Her name was Phyllis.

Connie and I were making our way home from Boston, where we’d had a delightful visit with our twins and their families in the days after Thanksgiving.

But we weren’t going to be seated together on either of the flights as we made our way back to Dayton this week.

Instead, I got to know Phyllis.

My boarding pass put me in the very back passenger row and in a window seat.

Two women who could best be described as “elderly” but were — to tell the truth — about my age had the other two seats in the row. I tucked my laptop into the overhead bin, took off my jacket and did my best to squeeze in to what was arguably the least comfortable seat on the plane.

“What the heck are you reading?” the woman in the middle seat, immediately to my left, said as I sat down.

It was, I admit, a big book. One might call it a “weighty tome,” a gift from daughter Emily for my birthday. Not exactly light reading.

Phyllis snorted a little when she looked at the title.

I didn’t know her name was Phyllis at that point. That was just something I picked up over the next couple of hours.

I also learned:

•She was a retired elementary school teacher.

•She and the woman beside her and their husbands had been on a Boston and Nantucket vacation.

•She’s a fan of Branson, but she says the shows now are for a younger audience. She misses the Andy Williams show. When she was teaching, she used to joke with her students that she would park cars in Branson after she retired.

•She has a daughter in Indianapolis who owns a border collie. A very smart border collie, though that’s probably redundant.

•She liked the Grand Ole Opry but thinks that metropolitan Nashville has gotten too big.

•She’s originally from Kentucky but hasn’t lived there for years.

And I learned that she likes to ask questions:

•Where are you from?

•What were you doing in Boston? I told her that we’d taken the Boston grandchildren to see the U.S.S. Constitution while we were there. Could you go on board? Yes. Was it a timed ticket? No, and there was no charge.

•Are you still working? Sort of, I explained. I’m retired but still involved with the business and still write a weekly column.

•What do you write about? I couldn’t answer that honestly because this column had already begun to take shape in my head.

•How’s retirement working out for you? Good question. I told her that it takes some getting used to, but it definitely has its advantages.

•What’s interesting in the area where you live? Now, that was a tough one. I figured she’d never heard of the county fair or the engine show or the glass museum. She was content when I told her that Indianapolis was about an hour and a half away.

•Have you always lived in Indiana? Pretty much, I said, but then explained that I’d had the opportunity to do a lot of work internationally.

That last answer had Phyllis intrigued.

You should have been seated next to my husband, she said. He loves to travel.

The husbands, I realized, were seated several rows away and were probably enjoying a snooze.

Eventually, the conversation and the flight ended.

But as we were making our way to the next gate and the next flight, I encountered Phyllis once more.

“Thanks for the enjoyable chat on our flight,” she said as she and her husband hustled through the terminal.

Thanks for the column, I thought.