Today I am thankful for airplanes. I didn't mean to make this so technological invention heavy; tomorrow I'll do one about people. But I am really, really thankful for airplanes. Every time I fly I sit in quiet, grateful awe that I can get to any country in the world in one day. It's ridiculous. The airline passengers around me and their complaints and stress are so unfounded, and so unfortunate. I wish they would "stow it" as Mel would say. If they are unhappy about their security checks, their airfare, their leg room, their stupid carry-on bags, their precious few minutes of delay sitting at the gate, and so forth, why don't they just go to the bus station? Seriously. Get over yourselves, folks. You can go ANYWHERE. Fast. It's a miracle, and you should be thankful for it, too.
This year, in May, I was able to realize my goal of traveling to Tajikistan with Habitat for Humanity. Tajikistan! If I had attempted to travel there from Chicago in May 1910, I might still be on my way back in November. If I had set out in May of 1810, or 1710, I might still be on my way *there* in November. I owe my world travel to airplanes. I think about this all the time. I think about the Mark Twains and the Thomas Jeffersons and the Marco Polos and the marauding forces of the Roman Empire who had to invest far more effort and time than I do to travel the world.
I am completely, totally, enthusiastically thankful for airplanes.