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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Journey...

"When we go with the flow of life, 
everything always turns out 
the way it is supposed to." 



Thursday July, 11th was my 32nd anniversary, and was one of the hardest days I have experienced in a long time. I awoke to a homemade card on my computer. I'm giving my hubby this one. 31 years I remember, and he forgets. This year he had me. But it had been a very long, non-stop, on the go few months.

This was also the day I took two of my grandkids, Miles and Ellis, to their new home in Bend. As it turned out, my husband had a tee-time of 9 am with the neighbor and I told him he was not to cancel. He deserved the break.

I said, "I can walk to the airport. How hard can it be?" Miles was excited for the walk. He had done the distance with us numerous times. What I did not realize was how heavy the load would become. Ten minutes into the walk I thought I can't do this. I immediately changed my thoughts to... of course I can. I can do anything for 40 minutes."

The kids were great. Miles and I talked the entire way. We had a visual on the airport and had just turned off the highway when Ellis, 19 months old, said, "Uh. Oh." I glanced over my shoulder to assess the problem. Binky missing! Miles and I spent five minutes looking for it, to no avail, before we pressed on.

We made it to flight ops, and I apologized to the couple crewmembers who were interrupted by the baby's tears. Both said, "no problem." Yes... it was officially nap time. We unloaded her out of the backpack, and I would carry her to the plane. I thought this would be easier than unpacking her in security.


Gate: North satellite. Ahhh...the farthest distance we could go from where we entered the airport. Miles was excited to take two escalators down to a train, and up another to the plane. Bags strapped to my body, baby in arms, Miles in hand, we pressed on. Oh wait... I forgot to mention the TSA experience. 

I beeped carrying the baby through the scanner because I had a hip replacement. I had to put her down and get her to go through the scanner by herself. There were a ton of people in line. Strangers watching, and she was apprehensive to let go of me. I got Miles to go with her and hold her hand, and I went back to the other side. Someone laughed, and she grinned to her audience. Which was much more fun than grandma. 


Not until I said, "Ellis, Miles, time to play run through the tunnel!" Did they come my way back through the scanner. Then I held her from side to side while they patted me down. I wish I could have got a picture of the TSA experience. But I wasn't allowed to touch my things.

Once at the gate, we waited 45 minutes to get on the plane. And when we did, something set Miles off. He cried. Then the baby cried. Then the baby decided she was going to have a meltdown. Note: Her temper tantrums are only second to her mothers when she was a baby. What can you do? She's willful, and was tired. But I have to thank the man behind who made faces at her, because the smile came back as the flirt came out.


The passengers were great. One of the flight attendants said, "Don't worry about your baby crying. She's a baby." How nice was that. As hard as it is for passengers to listen to a baby cry, it's much harder on the parents. (And grandparents.) Thank you Alaska/Horizon for employing compassionate people. 

As hard as the struggle this journey was, this was not the reason for the hardest day. It was the Wopschall family was moving to Oregon. Bend is a great place for their family, but it was still really sad that they will no longer be thirty minutes away.


With a short return through security, I missed my non-stop to Seattle and had to go through Portland. While I sat in the terminal, I wondered...  

Why am I supposed to go through Portland?

There had to be a reason. And as the day unfolded, I soon learned why.  Join me tomorrow to learn who I ended up sitting by on the flight to Seattle. What are the odds?

Nothing happens by accident, and I don't think this meeting was an accident either. I think a bit of fate had to be involved, because the ensuing discussion gave me an idea that will change our aviation world as we know it.

"Whenever your path gets altered from what you thought or expected it to be, know there is a reason. Embrace the journey and go with the flow... and be inspired."

Enjoy the journey
XO Karlene


18 comments:

  1. "I wish I could have got a picture of the TSA experience. But I wasn't allowed to touch my things." - No, but they are allowed to touch yours. I hate TSA.

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    1. Lol..yes me too! And yes, they touch all my things. It really was cute.

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  2. Look at it this way--Grandma is ALWAYS in demand, and you will get to spend lots of time getting to know Bend. I hear it's great. Can't wait to see who you sat next to on the plane to Seattle. Happy Anniversary btw!!

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    1. Thanks Linda, I am looking forward to Bend. And now I can spend some time with the three that live here too. The move for the previous month and their activities, has been super busy. This weekend... off to she Carter. Oh...and Bend is close to Heather!

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  3. Happy Anniversary, Karlene!!

    Wow.. what an adventure you had and I've also had times where I rather would've walked than taken another form of transportation. Suffice to say, you are a dedicated grandma. Nothing happens by accident. As I learned during my transit yesterday.

    From Grand Rapids, have a great week!

    -Jeremy

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    1. Thank you Jeremy! We had a happy anniversary... they are all happy to see the next come and be there together. Yes... I love to walk. It's an adventure!

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  4. An interesting day to be sure. But with that Cuteness Factor applied to everything (except TSA), who cares. I would have gladly marched behind you, full of smiles, just to see that wonderful parade. A Grand grandma for sure and you have every right to be proud. -C.

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    1. Lol.. we were a parade! How fun. Yes, we had many smiles along the way. It was pretty cute. Exhausting. But cute. Thanks for the nice comment. I'll be looking over my shoulder. :)

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  5. I have three guesses about who you did not sit next too.

    1. Jesus. Your still alive to write this post.
    2. John Wayne. He is too much of a man to let a wormy TSA agent touch his junk.
    3. Me. I am enjoying a few weeks at home. All is great!

    Can't wait to read who the lucky person is.

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    1. Lol... excellent deductions! I'm thinking if they let the ladies check the men, then there would be happier men going through security. You're right... none of the above. Enjoy your time off!

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  6. Karlene, you're such an awesome grandparent to those kids, you always make an adventure out of what you do with them.. that reminds me a lot of my own grandparents.

    Never loose that spirit of adventure, it's too fun to read about!,
    -Swayne

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    1. Swayne, you were so lucky to have wonderful grandparents. I don't have the experience with that... so I'm making it up as we go. And having a great time doing it. They're only little once.

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  7. Happy anniversary, Karlene! What a great adventure; and what a fantastic grandmother you are.

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    1. Thank you so much!!! Yes, we are full of adventures around here. And all good.

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  8. Wow Karlene! The things you do for your grandchildren :)

    I am sure your daughter and her family settle in, in Bend OR quickly! Oregon is a beautiful state.

    And Happy Anniversary to you and Dick. You two are an inspiration to many, when so many marriages end differently.

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    1. Thank you so much Cecilie! I really appreciate the comment. And yes, they will settle in soon. Lots to do down there. Fingers crossed their house sells quickly, too.

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  9. Thank God for mothers and grandmothers. Wooow you go. I do not know how you do it. Happy Anniversary and may you both enjoy many healthy, happy ones to come.

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    1. So true! What would we do without them! Thank you so much and we are counting on many, many more.

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