I had a family member whose favorite expression was, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.” He always talked about his bad luck. I’m not like that. If I dropped to my knees everytime I thought something bad was going to happen, but it didn’t, I would be on the floor most of the time.
Take the time I flew from Casper, WY to Billings, MT. My company decided to send me to take care of our little real estate loan office in Billings. I would be there for three days while the staff went to a training meeting in the home office. I will begin the story at the Casper, airport.
I already had my ticket, so I went to the counter to get my boarding pass. The name of the airline was Big Sky. I asked the lady helping me if I could please have an aisle seat. She leaned over the counter and said, “Honey, they’re all aisle seats. I thought she was kidding. I didn’t know how small the airplane was until I walked out on the tarmac. When I saw it, I turned around to leave and ran straight into Kip, who had decided he’d better see me off.
I got on the plane and sat directly behind the pilot and co-pilot. There was no barrier between us. A man boarded and sat behind me. Another man sat behind him, and a woman sat on the other side. Without getting up from his seat, the pilot asked the second man on my side to move across the aisle, so the airplane would be more balanced.
I wanted to ask everyone how much they weighed, but I held off. As we took off, the man behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, “They call this airline, Big Scare.” I started to feel light-headed and then we took off. Just as the pilots were trying to get high enough to get over the Big Horns, It started to rain. The extremely capable pilots turned the windshield wipers on.
“Looky here!” The co-pilot said. “My wipers only work half the time. I sure hope you can see okay.”
“Yeah, I can see okay…as long as it doesn’t rain too hard.”
I was not believing this, but what was I going to do? Bail out over the mountains! Everyone on that airplane was letting all the air out of their lungs in hopes it would help us climb higher.”
We finally made it to Billings and for the next three days, I worried about flying back. Little did I know…..
There was one other person sitting there and no pilots. Finally, here came the same two who had flown me to Billings. “Sorry we’re late,” the pilot said. “We had to fill out some paperwork.”
I was grateful when in no time at all, we began our descent. Once we landed, I looked around at surroundings I had never seen before. Someone came running out onto the tarmac as the pilot struggled to open his window.
“What are you doing here?” The guy asked. “You aren’t supposed to land in Sheridan. It’s a straight flight to Casper.
“Oh,” said the pilot. “Do you have any paperwork for us to sign?” When the airport guy shook his head, the pilot turned around and asked his two passengers if we wanted to go inside and use the bathroom. We both declined.
(Our house in Casper)
The next day, when I got to work, the first thing I did was ask my boss if she knew anything about Big Sky Airlines. She looked at me rather sheepishly.
“A little,” she confessed. “A friend of mine was on the plane and they forgot to put her bag in the baggage compartment, It got caught in the propeller or they ran over it or something, and she saw her clothes, most of them new, flying all over the tarmac. Those pilots got an earful,”
“Must be why the pilots have so much paperwork,” I said to her as I talked myself into forgiving her. Later it began to set in. “I must be the luckiest girl in the world,” I thought.
It was definitely a kneel down on the floor moment and I was grateful there was a floor beneath my feet.