Monday, October 02, 2006

Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles

There is a scene in Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life" that I enjoy. Okay, there are a bunch of scenes I enjoy, but this scene supports my blog this morning.

George: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are?
Billy: Uh-huh. Breakfast is served; lunch is served, dinner...
George: No, no, no, no! Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles.

I picked up my hubbie from the airport Friday, and I love airports. I don't actually go on planes that often, but occasionally, when hubbie has a conference, I will pick him up from the airport.

It is just that the parking fees are so high that I don't like him leaving his car for a week. Anyway, I tell him that, but I also enjoy just watching people at the airport.

I arrive a full 20 minutes before his flight arrives, mainly to people-watch.

Savannah has a smallish airport, though by its name, Savannah International Airport, you would think it was some huge airport. I have been told by unreliable sources that this is due to its amenities and that we have a few flights coming from outside the US. I personally think it has more to do with drug traffickers, but I also wonder how many people were in the grassy knoll.

Anyway, back to my love of airports, when I am not actually using them myself. When I have all the time in the word and do not have to go through "airport security", I love airports. Okay, before 9-11, I was able to go all the way to the gate. Now, not so much.

But to see people embrace after a week, two weeks, a semester. Who knows? It is the most wonderful scene. I remember, not this time, but one time, watching a young married couple – him in an Army uniform, her in t-shirt and shorts – say "goodbye." She seemed to devour the young soldier. Not that I would want to be married to a soldier, but in that moment, if I could have, I know I wanted to trade places with that young bride.

I see mothers, fathers embrace their young ones after a trip – so sweet. And sometimes, little two- and three-year-olds, completely exhausted and asleep when greeting "Daddy" or "Mommy." Poor little ones. Sweet little ones.

I love airports, and as George Bailey reminds us, airplanes, trains and ships are exciting because of possibilities. They can take you anywhere. But you know, for me, I love seeing these modes of transportation bringing loved ones home. And it reminds me to pray for those solders, sailors and airmen in harms way: wishing all of them safe passage home.


~gkw said...

great post...

Grant said...

I once had to fly through the Port Angeles International Airport in Washington. It's one room. Think of the set on the old sitcom Wings, but with only one airline desk and a snack bar only open banker's hours. It was an international airport because it was on the border with Canada and sometimes flew there.

Joe said...

Your post reminds me of a scene from Dogma in which they're talking about how airports are a microcosm of life.

I really should look around the airport more when I fly rather than spending my time wondering if that person's baby is going to scream throughout the flight, or if that unwashed person is going to sit next to me.

mal said...

When I was younger, a cheap date that I enjoyed was hanging around LAX, watching people and making up thier stories...We can not do that now. Just one more thing we have to thank Al Qaeda for......

KYCM said...

Really nice words and thoughts. I love to see homecomings and I pray for the troops daily. I also visit a page daily that lets me send a message "that is supposed" to go to a soldier. I hope it does. I love to tell them I appreciate all they are doing for us and I always do when I see one in person. It's the least we can do for all they do for us!

God Bless America and God Bless you Leesa!


Leesa said...

~gkw: thanks

grant: I think a lot of small airports probably look very similar.

joe: crap, I think Dogma would be the last movie I would want a post to be like (though I have not seen the movie).

mal: I loved those types of cheap dates.

KYCM: And god bless you, too.

Ian Lidster said...

There is much human drama at airports, and I have been through them throughout a good chunk of the world. I am definitely in your school (hence the George Bailey school) on this topic. The neatest airport I think I ever flew into was Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. There, in the tiny terminal, you are greeted by a little man with a ukelele at 3 a.m. when the flight from LA arrives. He is to make you feel at home. It's very cool.

Your friend, Ian

Zack said...

There once was a train that ran from Atlanta to Savannah. "Nancy Hanks" was the name and it was the main way to travel in days past. That was when life was not as frantic and rushed. You can talk to many from those years and they speak of the Nancy Hanks, like it was a ride on the Orient Express. Today, with our needs to get from place to place in a hurry, we forget that life once was like a "Norman Rockwell painting". Least we not forget all those who put their lives on the line every day for all of us. From the soldiers, firemen and policemen to all the power linemen who will be there for their fellow man. Thanks for all your thoughts leesa.

Leesa said...

ian: THe airport at Rarotonga in the Cook Islands sounds fabulous.

zack: I have not heard of the "Nancy Hanks".

Zack said...

The "Nancy Hanks" was named after a race horse, who was named for Abraham Lincoln's mother. Here is link to more information about this train.


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