About Me

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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

In the Cold and Over the Hump

It's been really cold here for this time of year -- actually even for winter.  The high yesterday was 30° but with the windchill factor felt more like the high teens and low 20's.  A little unusual for Maryland, but not shocking.  Maybe the cold will kill some of the stinkbugs.  At any rate, I'm thinking of you, Kay, in Hawaii and Mage in San Diego, now that your temps are just a pleasant memory to us.  Enjoy, Ladies!

Last night I watched a beautiful sunset and the contrails of a few planes on their way to parts unknown.  I began thinking of my flying history.  As some of you know, we travel a lot and our means of choice is flying as my husband really hates to drive.  I've come to accept this and actually come to realize that I really do love to fly.

I was, up until a few years ago, a real "white knuckle flyer", the one in the window seat, keeping an eye on the engines, looking into the eyes of the flight attendants for signs of panic, and clutching a Rosary in my hands.

What's changed?  Frequency, for one thing; being scared gets old.  Certainly, realizing that with me, it's probably a control thing, has helped as well.  And aside from a bit of faith, there is one more thing.  I mentioned in an older post that my dad 'flew the hump" during WWII.  He was one of those very brave who flew the C-47 /DC-3 over those long, grueling trips to China-Burma.  They were armed only with side arms, and to escape the fire of enemy planes, they would 'hang low' making their trips even more dangerous through the Himalayas.

More than my recalling his missions, every time I fly, my dad, who died in 1998, flies with me.  I can feel his presence in the air quite strongly.  I like to think he's up in the cockpit, too, acting as radio operator/navigator.  I believe  he marvels at these new jets, so different from the prop "sky-train" he flew.  I can hear him saying to me, "Kath, this is a piece of cake."  

8 comments:

forsythia said...

Can't imagine flying "over the hump" in a propellor plane. I'd think the vibration alone would drive you batty before you reached your destination, but people did it because they had to!

Purple Flowers said...

I believe your Dad is with you in spirit, whether in the air, sea and land. When you get that feeling, go with it and say "hi."
My connection with my Father are trains; he loved them. I can't tell you how many times I drive under a train trussel in a nearby town, and a train goes by. I always say "hi Dad." It is my way of connecting.
I am glad you have gotten over your jitters. I am white-knuckled when it comes to the Dentist. As much as I love the guy, I still grip the chair handles.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Kath.

Linda Reeder said...

What a great connection to your father, and a wonderful way to overcome your fear of flying.

Retired English Teacher said...

This is a really cool story. Thanks for sharing. How neat that your dad flew those planes. You should be very proud. I know you are. It is neat to think how you feel he is with you and that he represents a person you can trust. Like Purple Flowers, my dad was a 'train man." He worked for the railroad his entire life and I feel a deep connection to him whenever I see trains.

My last flight was a real nail biter. There was so much turbulance. The woman next to me was telling me that if you engage both sides of your brain it helps with anxiety. The two of us sat there in our seats tapping one leg and then the other in an attempt to calm down our nerves. Then, I took half of a lorazapam. That worked!

Kay said...

This is such a beautiful memory of your dad, Kathy. I know he will always fly alongside you.

I do have to admit that it was a lovely, warm, sunny day today. I wish I could send some over to you. However, I'd give up some of this warmth if I could be with my granddaughter in the freezing Midwest right now.

Gilly said...

I dislike flying - not the actual flying, but all the hassle -queues for checkin/security/whatever and the crowds and no-one can call the seating etc. in the plane comfortable! My father suffered from claustrophobia, and would never fly, or go by the Tube trains in London. Luckily although I hate really constricted places, I don't mind the Tube and flying once I'm settled in!

Kathy, your father was an extremely brave man. Not just in the actual flying, which was dodgy enough, but the knowledge of what would happen to them if they landed in enemy territory into the hands of the Japanese. The War is so long ago, and things have changed so much since, but I think the bravery of men like your father should never be forgotten.

Mage said...

Oh, you would laugh. Here above OB, it is 45 degrees in the early morning light. We think it cold.
Our preferred method of travel is train. We both hate to fly tourist jammed in like cattle fodder in the back. We may be dieting, but we don't fit three to a row. George discovered that we can fly to Florida this April in first class for the same price as in back. No charge for bags, and breakfast too. :)

Betsy Adams said...

Hi there, Your Dad must have had an amazing life. I find too --as I age--that I'm more afraid of things than I used to be… Don't know why --but maybe it's because I am WISER… ha ha

Thanks for your sweet comment about my 101 yr. old father-in-law dying. He lived an amazing life--and never once was in the hospital. That's an inspiration.

Merry Christmas.
Hugs,
Betsy