Hands up if you think being married to a pilot is glamorous.
Did you raise yours? In that case I know you aren’t married to one.
Most people think this is what we do all the time:
Yip, that’s me, in the Maldives. Over twenty years ago, and before kids, but it’s me. We went. It rained nearly all the time, but it was beautiful, and I’m thankful we went.
He didn’t fly the plane that took us there. At that time, he flew helicopters, taking workers to North Sea Oil Rigs. I’ve never been on a passenger flight when he’s been in the cockpit. Once though, my daughters and I were at the airport looking out the window as we waited to board a flight to visit my parents, when a airplane taxied to the stand and flashed its lights. A few minutes later my husband was on the tarmac, playing peekaboo around the plane while two excited toddlers bounced up and down beside me.
That’s another thing about being married to a pilot – you get to do a lot of visiting relatives on your own, because pilots don’t get their holidays (vacation) at the same time as the rest of us. Still, it meant I could write an article about how to travel solo with a baby. That article was the first of mine to get Hub of the Day on HubPages, so I’m thankful for that. It was probably also the first time I knew I could write articles, since till then I thought of myself as a fiction writer.
Once he and another pilot flew a helicopter from Baltimore to Oregon. That’s glamorous. I didn’t get to go. But one time, I did get to go on a trip. It was very glamorous. This is where we went:
And this is the gorgeous outfit I wore for the journey:
That was the latest in survival suit glamour, circa 1995.
So, you can see being a pilot’s wife is indeed a very glamorous life. I am so thankful!
Seriously though, I was really thankful to make that trip. It was to St Kilda, a remote group of islands far off the west of Scotland. Its last native inhabitants left in the 1930s. They asked the government to rehouse them because they no longer felt able to go living there. We went there because the Nature Conservancy Council and the army had bases and the company my husband worked for took supplies to them in the summer. (In winter its was too windy for a helicopter to land, so supplies went by boat.) So seeing St Kilda was a big deal. I got to be there for – oh – maybe five or ten minutes, long enough to unload supplies and leave. St Kilda is famous for its puffins, but I didn’t see any because they live on another island.
I did see seals. (I’m cheating a little with this photo because this isn’t a St Kildan seal, but a Shetland one, so don’t tell anyone!) They might not be glamorous, but they are cute. I’m thankful I get to see them every year.
I’ve got distracted. I was telling you about the glitzy life we lead. Hands up if you think the phone ringing at 3.33am is glamorous.
Yes, it was 3.33am precisely when the phone rang. I checked. And I checked the clock again an hour later, when I still hadn’t managed to get back to sleep and the chickens two doors away had started their dawn clucking chorus. By then my husband was in a taxi, heading to an airport 150 miles or so away. So, yes. I was thankful that it wasn’t me. It’s 8.30 pm now and he’s back in bed, since he’ll be doing it all again tomorrow. (Without the phone call, because he was on standby this morning, but we already know he’s working tomorrow.) I, on the other hand, will get up in a leisurely manner and head off to yoga. Yeah, I’m thankful I’m not a pilot!
I was also thankful that I did eventually get back to sleep. And that it is Saturday today, so I didn’t need to get up and get school lunches ready or find lost homework. Oddly enough, I’m also thankful for those clucking chickens. It’s nice to have a bit of the country in the middle of the city. I’m also thankful I’m not their owner, because honestly I couldn’t be bothered with having to clean up all that shit. The cat’s just been sick and that’s bad enough! I’m thankful for kitchen paper, which I throw over it, to stop me throwing up while I clean up. (It’s still waiting, I’m finishing this first…)
I’m thankful to say the answer is no! When I’m happy thankfulness comes far more naturally to me. And feeling grateful makes me feel happy.
And now, excuse me while I go clean up you know what… oh I lead such a glitzy life!
Wishing you a happy and thankful week.