Diary of a mad Luscombe pilot

Every new year brings contemplations, convolutions and resolutions, most of which are held dear for a week or two and then thrown out with that final bit of holiday trash.

Contemplations of the New Year sort can get deep and perplexing at times. One realizes the Earth is another year older and one’s backside is another inch wider. In my deepest of contemplations I have to face that my body and mind are slipping ever deeper into the abyss of middle age and that vision of my 20-something-year-old self is fading fast.

So, in a valiant attempt to gain some semblance of control over my aging mind and body, I resolved to embrace a new lifestyle. No more fad diets that promise that my short, plump body will magically turn into a 5 foot, 9 inch slim goddess with no age spots. I will embrace my middle-aged self and nurture my mind and body through proper nutrition and exercise. If it tastes good, I will spit it out, and if there’s no sweat, it doesn’t count. I will remove certain malted beverages from my major food group selection and chocolate will no longer be my antioxidant of choice. In an effort to persevere, I will keep a journal of my endeavors into this new realm of middle-aged fulfillment:

Day 1: I finally figure out how to operate my new MP3 player and before long Michael McDonald is crooning in my ears that I am the woman of his dreams while I pedal away on my exercise bike. In my enthusiasm I fall off and need pain relievers and an ice pack the rest of the day.

Day 2: The family wants biscuits for breakfast. Being a loving wife and mother, I oblige. But eating half of a grapefruit and a piece of dry toast while they are consuming warm, flaky biscuits with sweet, creamy butter is torture. By the time breakfast is done my tongue is touching the table. I fear it may be stretched beyond its limits, but the Old Man graciously helps me roll it back in. I can’t talk for the rest of the day.

Day 3: Me, the MP3 player, the child and the dog decide to walk today in an effort to combine exercise with spiritual fulfillment. The child gives up after one lap, the dog after two. In a huff, I give up after three and trot to the airport instead. I find personal fulfillment at a neighboring airport after several touch and goes that reveal my magnificent talent at three-point landings. I may be a goddess after all.

Day 5: It’s Saturday and the Old Man graciously offers to man the fort (kid, dog, chickens, laundry, feeding, etc…) if I would like to spend the day at the airport. The dust from my tires is whirling through the air before he finishes his sentence. I forget breakfast and forsake exercise for a flight to Winder, Ga., for lunch with the Jackson County airport gang at the Spitfire Grill. My grilled chicken salad with no dressing makes me feel saintly. After nearly two tach hours of flight, this short, fat woman thinks life is good. I celebrate with a small filet mignon and a glass of wine for supper.

Day 6: The Old Man and I walk three miles. I lie and say it feels good although I can barely move. Later, I am tested. I find a leftover piece of Christmas chocolate that escaped Keely’s notice under the couch cushions. It’s in my mouth in a flash, but the dog’s accusing eyes make me spit it out. I’m not sure I like this new lifestyle.

Day 8: I am feeling lighter and more agile. Maybe this embracing business is working. I download several Chaka Khan songs for my MP3 player and enjoy them while I do my chores. I’m convinced I could be one heck of a back-up singer and, after an hour of gyrations, I know I could be an awesome dancer…until I wrench my back. I make an appointment with the chiropractor.

Day 12: I am able to crawl inside my Luscombe. Barely. It’s January and the day is warm, even for the South. The air is clear and smooth. Winter shadows are sharp and the hills glow magenta against golden sunshine. I take a great photo of the sunset and realize that I don’t feel middle aged at that moment. I don’t really feel young either. I just feel good. On the ground, I nurture my mind and my body. In the air, I nurture my soul. I can embrace that just fine.

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