Year Two. Month Nine. #SAN.

Just a normal day, like any other. Loading bags and people to go somewhere.

You think you've seen everything in this job, and then it hits you.

This job is crazy.

There's no way you can ever predict where this job will take you, who you will meet and what will happen.

All you can do is buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life.

Last Friday night: It's my "typical route." Four-day trip, Salt Lake City the first night, then Boise, then SLC again on the third night. It's day two, and in between SLC and BOI we are flying to San Diego for a brief twenty minutes of sunshine before heading up north to cold, dark Boise.

California with its sunshine and warmth is always such a tease.

Ah, California with your perfect blue skies and sunshine.

But not today. A rare storm has blown in and with it our tiny regional aircraft is being rocked about as we descend into San Diego. In the aft of the aircraft, I am buckled up in my jumpseat, grinning wildly while watching my passengers' heads bob around. A kid throws her hands in the air and shouts gleefully. A teenager looks a bit green but distracts herself with bumpy phone selfies. An older gentleman tugs his toupee down. I make calming announcements but can barely contain my giggles. It's just moderate turbulence. A little scary, but mostly harmless. I love the thrill.

And then it hits me.

Or rather, it hits us.

A solid boom, and before my brain can interpret what my eyes are seeing a surge of energy lights up the aircraft.

And then, silence. Darkness.

Norma and I re-enact the moment when we were struck.

My hair stands on end and I call the forward flight attendant who is frozen in her jumpseat.

Did we just get hit by lightning?

The two of us agree to stay in our jumpseats until landing since it is just too turbulent to get up. The cabin seems fine, passengers are looking around in confusion but no one appears to need assistance. We land about a minute and a half later and I make our "Welcome to..." announcement. I look through the book but there's no suggested dialogue about the aircraft getting hit by lightning.

I glance at my watch to announce the time. And then I take a double-take. My watch has ...stopped.

What just happened?

Our little plane sits in San Diego, awaiting mechanics.

After deplaning, us flight attendants debrief with the pilots. They are wide-eyed and just as surprised as us. Boarding for our next flight is being held off indefinitely until mechanics check out our aircraft for damage. Our whole crew of four does the walk around with the First Officer, curious as to what the bolt of energy did to our flying metal tube.

The metal covering the nose gear is blackened and charred looking, as is two identical spots on each wingtip, obvious exit points. The sight is eerie. I tap my watch again. Life is sure strange when you're consciously hurling yourself through the sky at hundreds of miles per hour.

In the end, our next flight cancels and Crew Scheduling tells us to stay put in San Diego for the night.

We wander Little Italy that night, unable to sleep, still feeling electrified from the experience.

That moment when you find out that you're stuck in San Diego with one of your favorite flight attendant friends!

At a little outdoor cafe, we reflect.

Suddenly, the sky opens up and rain pours down upon our uncovered patio table. We jump up, grab our drinks and look around for shelter. And then we start laughing.

This life is crazy.

And there's no predicting what will happen next. 

So buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Happy flying!


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