Moving on…

debwing

I’ve always wanted to write, and when I graduated from high school, I had every intention of attending my local college and pursuing the possibilities.

But on orientation day, for whatever reason, I didn’t go. Instead, I applied for a job and started working with a young man who would give me my first airplane ride in an old 1946 Luscombe 8A. I fell in love with the man that day. In the years to come, I would fall in love with the plane.

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The covered dish

Marion Harris

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Andy Williams assures us that it is. For pilots, it can be. Predicable winter fronts can be followed by a day of wind, then a day or two of CAVU.

It ain’t happening this year. Right now in north Georgia there has been rain and fog for days. In the mid-South, it’s been worse: Ice and power outages are plaguing folks. In the west, brutal cold prevails, while in the northeast, snow stops are reported at major airports. So tell me, what’s so wonderful about that?

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The experience that is Triple Tree

Pavillion 2

When my husband Henry and I decided that we wanted to fly our Luscombe 8A over to the seventh annual Triple Tree Fly-In near Woodruff, S.C., for the day on Saturday, Sept. 7, I imagined it would be a pleasant day of flying and socializing. When I woke up Thursday and decided I wanted to fly over on Friday and camp instead, we realized we needed a new tent.

We did not regret this decision. Triple Tree Aerodrome, quite frankly, is the most beautiful airport that I’ve ever seen, and it takes time to absorb all this magical place has to offer.

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My last nerve

porch

This summer I had an eye-opening life experience — not with my own mortality, thank goodness, but with my own mobility.

I am 50. In the scheme of things, I am a mere pup in the flying community. I am healthy and very active. I fly, hike and garden. I am always busy doing something, and if I am still, you can bet I am asleep. So it was rather startling to go to bed on a Sunday night and wake up Monday morning unable to get myself out of that bed.

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The Surly Bonds of Earth

bob gandy

My Old Man didn’t realize that when he shared his love of flying with me all those years ago that a whole new world and a whole new community of friends would be opened up to both of us.

Unfortunately, our shared love of flight doesn’t make our aviation community immune from life. Since the Old Man and I have made many, many friendships over the years, it’s inevitable that some will be lost, and some have been.

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Reversed adventures

cherohala

We have an agreement that if chores get too strenuous, projects get too overwhelming, or lists get too long, it’s time to hit the road. Sometimes, it’s just for the day, but every few weeks, we’ll do an overnighter, and every couple of months we do several days.

We don’t go far; maybe a few hours drive to a hiking trail that leads to the top of some grassy bald where we can gaze over beautiful scenery, clear our heads and go back home ready to finish some tedious task.

Most of my readers will find this habit inconsequential as this column is posted in a flying magazine’s website, but for me, it is remarkable. [Read more…]

Now arriving…Spring

spring1

I was quite pleased that winter was not bad this year in north Georgia. There were a few spits of snow and several cool, rainy days, but all in all, winter was mild. That is…until March came.

Our peach trees began to bloom. Geese flew over by the dozens on their way north, and I decided that before long, those first seeds would be planted in the ground for the family garden, and warm, pleasant flying days would soon be upon us. Wrong.

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The coincidental tourists

IMG_1605

It all started at the hotel in Richmond Hill, Ga., a quaint little town outside of Savannah located along the seemingly endless ribbon of concrete known as Interstate Highway I-95. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and my Old Man fully believes this maxim. Unfortunately, the hotel’s dining room, which taunted a “free deluxe hot breakfast buffet,” was full of snowbirds eager to claim as much of the free carb and chemical laden booty as possible.

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An American dream

ShortFinal

Livio Gustavo Suarez was 25 years old when he decided to follow his vision of a better life. His native Uruguay did not offer the freedoms he dreamed of and heard about in the United States of America. Government regulations all but bankrupted his import-export business and his marriage did not survive the trauma.

When his aunt in Atlanta mentioned that a job in the import-export business was available in her area, he took that as a sign that the time had come for the man to follow the dreams of the boy. But those opportunities did not come easy.

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