Saturday, May 02, 2009

Ready To Rumble!

Oh baby! As you read this, I am making sure that my seat belt is securely fastened and that my tray is in the up-right position. My carry-on bag is tucked underneath the seat in front of me and all of my electronic devices have been turned off. I will act interested but be too busy looking out the window watch the flight attendants describe emergency proceedures and take a look at the emergency proceedure card in the pocket in front of me. That's right, folks... this gal is airborne!!!

I am sooo fortunate to be able to attend the International Reading Association's convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota next week. I attended last year's convention in Atlanta and had such a wonderful time - in so many ways. I am so excited because the opening keynote speaker is Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns! Another author, Greg Mortensen, who wrote Three Cups of Tea, will also be there. As will Sharon Creech (Love That Dog/Hate That Cat). My favorite part of last year's convention was attending classes with authors. I loved hearing about their craft, their inspirations, their techniques, their passions! Facinating, I tell you! I got to meet Jerry Spinnelli and he signed my books! I attended a breakfast and a luncheon featuring authors and teachers with insight on children, teaching reading and keeping up the work we do as teachers, despite the bleakness that faces our jobs.

But, as those of you who know... my biggest thrill just may be the fact that I'm flying on an airplane!!! Aviation has been a passion of mine since my 'little girl' days. We would all load up into the green Oldsmobile, stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken and get our little box dinners, then drive to the airport on a Sunday evening. My dad would park our car off the road along one of the runways and take out the transistor radio that allowed us to listen to the pilots talk to the control tower. We'd hear their numbers/call signs, watch the lights as they approached, feel the rumble in our chests as the plane roared by on take-off and watched in silent awe as the runway lights silently blinked on as the sun sank behind the far-off hills. Licking our fingers and being careful not to spill, it was Sunday dinner at its best and it instilled in me a life-long love of planes, flying, airports and all the comes with it.

To this day, I am kicked into high gear with the smell of jet fuel, the rumble of the turbine engines, the sight of the control tower and the beauty of what seems to be impossible...a mass of metal lifting off the ground and flying miles overhead. The rumble of the plane as the engines whine louder as we roll down the runway...a thrill! When you feel the plane leave the concrete and the shift in the weight as we all become airborne is a thrill!! The G-forces as you are pushed back into your seat on ascent...is a thrill! Turning?? A thrill!! Turbulence, well.... except for two extreme cases I've experience out of Honnolulu and approaching Baltimore, a thrill as well! The sound of the landing gear being lowered as we come in for a landing... a thrill! The slight strain of the seat belt as we land and shift from acceleration to coming to a stop...a thrill!

This year I will be traveling with some of my friends from last year and a new one, too! I am so very grateful for the opportunity and the chance to broaden my life experience! New territory, new city, new experience - and I can't wait!! I'll wave as I fly overhead!! I'll be in a window seat!!

10 comments:

Jane said...

Have the best time ever! We'll miss you. xoxox

Cheela said...

I wish I was going, too!!

Just Joni said...

I'm so excited for you...I remember how fun and inspiring the CATE convention was for me, rubbing elbows with authors and learning new techniques for the classroom...love it! I'm taking the enthusiasm I have gathered from reading your blog to dive in to some much procrastinated work...thank you! Be sure to give us an update when you return!

a fanciful twist said...

HOw fun!!! Have a blast!! Up up and awayyyyyy ;) xoox

kimberly said...

oh vb....you brought back memories as i was reading this post....as a young girl, we would drive down by the airport here in phx....park the car and watch the flights come in too!!!! never had kfc while doing it....that would have been awesome! :) i loved flying until i had kids....and then it changed....maybe if i went on a flight somewhere with YOU...i would learn to love it again!!!!
and have a wonderful time letting this opportunity soak into your soul....sounds "delicious"!
hugs,
kimberly

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you, but flying is not one of my favorite things to do....But, I will ride a city bus with you anytime!
KW

N-Search of Peace said...

I cannot WAIT till you have safely returned and we sit and hear about all these amazing Authors and adventures that you had...I hope that it was as amazing as last years for you too!
I am eager to hear about Khaled Hosseini and what he had to say in his key note speech!...what a great opportunity you have been given again this year sweetie...
I am thrilled and alittle jealous too!
Nando's for some "nectar-of-the-God's" to listen to all the fun...we'll start with the plane of course!
Love and adore...
N-Peace

Susie of Arabia said...

I hope you have a wonderful time. It would be cool if you get some photos of you and the authors! Wow - lucky you!!! Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back...

Chickenbells said...

Have a fantastic time my dear...and will you be visiting Coach again??

kimberly said...

wishing you a wonderful Mother's Day tomorrow, vb....hope you feel loved and appreciated! :)
love,
kimberly