has been a tough year. Terrorist attacks—far
too many to enumerate—spawned upheaval
and collective heartache both at home and
abroad. We lost several cultural icons, seemingly
one after the other. BREXIT passed. The results
of the presidential election rocked and depressed
more than half of the United States’
population, cleaving our country in two.
for the Arends, 2016 contained an undercurrent
of grief whose wellspring originated in the
loss of a family member. On April 14, 2016,
we lost our dear, beloved Mr. Chips.
everywhere know. Our pets are as much members
of our family as anyone else. People fail
us, but our pets never do. Mr. Chips was as
much my brother, my friend, my confidante
as the people with
whom I share blood. Over the years his back
legs ossified, his eyes filmed over with smoky
cataracts, his black freckles flecked with
grey, but he was always there for a snuggle
and a snack, dependable as ever. He went suddenly
but slowly—not in his sleep, as we all
would have hoped, but with a hole in his heart
and straining to breathe until we finally,
begrudgingly let him go.
We were devastated.
I said it then and I say it now—we lost
the nicest, kindest, sweetest member of our
family. My father has stated repeatedly that
Mr. Chips did not have one mean bone in his
body, and he is right. Last Christmas, despite
parental protestations, we gave Mr. Chips
a full plate of Christmas breakfast with our
trademark Sears pancakes, cheesy scrambled
eggs, crispy bacon, and bratwurst sausage
freed from its casing. He deserved it, and
given the power of hindsight, I’m happy
we did it.
If you have
furry family members, give them a kiss for
us and throw them a little piece of people
food in honor of Mr. Chips. Crippled with
arthritis and fully blind, Mr. Chips could
still sniff out a wayward buttered pretzel
roll that escaped the dining room table.
We had one
significant bright spot this year. FIATA,
which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2016,
honored my father with a FIATA Fellowship.
It was the first time such an honor was bestowed
on anyone outside the forwarder community.
My father earned the fellowship through his
pioneering reporting for Air Cargo News
FlyingTypers, the world’s best
source for objective, unbiased air cargo news.
In 2017, my father enters his 47th year reporting
on the cargo community. While he’s never
been the biggest fan of awards programs, he
said, “The FIATA Fellow designation
is the exception that makes the rule.”
“FlyingTypers expects to deepen
its cooperation with FIATA in 2017.
recognition challenges us to explore new and
wider cooperation between all stakeholders
in air cargo.
one of the oldest and most respected organizations
in transportation, has moved us very deeply.
the freight forwarders to applaud the effort
of a publication that serves as the voice
of the airlines is way beyond any scenario
we could conjure, aside from perhaps some
good fiction,” he said.
humbled and very proud, and—with apologies
for paraphrasing Frank Borman—we frankly
think we must work extra hard to earn our
wings every day,” he concluded.
I may have
told you a little white lie above.
Please bear in mind I only did so to contrast
the enormity of my father’s unexpected
and meaningful FIATA Fellowship with the overwhelming
loss of Mr. Chips (writers manipulate their
readers at times, but I promise it is always
with the best of intentions). The FIATA Fellowship
truly was a significant bright spot. However,
it wasn’t the only one.
In early October,
my longtime beau, Anthony, and I finally made
things official. We eloped in the presence
of our two best friends in a small courthouse
in Rhinebeck, NY. After eleven years and countless
adventures together, it felt long overdue.
In a year of so much widespread gloom, our
nuptials felt like lighting a candle to illuminate
a corner, no matter how small.
just one week after Thanksgiving, my parents
drove to the very same dog shelter from which
Mr. Chips was rescued nearly a decade earlier
and found the smallest, sweetest cocker spaniel
puppy. She had been abandoned only two days
prior. Her color is remarkably like Mr. Chips,
albeit of the blond variety. She has the very
same freckled nose and spotted body, but she
is the vanilla to Mr. Chips’ chocolate.
We’re fairly certain Mr. Chips sent
her to us so that we wouldn’t go puppyless
this Christmas. She is approximately 8 months
old, which means she was born right around
the time Mr. Chips died—you’ll
forgive us if we don’t believe in coincidences.
We named her Little Lulu, or Lulu for short.
She enjoys curling up under the Christmas
tree, crying when my father leaves the house,
and chasing a ball around. I wish I could
tell you more, however I don’t know
her just yet. The process of getting to know
her is a Christmas gift in and of itself.
When we first
drove Lulu home in my father’s Volkswagen
Vanagon, I glanced back at her sitting in
my sister’s lap and sang the only words
to the Little Lulu song I could remember:
“Oh Little Lulu I love you lu just the
Given how much
we adored Mr. Chips, that’s saying a
whole FlyingTypers family wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas
and a Happy and Healthy New Year!
just listened to the Little Lulu theme
song, I’m amazed that the lyrics
actually refer to Little Lulu’s
“freckled chin.” It seems
the name was meant to be.
You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon
Access specific articles by clicking on article