Saturday, December 29, 2012

home again, home again, jiggety jig

where did i leave off? had my life flashed before my eyes as the winged tin can bounced around in the air? was it before, or after the mass consumption of fudge? was i making snow angels on a square foot of snow surrounded by dry grass, or was there enough snow that passers-by didn't automatically think i was having some sort of a seizure?

none of that had happened yet?

well, i guess we have a little catching up to do, don't we?

my second flight last sunday was on a winged tin can (also known as a cessna). aside from the pilot, rob, and his copilot, whose name i didn't catch, there were four passengers on the plane, including a guy from chicago who had zero experience flying in such a vessel.*

after the pilot introduced himself, he told us to "feel free to ask any questions".

my inquiry regarding whether or not we'd be dusting crops during the flight did not go over well, with my question regarding the stewardess bringing around the beverage service faring only slightly better. (i thought it best to save my query about the "in flight movie" for the return trip. you know- assuming i survived this one.)

aside from some rather, uh, invigorating, turbulence, the flight was relatively uneventful, although our approach for landing resulted in a definite shift in priorities upon landing.**

before i go on, i should mention (especially to those who don't know me well) that i am not a passive vacationer. when i travel, i try to explore as much of my surroundings as possible. going someplace exotic only to get drunk by the pool and catch up on back issues of "people" magazine is more suited to people who have more money than imagination. when i travel solo, i tend to be up at first light, down after dark, and out and about in between.

however, there is one exception to this rule: the annual holiday trip to see mama in maine.

something about being there causes my system to switch to autopilot. i catch up on weeks' worth of sleep. i finish books i'd started reading months before. i brush up on my scrabble skills. fudge is procured from our favorite store an hour's drive away, and if there's any left by the time my departure date rolls around, i declare victory. if we don't plan on leaving the house, i don't plan on leaving my pajamas.

this vacation was no different, except with a surprise extension, due to a moist breath of cold air from mother nature, beginning a few hours before i was supposed to board another winged tin can for the first leg of the trip home. (winged tin cans don't do so hot in high winds or snowstorms, as i understand it.) 

i believe i may have been responsible for this little development.

during my annual visit, i always make at least one snow angel. always

given the lack of snow this time around, i did the only sensible thing. i plopped down atop the tiny remnants of last week's storm and made my snow angel.

fortunately, she does not live in the middle of a major metropolis, so it's not like her neighbors were likely to pass by, wondering who on earth was having a seizure in the middle of her lawn.

apparently, such an action is the winter equivalent of a "rain dance", as there was about 4" of snow covering her lawn less than 24 hours later, with a stiff wind blowing it into drifts of 6" or so- conditions that, as i mentioned before, are not ideal when one is trying to fly a teeny, tiny aircraft. 

while i suppose some would have felt inconvenienced by the delay, i was actually pretty thrilled. my next shift at the full time job was still a couple of days off, and there was fresh snow to play in. the only thing that would make the day better would be the addition of scalloped potatoes and ham (which mama happened to be making a batch of for her lunches next week).

play was balanced with a little shoveling, mostly to keep mama from doing it all herself, though i must admit i had ulterior motives- i'd consumed mass quantities of fudge over the past few days, and i was a little concerned the my jeans and i might not be such a good fit for each other upon my return home. (it didn't help that mama defrosted more fudge as soon as she'd learned my flight was cancelled.)

by the time i was asked yesterday morning how much i'd weighed***, i was fairly confident that i'd only gained a pound or two. (thankfully, the ticketing agent/gate agent/baggage handler/little orange baton wielder at the augusta airport didn't shatter the illusion by asking me to hop on the scale. then again, i suppose it was pretty close to the truth by the time we boarded, since i went to the restroom at least twice while we waited for the pilot to free himself from his driveway and arrive at the airport.)

(as you will note, unlike those magic growing sponges, water did not make this thing any bigger.) 

the first leg of my return trip was much like my previous experience on the winged tin can, except this time the question that didn't go over well involved the in-flight movie. oh- and i became seriously concerned as we headed into boston that we might be in for an unscheduled water landing. that would have been a very bad thing, not just because my swimming skills resemble that of a dog with a couple of broken legs, but also because i seriously doubt the extra fudge mama threw into my backpack would float.

*had mama not found this out from his mother, i probably still would have figured it out. we kept grabbing the seats in front of us at the same time. if "synchronized panic" were an olympic sport, we would have gotten the gold, for sure.

**"hi, mama. where's the can?"

***a question that was just as unsettling then as it was a few days prior

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