I'm a former flight attendant who still likes to travel. I love all animals. Please be kind everyone, because you never know what someone else might be going through.
Have We Lost Our Way
When you are out and about take a look around. What do you see? Many people have said to me that they see more and more homeless people every single day. What I am noticing is that there are a lot more women. Yes it is true that the major cities have more, but I can assure you that the smaller towns do too. Just like that bird nest in the tree we all deserve a place to call home. Recently I read an article about Austin, Texas, and they were talking about how they are trying to include homeless people in their data count. They estimated that “over 7,000 individuals experienced homelessness in 2018. The 2019 Point in Time Count showed that there were 2,255 individuals experiencing homelessness in Travis County on a single day. Of the 2,255 individuals experiencing homelessness, 1,169 were sheltered and 1,086 were unsheltered.” In their estimation they said that “1,944 are homeless students.” (austinecho.org) Yes Austin is a college town, but that is a lot of students who do not have a place to live. What is not understood is why doesn’t the University of Austin do more to provide housing for their students? What else is often overlooked is homelessness and domestic violence. “According to the HUD 2017 Point In Time Count, of the total homeless population in Texas, 3,768 individuals reported they were victims of domestic violence.” The numbers for this are often inaccurate, because of privacy reasons. Domestic violence is horrible enough, but then they end up having no home, because they had to leave in order to be safe. When I think about the Bill Gates of the world, or the Elon Musks, there are more than enough wealthy individuals who could, and who should do more to help. We see a lot of empty rundown buildings that could easily be refurbished by people who have the means. These buildings would allow housing for those who cannot afford it. What is important is to help them to have a safe place to sleep, to shower, and to eat. We all deserve this. We as a society can keep turning a blind eye to this, but then what happens when this happens to you, or to someone you know and love? These numbers are staggering, and this is just for Austin. Try to imagine the numbers for Dallas, or Los Angeles, or for Chicago. Then think about the elements, the heat of Texas, or the freezing cold of Chicago. This is another major concern for people who are experiencing homelessness. How would you be if you had to sleep outside in the extreme cold, or the blistering heat of Texas? We go about our days busy as ever, and we forget about what other people are going through. We are supposed to be the best country in the world, but are we, especially if we cannot even help the people who need us the most? So if you are one of those lucky few who have way more than you really need please think about how you can help. Do you really need a 6,000 square foot house for just two of you? Do you need those extra cars that maybe get driven once a month? Imagine if everyone who had even just a little more than what they needed got together to help the homeless people in your town or city. Just think about what you could do. We have to start somewhere, because as human beings it is our job to help others whenever we can. Like they say, “You can’t take it with you when you go,” so why not do some good with what you have right now? Surely it’s not going to make your lives less comfortable if you’re already living high lifestyle. Think about that tree and the nest. That bird would prefer a birdhouse with four walls and a roof. Wouldn’t we all rather have that? People become homeless for many different reasons. We as humans should feel a sense of obligation to help, to do whatever we can, whether it’s volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, or donating our time at a homeless shelter, and yes even donating what we can as far as money to help in anyway that we can.
A World Without You
Photos frozen in time. It’s not their world, it’s yours and mine. I spend my days questioning why. Why was it your time to say goodbye?
There Is Power in Numbers
Alyssa Milano revived a movement on Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. This was started about a decade ago by activist Tarana Burke. Harvey Weinstein, an American film producer and former film executive, who co-founded Miramax entertainment company, is facing sexual assault and harassment allegations. These accusations first publicly surfaced in New York Times at the beginning of October. Since then, many celebrities have shared stories about their own experiences with sexual harassment and assault. Alyssa wrote this on Twitter back in October:
Traveling with Children
You should always plan ahead whenever you are traveling with children. Make sure that you plan on being at the airport at least an hour before your flight leaves. Truthfully being there an hour and thirty minutes ahead would be even better, especially if it is a holiday. That way if anything should come up you are where you need to be already. When you are packing their suitcase, make sure that you have a separate suitcase for them that has fun things in it for them to do. You can also pack a small pillow and their favorite stuffed animal. Pick things that they like, a coloring book, crayons, maybe a word search. You can pack an electronic game, as long as it does not interfere with the navigation system. If the flight attendant tells you to put it away then you should put it away. If you have headphones, and a small DVD player you could pack that too. So often I see parents out with their children and they have brought nothing for them to play with. Children are not like adults, they cannot sit there and talk and do nothing. It is important to bring something with to keep them entertained. When my daughter was little we used to play tic-tac-toe with cereal pieces. I would make a board with a napkin. She loved that, and it kept her busy. We would also play "I Spy" with things on the airplane. Ask the agent if your child can have a window seat. It is fun for children to look out the window. Plus you can point out different things and talk about them. Make sure that you talk to your children about being respectful to other passengers on the plane. A plane is not a place to be overly loud on. Also they should keep their feet off the seats in front of them. Children should never be barefoot on a plane, because there are too many germs. If your child does not to wear their shoes then pack them their slippers. You should also make sure that they are wearing comfortable clothes and tennis shoes so it is easy for them to walk. Let them walk because it will make them tired for the plane ride, and then maybe they will take a short nap. Also let them pull their own suitcase. It not only teaches them that they have to be responsible for their things, but maybe this too will make them tired. When you get to your gate take them to the bookstore. Maybe there is a healthy snack that they can get, or maybe there is a find the words book that you can by them. Traveling with babies requires even more planning ahead. You do not have to take everything with you on the plane. Just think ahead, how long is the flight, and then add in at least another hour for possible delays, and getting your luggage. If you have a stroller bring it, but again if your child is old enough to walk let them. You can take the stroller on the jetway. The gate agent will tag it, and it will be waiting for you right when you walk off the airplane. Be patient, they are called children for a reason. Children just do not have the attention span that we do as adults. Do not feel bad if they will not sit still. Some people will be alright being near your children, and others will not. That is alright, because those people would probably rather have the entire airplane to themselves. It is important to make your children understand that there just is not enough room on the airplane for them to run around. If you are traveling alone with your child, or children do not be afraid to ask for some help. Most of the agents will help you, and so will the flight attendants. Tell them that you are traveling by yourself. Never leave your child, or children by themselves, yes even on the airplane. If you need to use the bathroom take them with you. They do not have to be in there with you, you can just as a flight attendant, or a passenger to keep an eye on them, but you should keep them close to where you are. You know children. It only takes a second and they are off doing whatever interests them next. Traveling with children is not easy, so if you remember these things they should help you out when you take your next trip.
When we are young, we do not need much sleep, and our attention level is still pretty good. Unfortunately, as we start to get older, we notice that things change with our health. Maybe our metabolism has changed, so it might be more difficult to lose weight. Maybe you feel more tired than usual, and your energy level is just not what it used to be. No matter how well we eat, exercise, take care of ourselves things just do not seem to improve. If that is the situation with you, then it is time to see a doctor. Your doctor can do blood work to make sure that your iron levels are where they should be. They can also check your cholesterol levels.
Anyone who has ever had a pet understands that they are so much more than just that, they are family to us. When we lose them, it is devastating. Whether it was a dog, a cat, a hamster, or a horse, or any other kind of an animal, they are always there for us. They rely on us to take care of them, feed them, walk them, love them, and we rely on them to be there for us too. Some people think that animals belong outside, that they are for working. Though those people respect animals, they do not understand what it is like to be attached to them.
In this day and age, we are all a lot smarter than we were ten years ago. We know that cigarettes will eventually kill us. Now I expect that there will be people who read this and say that I do not understand because I do not smoke, but I used to. Now this will probably surprise people who know me, but I did. I smoked on and off in college. It was not an everyday thing, only when we would go out. I am from that era where you could smoke on an airplane, and so I did. I worked for many years as a flight attendant, and many of my friends smoked. I worked back when you could smoke on domestic flights. I mean, just imagine being trapped in an airplane with the last eight, nine, sometimes ten rows all smoking. As it is, you do not have good circulated air on an airplane, and then let us add smoking to it.
Crossing a Line
Recently I was shown an article about a famous singer who was at a benefit concert. He was singing to a large crowd of mostly women. Yes there were men there too, but there was a huge crowd of women that were very close to the stage. As the singer often does when he performs he got very close to the edge of the stage. Many of the people there had their hands raised up in the hope that he might touch them. He also often takes flowers from them and other gifts. On this particular night like he often does he knelt down, and just as he did one woman grabbed his private part. Now this was not a brush of her hand, it was a grab. He quickly grabbed her hand and removed it. Because he was in the middle of his song he had to continue singing.