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Archived Story

Write Again … Sleepless beyond Seattle

Published 2:40pm Monday, February 3, 2014

We were to leave Sea-Tac — the airport in Seattle — around 11 p.m. Pacific time. We had been up all day long, of course, so yours truly was very tired when we boarded.  Very.

“We” were Linda and I. We had just completed several days of a wonderful experience at the University of Washington, where the national Junior Olympics track and field championships were held. She won the long jump in her age group. Linda was a 15-year-old sprint and long-jump phenom. That’s no hyperbole, believe me.

Just as we boarded and were settled in our seats, I saw a tall, blonde, very attractive lady making her way down the aisle, looking for her seat number.

There was an open seat next to me, and bingo! It was hers.

Shortly after take off, she suddenly sat straight up, leaned almost over me, with a look of concern as she peered out of the window. Our seats were adjacent to a wing.

Trying to seem only mildly interested, I asked her what she was listening to — for. She said something like, “That engine sounds  … ” Before she could explain, I asked her “What does that mean?” No pretense at being unconcerned.

She looked at me, saw what must have been a very troubled look on my face and chuckled.

“Oh,” she said. “It’s nothing. Really. The pitch sounded a bit different, but everything’s fine. I’m a flight attendant and was just curious. It’s nothing. We’re fine.”

She then settled in, after turning off her light, and slipped away into sleep. Linda was already asleep on the other side of me.

I saw the sun rise as we flew across the entire US of A. Not one wink of sleep did I get. But, hey, somebody had to keep an ear tuned to and an eye opened on that engine.

Note: The costs of the entire trip — airfare, lodging, meals and miscellaneous — were taken care of by the county in which we lived. I can’t imagine that being done in some places.

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