I used to not like flying itself. That’s all changed. I now am petrified of the process of getting on planes. Because Dick flies so often and has so many bad stories about his experience, I’m always afraid of missing a flight or the flight being cancelled. This means I sit around in airports longer than I have to, but it keeps me from throwing up so it seems like it works out best for all.

We got to the airport faster than I expected because traffic was exceptionally light. Pam kept saying how light traffic was so this isn’t me just being weird. It is me being weird and then facts bearing out my perception. It happens every once in a while so there is no need to look alarmed.

I waited for 20 minutes in a shorter line at my dinky airport. There was only one TSA person checking our valid picture IDs against our tickets and our faces and only two places to x-ray all our goods. So even though the line was longer, the process was shorter and it only took 10 minutes at Sky Harbor.

Gnome at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, Arizona

I was at gate 17 and Cheri was leaving from gate 15. The two gates were right next to each other. They had a television set mounted and talking with the words also scrolling so we could all be “entertained” while we waited. Then the airline personnel would make an announcement. You couldn’t hear important stuff because the TV was talking.

There was no plane outside at the gate. I know there needs to be a plane there in order for me to get on it. Planes are large and hard to miss when looking out the big window. Cheri didn’t really believe me when I was beginning to panic about not having a plane there. If every flight was from Far-Away-Place to Home, I wouldn’t care. I would be on a plane when it got there and then be home when it landed. But because I don’t live at a hub location, no planes do that. So I always have to worry about a connecting flight.

We were to begin boarding 30 minutes before the flight was to take off because it takes that long to get everyone and their luggage onboard and stowed in the overhead bins or under the seats. The plane needs to be there prior to that because it takes some time for people to gather all their crap from the overhead bins and under the seats and file off the plane and get the hell out of my way. Then flight crews need to do stuff to get the plane ready. I believe part of this “stuff” is collect up all the crap people forgot to take with them.

When the plane wasn’t even at the gate by the time we were to begin boarding, I was getting all panicky again. I waited a few minutes as we saw the plane pulling in and then I called Dick and he said, “You are going to be late taking off. Let me look and I will call you back in five minutes.” I waited a bit more than five minutes and then we were beginning to board so I called him back and said we were boarding. We did take off a few minutes late, but it wasn’t bad.

Gnome on the plane, safe and sound

We got to Atlanta and pulled up to a gate and we got off the plane as quickly as possible. We made up some time in the air. It was a very smooth flight – I think. I slept most of the way. Or at least dozed. My neck would get all sore and wake me up and then I would fall back to sleep. I didn’t sleep the entire way, however, because I read most of my magazine on the first flight and I ate my peanuts – a far better choice than the gag-ya-stick-in-the-throat cookie thing they have.

I tried to get online in the Atlanta airport so I could put up something on Facebook to say I was safely that far. I have no idea what I was doing wrong. It wouldn’t connect to the airports WiFi or to the Free Public WiFi. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t really that important. So after trying several times I put the computer away.

The plane arrived before we were to be boarding and the people scurried off. No problems. Except there was a problem. They announced we would be waiting until the mechanic finished working on the compression thingy. It sounded like this was important as cabin pressure needs to be maintained at all times during the ride. We would be 15 minutes late. Then we were going to be 30 minutes late. I didn’t mind being late here because that only meant I would be home late, not missing my next flight. They might cancel the flight and then that would send me for a loop, but we weren’t there yet. The next leg of the journey home was just a short hop.

My 6.45 flight was to being boarding at 6.15 but instead we began boarding at 6.55. I’m not quite sure what time we left but I got to Charleston at 8.30. It seemed like I waited a really long time for the luggage to show up, but that might have been fatigue making everything seem to take longer. I was back at the house by 9 and unpacked quickly.

LC was really glad to see me. We snuggled for a bit. She has been following me around closely. The basket arrived here without damage. I showed Dick all my new clothes and got stuff either hung up or put in the laundry. I have to wash all Izod clothes before I can wear them because they make me itch if I don’t.

Gnome all confused in his new surroundings. Where is this place? Where are all his people?

Then Dick showed me my new car and we played with that for a while. I was still not tired enough to fall asleep. So I downloaded my Shockwave games and wrote a bit on Facebook. Then I told myself I simply had to go to sleep because tomorrow was another day.

A familiar thing. A very spacious and capacious and wonderful computer. At least we have this.

I set the alarm for 7.15 just in case. But I woke up at 6.20 as the day really began here with daylight filtering in.