Circling Planes Won’t Hold Me Back

I’ve got a lot of memories of flying as a kid.  I loved to fly because it meant I was heading for the “big city” that had things like shopping malls, McDonalds, and Baskin Robbins.

Living in rural Alaska meant the only (practical) way in or out of my hometown was by plane.  There were no roads connecting it to other areas of the state, unless you count the nearby river that became an ice road in the winter connecting us to smaller villages.

So I’ve flown in a lot of planes.  I’ve been in the tiny ones with floats.  Only room for 4 or 5 passengers.  They used to land on the lake across from my grandmother’s house.  And I’ve flown in medium size planes as well as big jets.  I’ve been from west coast to east coast and all the way to Honduras once before I was 18.

Safe to say I’m pretty used to flying.  But it’s not always smooth.

My Dad was in a plane forced to crash land on the tundra.  Everyone was okay.

My husband was once in a freighter than lost cabin pressure and had to fly low to get to their destination with everyone alive and conscious.  That could have turned out very badly.

And the kids and I were on a jet a few years back that came in for a landing, and circled.  I’d flown enough times to know that at a small airport, where there’s only a couple of flights a day, if you hear an odd noise and then circle… well, that’s not great.  At the time my husband was on the ground waiting for our flight to arrive and knew that the landing gear in the plane wasn’t operating properly–they couldn’t get it down.  I can only imagine how worried he must have been.

Thanks to skillful pilots and some grace, everything turned out just fine in these could-have-been-bad situations.

You might think after those experiences I’d be afraid to fly.  Not every mid-air challenge turns out alright.  Though statistically it’s safer to fly than it is to drive.  Still… there’s risk and I’ve seen some of those risks first hand.  Here I am anyway.

Risk is part of life.  Weight the risk vs. reward.  But don’t let the chance of a risk stop you from going after what you want in life.

Image Credit: devon/StockFresh

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  1. Wow! Rural Alaska–how neat! I hope someday that you’ll post a blog with pictures of where you live! I’d love to see Alaska!

    To live does intake risk and if we don’t have some adventure in our lives, it would be boring!

    Nice blog!

    1. Hey Marian, I’ll have to snap a few more photos to share. I’ve got a few photos here:
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Who Can You Serve Better?My Profile

  2. Wow – rural Alaska! I have a good friend living in Yukon and if it wouldn’t be so cold I would move there – the stories he’s sharing with us are compelling :)

    Regarding the risks – no risk taking, no gain… can’t be safe all the time and eat your cake too :)
    What’s funny, though, is that we teach our kids to be safe… safe… safe… Don’t jump from there; don’t do this, it’s too dangerous; don’t do that, it’s not safe… Somehow the humanity prevails in them and they end up taking risks and learning about the rewards (in a somewhat safe manner :))
    Alicia recently posted… 3 steps – How to deal with (difficult) peopleMy Profile

    1. That’s so true. We have that ingrained in us from childhood. No wonder it’s tough to step out and take risks as adults!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Who Can You Serve Better?My Profile

  3. I’ve flown around Europe. I’ve been to Norway, Greece, Germany, the Canaries (more or less Africa) and to Scotland, but I’m not a regular flyer and the worst thing that has happened was a bouncy landing. I hate taking off and landing, but I’m okay when I’m in the air. I hate the pressure on my ears when landing. It’s quite painful.

    I’m glad you were able to share this post with us, Michelle. So, thank you for sharing it and the time it took you to produce it.

    Your friend across the pond

    David Verney recently posted… Jazzing Up Your Twitter ProfileMy Profile

    1. Ouch – ear pressure can be very painful.

      You’ve done a lot of traveling!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Just Pause.My Profile

  4. If you think about it there is a amount of ricks involved in everything. Every time you get out of your house some risk is involved, so I don’t really understand the fear of flying even though I’ve flown only once, to Spain and found the experience normal. Kinnda cool to travel all that ground so fast…

    1. Yep, risk is all around us. Just a matter of which ones we’re willing to take.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Are These Secret Fears Stopping You From Blogging?My Profile

  5. So much to learn from this blog post! I guess whenever you face some kind of risk, think of it as the only way of getting out, such as “you need to take a plane to travel from rural Alaska, there’s really no other way”.
    eosgrafx recently posted… 10 funny quotes about familyMy Profile

    1. For many areas, it’s really the only option. Makes it easier to get used to that risk. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Don’t Build a Website Without ThisMy Profile

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