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Friday, August 11, 2006

Back to flight jitters

After a lifelong fear, I’ve recently acclimated myself to flying on a regular basis. No longer do I hold my breath on takeoff or landing, nor do I feel compelled to tense at every bump in the flight. It's like getting in the car or riding a bus. My hubby and I have perfected the timing of the drop-off and pick up to the point where I can check my bag (if I’m checking one), scoot through security and get to my gate just in time for boarding call.

Sure we could be pushing it with timing and possible security delays, but I hate sitting idly in airports. So far, our system has worked.

This summer has been lovely in that I’ve spent most of it at home, working early mornings and still finding time to spend some afternoons playing with the kids. But this week marks the shift as we all start to gear up for the school year and return to routine.

My summer ends with a trip to Chicago for the SPJ National Convention and Journalism Conference. That trip is quickly followed by two more in September to Atlanta and Indianapolis.

Just when I’ve gotten comfortable about flying, there’s the threat of terror attacks. Who knows what will happen in the next two weeks before I leave, but suffice it to say I considered driving to Chicago.

But then I think: Why should I change my travel plans? I mean, I have a hugely busy schedule during my five days in Chicago – nonstop meetings, panels, etc. My flight there gets me into Chicago by 8 a.m. And my flight home gets me back to Cleveland by 10 a.m. I need to be home as early as possible since the kids start school the next day. If I drove, I’d lose that entire Sunday with them.

So, I guess I’ll clean out my big traveling purse – you know, lose the several tubes of hand cream and the travel-sized tube of Crest – to comply with the new restrictions. And I won’t get my grande Starbucks coffee of the day with room for cream for the plane ride and I won’t bring my giant bottle of water. (Thank God Chicago is such a short flight! I hate being without water for any period of time.)

My biggest concern yesterday was that I be able to bring my cell phone and laptop since I’ll be working on these trips. Thankfully, those are allowable. And I planned to bring my iPod Nano (since I have one of my own now) even though I probably won’t use it on the plane. (I prefer to read.) But now I look at using it in public differently. Who knew such things as an iPod or key fob could be used for destruction?

Maybe I'll go back to the rosary.

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