Friday, June 29, 2012

Finnish Fridays: Dog cards

So this is one of the items I had with which to entertain myself on the flight from Helsinki to JFK (with a significant stopover in Amsterdam). It was 1976, I was 7 years old, and the DC-10 felt like the QE2 compared to the DC-8 we'd flown over on. I did not know, and still do not know, what this card game was all about; I just liked dogs (still do) and made up my own games. That is, when I wasn't watching the in-flight movie (Paper Moon, starring Ryan and Tatum O'Neal) or reading my new Asterix comic books or my brother's Tintins. If memory serves, the journey was 14 hours long and I was terribly well-behaved. There was no air rage. The stewardesses—they were still called stewardesses then—kept the vodka flowing.

Ah, what a difference 36 years makes. Right now, I'm packing for a three-hour 6am flight to Minneapolis, which will be followed by a five-hour drive to the deepest, darkest, albino-deer-fullest woods and muskiest lakes of Wisconsin. Lindsay is busily downloading new kid-friendly apps to his iPad (a.k.a. "Paddy") as well as movies (the Rex Harrison Dr. Doolittle). I've already packed a dozen DVDs to play on my laptop, and downloaded several audiobooks to my older daughter's iPod. The DS is charged. The kids have packed their matching, monogrammed Pottery Barn Kids wheelie backpacks with books, sketchpads, coloring books, pastels, watercolors, markers, snacks, water bottles, stuffies and cuddle-cuddle-up-its-blankets-that-are-puppets.

Do kids really need all this stuff to endure a domestic flight? Probably not, though flying really does suck incredibly compared to the ’70s. I'm not going to wring my hands over it. With Kindle, iphone, pack of gum and bag of almonds, I'm flying about as light as I did 36 years ago, to the closest thing to Finland the US of A has. Funny, no?

I doubt I'll be blogging next week, though you might find me on instagram. I've sussed out at least one flea market in deepest, darkest Wisconsin. Fingers crossed.

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