Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Prepare for Emergency Landing!

When we last encountered the characters of our story they were preparing for an imminent emergency landing in the Atlantic off the coast of NYC! At least Leslie thought it was going to be a landing in the ocean. No one ever actually said that. But it makes this story much more exciting. Let's see whether our protagonists meet their untimely end or live to tell about their harrowing plane ride...

Wow, the moments that followed the announcement of our emergency landing were tense and heady. I kept repeating to Peter that I loved him and I was worried that I might vomit. But shortly after the emergency announcement we were informed that everything now appeared normal and we would prepare for a normal landing but in Newark instead of at JFK where we were scheduled to land. The pilot explained that he was not able to get in touch with anyone at JFK- That’s a little disconcerting, is it not?- I was on pins and needles for the remainder of the flight but we finally landed which occasioned an outburst of applause from the passengers. We were provided transportation into NYC. I was shaken for the rest of the day. My jitters were not relieved at all by our cab ride into NYC. Our driver showed a nauseating enthusiasm for using the break. And when we were going through Lincoln Tunnel, Peter thought that was an opportune time to discuss a movie he's seen in which a bomb is detonated there.

And did I mention that that flight was only the first of many? Later that very day I had to get on a flight headed across the pond! We were going to Berlin. (Not that I’m complaining about getting to go to Europe but at this point I’d had enough adventure. I just wanted to sit at home and learn to make doilies or something.)

When we were obtaining our voucher for transportation into NYC, many people were complaining about the change in their plans necessitated by the plane’s detour. Several people were very inconvenienced by the landing in Newark. I was astonished that anyone could feel annoyed at that point because I was relieved, jubilant even, just to be off that plane alive! I wanted to say to these people “Why are you complaining? Do you know that you could have met your violent end? Stop whining and do some cartwheels or something.” Which might be an exaggeration (the violent end part) but nonetheless I felt like doing cartwheels because I was immensely thankful to still have my life.

So, this is why I will never complain about delays, long layovers, turbulence, rude flight attendants, canceled flights, noisy children or any of their ilk. To disembark a plane alive is all I hope for.

Later on, when I shared this fear of an emergency water landing to a male friend he replied “That would be so cool!” I was astonished and bemused at the contrast between his enthusiasm and the sheer terror I had felt earlier that day.

Thankfully, plane crash or no plane crash, I know this for sure: "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." Psalm 139:16

But I still don’t want to die in a plane crash. (I’d like to die of a massive heart attack in my sleep many years from now.)


Erin said...

I never knew that about your flight into NYC back in '07! You were as cool as a cucumber, at least as I recall, on the flight over the pond! I was thinking about that awesome trip just the other day - we will get to go again, sometime, right? Like those old friends vacationing on the island tour in Croatia??!??

Miss you guys!

johnrgriffin said...

ditto to the "cool as a cucumber" comment.