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 The Thrill is Gone
Again this summer we flew two grandchildren to Spokane so we could take them on a camping trip to Glacier National Park. It was a great trip. I just took Robyn and Jonn to the airport and while waiting for them to take off (I did have a special pass to go to the gate with them since they were minors traveling alone) my thoughts went back in time.

I can remember the first time I flew. It was fall of 1955 when I was returning home to Michigan after basic training (Air Force) in San Antonio, Texas. Wow!!! That was exciting. There was something about sitting on the runway ready to take off while the pilot would rev up the engines until the plane was shuddering; I thought it was going to explode as the roar of the engines got louder and louder. When it seemed that the plane couldn't take it any longer, the brake was released and the plane went racing to the end of the runway then up up and away. Off we go into the wild blue yonder (the Air Force song) played in my head.  At the time that first flight was the biggest thrill of my life.

I flew quite a bit after that and it was still exciting. Of  course those were the days of propeller planes (I loved the take off part) and good food and everyone was excited to be going somewhere. Young girls dreamed of being a stewardess. Oh the romance of it all. 

Years later when I was raising my family and finances were tight, we didn't fly; we seldom even took a vacation. Every time I went to the airport to pick someone up, I felt a terrible longing to get in a plane and go somewhere. Flying was so exciting. People used to even get dressed up to travel in a plane. For a day or two after the trip to the airport I would be moody; I felt like I was missing something in my life.

In the 70's I flew some, but already it was losing its luster. Taking off in a jet wasn't exciting and airports got bigger and more complicated. It was just something we had to do to get somewhere. 

When we started full-timing in 1989, we took along some suitcases in case we had to fly anywhere. Our first flights after going on the road were two trips to England with our bicycles. Although the trip was exciting, we noticed that things were changing in association with flying. The planes were getting more crowded, the food was marginal, the airports were crowded and getting to the airports was often a pain. Flying was losing its charm.

We had to fly back to Michigan this past February for a funeral and because of 9-11 flying was a royal pain. We were searched so many times that I lost count. It has to be done. My how times have changed.

Sitting in the airport on Thursday and going through my flying history I realized that now flying is just the means to get somewhere, a necessary evil; not something to yearn for. I was really glad that I didn't have to fly anywhere and when I got back in the motorhome, I felt truly lucky that we have such a beautiful home to travel in. It sure beats flying. 


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