February 7, 2016

And we’re off… part one

By Sherry Barnum
Staff Writer | reporter3@ogemawherald.com
Posted 11/9/11

“Please fasten your seatbelts; we’re set for take-off.”

As I heard those words, anxiety rushed through my body.

I have never flown and flying alone my first time, didn’t set my mind at ease.

My trip had begun the night before, as I headed to Flint to spend the night before my flight to California the next morning.

Take-off was set for 7 a.m., I decided I’d wake up at 4 a.m., to give me enough time to collect my thoughts and be ready to face my fear.

Tossing and turning all night and waking up every hour on the hour, was not a good feeling, as I knew I had an early morning flight to look forward to.

Not to mention my anxiety.

With my mom and aunt dropping me off at the airport, I thought I would be cool, calm and collected.

Boy was I wrong.

I put off the inevitable for as long as I could, finally it was time for security check.

As I said my goodbyes, fear set in and tears rolled down my face.

“Suck it up, Sherry,” is all I could think.

I knew I had to prove my brothers Nick and Tim wrong, since they were taking bets on whether I would get on the plane or not. (Well, I got on the plane, so to the one that was betting against me; I accept cash, check, or holding it over your head for the rest of your life!)

I said my goodbyes, and entered security.

“Take off your shoes, place them here, empty your pockets, put everything in the bin,” the TSA lady said.

Having never flown before, I had to ask a couple questions, and I could tell she was annoyed.

“Wait here, enter the scanner, stand like this,” is what I heard next.

Next thing I know, the security guard asks me to step aside. I was flagged!

Oh great. Of course this would happen to me.

Time for the pat-down. I can assure you I didn’t have anything on me — it was all in those bins!

Finally I was cleared and on my way I went.

Boarding pass in hand, I entered the first plane.

It was a little plane, not what I was expecting.

Off to Cleveland we went, let me tell you that was BUMPY ride and did not put my mind at ease at all!

Luckily, I sat next to a nice older lady, who assured me everything was okay.

Just what I needed!

45 minutes later, we were in Cleveland.

I couldn’t wait to get off that plane! I just wanted to get it over with!

As I exited the plane, I found myself at gate D (not the gate I needed).

Of course, my gate was on the other side of the airport.

Naturally, I RUSHED to the other side, thinking I was going to miss my flight the whole time! I was so scared. But I made it in time, with 15 minutes to spare.

I called home to let my dad know I made it to Cleveland and was boarding the next plane, and texted my brother, Tim, to let him know what time I was going to touch down in California, making sure he would be there to get me.

As I stepped onto the bigger plane, I felt a little better. Things were fine after takeoff — until we hit turbulence…

The turbulence didn’t make my first time flying any better!

As kids, my brothers and I would always goof around in the car grabbing the other ones seat and shaking it as if we were hitting turbulence (granted, one of us was sitting in the captain chair in our van).

But this didn’t feel anything like that.

I think I held in my fear pretty well.

I’m sure the look on my face was pretty priceless though.

So here I am, sitting 36,000 feet up in the air, typing up this column for you and putting up with the obnoxious lady in front of me who INSISTS on having her seat back, making it difficult for me to type!

The good news is I finished chapter one of my thesis. It was due Sunday, and since this was a VERY LAST-MINUTE trip, I thought I was never going to get that done!

I guess flying isn’t so bad. Granted, I am still in the air, and still have an hour to go, but soon I will be in Los Angeles.

The only thing I should be worried about is whether Tim shows up at LAX to pick me up!

Well my laptop’s battery is almost dead, so I’m going to end this now.

Until next time, as my journey continues with a road trip back to Michigan.

Just my brother and me…

This should be interesting.


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