Part 1: “Coming in for a Landing”

The plane landed on the runway with only the slightest bump. As though on cue, the women all let out a collective sigh of relief. With increasing intensity they joined the other passengers in clapping to congratulate the pilot on their smooth landing as the plane slowly taxied past the Düsseldorf International Airport sign .

“I don’t know what we’re clapping for” Monie whispered to her cousin, Tasha, who was sitting right next to her. “It’s his job to set this bird down safe and sound! If someone clapped after I gave them their booster shot I’d pass the heck out.”

Before Tasha could even answer, Monie looked over at Peaches in her seat across the aisle and immediately began to laugh.

“Girl, don’t tell me you were really that scared!”, she said as she suppressed her laugh to a giggle.

“I told you I don’t like to fly”, Peaches answered defensively, hastily brushing away a single tear of relief that was making it’s way down her dark cheek. “And for me take offs and landings are the worst part,” she added. An old hand at soothing the savage beast in a classroom full of nine year olds, Peaches’ eyes were still wide with anxiety and there was a faint mustache of perspiration quivering on her upper lip. Although she had pretended to sleep when everyone else did, she had actually spent most of the flight praying silently to herself to ward off visions of their plane turning into a fireball somewhere over Greenland or crashing into the lush green coast of Ireland.

“I don’t know about you, but once this baby was in the air, I didn’t notice a thing!”, Kenya piped in as she folded up her  sleep mask and stashed it in her handbag along with her iPod and headphones.

“We know, girl” Monie laughed out loud again, “you were calling hogs before we hit open water!”

Kenya picked up her pillow like she was going to throw it at Monie, but decided against it. Instead she – like everyone else – loosened her seatbelt and began collecting her things in order to disembark.

In the next few minutes the six black women gathered their belongings from both under their seats and in the storage areas above their heads. Loaded down with their carry-ons and hand bags, they made their way off the plane and headed towards passport control.

For all but one of them, it was their first trip to Europe.

All but four of them had had to get their first passport especially for this trip.

Seven of them had taken a foreign language in high school or college.

None of them had taken German.

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Heading into the New Year

Actually, both ChessMan and I are suffering from bad colds, so 20-10 is starting off in slow motion for both of us. We sleep a lot. Sniffle and cough a lot. And consume copious amounts of liquids. During the day it’s usually tea and/or coffee and  water. As time goes on we admittedly shift to beer (him) or hot toddies made with Bacardi dark (me). In other words, are mornings get off to a slow start and our evenings are experienced in a warm and fuzzy glow.

Because I am not watching much TV right about now, I have been spending my time on the computer watching episodes of old TV shows over at http://www.archive.org. If you do not know this excellent site, I command you to RUN – not walk – on over there. It has been my go-to place for some time for the Old Time Radio plays I listen to during the night. Now I am watching a lot of sitcoms and other shows from the 50’s. My current favorite: One Step Beyond. If you are a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits fan, you definitely should check out a few episodes! My favorites from yesterday: “The Visitor” with a very young and handsome Warren Beatty and “The Dead Part of the House“.

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Happy 20-10!

“The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.”
(David Weinbaum)

At the beginning of the New Year,
as well as the beginning of a new decade,
I wish you many inspiring and productive beginnings!


„Beginne nicht mit einem guten Vorsatz,
sondern mit einer kleinen Tat.“

Am  Anfang eines neuen Jahres –
Am Anfang eines neuen Jahrzehnts –
wünsche ich Ihnen die vielen “kleinen Taten”,
die große Ziele ermöglichen!