2007.11.28 Need a lift? Fly Spirit

Written by David Green.

need a lift? fly spirit

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Maddie finally bought a new hair dryer...a sleek, pretty pink one...and gave me her old one, the one she took to college that left me hair dryer-less for three months. I’ve happily shot the hair dryer in the direction of my hair several times since its return home, but I’ve never appreciated it more than I did last night.

We returned home from Miami, where the outdoor thermometer in Ben’s car registered 85 degrees, to a house so cold the temperature didn’t register at all on our thermostat. Upstairs in our bedroom where David always leaves the window open, his fancy-dancy time/temperature clock that beams the time onto the ceiling, recorded 41.7 degrees.

I piled on more clothing and tried to keep moving, but I was practically shaking and the tips of my toes felt like ice. I gave up trying to read the book I had hoped to finish on the plane and decided to change into pajamas and go to bed.

As I was brushing my chattering teeth, I eyed the hair dryer left out on the bathroom counter in our mad dash to leave the house Wednesday morning with brined turkey, nuts, chocolate covered cherries, Zingerman’s brownies and bread and a suitcase full of other goodies in tow. I finished brushing and quickly acted on the “aha!” moment I’d just had: I could use the hair dryer to create heat!

I draped my pajama shirt over the counter, turned the hair dryer on high, directed the nozzle at my shirt as if I were spray painting it, and began warming up my pajama shirt.

It was purely wonderful. In no time the shirt was warm. I even blew the hot air inside the arm holes, heating up the inside of the shirt. When I put it on it was the first bit of warmth I’d felt since Miami. I moved on to my socks and shot hot air from the tops to the toes, inflating them like little sausages, and then warmed my feet with blasts of hot air.

It’s quite an adjustment to be back in Morenci after being in sunny warm southern Florida. The temperature difference is so hard to get acclimated to, especially inside my house.

But even worse than coming home to a cold house is coming home to an empty house. After spending four and a half days with all our children, to come home without them leaves me with another kind of coldness.

It warmed my heart to see them all together. If only it could warm my feet.

They’ll start arriving home for Christmas in just a few weeks, but I need to take my mind off of missing them by thinking of cheerful things, like our plane ride back home.

On the flight to Detroit, the flight attendant was unexpectedly funny as she read the safety instructions. She had one-liner after one-liner as she delivered the information, starting with her request: Pretend you’re interested in what I’m saying.

She actually received an ovation when wrapped up her safety speech. Someone yelled out, “Thanks for putting the spirit back in Spirit.”

I wish I had been taking notes while she gave the spiel, but I’m relying on memory. She told us to return our seats to the “uncomfortable position,” and said if we needed to use our oxygen masks, “after you stop screaming” put yours on first before putting on a child’s.

In case our flight became a “Spirit cruise” our life jackets were under our seats and we could kick paddle to shore. And if we made it, we would be served Mai Tais with little umbrellas. I was surprised when she talked about a smoking section until she said it was on the wing and “if you can light it, you can smoke it.”

When the plane landed she warned us to be careful when opening the overhead bins because things move around in flight. And, as we all know, she said, “shift happens.”

That’s a reassuring thought—shift happens. I think I’ll keep that in mind as I continually try to adjust to life without any kids at home. Pretty soon, maybe, I’ll have a shift in attitude and not be sad that they are gone.

Or, I’ll just fly Spirit to wherever they are.

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