© Jerry Stanecki

Hurling through space and time, the Lufthansa jet lifts from the Athens runway. Six minutes after 6:00 a.m., on schedule. Bidding farewell to Greece, my eyes shift to the east and the moon silhouetted magnificently against a crystal-clear, still very dark sky. The dark side of the moon showed with only the bottom in crested light. The jet climbs, the sky begins to redden; daylight filters through the darkness of dawn.

Quite suddenly, I’m whisked away to the magnificence of Monument Valley, Utah, as scattered clouds jut up, silhouetted against the beginning of day. The clouds look like monuments, just as it did as the sun rose over the valley in Arizona and Utah.

Witnessing the beginning of another day, I realize I can paint any picture I want. Good, bad, bright, dark, happy or one of stress and unpleasantness. What this day would be was my choice.

Thank you God for the journey that’s brought me to this belief.

In a heartbeat, I flash back an hour. It was in the lounge of Lufthansa business class in Athens. Cup of coffee in hand, I searched for a place to sit.

“Excuse me, is that seat available?” I asked.

A man mumbled something that sounded like “Yes.” On the small round table in front of the vacant chair was an empty coffee cup. With my free hand, I picked it up and was going to take it to the dirty dish tray.

“Would you mind?” the voice had an unfriendly edge. “That’s my cup.”

“Oh, I was just going to clear it for you,” I said pleasantly, giving the guy another chance.

“I can lift my own cup,” he said sarcastically.

Old picture options flashed in my mind.

Should I drop the cup and say, “Oh, how clumsy of me?” Should I grab him by the thro—you get the idea. Instead, I simply told him:

“ I will not subject myself to such an obnoxious person so early in the morning. Life would be miserable being you.”

Ten minutes later, I caught myself still allowing this idiot to live in my life rent-free. Now, an hour later, I was still giving the jerk my happiness. I decided to shift to a new picture.

The sun helped as it made its first appearance sending golden rays through the Jet’s window.

“Excuse me, sir.” The accent is German. It’s the flight attendant.

“May we offer you breakfast?”

“Please,” I said.

The tray is loaded with seasonal fresh fruit— slices of pink and white grapefruit and a slice of orange and one big, plump grape. The fruit was accompanied by a scoop of Greek yogurt.

This is living, I thought, and glanced back at the jerk. You know who. “Hey,” I shout in my mind. “Stop!”

A selection of chilled breakfast specialties helped me shift: Prosciutto ham, bell peppers with slices of Kassen and Manouri cheese. Clutch you chest heart smart eaters.

The entrée came. Scrambled eggs blended into a crepe pancake with ham and cheese and Ratatouille on the side

Yes sir, I love air miles that upgrade you to business class. Especially on extended flights.

The meal was wonderful, the service? Perhaps American carriers ought to have their employees trained by Lufthansa. This was my third flight on Lufthansa and it just kept getting better. As we landed in Frankfurt, for just a second, I thought of the jerk, and how difficult it is to break those old pictures. Yeah, it takes work, sometimes-hard work to eliminate negatives in life. But, then, you’re worth it, aren’t you.


Copyright – JS