Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Not So Friendly Skies

Tomorrow I'm flying to Scarsdale, New York, to speak with the middle schoolers there about writing and being an author. You can tell this is a rich school district: They're paying me a full day's fee for half a day's work. I'm not complaining, though I do feel a bit guilty about taking their nice money for work I won't be doing.

Here's the thing that's really on my mind: It seems like every time I fly the weather conditions deteriorate to the point where no one's quite sure that the plane will take off until the very last minute (and the decision always seems to be preceded by the air traffic controllers saying, "What the hey, let's give it a go--you only live once, right?"). This time around, we're picking up the tail end of a hurricane, so when my plane takes off tomorrow at noon, we should be experiencing gusts of up to 38 m.p.h. Whee!

How is it possible that on the three times a year I get on a plane, the weather is nigh catastrophic? After an issue with big winds a couple of years ago in February, I stopped booking school visits in the spring until mid-March; of course, when I flew to Michigan last March, the weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms, the very worst weather conditions you can fly in.

If I were carrying body organs on ice to wounded soldiers in Scarsdale, NY, I could be brave. The idea of flying in horrible, death-defying conditions for a cause--well, you could justify the trip. I keep pretending this is a test from God. Do I trust Him enough to get on a plane in bad weather? Trust that I'm in His hands? Maybe if I felt God were calling me to get on the plane during a tornado, I would feel better about the situation. But what's actually calling me is the tuition bill from Our Fine School that demands to be paid by January 15th.

Anyway, what this is about: Say a prayer for me, would you? It can be for good weather or courage or a winning lottery ticket that will take care of tuition once and for all so I never have to leave home for money again.

Oh, and say another prayer for me on Friday, when I return in the afternoon. Because, yep, more big wind, this time in New York. Just my luck.

45 comments:

Gretchen Joanna said...

I feel similarly every time I get on a plane, and strap myself in like a sardine among many. I think, "What an odd thing to do! Why do we all think it so important to go so far so fast, that we have to behave so inhumanly, so self-abusively?" But then I get lost in my book and enjoy myself, me with my short legs.
I will pray for you. You know where you're going, in any case.

Tracy said...

Perhaps you need to fly more often Frances...then the bad days become just a very few amongst many good ones.

Says she who grew up flying in little 6-seater Cessna's.

Be brave ~ I'll be praying for you.

Angela said...

I hate flying.You are in my prayers. Last time I flew with one of my daughters I was praying like mad at takeoff [silently] and she poked me and said "Mum, you look wierd, praying like that, they will think you are a terrorist"

Pom Pom said...

Frances, I am loving Shooting the Moon. I hear your voice and I say to myself, "I know that voice." It is WONDERFUL!
Yes, prayers for you.

debbie bailey said...

I'll be praying too.

debbie bailey said...

Frances,

I saw Pom Pom's comment about Shooting the Moon and promptly went to Amazon, read about that book and your others, and bought it. I didn't know you were a famous author? Wow! I'm impressed. I hope to be published someday too, but instead of flying around the country doing book tours, etc., I'm going to be like Emily Dickinson and have my adoring public come to me! Think that'll work?

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Hi,everyone-I made it back safely. Thanks for your prayers!

Gretchen Joanna--I have the very same thoughts about how inhuman/e and awful it is, the way we get around. Sometimes I lose myself in a book, sometimes I just gripe and mutter the whole way.

Tracy, I'm impressed with your flying experience. Brave girl! And my goal is to fly less, not more, but you're right--if I flew more, it wouldn't feel like every flight was a near catastrophe.

Dear Angela--That's funny! I pray pretty fervently myself, but as quietly as I can. People do get nervous these days.

Thanks so much Pom-Pom--I'm glad you're liking STM!

Debbie--I hope your plan works. Let me know if it does, so I can adopt it. I just found out that I'm going to do a real live book tour in April (which is not common for children's book authors), and I'm already dreading it. Don't they understand we write because we like to spend most of our time in quiet rooms by ourselves?

Thanks for buying my book!

Gumbo Lily said...

I hope you had a safe trip. I'll wait to see if you post soon.

Jody

victoria said...

I have been on an plane so many times and still feel deep hatred towards flying..
Hope your trip went really well.

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