Twenty degrees and no gnats this week

Published 6:55 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Donna Sue and I are flying somewhere this week and the temperature is going to be between twenty and thirty degrees. And I’m not worried one iota about it. In fact, the only coat I’m carrying will be a sports coat. Needless to say, at those temps, the gnats will be nonexistent.

So where are we going for those very low temperatures? Actually, the weather is going to be just fine. We’re going to Toronto, Canada, and the thermometer is set to the Celsius scale.

I checked it out on the website and the temperatures, according to our Fahrenheit readings, will be in the 70’s during the day, with lows in the 60’s at night. Can I get an “Amen!” for those temperatures?

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It’s been a while since I’ve flown anywhere so my arms are rested and ready for some flapping. Plus, I have my Dramamine ready.

The first time I flew was in 1976, I think. I was visiting a friend out in California and took one of those early bird flights from Atlanta to Los Angeles. I had no idea what to expect, but it didn’t take long for me to say, “Wow!”

It was one of those cross-country 747’s; a big plane. After I sat down in my seat, the voice of the flight attendant (they were stewardesses back then) told me what to do. It was okay until she told me that if we were to crash into the ocean, I could use my seat cushion as a floatation device. I got to thinking. Just what ocean would we fly over from Atlanta to Los Angeles?

Very soon, we taxied to the take-off runway. So far, so good. Then we sat there for a moment and I could see other planes taking off on an adjacent runway.

At some point, our engines began to rev up and the whole plane was vibrating. It was sort of like pushing down on the accelerator. In CB language the pilot seemed to be “putting the pedal to the metal.” But, he also had the other foot on the brake.

Now I realize that planes don’t have gas and brake pedals like cars. I’m just telling you, in country boy language, what it felt like. I’ve done it before; mashing the accelerator and also holding down the brake at the same time.

When the pilot took his foot off the brake, the big plane began to creep forward. Slowly at first, but it didn’t take long for the jets to kick in and the speed to build. I must say it was exciting to feel that much power. I’m talking about the power that I had as I gripped the arms of my seat!

Lifting off the runway was another surprise. There is something about being in a big bus in the air. So long as we were on the runway, even moving fast, there was the comforting feeling that we were still on the ground. Once we left the ground; I knew I was no longer in control. Truth be told, I had not been in control for a while, but not being on the ground was a horse of a different color.

As I write this, you know the flight was okay. It was another experience in life that, unless you’ve done it, it’s hard to explain.

Wednesday morning Donna Sue and I will take another flight. This time, we’ll be attending a family wedding. If you think about it Wednesday; oh say about 6:54 AM, say a little prayer for us.