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  • Patricia Northrup

From the flight deck

It has been years since I have blogged. I love putting to paper the observations I see on the road. It is also a way of keeping track of some pretty amazing moments in time.


As most of you know my life was turned upside down a year and a half ago, and it has taken me that long to get my head and heart wrapped around this new lifestyle.

Ironically, the one thing that got me through some of the darkest moments was my ability to be out in the world and making a difference. This new way of life has me separated from my children 50% of the time. So being somewhere I never expect to see them was a huge help and a gift. Also, making it my mission to help anyone and everyone I can along the way and if they ask, let them know that I am only doing for them what Jesus does for me every day. The ultimate peacemaker and healer……that is the goal.

So today I find myself in Charlotte……USAIR world. It is pretty well “Americanized” now after 10 years. It’s an insane airport for pilots because the wingtip clearance on the ramp between planes must be all of 12 inches. I just stay on the line, look ahead and hope I don’t feel a bump.

That part of Charlotte I do not like but there is one thing I do…….The Shoe Shine.

I take a tremendous amount of pride in my appearance. 40% of the traveling public is afraid when they get on an airplane. So I think it is important to not only be a good pilot but to look like one.

A shirt with heavy starch that will stand on its own, a tie void of any stains or marks and shoes that I can see myself in. The shoe part is the toughest because we use our feet to fly and the planes are not friendly to the shoe shine.

I always look forward to a Charlotte sit time so that I can go by the Executive Shine and get the glassy, black look that says, “ I will get you safely where you are headed”.

There is no advertised price for the shine……it is whatever you think. Quite honestly it is worth a lot but I figure $20 for about 15 minutes of time is effectively walking that fence of not showing off and appreciating good work.

The secret to the Charlotte Shine is the blow torch. Not sure how they get permission for this but they have secured a blow torch through security and they literally melt the wax onto the leather of your feet…..heat is also comforting and I love that heat!!

I have contemplated trying this at home but I would probably burn my feet, ruin my shoes or potentially burn my house down. Nope……..I will leave it to the professionals at the Charlotte Airport!

Until next time!

2 comentarios


ydsanchez65
18 oct 2023

Love reading your travels and perspectives ❤️. We missed you at golf but completely understand . Give the girls a hug!

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Edith Hamilton
Edith Hamilton
17 oct 2023

Your philosophy of life, and your leadership as a pilot are each an inspiration to me. And you make me want to get a shoeshine when I’m in Charlotte.! That heat sounds wonderful on my feet too😀

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