It was a beautiful day, clear skies and the sun was shinning. I was the Lead Flight Attendant on a DC-9 going from Detroit to Tucson, Arizona with a stop first in Kansas City.
Shortly after take-off I had turned on the front galley ovens to warm some sandwiches, and Blam Blam!! Sparks flew out of the grill of the oven and the circuit breakers popped! I definitely smelled a "singe" smell! I informed the cockpit that we had a problem with the ovens. (We were suppose to be serving a hot meal from Kansas City to Tucson!) I explained in detail what had happened. The First Officer looked at the Captain and both looked surprised, like that wasn't suppose to happen! (I will add that I was married to the First Officer at the time.)
Now the First Officer came back to the galley, pushes in the circuit breakers and turns the ovens on. BANG- BANG! More sparks flew out than the last time! I swear his mustache was singed! He walked back into the cockpit a bit dazed! They then called the company about the problem. How were we going to feed all these people without ovens? We were suppose to have a full flight out of Kansas!
Once in Kansas City, the caterers boarded the most beautiful fruit and cold cuts plate that I had ever seen! How they were able to switch menus and do this on so little notice, I'll never know!
So- off we go to Tuscan. Another half an hour or so and into the service, I was humming my happy little "Fruit plate for the passengers" tune, glad the little catering emergency was behind us!
I had placed my hand on the coffee pot, thinking the coffee wasn't as hot as it should be. At the same moment a "sting" ran through that hand, down my body, and out through my ankle! Plus, my hair felt like it was standing on end. At that very same moment a Big ball of fire flew past the galley window on the right of the aircraft! This all happened all at once- along with a "Bang" sound!
NOW what!! I couldn't help but think that the faulty ovens, the electric shock I had received, and that ball of fire out the galley window may be all related!
The Captain came on the P.A. "Congratulations, folks!" He continued- "You've just joined the We've Been Hit By Lightening club! You may have seen that ball of fire off to the right of the aircraft. Let me assure you that all is well! No damage done!"
I actually had a mark on my hand where electricity had entered my body, and on my ankle where it had exited! They later told me that they saw the ball of fire coming from their left ! It rolled over the nose of the aircraft and past along the right side of the aircraft. No instruments were damaged,
Now my mind is going double time! We had two small sons at home. ..What the heck were we doing flying together!..What the heck was I doing flying at all!!??…When was the #3 shoe going to drop (keeping in mind that everything comes in 3's), and what would it be?! I went to the cockpit and informed my husband the First Officer and the Captain that if we made it to Tucson, I was getting off and going home. I was done! Someone had to survive in order to raise the kids! This seemed to be a warning!"
The Captain replied "Whoa! We'll call you in sick! Don't quit yet! " After a moment of rethinking my motherly impulse to get home to my kids and not take any chances, I let them know that "Okay, I'll stay with the flight. But if one more thing happens, I'm outa here!"
#3 shoe NEVER dropped. We were not cursed after all! Whew!
Strange, I've been in many more dangerous situations than what happened on that flight, and never felt that "urge" to quit since. Perhaps it was because my sons were so small. Perhaps it was just one of those days, when emotions were a bit raw.
Since that day I had so many wonderful experiences, I'm thankful I indeed didn't quit! I think of the people I have met since, and the places I have been- and the fun, crazy, and sometimes heartbreaking experiences I had. I would have missed all that!
Of course, many times I had wished that I could be two people at once, one to be a stay at home mother, and the other flying the skies. But that wasn't a choice I had.
I am grateful for each and every adventure, even the ones that scared me a bit! And isn't it those unusual circumstances that stay in our memories, and become more humorous as the years pass?
You can't quit life, just because it sometimes scares you!
Life is truly an adventure, even when it's a bumpy ride!
May you all savor and enjoy every adventure your life has to offer!