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  • panorthrup8

The lost suitcase life...

My mom put me on Ritalin when I was a child.  I was always thinking, always plotting, always creating, always doing.  As a child, this manifested itself in ways even my mom would never have guessed:  I taught kids to gamble in my garage, prepped the neighbor kids to perform in Vegas as showgirls, sold my mothers groceries for pennies on the dollar at my restaurant (complete with carbon copied, typed menus), and had many experiments with duct tape, vaseline and noxema with our patient, boxer dog.  I imagine my mom walking into the doctors office and requesting that he make the madness stop.  The Ritalin sure stopped me….right into a depressing, comatose child….even my mom preferred the craziness of “Patti”……so, mom and dad instead jumped on the bandwagon and the ride was great!


A few trips ago, I was at the San Antonio Airport I saw the art created with lost luggage from the 50’s.  I guess they found it during a renovation of the airport and decided to make it into something pretty than discard it.


It got me thinking……


I have always wondered about the average lost suitcase….all the places it goes, all the things it sees……there was some envy there. In thinking of the last 24 hours of my life, I think I am living that lost suitcase life every other week.  I spend a week at home with my girls and then everything turns upside down as I start the drive to Billings, Montana to start my work week.  My weeks in Cody are fairly straightforward.  The girls have school, dance and other predictable activities….but once I put on the uniform and head north, anything can happen.  My sisters have stopped asking me where I am going because usually I don’t know or there is a high probably that it will change….so why spend the time looking at where that is?…..I am going anyway.


I recently had a trip to Santa Barbara.  The first officer and I stood there at the layover hotel, waiting for our scheduled van to arrive.  We waited and waited….we called American and sat on hold.  By the time we got to the airport, our plane had left (we were passengers (deadheading) to Phoenix and then flying the plane from there).  So instead of finishing in Dallas, I am in Santa Barbara and done.  Hmmmm……time to head home…..via Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Billings and drive home….whew….that was a day.


Just even laying out the last 24 hours.  I drove up to Billings and the flight was delayed because of weather in Dallas.  I was flying to Tucson the next morning.  By the time I got to Dallas, the Tuscon trip was cancelled.  Hmmm……I let them know I would still fly….and I ended up getting a trip to San Francisco.  I will land tonight and tomorrow morning start training where I will be flying who knows where with all manner of things going wrong in the simulator that, thank goodness, do not happen regularly in the airplane.


I look back on that crazy active child I was and think truly things have not changed.  I was probably drawn to this job because of the unpredictability of everything.  I find that stimulating.  Most people refer to it as their basic nightmare but for me…..it is my happy place.


I don’t fight it and let it flow…usually things work out fine.  I can channel my love of all that  is unpredictable by being very dynamic in any unknown situation.  I find that the less I seek to control the things out of my control, the more control I have with what is in my power to control.


This lost suitcase will have been in 4 states in the last 24 hours…but my record is that trip from Santa Barbara…..that was 7 states in 24 hours……..and……I enjoyed it!


Until next time

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