Stuffed animals, reading The Babysitter's Club books, my parent's music such as The Moody Blues and ABBA, strange landmarks, rest stops. These are the things that comprised family vacations as I was growing up. Road trips. We never flew anywhere. My dad believed in saving money and getting there the old fashioned way. Not too bad if your grandparents live in Arizona. Unfortunately for Emily and me, our grandparents lived in Michigan and Montana. Try five days straight in the car. Torture. (Although now I actually miss those trips.)
It wasn't until I was 10 years old that we took a plane for the first time (not counting the one time when I was a baby). Okay, maybe 10 sounds young to some of you, but I felt really old at the time, and most of my friends had flown in an airplane dozens of times.
I still remember that first lift-off. Strange that a girl, normally extremely shy and timid and afraid of heights, would love the experience so much! I don't remember feeling any fear. There was a light layer of clouds and we sailed through them as the sun shone bright. The rush of the engines and the sudden weightlessness was thrilling! I still love flying to this day.
It's easy to romanticize flying...to forget about the screaming babies and talkative old men, the airplane food and the limited leg room. I like to look back at pictures from the fifties. The glamour of it all. The fun stewardess outfits, the flight wings pins they used to hand out, the excitement of traveling to exotic destinations.
It's really a humbling experience as well. Nothing else makes me feel as small. As you fly farther and farther away from the earth, the cars and people go from looking like matchboxes and ants, to nothing. You can't see anything. And it's a good reminder that the world definitely DOES NOT center around me. Funny and sad how often I think that it does. God is big. He's holding our planet in His mighty hands. All of the oceans are like a small puddle in His palm and He can weigh the mountains like dust on the scales. That's the main reason why I love flying, the reminder it is to me of our amazing Creator!