We got to the airport at about 9:30 a.m. My brother drove us. We unloaded our luggage to the curb under overcast skies and trundled it all into the building. We hugged goodbye. We were leaving on a jet plane, gone for two weeks to points east.
Then…the waiting. Our flight got delayed, then delayed again. What had been 11:15 became 12:30, then 12:59. Oh, and then 1:09. Because the exact minute makes a difference.
We wandered SeaTac and ate an early lunch at a pizza joint. The kids played on electronics. Ruby huffed a bit, whining about her own lack of patience. Not an auspicious start to our vacation. I people watched. I always like to see what people wear on airplane flights. Mercifully, no pajama pants. I saw maxi skirts and lots of active wear – capri-length spandex and running shoes. Which always makes me wonder if there’s a secret gym at SeaTac.
We waited. Then, around 12:45, boarding started.
“Premium members, Diamond Medallion and First Class can board now,” the flight attendant intoned.
God forbid Diamond Pendant folks should try to board.
Then, Zone 1. Finally, our Zone 2 area got on the plane. We walked behind two young men, one of them with a guitar on his back. The flight attendant asked them to stand aside as we passed, probably because the guitar would need to be shoe-horned in later. Our seats were way in the back in row 45. No worries. I don’t mind being next to the bathroom. I hate climbing over people. I sat down in my aisle seat, Jonathon and the kids in the row across from me.
“This is a full flight. Please put your butts in your seats so we can get out of here on time, slackers!”
Okay, maybe I paraphrased that announcement a bit.
The two young men who had been in front of us, one Latino and one black, filed into my row. We greeted each other and sat down.
I considered getting headphones but realized how exhausted I was. I dozed off and on through the trip. I could see everyone else’s built-in screens, lit up and right on the seat in front of them. One man in the row ahead of me watched a Kevin Hart movie, full of explosions and probably yelling. An older lady up 3 rows watched “Hello My Name is Doris” with Sally Fields. I know because we saw it the other night. Great flick.
“All the Disney movies on here. My kids would love it,” the Latino man on my right said. He wore a trimmed goatee and black-rimmed glasses.
“Oh, how old are your kids?” I asked.
“I have a seven-year-old, a one-and-a-half year old, and a four-day-old baby.”
“What?!” I said, laughing. “What are you doing here?”
“Well,” he chuckled, “I’m making a living. I’m a musician. We missed the 1:00 sound check. We’re going to hit the ground, drive there, plug in and play.”
“I get it, “I said. “My husband and I are musicians, too. Are you the main act or the opening act?”
He looked at me.
“We’re the band for Danny Gokey, you know, from American Idol? This is a one-off concert. We’re based out of Nashville.”
What?! Singer of “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again?”
We chatted about church music for a moment. I told him we were heavily involved in our church’s worship. Funny, they had seemed so courteous and friendly. I had an inkling they might have been Christians. That connection, that Holy Spirit undercurrent, ran through our minor interactions.
What’s even funnier is that we purchased all new tickets to Minneapolis only last week. Jonathon accidentally bought them for July 30, not June 30. So this chance encounter never would have happened were it not for that mistake. Jehovah Sneaky strikes again, making lemonade out of lemons.
We landed and let the guys get out first.
“Break a leg!” I said.
“Thanks!” they smiled and hustled off the aircraft.