Thursday, July 2, 2015
Then someone took me for a ride in a small plane. I was hooked.
Aviation - such a simple word, actually. Webster's compact dictionary states is defined as "the operation of aircraft". That doesn't even begin to touch on it. Yes, that's the basics of it, getting from point A to B for most people, but more than that, it's a grab bag of adventure, a fascination through history. It is a leap, for better or worse, that people take into the unknown.
Even when we pilots aren't flying we tend to hover around the airport, like moths to a flame, just showing up to have a cup of coffee and grasp the collective knowledge of those that have gone before us, taking in the stories, the tall tales, the wisdom. The knowledge that is passed on, from veteran pilot to youngster, from instructor to student is partly a flame, the warmth of awareness of what we recognized in each other, the pulse of blood within the hand that reaches out and offers to share the knowledge and wonder.
I remember when I was first learning to fly a tailwheel airplane. The pilots all hung out together, and in odd moments and at odd times, with no prior planning, all showed up at the airfield to just sit and trade stories, waiting for the clouds to clear. I was the youngest person there, it seems that the yearning for such a planes as these grows with maturing, sprouting as you discover what is in you that means something. Like any other passion, flying these airplanes is a passion often accompanied by a preference for that which surrounds its winged form, which in its absence still speaks fondly of it, in hallowed tones and animated stories.
From these pilots I learned the technical aspects of things. But I also learned so much more. For flying has a way of slipping out of its technical boundaries. Certainly one has to learn from their peers about lift and weight and thrust and drag. There's mechanics and weather and navigation, There's an extensive and complex science to it. And there's many an airman who treats it simply as that, an efficient mode of transportation. The same sort of pilot that may buy every toy and bell and whistle for their four seat plane, lest they get bored on a long flight.
But that's just not in the nature of this airman. It's probably the reason I love old trains and old tools. Give me a simple Cub, a stick and a few instruments. In this simple code of life, quiet and remoteness stand guard over courage heightened by solitude. This is my own compass north, the self in isolation; honor, resolve, emotion, thought and reason held in until they are amplified within me, becoming music to a life open to possibility.
For I'm in that other group, for whom aviation now is no longer a means to a living, or a call to duty. Aviation is simply magic; a reflection off of a brilliant white cloud that shines in my eyes. I hear the sound of the engine, and in the back of my mind can explain how it works, about compression, and bypass ratio and fuel nozzles. But also in my mind is simply the pure sound of it, the throb and hum of the motor, and with that sound, that deep, throaty rumble that lets the heart mend.
The being and cadence of the sky is more than Mr. Webster's definition, it's more than transport for those that hear the sky's calling. When we look down at the world it's like looking at an alien world, a place where we work and lay our head, filled with people we love, but still always somewhat foreign. For we're only truly at home harnessing the rumbled roar of an engine, the wind in our hair.
Operation of an aircraft - yes it is. It's also something that has shaped my life, even as I hung up my professional wings,, remaining always in my waking thoughts and sleep, a siren call that resonates somewhere in my private self, even as earthbound I find myself more at home.
Someone asked me if I had any regrets about hanging up my wings so young, when I still could have put in another 20 years in industry. I have none, for as satisfying as it was for me emotionally, intellectually, I was ready for new challenges Now life changes for me yet again. As I've written of before, there's been a huge consolidation of teams, offices and lines of business, and my group is being absorbed into another within my agency. My position as Team Lead going away. Another one like it is not open, not anywhere geographically close.
No regrets. Because it's one thing that aviation taught me. It's more than what you do - it's how you view the world.
Posted by Brigid at 6:31 PM
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
The beer bread was a hit, so how about a loaf made with Guinness! A little recipe for you as I travel back home. Just use the beer bread recipe and use Guinness and add 1/8 teaspoon of Rosemary to the batter. Cheers!
Guinness Bread with Rosemary
Guinness Quick Bread (Recipe in the comments)Delicious, inexpensive and five minutes to stir up. Some food choices are as simple as black and white.
Posted by Brigid at 8:13 PM
Monday, June 29, 2015
The little part to the right was built from the original structure, a small cabin that partially burned on some land my cousin owned. It was restored - Big Bro making a number of trips down as that happened, then my cousin L. designed the addition to the left, which in the last few years, came to completion. The kitchen is my domain and is set up to make about anything you can think of without a lot of wasted space or extra "luxury" kitchen items (there is NO microwave).
My room's still the same with the big bed and a loft to the left with another sleeping area. No space is wasted in this place.
Yes, those are the little toy horses my cousin and I played with as little girls.
Big Bro on his visits back in the day? Well, he was a bit different. He didn't want to bunk in the house with the girls or on the sleeper sofa where Dad would stay when he came for Thanksgiving. No, during our summer vacations here, Big Brother bunked in the BUS.
No- not just ANY 1941 bus. THE TWILIGHT LOUNGE
It has room for someone to bunk, both people and a dog - a fridge, sink, heater and fan, room to eat and drink and little port a potty out back.
Hey -ANYONE can decorate with plastic flamingos and begonias.
A stop for lunch.
Buddy the horse, who travels to and from here in his own trailer, goes out to his pasture after an apple and carrot. Buddy is twenty-one and has a good life here and his other home down in the valley where he stays in the winter months.
(Yes, SUN OVEN)
You don't have to be related by blood to love someone.
Dad is a much loved member of this clan of family and friends.
Happy 95th Birthday Dad!
Posted by Brigid at 6:55 PM