I have always been fascinated with weather but not to the extent that aviation has mandated since I started flying. A constant look to the skies now not only includes the hum of an engine but a look to assess the cloud cover, wind speed and direction as well. A review of the weather is to see if we are under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) conditions or VFR (Visual Flight Rules) conditions will determine whether I can fly or not on a given day.
The last two weeks of Ground School were pretests for the actual written. My goal was to take the FAA written exam within two weeks of class finishing while everything is still fresh in my head.
I stand here today at 51, looking back over this past year, and reflecting on all the things that I’ve done and all the changes that have occurred. It’s a good feeling and I’ve had a great year, full of new challenges, and new adventures. There are things I would change if I could; but I can’t, so I move on with the idea that life is still good in spite of any setbacks or heartaches that I’ve experienced. There were new friends made, connections found with old friends again and some loss of other friends along the way.
The P51D Mustang, “Angels Playmate” is the center piece of the air show today and it’s absolutely stunning. It’s a replica of Colonel Bruce Carr’s P51. You can read about the history of him and his Mustang here… http://www.rb-29.net/html/50FtrPltStory/FtrPltStory/50.01.00.htm and more about the history of “Angels Playmate” here http://www.warbirdregistry.org/p51registry/p51-4463810.html . Watching it fly with the other Warbirds today was like taking a walk back in time to see and hear what it would have been like with a B-17, a B-25 and the P51D moving ominously through the air towards you.
I needed a break from flying lessons and wanted to go up and just fly for the fun of it again. Sometimes flight instruction gets to be a lot like work and awfully stressful. So I asked for a chance to just go fly again, get away and remember what I fell in love with about flying. I was beginning to go stir crazy practicing the pattern. I call it “Nascar Flying” because all you’re doing is left hand turns around the airport and landing.
An Andy Stanley quote, “When your memories exceed your dreams, the end is near.”
The first time I ever saw this quote, I thought it was the most depressing thing I had ever heard. I thought long and hard about it. I realize that it’s about the end of life. When you talk to older people, all they tell you about is memories of days past. They aren’t talking about tomorrow or next year or even ten years from now. They reminisce about the days when they were young, fond memories of days when they felt alive and energetic. Granted, they usually speak with a genuine fondness for the past, but they aren’t looking toward the future or what they plan to do as the days continue to pass on by.
The skies are amazing today. It’s 81 and breezy on the ground. I’m flying at 5:30 this evening and I can’t wait to get to the airport. It’s calling my name, and I can’t get back there fast enough.