Monday, March 4, 2013

Flying Through Rocky

Written on February 26th as I was leaving Ohio for Florida.
So, today in an effort to escape the death throes of a northern winter, I am flying again to Florida.  Land of sun, sea and sand; its winds whisper my name and the ocean music sings its song to me even in my waking hours.  The Sea Gull's cry is a welcome home invocation.  Although, I am a child of the mountains, hills and forests, the wild coast touches my wild heart and I long to stand on an empty beach facing west, wind running fingers through my hair.  Oh, it can't come soon enough, that salty air.

Yet, Ohio wishes me to stay and with a grip like iron conspires with its sister states to the west to keep me here by hatching, Rocky.  I failed to realize, really, that winter storms are now being named.  It was with dismay that I started hearing of Rocky's approach.  Tough, hard, pummeling, blustery and bragging, this would be, in my mind what a storm named, Rocky, would be like, a fighter, unwilling to give up.  And so it is with this one, I've danced and dodged, lodged a jab or two myself, staying always ahead of it.  My steps always one ahead of him.  

What would have happened if we'd flown into Midway.
At first, my departure was set for afternoon out of Akron/Canton but by mid-day those plans were cancelled with the knock-out punch to the chin of Chicago.  That mighty city's Midway airport felled; closed to air traffic, dealt a blow by Rocky's snowy glove.  Lovely Southwest Airlines scrambled to find me another flight out today, so off I went to Cleveland Airport, whose selection of flights to Tampa, Florida is more generous.  Connection through Baltimore was possible, away from the mighty fist of Rocky.  But his glancing blow is still trying to knock me out by delaying my departure from Baltimore.

As I sit here, waiting, watching for his approach, hoping that my plane boards and scoots out ahead of his arrival into the northeastern Ohio ring of snow, I wonder if he will get the upper hand.  But just in time the doors open we board the plane and off we go.  Rocky still has some blocks, slamming us with turbulence and that bottom dropping out of the plane feeling.  We fly to Baltimore with the fasten seat belt sign on for almost the whole trip.  Yet once up above 10,000 feet all is calm.  The stars shine brightly and only the cloud mountains below indicate any issues.  The almost full moon brightens the sky and is so beautiful.  It illuminates the tops of the clouds below putting their peaks and valleys in bright relief. 
Upon arrival in Baltimore, thinking I still had 40 minutes or more to kill I allow other passengers who have a tighter connection to de-plane ahead of me.  Searching for a board gate sign, I turn left and spy it ahead.  Well, all is still as planned, Baltimore to Tampa still delayed.  I head back towards my gate, looking for a bathroom, when I hear:  "Welcome to Flight so and so non-stop service from Baltimore to Tampa boarding at gate 8." Wait,  WHAT! 3 minutes after I de-planed, I was lining up to re-plane?! Yikes!  So, within 10 minutes of getting off 1 plane, I was on another waiting to head to my final destination of sun, sand and surf.  Rocky wasn't going to win after all.  He was successfully knocked out and I was going to win at least this round with mother nature.    

Final destination, feet successfully de-planed on to the beach!