Returning from Daytona

While traveling home from Daytona yesterday, I sat next to a very nice man from Kentucky. Our conversation started after he noticed the look of horror on my face when the pilot explained we would be going through some heavy turbulence and should keep our seat belts fastened at all times until notified further. He also warned mothers with lap children to hold them tightly. Apparently the nice gentleman next to me noticed my worry and asked if I was scared of flying. I explained I was fine with flying but not with warnings of severe turbulence. He calmly looked at me and said, “Don’t worry. It will all be just fine.” We began do talk about why we were flying, our children and families, little league ball, lots of different things. But we had one conversation that really stayed with me. Paul said he was being flown home by his employer. Paul is a truck driver for a large construction company and takes trucks down to a construction site in Orlando and if a truck is there to be returned, he drives it back; if there are no trucks to return, he flies home. He said he’d prefer to take a truck back but flying was ok. He casually added, “Flying is just harder cause the food and drinks are so expensive in the airports and all, I just wait till I get back home to eat.” And it occurred to me how so many of us can just walk up to the Starbucks counter in the airport and grab our “Venti Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte” without any thought of how much it costs. Boy, does that make me feel kinda horrible. I have money to blow on stuff like that and Paul has to wait until he gets home to EAT because it’s too expensive. I also think about this kind of thing when I’m grocery shopping and I am putting things in my basket and looking at stuff I don’t really need and I pass a woman with a calculator who is adding every item she places in her basket to make sure she has enough money to check out. I was THERE once; I lived that but the difference is I was single. I didn’t have an infant in my cart like she does. I think we all need to be humbled once in a while. We need a reminder that people are struggling…maybe financially, maybe with some family turmoil, maybe with inner demons or an illness, depression…who knows. But I enjoyed meeting Paul and wished him well as we each walked in different directions to our connecting flights.