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Posted 3/31/15 (Tue)


About a month ago, Shirley and I took a well-deserved vacation. Well, Shirley took a well-deserved vacation. I just took a vacation. We flew to Ft. Myers, Fla., rented a car, and spent a few days driving around Southwest Florida where we have friends living.
Now, according to our friends, the only people that buy retirement homes in Arizona are those that have never been to Florida! I don’t want to start a fight here. I’m just repeating what my Floridian friend told me. He said the basic difference between Florida and Arizona, was “Florida had more water and a better class of people.” Which, I thought to myself, is basically the difference between heaven and hell.
Back to our vacation.
As our flight began to descend into Florida, the pilot warned, “We are about to encounter some turbulence.” He might not have been a genius, but he was dang sure right on this deal.
Over my 65 plus years, I have flown quite a few times. And I have occasionally been on a plane that “encounters some turbulence.” Big deal.
Well, this time it really was. This was a big old plane. With a couple seats on each side and three wide down the middle. I suppose there were a couple hundred people on it. I was in the middle seat. Because that way, I can make two normal size people uncomfortable! I think the airline does it on purpose.
Anyway, I have very nice ladies on either side of me. Shirley was in a different section of the plane. She is nice too (she made me say that). And this plane starts jumping up and down like a three-year-old bronc in the bucking chute for the first time. I mean it is pitching and rearing and teetering and tottering. People are moaning and groaning and an occasional scream. I’m thinking this is the real deal.
Well, being a cowboy and all, I don’t want to upset these nice ladies next to me. Especially the one that is puking in that little sack. So, I act nonchalant and continue filling in the blanks in the crossword puzzle. I don’t know any of the answers, but it impresses people if you can fill in those blanks real fast. And with the plane going through this turbulence they can’t see that I know nothing.
All at once, there is a tremendous bang. I mean like BANG! And a flash of light! The ladies scream. Being a cowboy, I just kind of shrug and mention, “When they lower the landing gear, it usually bangs like that”.  But I did put down my pencil and kind of snuggle up to these lovely ladies to comfort them. They had really nice perfume!
I suppose you guessed it by now, but we made it through the turbulence. A young man sitting by the window took a picture of the wing. Lightning had struck one of those little pointed things that control the flaps! And turned that baby charcoal black! I had him send me the picture, so I can show it to you next time you fly!
And if you think that was dangerous, you should have seen Shirley’s eyes when, as the plane emptied out, she saw me still holding and comforting these lovely ladies. Even after everyone else had left the plane!