This is a delayed post. I originally wrote this on a plane in August of this year. I’m just now getting around to editing and posting it.

The last time I had wine on a plane was in 1986. It was February, The Space Shuttle Challenger had recently exploded shortly after launch. I was on my way home from a follow-on technical school at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. The school was for the AN/TSC-60(V) series communications shelter. I was flying first row coach with another airman from a nearby unit who had also just completed the school. We decided we should celebrate so we purchased a glass of wine. Today seems a little different and I got to thinking about where I am now, versus where I’ve been.

I’ve been working for Itron, Inc. for about 15 years. My most recent job move with the company was into Product Marketing. I’m now playing the role of a Product Manager, for our Mobile Collection systems. I travel some in this new job and I’ve gained a frequent flyer status with Delta. Today I received an upgrade to First Class. I decided to have wine.

It’s a white wine, a good blend, tasty, not too tart, not too sweet. It’s smooth and puts a warmth into my chest and belly. It makes me melancholy. Perhaps that’s why I’m writing. The seat is roomy and comfortable. I feel all warm and fuzzy. It seems a nice way to top off this trip.

In addition to the wine, I’ve received the honor of being served a dinner. I’m on a flight from Minneapolis to Spokane. It left about 5:40 in the evening and will get me home about 6:30 or so, with the time changes. After a heavy lunch, I wasn’t sure I’d consume the entire dinner on board the plane. But it went down easy. I saved the peanut butter brownie for later and asked for a short (half glass) top off of white wine.

I’ve only had the privilege of traveling first class a few times. Once was when my original plane turned out to be too small for the bookings and they had to re-route me on different flights. I got the first leg in first class which was kind of nice. No meal though. The next time was on a quick trip at the last minute, that one had a meal. I didn’t book it, a fellow employee did and I think we both managed to get upgrades. This time seems more special.

On this trip I finally had my status upgraded so I’m not just accumulating points (miles) while sitting in coach. This trip I was actually eligible for priority boarding and first class upgrades. I can also choose better seats in coach when booking. Yes, it’s all a “perk” that comes with my new job. So why not have a small (and the glasses really -are- small) glass of wine to celebrate?

Asa Jay

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Copyright 2014, Asa Jay Laughton