Flying For The First Time
My first time flying in a passenger airplane was quite an experience. My grandfather died on my Mother's side and he was in Arizona. I wanted to go but really didn't have the money. I was a Pastor in a small country church in Baraboo, Wisconsin. I announced what happened in church that Sunday and told them I probably wouldn't be able to go but to pray for my family and my Uncle and Aunt who were in Arizona.
After church I went home and I was eating dinner when the Chairman of the Deacons came over to the house. He had meet with the other deacons and a few of the people of the church and it was decided that they were going to pay for my ticket to go to my grandfather's funeral.
He told me to get packed up and ready to go which I did. I called my Uncle and Aunt and told them I was coming and ask what airport to fly into. Phoenix, Arizona was my destination and when I got the ticket I called with my flight number. This was before cellphones so the process was a bit slower. The promised to met me at the airport. If my memory serves me it was really late when I would be getting there.
The Deacon said he would take care of the evening service and not to worry. They drove me to the airport that Sunday afternoon and saw me off to Arizona. What I didn't tell you before is that we went through a whole ordeal prior to this as I did not like flying or let us say I didn't want to fly. I had an experience in a twin engine plane I will tell you at another time. It wasn't a good experience and it made me not want to fly.
Well, they got me on the plane and finally we were getting ready to take off. All went well and we were on our way. I was sitting by a man who said he flew all the time. I slept most of the trip and just before landing I woke up. As they were beginning the approach I heard this grinding noise. My friend in the next seat told me that the landing gear wasn't coming down that was what all the noise. The plane had to turn and make another approach and they kept working on getting the land gear down. Finally they came down. The whole plane cheered and we were ready to get off the plane.
The plane finally landed and I went to get my bags and my Uncle met me and he took me to a motel. I was pretty turned around so I was in a bit of a daze. I slept and when I woke up I got a shower and dressed and went outside. There outside the room was an orange tree with oranges. Wow, I thought breakfast. Not to fast, there was a sign that said you can't pick the fruit off the tree.
We went to the funeral and then my Uncle and Aunt drove me to their house which was in Stafford, Arizona. That was close to the bottom of the state. The put me up for a few days and I was able to spend some quality time with them.
While I was there they gave me my grandfather's Bible. That was truly an honor for me. When ever I look at a Bible I always open it to my live verse, Jeremiah 17:7. When I opened it to that passage the verse was underlined and there was a marker in that page. That blessed my heart as I had written him and told him about my life verse and he must have underlined it. I have preached several times from his Bible and I still have it and it is a very special Bible to me.
They brought me back to the airport in Phoenix and I few home. That was a very special time I had with them and I was very grateful to be able to have gone. The flight home was okay. We flew into Denver and then we were rerouted to Green Bay due to weather and then finally made it back to Madison where the deacon of my church picked me up and took me home.