I decided to fly through the air and live in the sunlight and enjoy life as much as I could.
What’s Up? ME. Again. I was up early this morning, getting ready to fly back to Dallas from Chicago. There wasn’t much to pack, traveling with just a single backpack. Then, a relatively hassle free trip to the airport, my sister dropped me off at O’Hare with nearly two hours before my flight. I always rather be too early than too late.
I went through security then walked a good mile before I got near my gate. I stopped at McDonald’s and got a mango smoothie. When I looked around to find a place to sit, I also scouted out someone interesting sitting alone to talk to. This is Dave…
Dave works on electrical transformers all around the country. He does a lot of traveling, and was on his way back home to Ohio. It’s funny how you can learn a lot about a stranger in just a few minutes. I mentioned that I was visiting friends and family in Chicago, and the best part was seeing my new four month granddaughter again. At the same time, we pulled out our cell phones to share grand-baby pictures. He had a little granddaughter too. It was a nice half hour chat, then we both went off to our respective gates. Two strangers sharing some time, some stories, bragging about grand-babies, and off into the sky.
My flight boarded right on time, and ready for the runway at 11:45. Just as we started to taxi away, the pilot announced that there was a lightning strike nearby, so we had to sit and wait until we were cleared. I was scrunched in the middle seat between two men, one a fairly young man, maybe early twenties, plugged into his headphones. The other, an older heavy set gentelman, wearing a Cubs cap and a smile. As I looked out the window, I noticed the rain pelting against the window. Oh no! I was hoping it wouldn’t be a long delay. Thank goodness, only about twenty minutes and a few Our Fathers and Hail Marys, and we were cleared to go. The skies still looked pretty scary.
As we started taxiing, accelerating, and flying into the stormy clouds, the elderly gentleman on my right made the sign of the cross. Ah, I asked, “Are you Catholic?” He said, “Why yes. As a matter of fact, I’m a Catholic priest. Father Frank O’Mally from St. Catherine’s.” He extended his hand, we shook hands, and I introduced myself. “Nice to meet you.”
Now, I felt much better. I was sitting next to a priest. What could possibly go wrong? I took out my iPad and was looking over my gazillion baby Belle pictures. Both men on either side now had earphones and were listening to music. A few minutes later, the plane started bumping and jostling around. The flight attendants were asked to be seated. I still wasn’t too worried. That is, until the pilot came on the intercom and asked everyone to remain seated with seat belts on. That’s when I noticed Father Frank take out his black rosary and begin to pray. Now, I was getting scared.
All of a sudden, the plane took a sudden dip, shaking and quaking from side to side. I turned to the praying priest, as he moved from bead to bead on his rosary. Then I pleaded, “Father, Father…do something… do something…Catholic!” The priest contemplated for a second, then took off his hat, handed it to me and said, “Here…pass this hat around, and we’ll take up a collection!”
OK! Ok! That was a joke. Did you see that coming??? I love that Catholic joke. That’s the only joke I could ever remember and found it appropriate for the flight today.
But, I did poke the man to the right of me when we took off and said, “Before you get settled, let me tell you this Catholic flying joke.” He thought it was funny.
Actually, our flight was pretty smooth, except for a couple of little flutters. When we touched down safely in Dallas, two hours later, I leaned over and said, “Aren’t you glad we didn’t have to pass the hat?”
Good to be home.