Full-filling Dreams

June is always a time for Al and me to do a little celebrating. We have a couple of important anniversaries to celebrate. Sometimes I don’t know where the time has gone. Time can be fleeting. On one hand it seems like yesterday that I was preparing to walk down the aisle and marry my partner in crime and on the other hand it seems like a lifetime ago. The last thirty plus years have sure been one heck of a ride!

outdoor weddings

over thirty some years ago – where has the time gone

So not only did we celebrate another wedding anniversary, we celebrated our full-time RV living adventure. At the end of June, we completed four years of living in the RV full-time. Funny how what was suppose to be a year or two has now turned into five. As we enter year five, we have no immediate plans to change things up.

I was feeling a little nostalgic the other day and started reading some of my earlier blog posts about the transition of selling the house and moving into the RV. I thought I’d re-share a post I wrote back in April 2013 as we were preparing to move into the RV full-time.

outdoor wedding

let’s take a look back

 A look back……

Skirts AloftI came across a book titled “Skirts Aloft“.  I smile, sit down, and open the front cover.  On the inside of the book in handwriting it says, “Ingrid, may all your dreams come true. Love, Mom”. I had lost my mom exactly a year earlier and coming across this handwritten message brought tears to my eyes.

Ah, the memories ……

I was seven years old the first time I traveled to Europe.  It was the mid 1960’s and my parents had not been back to Germany since they immigrated to the United States in the late 50’s.  My mom had been experiencing twinges of home-sickness.  So after a year of hard work of scrimping and saving, our family of five was off to Germany for a three-week vacation.

It never ceases to amaze me what memories my mind chooses to recall.  My mom, an excellent seamstress, had made matching dresses and coats for my three-year old sister, myself, and our Thumbelina dolls.  These were the years everyone dressed up to travel, white gloves and all.  Our outfits were the latest, most up to date fashion in Jackie O style.

We boarded a Lufthansa plane.  My three-year old sister sat at the window. My mom sat in the center and I sat on the aisle.  My dad sat across the aisle with my eleven year old brother.  I remember being bored and having trouble sitting still.   My mom was exasperated and embarrassed as the gentleman sitting in the seat in front of me had to repeatedly turn around and ask that I stop kicking his seat.  Come on, it’s a long trip to fly from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany, and this of course, was long before any kind of technology for entertainment.

My mom thought traveling with a three-year old would be a challenge…..not….sister slept most of the time when she wasn’t eating.  What a good little girl.  The seven-year old, moi …..well, the kicking of the seat, the whining, and the frequent visits to the bathroom were just a precursor to the ensuing fun for mom.

Flight AttendantWith an hour left before landing, the crew came through the cabin taking care of last-minute clean up and paperwork.  I’m mesmerized by the pretty gals in their navy blue uniforms adorned with bright yellow scarves.  This is when I tell my mother, “I’m going to be a Stewardess when I grow up”.  “That’s nice honey”, she responds, clearly exhausted.

As the plane starts the initial descent, that’s when I reach for the first barf bag.  Did I mention, I have a problem with motion sickness?  Not a big surprise for dear mom as she had plenty of practice with my car sickness.  Once again the three-year old sits quietly and is duly entertained by looking out the window while poor mom deals with the puking seven-year old.  Two barf bags later and an empty one in hand, we’re in my uncle’s car heading to his house.  That’s when my mom turns to me and asks, “So, you still want to be a Stewardess when you grow up?”

The car is warm.  I’m sitting in the middle in the backseat.  I have my barf bag in hand.  Before answering mom, I dry heave into the bag then respond, “Yes mommy, I still want to be a Stewardess”.  My dad chuckles and shakes his head in total amusement, while mom clearly could use a break from this seven-year old.

Nine years later at the age of sixteen, I board a Lufthansa flight by myself bound for Frankfurt, Germany, for a summer abroad.  Hugs and kisses goodbye are plentiful.  Mom goes in for a second hug and whispers in my ear, “Don’t forget to keep one of ‘those’ bags within reach just in case you need to throw up”.  “Yes mom, thanks”.  Yep, at sixteen I still needed one of those bags.  Oh, how embarrassing!

My summer in Germany was amazing and in many ways, life changing.  And although I still endured motion sickness, the dream to become a Stewardess did not falter.

Chicago skyline

In my early twenties I fulfilled this dream and was hired as a Flight Attendant for a small airline based in Chicago.  My first day on the job was a six leg flight schedule.  Each flight is referred to as a “leg”.  This was my flight schedule that first work day as a Flight Attendant…..

  1. Chicago to DetroitChicago
  2. Detroit to Chicago
  3. Chicago to St. Louis
  4. St. Louis to Chicago
  5. Chicago to Detroit
  6. Detroit to Chicago

Sounds glamorous, doesn’t it?  Strap on throwing up eleven times!  No problem with next months weigh-in for this vomit comet.  Yes, those were the days of regular weigh-ins.  You had to maintain a certain weight or risk being fired. Heels, make-up, and nails done were also requirements back then.

My second day on the job went a little easier…..

  1. Chicago to Kansas City
  2. Kansas City to Chicago
  3. Chicago to Washington D.C.   Arrive in D.C. at 9 p.m. and spend the night.  The next morning check-in at Regan National Airport for a 6:30 a.m. departure.
  4. Washington D.C. to Chicago
  5. Chicago to Detroit
  6. Detroit to Chicago      Off for three days…..time to rehydrate.

The vomiting stopped after six weeks, but the headaches and occasional dizziness would still rear its ugly head from time to time, especially in the spring time when the cold and warm air currents were mixing.  To me, the movement felt like the gentle rolling of a sailboat riding the waves ….. NOT the kind of movement that agrees with me.

Trips to the Caribbean confirmed my lack of love for sailing.  I love the water but prefer a speed boat, jet ski, or even a canoe.  Cars?  I’ll take a Jeep over a Cadillac any day of the week.  When the airplane would encounter severe turbulence, I was fine.  It’s that gentle rolling motion I can’t handle.  I’ll refrain from saying, “I like it rough” for fear some folks might take this statement the wrong way 😉

It was during my third month on the job when I walked into Flight Operations to check in for a flight.   There standing at 6 feet 4 inches tall was a German-Norwegian hunk of a man in a navy blue uniform.  What is it with me and those navy blue uniforms?

outdoor weddingI introduce myself, “Hi, you must be new around here.  My name is Ingrid.  I believe we’ll be working together for the next few days.”  I never imagined I had just introduced myself to my future husband…. First Officer Al. And they said it wouldn’t last!

I was a Flight Attendant for five years and feel very fortunate to have full-filled the dream of a once naive seven-year old.  My mom always questioned my ability to be a Flight Attendant due to my motion sickness and encouraged me to go to school to be a nurse or a teacher. She’d say, “just in case, you know“, but she never discouraged or tried to squash my dream.

I have the fondest of memories of those years flying….the good as well as the bad.  Yes, there was plenty of bad like the Air Traffic Controllers strike in the 80’s.  A flight from Chicago to St. Louis usually takes about an hour.  We’d pull back from the gate and sit in line on the tarmac for one to two hours waiting for take off.  FAA regulations requires the Flight Attendants and passengers to remain seated at this stage….no drinks, no potty, no fun, and lots of complaints.  Not the fondest of memories.

Washington DC

Then there’s the travel benefits.  One year for her birthday, I took my mom to Washington D.C. for lunch.  We caught the first flight out of Chicago to D.C.  Several of the pilots I worked with had spent years working at the Pentagon and obviously were very familiar with the D.C. area.  A few restaurants were recommended and I chose one that was known for southern cooking, complete with black-eyed peas, and housed in a historical building.  Mom and I had a great day.

Another time, my folks joined Al and me for a Boston layover and witnessed us at work.  Al was the Captain and I the head Flight Attendant.  I was the one in the front of the cabin doing all the talking…..I love being in charge.  “Look, mom.  No puking”.  She was proud.  Fun times……ah, the stories are plentiful.

Life changes, we grow, and we move on.  New dreams are forged. With that said, time for me to get back to sorting the other boxes here in the basement …… I have a new dream chapter to get started on after all.  Here’s to all your dreams coming true!

*******************************************

That was then, this is now ….. So while Al and I toast to another year in the books, we discuss tentative plans for this next year of full-time RVing ….. plans that are written ‘in jello’ with lots of wiggle room. Although we’ve narrowed down our options, we’re still torn with choices….. our journey continues!

outdoor wedding venue

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80 thoughts on “Full-filling Dreams

  1. Thanks for sharing you’re great story of of life, love and puking! lol!
    You are so real! My 30 yr.old son-in-law is a pilot – recently joined West Jet (Canada) as a captain, now flying the 50 passenger jets. He was a fly-boy from an early age – going through Air Cadets etc.
    We rarely travel – but now we can get family passes – so maybe we”ll go to Hawaii – Ive’ never been there.

  2. Great memories. Thank you for sharing them.
    I understand jiggly jello plans. I have those too. I often tell people I live on the cusp of the cone of confusion. hahahaha
    When people ask how long I’ll be here I truthfully say, “I don’t know.”

  3. What a wonderful story! I suffer from motion sickness as well, but it didn’t stop me from becoming an Airborne Ranger (I usually had a few barf bags in my helmet, just in case). Here’s to clear skies and low winds. Travel safe!

  4. Quite a love story! And wow thirty plus wonderful years of love, adventures, travels and overcoming challenges. Perhaps you may try travel in water since land and air has been taken cared of 🙂
    Cheers to another 30+ years! Congratulations.

  5. Happy Anniversaries! So sweet to take time to reflect on good memories. And to be creating more by living life to the fullest, as you’re doing. :-))

  6. What a great tale of your stewardess days! Wow! What wedding pictures!! You look amazing in that dress and hat, and the horse and carriage photos are great. Thanks for sharing, and Happy Anniversaries!!

  7. Awesome post and congratulations on your anniversaries. I bet it is hard to believe it has been 4 years. Even though we have bought property, we have no immediate plans to stop traveling fulltime. May you have many more adventurous years!

  8. Sounds like a fairytale, Ingrid. It somehow doesn’t look like you have aged a day since those photos were taken. What’s Al’s secret? I enjoy reading about your story. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Such an engaging narrative, Ingrid. What a handsome couple you make. Love the wedding photo. I’d really never considered that flight attendants might suffer from travel sickness. How very awkward that must be. 😦 Congratulations on your happy years together and I wish you many more years of adventure. xx

    • Thank you Sylvia. Yes, a Flight Attendant with motion sickness did present challenges, but I overcame those challenges with perseverance or more likely stubbornness 😄

  10. What wonderful memories!! Love the pictures from your wedding!! Beautiful!!
    We have full-timed twice so both times together we are working on 3 years!!

    Congratulations on both of your anniversaries!! On to making new memories!!😊

  11. What a lovely to, Ingrid! How good it is from time to time to reflect on where life has taken us! But really, 7 barf bags? 🙂

    • Yeah, those bags don’t bring back the fondest of memories, but they do make for a good story. Fortunately, I don’t suffer from the severe motion sickness that I once did. It was fun walking down memory lane even though I cringed a time or two 😊

      • Somehow I was thinking of the TV series Dallas 😉 That other wedding I had (the Voldemort wedding I like to call it now) I looked like a terrified child in a very chaste dress with a Mantilla veil. The new and much improved wedding dress and veil was hot cha cha 🙂

        • Dallas? Well that was the time! Oh what I would give to see Ms. Teri in that chaste dress 😆 Fashion is an interesting thing. When I was younger, I used to design and make my own clothes. My only interest in history was the fashion. I’m glad I settled on a turn of the century look instead of the medieval dress with the girls pushed up and center 🤣 Not sure I’d be sharing those photos had I gone that route!

          • Way cool you used to design and make your own. I am impressed. That chaste dress? I think once that relationship was buried the photos went in the ground too 😉 Snickering about wedding wenches LOL

  12. Beautiful wedding photos. Love the setting. Ingrid…you have’t change a bit. You still look like that young gal in the photos.
    Happy Anniversary!

  13. Great flashback. While so different it always amazes me how similar our lives are. Congrats on both anniversaries this month. We got into full timing only a few months before you two, I know our wedding anniversaries are about the same, the kids were born at the same time…the list goes on. Looking forward to seeing you both in the fall.

    • It is kind of funny all our similarities including being married to a couple of smart **ses 😆 but entertaining and loving ones! I’m already looking forward to some cooler temps this fall and hitting those trails with you.

  14. Congratulations, Al and Ingrid!! I so understand what you were saying as we approach 41 years this August and just started year eight of fulltiming!! Guess we get along just fine:)

    • Thank you Pam. Yeah, this full-timing thing can be addictive and although we thought we’d like a home base here in Prescott, we’re rethinking those thoughts. I’m getting antsy for some new scenery 😉 I know you can relate!

  15. 30 years, wow, congratulations! Stunning wedding pictures too!

    And 4 years of RV life is worth another congratulations. Pretty amazing you can make it work in the long run!

  16. These are great memories, Ingrid. I loved reading them. You have a book in you as well! I can’t believe you stuck to wanting to become a stewardess with all that puking. But, then again, I get motion sick as well, especially seasick in following waves and I went sailing for eight years straight. Funny creatures we women are if we get something in our heads. 🙂

    • I knew I liked you – we probably have a lot in common, more than just motion sickness 😆 I really should make it a priority to sit down and get some of these stories out of my head. My husband says I ‘need’ to for our children. I guess that’s a good motivator.

  17. I loved this post! What a wonderful journey. Thank you so much for sharing the memories. Ah, time flies by. We were married in May 1983. Seems like yesterday.

  18. LOVE this post! The wedding pictures are gorgeous and the stories from your flight attendant days are awesome. It takes a lot of perseverance to become a flight attendant who also happens to suffer from motion sickness. I wonder if it was Georgia Brown’s that you went to in DC with your mom? Your description of the menu sounds pretty familiar….. In any case, we’re only a year into the RVing thing, and 14 years in on the marriage thing, but if we can follow in your footsteps a bit, we’ll be pretty pleased!!! Happy anniversary!!

    • Awe thank you Laura for the kind words. I wouldn’t have the vaguest idea what restaurant I took my mom to in D.C. – such a long time ago. I do remember her ordering ‘southern’ foods like black eyed peas and the building was VERY old, supposedly dating back to George Washington days.

      I’m not sure about you, but year one of full-timing was all about finding ‘our’ groove and settling into the lifestyle. That first year felt like a perpetual vacation and I wanted to be out exploring new places all the time which became exhausting. Now we have a tendency to meander slowly but will put in long driving days (like west Texas) when we have a destination in mind.

  19. Great post Ingrid. I feel exactly the same way about our 47 years of marriage. Seems like forever and seems like just yesterday. I guess that’s the mark of a good relationship.

    I can hardly believe you wanted to be a flight attendant when you consistently got air sick! I guess it was in the cards though, something was propelling you towards Al and it seems to have worked out quite well!

    • Yeah, I’m a firm believer in things happen for a reason. Life’s an adventure! I’d say we’re lucky we found the ‘right’ one first time around 😄

  20. Enjoyed your post and the old photos. Congratulations on both anniversaries!
    Hope the smoke has eased up. We had the same thing happen when we stayed at the fairgrounds a few years ago, but it was entertaining seeing the animals that were evacuated.

    • Thanks Gayle. Yep, things are returning to normal but it is still ridiculously hot. The heat and the forest fire have us rethinking Prescott as a home base. I guess our search shall continue 😉

        • Thanks Beth. Unfortunately, the photos seem to be deteriorating with age. I wish I had scanned them years ago. I guess I can’t complain considering they’ve held up for 34 years. My dilemma with next summer is being torn between family and new places. I really should go back to the Midwest for a bit but then again there’s rumblings of wedding planning in AZ, and then the PNW beckons me to visit. Oh the woes of an RV traveler 😆

  21. What an utterly butterly beautiful post, Ingrid. Loved getting to know your memories, the fact that you did live up to your dream, become a stewardess and fly despite all qualms. Your husband and you look gorgeous in the wedding photos. They look so romantic! Congratulations on 30 years of being together xx

  22. Happy Anniversaries! I recall reading about your travels and plans to become road warriors. How time flies. We are all little bit wiser – congratulations and keep moving forward, and taking photos.

    • Oh yes … you just reminded me how I found your blog. We were settling Al’s folk’s estate at the time and I googled ‘model railroad’. My how time flies. Trust me, the travel may slow down but the photo taking never will 😎

  23. Oh what beautiful memories-except all the puking!!! But that’s such an important part of your dream story and perseverance!!! Your wedding was a clue to your adventurous sides!!!! Loved walking down memory lane! We’re about to celebrate our 4th year RVing! We found your blog around that time so your posted we’re inspirational to us. We went full time after one year of “extended” trip

    • We did two years of part-time before we sold the house and I’m so glad we did or with all our mishaps that first year out full-timing, I think I would’ve called it quits. But then again, quitting isn’t usually an option for me as you’ve probably gathered.

      • So then you have six years of RVing? We were practically full time our first year so I tend to deemphasize it – but Bill likes to point it out! I like to keep things simple!!! LOL

  24. What a wonderful read Ingrid. Such a trooper to hang in there as a flight attendant when you were experiencing such motion sickness! Wishing you & Al another wonderful 30 years full of adventures together!

    • Thanks Lynn. Yeah, when I think back, I wonder how the heck I hung in there as a Flight Attendant. The word ‘stubborn’ keeps floating around our home … probably applies to our marriage as well 😆

    • Thanks Tim. I had this post already scheduled to go when I read your trip down memory lane. Like minds! I wish I had access to all my old photos so I could start scanning them. We’ve had some fun adventures!

    • Awe, thank you Judy. Although our wanderlust has waned somewhat, we still aren’t ready to settle down in one location… just yet, anyway 😉

  25. Thanks so much for sharing your dreams, your history, your story. Congrats on a long, happy marriage. I love your flight attendant memories. What a great life you have had and are still having! Not many can claim as many adventures as you.

    • We have had our fair share of adventures and life in general has been anything but boring. Although, there were times, boring would’ve been welcome 😄 Our twists and turns in life shall continue!

  26. Loved that story!!! Beautiful wedding, and congratulations to both of you!! I love the vomit comet stories..I hate to fly, and Dennis got his private pilot’s license when he went through mid life crisis at age 40. I flew with him once and bit off all of my artificial nails! Hope to see you two “on the trail” again.If we get through this last appt for Dennis in August, we are “cleared for take off” this Winter!!

    • Thanks Donna. We do our best not to fly these days. It was fun back in the day but so much has changed. Road tripping for us is the only way we roll. We’ll be back in TX Jan and Feb. Hopefully you guys can get away this winter, and maybe we can even share a campfire and drinks.

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