A Navy nanna

Published 3:33 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I awoke early filled with excitement. Tomorrow was my grandson’s graduation from Navy Boot Camp, and I could hardly wait to see him! We made a quick trip to the airport for our first flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, where we would catch our plane to Chicago.

As we boarded the plane I felt pretty confident. With a total of one international and two domestic flights under my belt, I was feeling good.

This flying thing is a piece of cake. I’ve got this, I thought.

I sat calmly waiting for our group number to be called to board thinking that Mike looked a little anxious.

We were last to board and found our seats all the way at the rear of the plane. I was somewhat dismayed when the pilot taxied down the runway for our flight. The engine’s roar made me wish I had thought to bring earplugs.

No worries, I thought. I’m glad I downloaded some music and brought my earbuds so I can drown out most of the noise.

I was enjoying my music when I heard something over the loudspeaker.

“Mike, I didn’t hear that. Anything important?”

“The pilot said to relax and enjoy the flight, but keep your seatbelt on because we may experience some turbulence ahead.”

With that bit of news I opened the window and turned my attention to the sky. All I saw were a few puffy clouds so I went back to my music.

Soon, I gave it up because the plane sounded like the engine may have needed a tuneup and began to vibrate profusely as the engine roared louder and louder. I imagined bolts and nuts wiggling their way loose with all the shaking going on! I kept my earbuds in, but they did little to soften the noise.

Our seats were ,of course, next to the bathroom, with a steady stream of folks opening and closing the door. Someone was often standing in the aisle next to us waiting for the facilities making our seats seem even tighter!

I wondered if I was imagining the slight whiff of some unpleasant odor each time the swinging bathroom door opened. But I soon realized it was not my imagination.

We finally descended a bit, and the roar softened to a steady hum. When the pilot announced 25 minutes until landing I was more than ready!

We landed in Charlotte and hurried through the airport for our connecting flight only to board and wait in the very hot plane for ninety minutes.

When we finally arrived in Chicago it was almost time for the office to close where we had to pick up our graduation tickets. But we hurried to pick up our rental car and make a valiant effort.

We were indeed too late, and had to wake up at 4:30 the next morning to get in line for tickets. We were in line waiting for the doors to open at 5, with others who had been delayed.

I had bags under my eyes from tears of frustration and lack of sleep. The tears were soon flowing again, but these were tears of pride and joy. I made it to see my sailor graduate!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.