Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Of Hurricanes and Aeroplanes






You've probably guessed - The sky did fall in a few places but not on us. Whew!

My Saturday morning flight left on schedule. I wondered if I should wait a week but the OC clinched it when he said   "Go.You're no good with a chainsaw!"

Practical man.

Everyone at the airport was calm, helpful, friendly, sharing stories as we waited to board. We were all in this together. Of course we were the ones jumping ship, leaving the rest of Florida to deal with Irma as best they could.



Compared to the dire predictions as I was leaving, we had minimal damage. Back in 2004/5 there were lots of trees down and roofs blown off.  This time, all that fell were some branches and twigs.

 Whew, again. And gratitude. It could have been so much worse, as it was in other places.



 From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved flying. Sometimes, on Sunday afternoons, we’d drive to Shannon Airport to sit in the lounge overlooking the runway and watch the planes. My mother would settle down with her cigarettes and coffee and we'd run back and forth watching planes land and take off; watching baggage being disgorged or loaded; watching passengers walk across the tarmac to climb aboard, wishing we were going somewhere exotic. Sometimes my dad would take us out to one of the planes and let us sit in the cockpit, awed by all the instruments. We were easy to entertain!

I've always preferred to be by the window to watch the patchwork of fields, farms and forests far below; the ribbons of highways, lanes and goat tracks; the crumpled fabric of the mountains; the lazy meandering loops of rivers; the widening out to lakes; the wild palette from turquoise to sky blue to purple to grey to fifty nine shades of green; the browns of newly tilled fields; the golds of recent harvest. The best times were when I'd fly home for a visit. My breath would catch and uncontrollable tears would roll when the west coast of Ireland with all its little islands, rocks, beaches, coves and  piercingly green fields, shimmered into view, always early, early in the morning.

It still fills me with wonder to be above the clouds in a magical metal tube, along with the suitcase that felt as though I’d packed it with rocks, moving along at incredible speeds but with no sensation of “hurtling.” Multiply that by the number of fellow passengers, each with their own case of rocks, and I’m still amazed after all these years.

And now the manicured green and brown and gold fields of Oregon, with the wide sweep of the Willamette curving through them, race up to meet us. Approaching the runway, the engines roar and finally we feel how fast we've been moving as we slow dramatically and the wheels make contact - a gentle bump - and we’ve arrived.






To those of you who wondered how we fared during the storm, this is a long winded way of telling you - we're fine, for now. Got off easy this time but, even as I write, another hurricane is wrecking havoc in the Caribbean. A friend sent this advice...

"Stay where you are!" 

15 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you for letting us know.
Indeed sit tight.

gz said...

Hurricane Maria does sound another nasty one. They are coming thick and fast this year..they'll be getting back to A again before they know it.
yes, you must think why you're not living where you'd like....

Colette said...

Glad to hear you made it through the hurricane and went on your trip. I lived south of Seattle for a few years as a young girl. The Pacific Northwest has so much to offer: temperate weather, great natural beauty. As I remember, there weren't a lot of sunny days, though. However, after spending a few years in Florida, I'm kind of "over" the sun. I'm sure you know what I mean. If I had a reason to move there, I think I might.

Marigold Jam said...

Good to hear all is well with you. My friends returned to Florida after evacuating to Indiana where they have friends. I ask myself why does anyone choose to live in an area that has hurricanes and like you I think I'd rather live elsewhere if there was no family to consider. I think my friends moved to Florida from Maryland for the climate (!) but I wonder if they sometimes wish they'd stayed put. I'd definitely stay put if I was you!

Sabine said...

Good news.
Reading the science, I don't think this was the last of the storms and weather/climate change related events to hit Florida.

Also: A change is a good as rest, no?

lgsquirrel said...

Glad you came through without major drama. But possibly, this sort of thing is going to be more frequent in the future. In the meantime enjoy not having to operate the chainsaw.

Pam said...

Delighted to hear this. I absolutely HATE flying, by the way, and can't possibly look out of the window in case I'm forced to realise how high up we are. We're off to Stockholm on Saturday in one of those horrible metal tubes so this may be the last you hear of me... I always expect to crash.

Molly Bon said...


LGS - Pretty desperate measures to avoid helping with chainsaw cleanup...

Pam - You'll be barely up before you're coming down to land!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Irma sounded like just the thing to avoid , though flying right across the country does seem extreme !
Good to know that you won't be coming back to wreckage .

Molly Bon said...


S&S - Believe me, we are grateful to have dodged that bullet and also that Maria wandered out of our path.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh gosh Molly -- I choked up when I was reading the part about your tears when you would see Ireland come into view. I grew up moving around, but I do have a place I call home and I feel just the same way. Flying is a miracle, isn't it? I'm so glad you're all safe and relatively unscathed from the storms -- hope you're still on your trip and having a good time!

aubirdwoman said...

Keep safe Molly and when possible let us know you are ok. When I went back to UK we had to circle the Airfield for half an hour due to fog. I got very irritable and wanted to put my feet on the land of my birth. I think you are very brave. hugs birdy from downunder

Relatively Retiring said...

Such a lovely description of flying. I love it too. I've usually been the only one glued to the window while everyone else is snoring or watching some meaningless film or other.

Molly Bon said...


RR - Glad to have your company! We do seem to be in the minority.

Pauline said...

Glad to know you are safe and sound. daughter fared much the same. Son in Oregon was wearing a mask for a while - as were many inhabitants close to the fire and smoke. All is better there now, too. Here the leaves are turning, though we are still seeing temps in the high 70s with accompanying mugginess. Loved the flying bit. I wrote a piece on flying a few weeks ago - seems our minds think alike.