I’m grateful for my first flight after training and starting it out in Vegas. I wanted to take a run on the morning of my trip and didn’t realize the strip was as long as it was. I tracked my distance and I’m grateful I completed 9.5 miles.
I’m grateful that everything I learned in the simulator and in ground school is all coming together. I had an incredible captain who mentored me throughout the first four days. I’m grateful for new destinations, to travel all the way across the US for the first time, and to build my confidence with a new airplane and new company. I’m grateful for all the incredible, and I mean incredible, employees I come in contact with. This is such a culture shock and a positive change to work for an airline where everyone is so incredibly happy to be there.
I’m grateful my wife and girls were able to spend time with my wife’s parents out of town. It was a needed break for the three of them and I’m sure my girls enjoyed spending time with their grandparents. This also gave me time to get things done around the house as I transitioned back to being home after being gone for so long.
I’m grateful for the experience I had when I was six years old with my grandfather one summer at our family’s cabin. My grandfather took me fishing on the creek that flowed adjacent to the cabin. My mother joined us. I wasn’t much of a fisherman. The idea of fishing was not really my cup of tea. Too slow and boring. I went anyway, with my miniature fishing pole, following the person I admired the most.
I had no luck with any fish. In fact, I had no luck with casting my line. I’d either catch the bush behind me or I’d catch the tree across the creek. My grandfather was a good sport, never once getting angry with me, but diligently removing my hooked tree limb, adding new bait (and sometimes another hook), as I did it again and again. Eventually, I had had enough. My grandfather and mother were putting our gear away while I started walking back to the cabin.
On the way back I stopped. Not more than ten feet from me stood a bear. I froze, called my mom, and then slowly, ever so slowly, inched backward toward my grandfather and mother. I was only six years old and this was one of those surreal moments in my life. The bear crossed the creek and at one point we all stopped and stared at each other. In 30 years of owning the cabin, my grandfather had never seen a bear. This became a bonding moment for the two of us. As we headed back, my grandfather grabbed an oversized stick. I remember that feeling of warmth and safety as I knew my grandfather would protect my mom and I had the bear come for us.