Disclaimer:  I like to tell stories out of order.

This summer, I have spent more time in my crawl space than any other summer before.

I asked my mom if she had ever seen this obscene amount of severe weather before, because older generations like to relive stuff and tell old people stories.  She said no.

The day before we left for Utah, we had an earthquake.

Then a tornado.

All in one day.

And while my heart was all, ummm…this seems apocalyptic.  Maybe we nix this whole flying thing.

My brain was like, Whhhaaatttt?  Nothing ominous going on here, let’s all get on an airplane!

So, we did.

And, barring some flat ginger ale and the sudden need for feminine napkin (could cabin pressure be anymore predictable!?), we landed safely in Salt Lake City.

(See what I just did up there? I was doing my Chandler Bing impression.  Chandler was a character on the show friends, which also starred Courtney Cox, who was in the original Ace Ventura with Jim Carey, who was married to Lauren Holly, who starred in a horrible, horrible airplane movie called Turbulence.   Full circle, folks.  Full circle. )

Because we had such an uneventful arrival flight, and because I always book my departure fights so ungodly early that I don’t even actually go to bed the night before, and just arrive at the airport hungover and looking like Keith Richards, it never occurred to me to worry.

Besides, someone recently told me that if anything is going to go wrong, it will happen in the first sixty seconds of flight.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

I don’t remember that weird hum from previous flights…

13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

The flight attendants don’t seem worried about the hum.  So it must be fine, right?

28, 29

And they look young.  Like maybe they have plans tonight they need to be alive for.

36, 37, 38, 39, 40

Plus, they don’t put the young ones on flights that crash, I bet.  They must save those for the older flight attendants about to retire and get some sort of pension.  Like how the Eskimos put old people on ice floats.

49, 50, 51, 52

Yes, yes.  This is all basic math.  Makes total sense.

59, 60.

Alright, looks like we’re gonna be ok here.

Gigi slept, I watched a little Parks and Rec, the snack cart made it’s rounds, I got an extra bag of pretzels, life was good.

About 40 minutes outside of Detroit Metro, our plane fell about 20 feet.  From the sky.

I only know for sure it was 20 feet because I heard the flight attendant scream it over the phone to the front of the plane, and I like to think they know a lot about the sky and how much of it separates us from the ground.

Then, were started dropping some more and being tossed from side to side, and the captain came on and said something like, as evidence of the recent turbulence, there is tornadic weather moving through Detroit, and because the weather is worse on the ground, we are unable to land at this time, so we have to circle around in this turbulence for 40ish minutes or so, which should be fine, because we have enough fuel for almost an hour I think, so everyone buckle tight and we’ll see how we come out of this.

I don’t know, I’m paraphrasing because all I really heard was, earthquake, tornado, Lauren Holly, Jesus Christ, Brittany.  Way to be perceptive.  Now we’re all going to probably die.

Now, I don’t wanna point fingers, National Enquirer, but this has been the worse storm season my part of the country has ever seen, and the only thing that has changed around here is the rise in temperature.

And you know who controls that?

Al Gore.

When Gore’s not happy, nobody’s happy.

(My gmail crashed for 12 hours after he conceded the 2000 election.)

Even though it was two in the afternoon, the plane was dark.  All the lights had been shut off to conserve power, and the storm clouds hid the sun.

I was squeezing Gigi against my chest tightly, so that each time we fell, I wouldn’t lose hold of her.

Everyone around me was was either crying or praying.

Many of them were throwing up.

I looked at the flight attendants, and they looked scared.

Which is not how I like my flight attendants to look.

I kept telling Gigi I loved her, and I thought about my wedding day, and Jude’s first birthday and the day we brought Wyatt home, and I thought, oh my God…this is what they mean when they say your life is passing before your eyes.

I felt like I should pray or something, and I think I got halfway through the Our Father when it melted into Forrest Gump…

Dear God, make me a bird.  So I can fly far, far away from here.

Dear God, make me a bird.  So I can fly far, far away from here.

Half an hour or so later, the pilot told us we had to land.  Not that it was safe to, but that we had to.

So we did.

For every few feet the captain would lower us, the wind would drop us ten more.  When we finally hit the runway, nobody said anything.  Just silence.

We had to sit a while longer on the plane, because the lightening was so severe, but I couldn’t even really tell you how long that was, because I was too busy trying to pretend that

A.  None of that really happened, and my knees were probably shaking from early onset Parkinson’s.

B.  Our entire cabin didn’t really smell like fifty different kinds of vomit, OMG, how do the windows not open in this thing?!

By the time I got to baggage claim, I was sobbing.

I was all teary and hiccupy as I sat in the chairs along the wall with Gigi, while my mom watched for our bags.

The old man next to me offered me gum, which I took but only pretended to chew because there could have been roofies in it.

I called Andy to tell him I made it, and started sobbing again.

I was like, we, I can’t even, and everyone was scared, and the pilot was worried, and vomit.  So much vomit.  And he was all, can we order wings tonight? And, I was like, Andy, I almost, ugh, yes, fine order wings.

When I got home he hugged me for 5 minutes straight and let me get snot all over his shoulder.

Then, he handed me my very own container of blue cheese dressing.

He’s says it’s because he is sick of me double dipping, but I know it’s because he was secretly very worried and is so relieved I’m alive.

Boys are funny like that.

I’m probably never flying again.

Until four weeks from now.

In which case, I feel sorry for us all.

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