Posted tagged ‘sleeping on a plane’

“The desire to reach for the sky runs deep in our human psyche.”

August 16, 2013

My feet are cold. I was outside reading the papers, and it felt chilly. The table is in the shade and the sun is still working its way around the house so the backyard has a bit of the night chill about it. While I was outside, I filled the seed and the suet feeders. Later, I’ll have to clean and refill the bird bath. Chickadees use it all the time to drink from while robins love a good bath.

Around six last night, my friend and I were on the deck enjoying a drink with some cheese and crackers. I noticed movement at a house across the street on the corner and kept trying to be attentive to my friend but also trying to keep an eye on the happening across the street. I thought I saw heads and spindly legs. I did. I was watching wild turkeys make their way down the street. I told my friend to turn around and take a look. She said she was wondering what had drawn my attention. Two of the turkeys were enormous, as big as I’ve ever seen. All of them, the toms and their hens, took their time wandering on another neighbor’s lawn and a few hens stopped to eat something. They then casually crossed the street to the yard next to mine. Gracie watched their progress from the deck. She didn’t bark but seemed as intrigued as we were. It has been a while since I’ve seen the turkeys on my street. It was fun to have them back.

My first plane flight was when I was a freshman in college. My parents gave me a ticket from Hyannis to Boston as an Easter gift. I was thrilled. The route was beautiful: over the water and the shore. The plane was old and perfect for my first flight. I had always wished I could have ridden in a PanAm Clipper during its heyday, and this plane reminded me a little of that. It was a prop and you had to walk uphill to your seats. The pilots were behind a curtain which didn’t shut all the way, and you could watch them at the controls. It was like going back in time.

That plane ride is my favorite of all, but I have a few others on the list. The flight from Argentina to Uruguay, a quick jump cross the water, had a raffle for a woman’s handbag. I didn’t win. A Ghana Airways flight from Tamale to Accra circled so many times I think the pilot was lost. It is the only plane on which I have ever felt air sick. It was all that circling. The flight to Cusco was the most dramatic. We were close enough to the mountains that we could see the shadow of the plane. On my first ever flight to Ghana, in 1969, I remember when we flew over the Sahara. It was like my geography book had come to life. I saw the rolling brown sand with what looked liked ridges, and it was a thrill I’ve never forgotten.