The flight to Denver was without incident, except I thought I was going to lose my cookies on the descent. Anyway, my overly active imagination relaxed a little. I guess I forgot our world has gotten a little crazier since "Jim Marshall" was the nation's President, and Glenn Close was the first woman VP (maybe Sarah Palin should have watched her and taken notes).
The mountains were beautiful, children's outreach heart-wrenching, and fellowship with dear friends wonderful. These two tired people were ready for a quiet evening flight home. Just hand me the peanuts, orange juice and let me sit back and listen to my iPod. I'm ready to be on cruise-control.
Not! Soon after the drink orders were taken, subtle changes started taking place. Instead of the funny and personable female flight attendant at the front of the cabin, there were two male attendants. And there she goes, ducking into the cockpit as the captain comes out. What?
Now one of the male attendants is on the phone. He gets off and turns his back to the passengers while he seems to talk quietly to the captain. He's on and off the phone a couple more times. Nothing else seems odd except for wondering where the peanuts and oj are.
A few minutes later, the female attendant races down the aisle, literally tossing the bitty bags of peanuts to passengers. Another few minutes later, here she comes again with drinks. When she passed my oj, her hand was shaking. Well, this is weird. Maybe the last flight of the day is catching up with "Miss Congeniality".
We arrive at our destination 23 minutes early. Wow! The personable female attendant tells passengers that next time a flight is running late to remember this early arrival. She announces, like always, to remain seated and buckled in until the captain says it's okay to get up and move about the cabin. The same caution is given a couple more times in the next few minutes.
When the plane is obviously at a complete stop, one eager beaver decides he can get up and get his carry-on. WRONG! Now the captain comes on and says everyone should remain seated and buckled in. (Are there cameras in the cabin for the cockpit?)
Then here they come: two armed to the teeth TSA officers, quickly followed by a third officer. Hands on weapons, they approach a man seated near the front and ask him to come with them.
Okay, there's no doubt now. This is not a drill.
Thankfully, the man goes with them quietly. The remaining passengers are pleasantly, but emphatically urged to disembark quickly, which we did. But the plane had not parked next to the terminal. We were at a distant, outlying gate about a block out from the terminal, but we had safely reached our destination.
* Plane personnel are trained for any contingency. The ones on our plane were proactive, efficient, courteous and professional at all times.
* Follow directions. You just never know if your life depends on it.
* Make sure the people you love know it, regularly.