The Thunker

by Sarah Holdt

Tuesday's dining-out experience was not one enhanced by romantic lighting or mood music. The food wasn't served on grandma's fine china nor the drinks in sparkling crystal. But it was a luncheon taken in a cozy little spot-a place so snug we could talk in whispers, bumping elbows as we nibbled our sandwiches. I had a hard time enjoying the meal however, because the fellow sitting next to me, in 23F, had nothing to eat so with each bite of my hoagie I felt a twinge of guilt. It is not polite to eat in front of others, my mother taught me. Should I tear off one end of my sandwich and offer it to our row mate, I wondered? What about the travelers across the aisle? They looked hungry too. At least we tried to be discreet as we ate our mild turkey and cheddar on wheat. Some airplane diners carry on containers of pungent Mexican or Asian fare and make their fellow passengers' eyes water when they open up their Styrofoam containers and dig in with flimsy plastic forks. There oughta be a law-against flimsy forks, Styrofoam, and smelly food on aircraft. We ate quickly, avoiding eye contact with our neighbors, and then waited an hour for the beverage cart to come down the aisle. I asked for a soda water with lime, hoping the stewardess-I still call them stewardesses-would give me the whole can, which she did. Used to be they filled a three-ounce plastic cup with ice and poured an ounce of beverage over it and that's all you got-to wash down a decent-sized bag of peanuts in the old days, which got reduced to a palm full of pretzels in the recent past. Now they skip the pretzels altogether but at least they let you have the whole can of pop/water/juice. Later when our stewardess came back down the aisle collecting empties, I tossed my sandwich wrapper, paper napkin, plastic cup and aluminum can into her bag. After years of asking if the airline recycled and being told they do, I grew tired of not believing them so I quit asking. I had a hard time picturing someone dressed in scrubs, face mask and rubber gloves going through each of those garbage bags after each flight, separating the trash from the recyclables. Maybe I just don't have a very good imagination. There is a thing or two I don't trust about flying. Airlines win awards for on- time departures but all they have to do to meet the requirement is push away from the gate. Tuesday we logged an on-time departure, then we parked 50 yards away and sat for almost an hour before we finally taxied to the runway. The captain tried to comfort his cramped subjects by announcing that we would take off "momentarily." But what did that tell us? His comment reminded me of the times when my husband heads out the door and calls to me, "I'll be home as soon as I can." What does that mean? Before dinner? Before dark? Before bed? Momentarily? Instead airlines should win awards for on-time arrivals. Wouldn't that be telling! Once our airplane was in the air and leveled off at 30,000 feet, a movie came on and a voice over the very loud intercom asked us to pull the shades down over the windows to shut out the light in order to make cinematic viewing more pleasurable. When they made this request I didn't say anything, I didn't roll my eyes, I didn't sigh mightily even though I wanted to do all three. I just slide the shade down over the window and reach up to turn on my reading light. But here's the thing: I am solar powered. The less darkness in my day the happier I am and the more pleasant I am to be around. On an airplane, the dark makes me sleepy so instead of getting lots of reading done in the 30,000foot light, the shades come down and I get drowsy. I lose my place, then read the same sentence over and over until I fall asleep like a baby seduced by a lullaby. I look forward to the day when screens-movie, camera and cell phone screens-can be seen in broad daylight. Fortunately we'd just spent three days in sunny Seattle (yes, you read it right. Sunny Seattle) so my solar battery was charged (but that doesn't mean I didn't sleep on the plane). We'd eaten plenty of fresh seafood, enjoyed great company with old friends, and gotten lots of exercise from walking all over the hilly city. Our flights were uneventful, our drive home from DIA was stressfree and we were greeted with snow on our beloved mountains when we topped the rise on 36 before coming down into Estes Park. It's good to get away and it's great to come home. You may let The Thunker know what you think at her e-mail address, donoholdt@gmail.com.

Estes Park Community Thrift Shop To Donate Funds

By: Dottie Baumgardner The Estes Park Community Thrift Shop will distribute funds in December of 2012. The total amounts of money distributed will be based on the net profit of merchandise sales from January, 2012, through November 30, 2012. Information sheets requesting a specific gift for a program or project of any non-profit organization in the Estes Val- ley will be available on September 26, 2012, and will be accepted through October 22 nd on any Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, or the form may be mailed to P.O. Box 2255 in Estes Park. Please attach a copy of the 501(c)3 to the application. Our address is 428 West Elkhorn Avenue in the West Park Shopping Center in Estes Park, Colorado, 80517. The phone number is 970-586-2844.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Page 9

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