Saturday, June 16, 2007


I wrote this as a writing exercise. Given the topic of "flying" and limiting myself to 15 minutes...

My father instilled in me a great sense of respect--er, fear--of certain things. Some of which might seem irrational to some people, such as fear of electrocution if I showered while it was thundering outside. I literally used to stand at the back of the tub to lather up. Then I would move forward and rinse off as quickly as possible, thus minimizing my time beneath the water flow as well as, I believed, my risk of being electrocuted.

There was a healthy fear of tornadoes learned as well. If a tornado warning was issued for our county--or even if there was only a tornado watch that Dad thought should be a warning, and was sure the National Weather Service had somehow overlooked the F5 bearing down on our town--we would have to leave the house, get in the car, and ride around until the threat had passed.

To this day, I've never understood how being in a three thousand pound car was safer than being inside a three bedroom, brick home. But, father knows best.

I was also instilled with a healthy fear of flying, or so I thought. Dad would not and will not get on a plane. He almost died nine years ago and his last words to Mom before ER workers temporarily paralyzed him were, "Don't let them put me in a helicopter."

They didn't. They transported him in an ambulance. And when I first got in to see him he had a tube down his throat and couldn't talk, but he kept making a circular motion with his finger. We finally got him a pen and pad and he scribbled, "helicopter?"

So it's probably no wonder that when I planned my first flight nearly two years ago, I was more than a bit anxious. But why? Because I had always been conditioned to be?

Turns out most of my anxiety had to do with figuring out where to park, where to take my luggage, how to fill out the luggage tag and attach it to my suitcase, finding my gate, and other airport-y things.

Once I was seated in 16-C and the plane began to taxi towards takeoff, I felt a strange peace come over me. It was as if the planets had aligned. Nerves had completely settled. Worries had disappeared.

And at that moment I knew, that for the rest of my life I would be able to shower fearlessly, even when it was thundering outside.

"Give me a ticket for an aeroplane. Ain't got time to take a fast train. Lonely days are gone. I'm-a goin' home. My baby just wrote me a letter..."


  1. You wrote this post (with all spelling errors fixed & so on) in 15 minutes and it turned out fun to read, yes sir bone you are quite the writer :)

  2. Oh dear heavens, I am unsure where to begin . . .

    This post explains SO much. Poor Bone, your dad warped you! Is he also where you get your germophobia and 80's music addictions?

    To this day, I've never understood how being in a three thousand pound car was safer than being inside a three bedroom, brick home. But, father knows best.

    Considering your father's fear of flight, you would think he would prefer to be fully ensconsed in something EMBEDDED in the ground . . ya know, like a house. :)

    And at that moment I knew, that for the rest of my life I would be able to shower fearlessly, even when it was thundering outside.

    You always have the best closing lines. Care to teach me how to wrap up a post with such ease and flair?

  3. Of course you're allowed!!! :)

  4. enjoyed the post! great idea on the post topic too. hey, there are certain areas of the country where having a fear of tornadoes is healthy! where we are the weather isn't too terrible, and usually splits...landing RIGHT where we are moving to. during peak season,when we were in NW AL, there wasn't a weekend w/o a tornado warning. it made dan satterfield's day when he could issue his own warnings. LOL

  5. And at that moment I knew, that for the rest of my life I would be able to shower fearlessly, even when it was thundering outside.
    That's wonderful.

    And yes the post explains so much

  6. I think it's amazing how much our parents mess up our heads. I try to be aware of my messing up DD. I've had to do some damage control once there was a really bad thunderstorm and I mentioned that it was the kind that made tornadoes. DD got all worried and the next time one came like that she got worried again. So I had to show her how to tell the difference and how she would be safe in our house.

    It's hard to remember sometimes that they take everything so seriously.

  7. GirlFPS: Well, there were a couple of edits before I posted. I'd never intentionally post an entry which included a misspelled word :)


    Avery Laine: Germophobia, possibly. 80's music? No, I have no idea where that comes from, except being born in 1973.

    I was just lucky that near the fifteen minute mark, I was able to wrap it up with something.

    Kontan: Yeah, a healthy awareness is necessary around here. But that was a bit . Hmm, perhaps I have some Satterfield ancestors :)

    Pia: OK, the "this explains to much, Bone" comments are starting to concern me a little. I'm afraid to ask :)

    Renee: It really is amazing. Things adults say without even thinking, a child might remember for the rest of his/her life.

  8. Ummm, as a fellow 80's music fanatic, I wanna know what's wrong with that...? (This is really posed to Avery I guess.)

    It's amazing the things our parents and other relatives can instill in us, without us really realizing it. To this day, my parents and brother blame my one Uncle for the fact that I won't eat mushrooms. I can tell them I don't like the taste OR the texture until I'm blue in the face, and they still say I ate them and loved them until he told me they were "yucky" when I was like 4. 8-) Regardless of the trigger, I'd think by now they'd know I don't pick 'em out of anything and everything 'cuz I think it's fun!

    This was a good read: most of us could only hope to be able to write something even CLOSE to this in 15 minutes.

  9. I think it would take me closer to 15 hours to document the legacy my mother left me... Good job, as usual, Bone.

    You commented over at my blog about writers' groups.

    There's nothing to feel intimidated about at all... Writer's groups are meant to be supportive and to help each other learn--a mutual support group.

    From your writing, I think you'd fit right in with mine. We have openings. If you'd like to check it out, just let me know, and I'll give you the information you need. (I think Dave would probably love having another guy around the place, though the rest of us are an eclectic group of gals.)

  10. I used to not fear flying. Then, when I was pregnant with Zed, I had to fly a couple of times. And I was sick the entire time. Ever since then, I've had frayed nerves. I totally psych myself out, I know. But I'm damn good at it.

  11. Love it! I have a fear of flying--but not due to conditioning by anybody else. Wonderful to read Bone...keep it up!

  12. Traveling Chica: It's funny how certain things stick and we remember them forever, and others don't.

    Nothing is wrong with it. A germophobic 80's music lover leads a very happy, healthy life :)

    Gay: Thanks for the information. I might take you up on that.

    Lass: Oh, it's very easy to psych yourself out about things. I used to do that with relationships. Ha! Used to O:)

    Jen: Why, thanks. I plan to :)

  13. interesting stories about your dad, and in 15 minutes, wow!

  14. I wish I felt that sense of calm come over me when I flew for the first time a few months ago. My anxiety stayed with me until we landed. So... yay Bone... you rock. :)

    Happy Father's Day to your daddy. He sounds like a special one.

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  16. I don't think an 80's music addiction is a negative; quite the opposite.

    I'm an 80's music fanatic and am in love with a guy who has the same problem. :) It's one of the many things we connected on.

    Sorry to Bone and to Chica if you guys thought I was saying it was a bad thing!

    And, Sir Bone, what does being born in 73 have to do with it?? :) I was born . . ummm . . quite a few years after that and I LOVE everything from Adam Ant to Wham!

  17. Great post for only 15 minutes!

    I'm lucky that I was flying from before I can remember. I've never had a fear but I had a roommate in college who was terrified of flying. I realized how much our upbringings influence our actions or fears.

    btw: I didn't post on your entry last week about lost love but it was incredible. Very well written post!

  18. that was great for a 15 minute piece especially! I think sometimes, if the mood is right... it can be magic... ohhhhhh and also we can be inspired to write! *wink

    Hope youre having a great day!

  19. Sage: Thanks. I guess Father's Day weekend had me in a dad mood.

    Blondie: Why, thank you. Sorry about your anxiety when flying. *HUGS* Word to your daddy as well :)

    Avery: So you're in love with Kid Kelly, huh? I completely understand.

    Charlottalove: Yeah, I guess that 'influence' wound up being the gist of this post.

    Thank you. And thanks for visiting.

    Kate: Thanks. I think I'm going to start trying the 15 minute thing once a week. I can't promise all of them will make it to the blog though :)

    Hope you are having a wonderful day as well ;-)

  20. Oops. I am more like your father about things, but luckily my husband's more sensible self influenced our son as well. I don't like flying, but I love looking out the window. Last time I flew, the last 30 minutes, I felt like I was going to flip out, though. I was trying to talk myself out of it, but I was losing the battle, the urge to scream and lose myself in it was so strong, if we hadn't landed when we did. . . I may have been on the news in a way I didn't want.

    I am glad you felt freedom. Love reading your words.

  21. Flying is stressful, no doubt about it, until you're in the air. At that point, there's nothing much you can do to control the situation.

    Control. It's all about our lack of it.