airport for an instrument landing. On course. All’s well. My pilot (Brian) is a flight instructor. Knows how to handle this. Failed instruments. Only directional gyro working. Not good. Control tower: “We’ve cleared everyone else from this frequency. We’ll guide you down.” Broke through fog at 100 feet. Plane landed. Control tower: “Nice job!” All’s well!
Wow there are a lot of responses here! I love to travel so I don’t mind flying. The only airlines I use are Continental and Southwest. It never fails that flights to Vegas are the most interesting ones as far as passengers go. But some of the funniest times for me was when the Southwest flight attendants try to make the safety instructions fun. On one flight to Vegas they did the safety instructions completely done in Elvis voice. It was hilarious. Another time they did it singing to rap complete with the shades and making sounds with their hands and ending with their arms folded across their chests. Southwest really knows how to capture the attention of their passengers especially when the safety instructions are cleverly said.
the first time i flew was in 1966 and I was flying out of newark in an old propeller driven plane that was shaking a lot. the stewardess (that was the term then) saw my nervouness and came up to me in a flirtatous manner and said, “you aren’t afraid of flying are you?” I answered “no, flying is fine, crashing is what I’m afraid of.”
By the time we got to our destination, i had a date with her.
Flying is not my favorite thing so I do it very infrequently. Since it had been so many years between flights, my last flight surprised my with many new things: shoes off for security, cramped seats, carry-on storage so packed that my “carry-on” had to be checked, etc., etc… The flight itself was smooth and beautiful which did much to ease my fear of flying but the overall experience left much to be desired. I think it will be a very long time before my next flight! I’m content to be a home-body:)
I have a story about flight in a Ford Falcon. I was a passenger in a 1962 Ford Falcon the Night of the Riot in NYC.
The summer I was 3, there was a riot taking place in NYC. People were throwing bottles, rocks and other sundries. I saw a man with a large box running up 125th St. Windows were smashed and you could see glass everywhere.
Several men came over and began to rock the car back and forth. To me, it was like the news come to life. I had countless questions about why people were breaking things; why they shouted at President Johnson and why were these men shaking the car. It was only years later that I learned how volatile and dangerous that riot was.
Once that light changed, that Falcon flew like the bird whose name inspired it. Rest assured, that Falcon did not come to a stop until I was safely home and out of the city.
If you think a Ford Falcon can’t fly, I wouldn’t be too sure about that. That was one night when one did.
I’ve had many fun flights, most with my granddaughter, Leah, who is my favorite traveling companion. But the one that is most memorable was a flight from San Francisco to Indianapolis. There was a mother with a toddler on her lap in the seat behind us. The child was very well behaved and obviously excited but the thing I remember most is this. We were flying above the clouds, the child looked out the window, and said in a calm and peaceful voice “Mommy, are we in heaven?”
Thank you all for your enthusiastic participation in the first Story Weekend! I’ll definitely be continuing this new format, so look for a new theme to write about on Friday. See you then!
[…] I was delighted with the response to my first Story Weekend last weekend! I’m so glad you enjoyed sharing your thoughts and hope you’ll join me in […]