By Susan Dromey Heeter, Joyful Musings
This week I muse joyfully on Heeter Airlines, an airline with which I have thousands of frequent flier miles, retains one pilot and boasts one engine. I am not here to promote it, only to celebrate the joy I have up in the air, pretzelled into a four seater, enjoying the view from above.
When I married THE Heeter airline pilot, Dan, I did not realize he flew. He may have mentioned it during our courtship, but, as we met in Germany, got married in the Netherlands, it was not until we moved to Alaska where upon I realized Mr. Heeter had his wings.
And those wings have flown us around glaciers and hilltops and to a myriad of locales that I may not otherwise have seen. And, lest you be thinking this the “lifestyles of the rich and famous” column (RIP Robin Leach), Pilot Heeter and Heeter Airlines fly on the cheap by belonging to flying clubs, keeping things very simple and frugal. Heeter Airlines does not even offer pretzels, its only accoutrements are blue vomit bags on the seatbacks. Mercifully, I have never had to use one.
Truth be told, I’m a good flier with little to no fear when in the air with Heeter Airlines. I enjoy the bumps of turbulence, the way my stomach leaps a bit as we hit some wind. I love seeing the propellers, looking out at the runway. Last night we came back from Maine and there was a deer on the tarmac. We watched her glide as we touched down, witnessed her leap over the lights and back into the woods. That runway show was stellar.
It’s pretty wonderful to look down, to fly over our house, to avoid traffic. One of my favorite journeys was to Provincetown a few years back. We went in the middle of July, taking the Cessna from Rochester to the tip of the Cape in less than 45 minutes.
The Provincetown Muni Airport offers a shuttle service downtown for about five bucks; my pilot and I had lunch at a sweet cafe, swam at the beach (our carry ons had been beach bags and chairs) and enjoyed one beautiful summer day with no Cape traffic, a smooth ride, a glorious moment.
I do, however, have one job on Heeter Airlines. When we fly over water, specifically ocean water, it is my duty to look out and spot a boat or two that we could swim to should we have to, well, “land” in the H2O.
I like to look for yachts and boats that would be lovely to swim to, the kind that, perhaps, have a big screen TV on board. Yes, I am always thinking ahead. I do not entertain that word that rhymes with “sash,” only the possibility that I may meet someone who really COULD be on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
But I have to admit, I’ll look a wreck, my hair will be all wet, my clothes dishevelled. I hope they have hair and makeup aboard and, yes, I’ll insist upon no photographs – until I’ve been quaffed.
There is no hair or makeup aboard Heeter Airlines; I don’t think I’ve ever even brushed my hair aboard – it’s a pretty tight squeeze.
But I digress, it’s entirely the journey from above that matters, landing and unpretzelling from a peaceful, quick trip can be pretty wonderful.
Thank you, Heeter Airlines, Pilot Heeter, for letting me aboard. I enjoy the views, the travels, the option of the vomit bag and muse joyfully I’ll fly with you again.
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.