Here it is Thursday morning and you know I never write to you during the week.

Sunday morning is our time together, and I look forward to it each weekend, as nutty as that might sound.

I didn’t have the heart, or maybe it’s more I wasn’t brave enough, to tell you earlier but right now I’m sitting in a window seat on a Southwest Airlines flight bound for Florida.

I’m still wrapping my head around it myself. You know how I am about flying.

It all started because our daughter Meredith wanted to send us on a little mini-vacation to thank us for living at home.

The way she figures it, if she was paying rent on top of having college loans, things would be much tougher for her financially.

She thought Florida would be just right for us. John can fly anywhere and has to because of his job — me, not so much.

I think she figured the shortest distance, usually warm place this time of year, to send us to.

According to the pilot’s announcement in just three hours and 20 minutes we would be there. You can bet I’m holding him to it, too! 

I think my problem with flying is the control thing. No where to run, no where to go.

Right now, it is 8:07 a.m. and we left at 7:05 a.m. John just poured us both a Bloody Mary. Completely unheard of on a normal Thursday morning!

My dear friend Faye of Martinelli Travel and I have many things in common and not loving flying is one of them. Before we fly anywhere, I have to tell Faye and she always reminds me to have a Bloody Mary to help me relax, just a little, and for me it really does.

It’s kind of a fun kick off to vacation, too. It also helps me to realize that we have all survived the first quarter of the flight.

When I was a young teacher, I wanted to get my pilot's license. I even had a gift certificate to a Grenier Field flight school.

Once I became a mom that all changed. I moved from wanting to fly the plane to being petrified of flying.

When the girls were little our doctor would give me a little something to help me — to get on the plane and to help me sleep through most of it.

The only problem with it was that I would fall into such a deep sleep that I would often wake up to a nudge, because I was doing that horrible deep sleep snoring or/and drooling. Not a pretty sight to say the least.

The other problem was that if we had to switch planes or once we landed, I was pretty darn loopy. I remember one time just trying to keep my head up as we were driving through Alligator Alley. It definitely made the plane ride easier, but it took awhile for it to wear off once we arrived.

The last couple times we have flown I have tried to be a big girl and take nothing — nothing, that is, except a Bloody Mary or two.

Well, let me tell you a little about this adventure so far.

First of all, we flew out of our beautiful, amazing, clean, friendly Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. Imagine if we did a comparison of our airport and the Boston airport.

Relaxed, 10 minutes up the street from our house, cheap, easy parking, if needed, and I so love that walking runway that connects the parking garage to the terminal.

That part of flying I really love. I used to take the girls up there to pick up Daddy and we would go early to just have fun going back and forth on it. They also loved the life-sized moose that is still there in the main lobby.

The whole thing makes me even prouder and even more in love with our great state. I always think why would anyone not want to come here, stay here, live here, play here! I should be on a poster for New Hampshire with that slogan, wrinkles and all.

Well, John had no idea but as we pulled, actually he pulled, our luggage on that walking runway. I took a few pictures of him. Awhile ago he had us all do that TSA prescreening and for $80 it does make your life easier.

Of course, the metal detector went off for me anyway. 

What helped me relax once I was allowed through, and this is going to sound silly, but the nice stores that open at 6 a.m.

Yes, even the liquor store where we met Donna from Manchester who works there. She and John explained to me that our state liquor stores are considered the best run governmental agency in the country.

What surprised me is that all the prices were just like they would be at home at the rest area on Interstate 93.

Anyway, next as we were waiting in a quickly moving line for coffee, one of my town clerk friends, Cindy, went walking past us.

We didn’t have enough time for me to run over to find her and say hi, but it was just nice to see her, and she had no idea.

Next, there was Susan Trammell, that I use to teach with at Londonderry High back in the late '80s. Susan and her husband are on the same plane with us. So great to see her. Funny how those little moments of seeing familiar faces can make you feel better.

Once we got on the plane, I could have sworn one of my favorite people in the world, Reed Clark, was on the plane, too.

I had to take a second look, but wow does the man just four rows up look like our Reed.

Now the interesting thing was it was so cold this morning, 11 degrees, and they had to de-ice our plane! Boy did that bring back memories.

Jump back to 1982 when my friend Patty and I were flying to Europe for student teaching — Bath School of Higher Education. I remember sitting on the runway in Boston and they had to de-ice our plane before we could take off. Huge hoses of hot water were sprayed all over the plane we were on. Patty and I studied for half of the time in England, and then we backpacked around Europe for two full weeks. Our Bible was the book “How to do Europe on $10 a day,” and we did! Our backpacks were huge, over 60 pounds.

Back to this flight. The sweetest attendant gave us the demonstration of what to do if there is a problem. He carefully, yet quickly because time is of the essence for takeoff, explained to us to cover our noses and mouth with this plastic cover, pull this cord to tighten and most importantly to get oxygen and then just breath normally.

I will only tell you this, but inside I was hyperventilating as he said that. Again, in my mind I was thinking, “How the heck to you think I will be able to breath normally if all this really happens?” I can guarantee you I will panic and have no control of my breathing at all. Who the heck really would?”

Of course, the grand finale: John fell into a deep sleep and I was feeling brave. Why didn’t I just let him rest? I decided I wanted to get up and move around. I tapped John, startled him a little and pushed right pass him.

I didn’t realize he had his headphones on and somehow I ripped, and I mean ripped, them right our of his ears. Now he was really awake, and annoyed. When I came back to our row, there he was stunned holding his torn headphones. Somehow, I moved past so quickly that the ear cords tore right out of the plug, too. Luckily, he had brought two other pairs.

He knows travel with me is never boring.

I’ve decided I have grown into a love/hate relationship with flying. Typing to you is gift from above. I wish I could thank you all individually. You never now maybe someday I will be able to.

One hour left to go.

Sherry Farrell is town clerk in Londonderry and a lifelong resident of New Hampshire.



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