Midnight Flight

One of my colleagues was excited last week for the arrival of her mother for a visit from Washington State. She was flying from Spokane to Bismarck via Minneapolis, arriving in Bismarck on the midnight Delta flight.

There are very few commercial airports in ND, and very few commercial carriers that come into the State. I knew exactly what the midnight flight into Bismarck is like. The airport terminal is almost dark, nothing is open, and all the airline counters are closed. There are a couple of lighted offices, and one or two rental car desks whose occupants look exhausted. The long term parking kiosk is closed, so you better have exact change for your parking bill, or else a debit/credit card.

It is sort of comforting, sort of odd to live in such a remote place and know the details of these things so well. I wonder what it will be like to move back to Luverne when I retire, and what new things I will learn, and what old things are still there.

What communities are you the most familiar with? How have they changed for better or worse over the years? What are some of the more interesting airports you have been in?

50 thoughts on “Midnight Flight”

    1. The “High end” option of seats in modern tractors includes massaging seats, air ride, swivel, foot rests / pegs… they’re pretty comfortable even with out the massaging option!

      Slump down far enough, I’ve napped in a tractor seat.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I lived in Leadville, COlorado from 1967 to 1974. It was a mining town then. When I first arrived to interview for a teaching job, I thought it was the ugliest town I’d ever seen. I didn’t want to stay for the interview but I did. And I took the job. The buildings were old, most of them not necessarily upgraded from the 1800s.  When the Climax Molybdenum mine closed in 1985, the town almost shut down. Then Vail, just 45 minutes away, grew and expanded, Leadville became a place for people to buy the cheap houses, (many of them costing less than $10K), updated them and turned them into bed and breakfast places for tourists and skiers. New tourist businesses, buildings improved and restored, events like burro, foot and bike races that bring in people from all over the world.  Houses that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy.  I have visited several times, the last time was 2015. In spite of all the improvements that saved the town, I miss the old town which I had fallen in love with before I left. 

    Cynthia “Life is a shifting carpet…learn to dance.”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I’ve worked construction on many airports. The security situations are interesting. Down in Cincinnati, we remodeled the international baggage receiving area. Background check required. The location is waaaaay out in the middle of the plane taxi areas. Driving among the parked planes while following security was neat. The officer stayed with us the entire time.
    Now at the Minot, North Dakota Air Force Base we showed ID at the gate one time and never again during the weeks of working there. We came and went as we pleased. I guess I didn’t look like a saboteur or spy.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons

    I am thinking of my hometown, LeMars, Ia, today. I was recently back there to visit my aunt and uncle. Much of the town looks similar to what it always looked like. But the tiny Methodist college there closed years ago. The town leaders at the time chose not to form a community college, which I view as a mistake in judgement. So much of the town that was influenced by the college is gone. Because my life was so lead by those people, I view that as a terrible loss. The little town is now dominated by agribusiness (Tyson foods, Iowa Beef Packing, Blue Bunny Dairy). That is a different culture than the college town in which I grew up. I am very glad I left it and did not look back, although I enjoy gathering with my friends of that time, only three of whom stayed in the area.

    My uncle took me to a part of town I rarely visited before. He wanted me to see the cemetery and the headstone he chose for himself and my aunt. (She is 87 and dying of congestive heart failure. He is 90 and in pretty good health for 90). I did not want to go see this, but it meant so much to him, that we accompanied him there. He had a belief statement carved into it that was clearly so important, and it was what he wanted me to see with him. A week or so I also wrote here about this. The experience made me cry. It made him cry, too, and I was obligated by family rules to not see that or that he started to get into his car through the wrong door.

    The emotional landscapes of a town are the ones that stay with me.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I love living in a place like Mpls. for long enough (30 years) to know my way around, find almost anything… be able to exit the freeway and know the route on surface streets. For some reason, though, I can’t answer to whether it changed for the better or worse during that time. Both, I’m sure, but I was just mostly paying attention to my own little life within that city.

    Winona changed for the better while I was gone, adding the festivals – Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mid-west Music, Frozen River Film. And there’s a new one beginning mid-October, a Storytelling Festival!

    In all the towns I’ve lived, including childhood ones, I’ve miss the mom-and-pop groceries on the corner that died with the coming of Walmarts and Menards, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We have a very small airport in our town that only has flights to Denver. It closes at the least hint of fog or too high wind. The parking lot is always full, though. Lots of oil workers fly in and out.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The airport in Guanacaste, Costa Rica was pretty much open air. If I remember correctly, our luggage was offloaded onto a very large cart which was then pulled into the “baggage claim” area of the terminal. And I believe the cart was offloaded by hand while we waited nearby. This was back in 2000. It’s probably been modernized since then.
    The Dubai airport is a marvel of steel and glass – chaise loungers along with regular seats, at least one waterfall, very clean. It reeks of lots of money!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I saw that the airport in Amsterdam put decals of a house fly on the bottom of the bowl in the urinals in the men’s bathrooms to give the guys something to aim at. Cleaning needs in the bathrooms have decreased by 80%. The idea came from an airport janitor.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I think is it really funny, actually. Leave it to the Dutch to find innovative ways to clean. I often advise parents to put cheerios in the toilet when they have difficult or unwilling boys to toilet train. The boys like to sink the cheerio.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. OT – As I know we have at least a couple of writers – or should I say authors? – in our group, I thought I’d pass along the following information. David Unowsky, former owner of the Hungry Mind bookstore in St. Paul, is one of the presenters, he knows his way around books and publishing. He is semi-retired, but works as a free-lance consultant to aspiring writers:

    “The great arts nonprofit Springboard For the Arts has a recurring online event called Ask Me Anything in which two people who know things about a particular art answer questions for an hour from whomever zooms in. On Monday September 19, the topic will be writing, books, publishing, bookselling, etc. The two presenters will be the interesting and charming Steve Horwitz and me. Steve is a lifer in the book world having been a bookseller, editor, publisher rep, and writing coach for the Prison WritingWorkshop and others. Please join Steve and me for this fun and hopefully interesting hour. Here’s the links:
    Meeting ID: 899 3805 5671
    Passcode: 922218″

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Two recent comments of mine have yet to show up on the blog. Not that I’m a believer in conspiracy theories or anything, but I’m beginning to feel singled out by WP.


  10. OT
    I am looking forward to seeing you Baboons tomorrow. I’ve been on zoom meetings where I put up a screen as background. Not gonna do it.
    I must show The Birds. I don’t think Steve would have minded.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. My most familiar place is a small area of North Devon in England. I’m not sure if I’d know anyone now, in my favourite corner of that, two parishes called Cobbaton and Stowford. Apart from two farming families I haven’t seen much of for more than fifty years, and a guy that used to travel on the school bus with me. I’m sure there would be a lot of people there with no connection to farming now.
    I suppose we were all scattered, but there was some kind of sense of community, and in any case with the five of us, we made our own. I’ve never stopped missing it.


  12. It is possible that if we are very diligent about retrieving every misguided spam post, the system may figure out the contributors are good. They are also inquiring whether Margaret can be “White Listed” . With that CIA history, I just don’t know!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. After eleven years of commenting quite regularly, I’ve suddenly become persona non grata to WP. Not sure I have it in me to try to convince anyone, let alone Akismet, that I’m pretty benign. If this comment goes into spam, I’m calling it a day.


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