I’m a good flyer. Considering the fact that I have some serious issues with flying. Like having to sit in a narrow seat with people’s shoulders and elbows touching mine. And sitting in a seat where the seat in front of you rests in your lap. And sitting in a hard uncomfortable seat restrained by a seat belt for hours at a time when one is absolutely desperate to use the lovely airplane lavatory. And those are usually my only real issues–my tendency to panic when I feel trapped, as well as my tendency to panic when I think I can’t use the bathroom every three minutes.

But the fear of being trapped (much less with a full bladder) pales compared to the flying I’ve done this past week.

This past week I took kids to Orlando and then less than eight hours after returning from Orlando was enroute to airport for a business trip to Calgary. Both flights were on my favorite airline, Alaska Airlines, because they so thoughtfully made me a Gold MVP and just calling myself a Gold MVP makes me feel fabulous and successful. The only problem with being a Gold MVP is that you get so spoiled by the perks that you become terrified of losing that elite status, thus the spur of the moment trip to Orlando.

I needed the miles.

The end of the year is approaching and I’m short some miles to reclaim my Gold MVP status and so I hauled Ty from Hawaii and the kids from their Bellevue beds and flung us all on a long trip so I could be assured of yet another year of airline perks and pleasures.

Only the flights this past week were far from pleasurable. Why? It’s that time of year when Weather rears its head and plays all kinds of tricks on planes, pilots, and passengers.

During the 6+ hours of flying from Orlando back to Bellevue Sunday night we spent a good 5 of those hours under lock down due to the ‘bumpy air’. The ‘bumpy air’ was so bumpy it knocked my son’s 1/4 inch of soda out of his cup and onto my tray table. The ‘bumpy air’ bumped my seatbelt tighter and tighter lest we hit a big bump and go flying inside the plane.

But once back on firm ground, the bumps were forgotten. Until my flight the next morning. Getting to Calgary wasn’t bad. Getting home from Calgary had me praying and saying things to God and the universe like, ‘I’m so grateful for the life I’ve been given.’ ‘I am grateful for my good health and my wonderful family and all the beautiful things that exist.’

The take off from Calgary to come home last night was already two hours late. The fact that we had the rockiest take off in my personal history didn’t help. I’m not a screamer but I did kind of yelp when the wings tipped wildly right, and then even more wildly left all while we were still trying to take off. Sure, we were off the ground, but not so far that a little tumble wouldn’t have sent us crashing back down.

The man next to me smiled when I yelped. ‘Don’t fly much?’ he asked.

No. I fly plenty. In fact, I’m flying right now just to make sure I can keep my Gold MVP status next year.

Even if I die trying.

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