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growing obsession

June 26, 2006

Yesterday as I was leaving the parking lot at work, I saw something that, had it been possible would have stopped me in my tracks (except I was driving). I was coming around a curve that would leave me running parallel to the airport and as I did I saw my personal favorite airplane taking off. It’s the Korean Air 747. This airplane is beautiful. It’s light blue and one of the biggest airplanes I’ve ever seen. I don’t even know if I can describe the way it looked and felt. As I came around the curve there was an embankment in front of me and just at that time the plane was coming off the runway and became visible over the edge of the embankment. It felt like it was right on top of me and the sound was defeaning. But it was an exciting sound. A powerful sound. How else could something that huge ever get off the ground? It went directly over the roof of my car and I lost sight of it. I wanted to stop and watch it but had to keep driving and the next I saw it, it was fully in the air and well on its way.

I couldn’t believe how it made me feel. I’ve known for a while I was becoming an airplane nerd. I’ve learned to recognize most of Delta’s airplanes (mainline and connections) and some of the other more distinctive ones, but this was something else. My stomach felt funny and I felt like I was getting goosebumps (over an airplane!!! Yes, it scares me as well).

I’ve always thought airplanes, while in the sky are so beautiful. They are graceful and fly hundreds of miles an hour, leaving lovely little trails after them. But when I started working at the airport and was closer to the airplanes it kind of made me laugh. Airplanes on the ground are like beached whales. A whale, while in the water, is one of the most graceful things. To see them swimming, turning and flipping through the water it’s hard to remember that they are 100 tons of blubber. They seem so at ease and in control. In my eyes, an airplane on the ground is a whale with tiny little feet. You see why it makes me laugh? Once they’re in the air and the wheels are up, they are in their element – graceful and beautiful again. When I’m working it never ceases to amaze me when I feel the exact moment that the 25-35 tons of metal I’m sitting in lifts off the ground and becomes airborne.

I texted one of my Kentucky boys with the confession that I was more of an airplane nerd than I ever imagined. His reply was “welcome to the club, now you need to start taking lessons.” He isn’t the first person to tell me that either. Hmmm… Maybe one of these days when I’m a big baller .

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