airline tickets

 When I was little, my dad would send us to Seattle every year to visit our family. It was a promise he made to my mom (to send us there every year) when he moved us away from there when I was very young. A promise that he kept as long as he was alive. I cherished those summers. And then I grew up and for some reason life got in the way and those trips just stopped. For me at least. I had better things to do. Or so I thought. I’d give anything to have those carefree summers back. I think I miss my grandma and my cousin most of all this time of year. That HIGH of seeing each other after a whole  year was the extreme feeling of love. That feeling of really feeling excited to see each other. The best feeling ever!

little girls playing2

Today, I work through my summers. The other day I mentioned to my boss (also a good friend) “Just you watch, this week will be over and I will be saying can you believe it’s Friday AGAIN?!” And Friday I asked; “Remember what I said about Fridays?”  It kind of scares me how fast life is passing me by. It seems as if only yesterday, falling in love was just something to look forward to. I hadn’t even kissed a boy yet, didn’t know where I’d end up living, if I’d have kids or who’d they be. OR for that matter, WHO I’d be!  Everything was all tucked inside my imagination. And now I know as if there is nothing left for me to look forward to. Sometimes I have this overwhelming feeling of it all whirling past me so fast that the dread of it all being over has me missing “life” as it is happening.

woman writing at keyboard

I used to fly sail planes! Believe it or not. It was kind of a fluke. It was another summer in my life, We’d just hopped on my boyfriend’s motorcycle on a beautiful Saturday afternoon starting out to just take a ride along the cliffs of Palos Verdes and ran into these radio controlled sailplanes and ended up driving all the way to Lake Elsinore to see the real things. Before I knew it we were signed up and taking lessons! I remember my instructor, he was from Scotland, His name was Glen, he’d always greet me with “Top of the morning to ya!” We’d had a T-shirt made for him with that on it when I’d completed my course and began soloing! Can you believe it? I actually soloed. I think it is one of the accomplishments in my life that I am most proud of. motorcycle2 Being able to solo entailed a lot. You needed to know all the technical things as well as understand the way thermals worked and how to share one with another plane, how to be aware of the traffic in the sky etc.. Though my boyfriend soloed before me, I soloed with less trips up or lessons. I think Glen kind of just wanted me to beat my boyfriend who was very competitive. So I proudly raced my way to winning something out of our race! I will never forget that plexiglass dome coming down over me without Glen in the seat behind me! I just kept eyeing that red knob that I was supposed to pull at a certain altitude.

tow plane

I watched as the power plane pulled me up, and as it hit a little turbulence, I knew I’d hit it a few seconds later. There was a kind of comfort in that tow plane and the turbulence and knowing what was in store.. but finally as we rose to the correct altitude,  the power plane wiggled it’s tail, the sign for me to release! Yikes! I pulled the red knob and watched the power plane flip a U and go back down to pick up his next tow, as this total feeling of dread and exhilaration  filled me. My boyfriend was filming the whole scene below. I found the landing pattern, looked for other air traffic, eyed the chalk line I was supposed to land on, checked my instruments and remembered all the instructions, “Remember your wing span, don’t waver too much or you’ll clip your wing.” I remembered hearing Glen say as he patted my fuselage. Seriously? Did I really need to know that? You better believe it. Eventually, I learned to find thermals and enjoy the ride like I did when Glen was up there with me, instead of just being pulled up only to focus on landing and nothing else! After several solos and some other interesting stories I could tell, I look back on those days fondly but wonder…“Were you crazy Diane?!” (The things we do when we are young!) And yet, it is kind of like life. We need to pull the red knob sometimes and fly over the unexpected turbulence without any forewarning. To adjust and land. To always land. Yes life is like that, summers come and go, weeks speed by, but we need to stop worrying about pulling that red knob and enjoy the trip both up and down and have faith in our ability to land but to not miss the thermals along the way! Because it actually is about how long you can stay up, catching those thermals and not worrying about the turbulence or always landing so fast!

*Post Note (A friend asked me to write about my Glider days… so I did… >>>>By the way…. This one’s for you: Paywindow7 (Bob) Now you need to write another!) https://paywindow7.wordpress.com/

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36 thoughts on “To Not Miss The Thermals Along The Way!

  1. Wow, you were so brave flying sail planes! Sounds like a lot of fun after you got the hang of it. I liked the sentiments expressed in this post- I too, have even recently gotten caught up in worrying that there isn’t anything to look forward to and I’m not even middle aged yet. It’s time to enjoy the journey again with all its twists and turns :).

    1. I love your insight on your blog. I’d hope my blog would prick someone young like you to realize that these are your good old days and to embrace them! Even the bad times I now look back on fondly. THIS time will never be this time again! You know? Though there are great times ahead. Don’t get me wrong. But to live in the moment is a hard art to master!

  2. What an amazing story. I am always so proud and honored when in the company of bravery, it is always so inspiring, no matter the subject. Thank you for sharing the exhilaration.

  3. I am so glad I found my way here, I saw your title on another blog and wrote it down to remember to visit. I wish I had written the name of the blog where I saw it first.
    I look forward to visiting here.
    I had a friend who was a pilot and I went up a few times with him. I loved it. I flew SOLO for a few minutes. Exhilerating.
    My hubby enjoys flying but we don’t have the money for it.
    I am at the stage where I am question my life….
    Like you, all of a sudden I feel old. 56…..My body is wearing down from lupus and fibro….My brain is mush a lot of the time.
    On the other side though: My brain feels young and alive and free ……I want to do so much .
    Have a wonderful week. Hugs Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah!
      What a nice message! I love the name of your blog! I am all about old houses, doors and attics! I had to follow you before I even peeked inside!
      I am two years older and so we probably can really relate to the era and what we are probably both experiencing now.
      Like… remember when you could just pop up after sitting on the floor and not have to use your hands to get up?! lol.
      I know flying is expensive. Even soaring is expensive. Back in the day, I needed weight bags filled with sand to make the plane weigh enough… (Oh those were the days. Right?) So my boyfriend bought me a heavy duty Elna sewing machine so I could make bags for the glider port in trade for our tows up!
      Thank you for making my day! I plan on visiting your neck of the woods too!
      Hugs!

  4. Coastalmom! You did it again! I have been befuddled by how fast my life is speeding by. But in all honesty I am what is speeding by! I want to do so many things I never had the opportunity to do, see things again or for the first time. I know this feeling.
    I also know the joy of riding in a sailplane! My father was a pilot and took me up once when my family was traveling through Elmira, NY(?). It was like being a bird. No engine sound, the peaceful quiet and the joy I felt from my father and myself of being in the sky like a bird. Not everyone can say they have enjoyed that amazing experience! But, you went even further! Good for you!!! Thank you for a lovely read this morning!

    1. Joyful,
      I remember answering this but can’t find it. So weird. But thank you for your comment! I know aint it so? It is US that is doing the speeding! Love that. Time to sloooow down!
      Thank you for always taking the time to read and share. I always love your comments!
      xoxo

    1. Peter,
      Right? It was crazy when you really think about it, up there with no engine. But the quiet and awe of feeling like a bird is hard to describe. Glad we share something like soaring! 👍

        1. Sometime I’ll have to share about the time the San Diego College Soaring Club landed RIGHT on the chalk line where you are supposed to just touch down on and then roll from there another few hundred yards and just STOPPED while I was only just ONE thousand feet above, already in the landing pattern! So scary!! AND my instructor had only pointed out the emergency runway but never had me land on it before! So freaky!

          1. That’s when you learn the metal you are made of! You need to recall those moments and understand how you (we) are loved and guided at all times. I read recently that I should stop fighting the guardian at the gate, and instead pay attention to the guidance to get through … Good advice, eh?

  5. Wow.. you were adventurous…but it does sound exhilarating! I’ve also lately been aware of how fast life is passing… You’re right that we need to make the most of the time and do some ‘soaring’! Diane

    1. Right? Was I crazzzy or what? I’ve got a few other things that I’ve done and think : WHAT was I thinking?! But am so happy I have the memories! Some days I watch a bird catch a thermal and wish it was as easy for us to soar like that!

  6. Wow Diane you are a brave lady . Life is about excitement , fun and joy . Not just work. We should never work all through our summers. We moved near the coast almost a year ago now . It was where I spent my childhood my childhood . When I came back and bought my child was determined to live here and I did just that. I never let a day go by when I don’t walk on the beach and wonder at its majesty .
    Cherryx

    1. You are right. Making yourself go where you can’t argue with God’s Majesty is the best therapy. Sometimes you just have to understand what the reminder: stop and take time to smell the flowers really means and then make yourself do it.

  7. ” Memories are the most precious thing we have along our paths of our journey of life, this is what keeps us going when we get to all the crossroads of these paths”.

    ” it’s the memories we have that helps us become stronger throughout our journey of life”

  8. Thanks for writing about your glider solo experience, you’ve made my day. I know what it takes to fly powered aircraft but flying a glider boggles my mind. Overcoming coming fear and adversity is what courage is all about and you are magnificent. OK the ball is in my court so now I’ve got to get with the program.
    Bob

    1. You are welcome Bob! 🙂
      Studying for the glider license (in order to take people up with you, which I never completed) entailed studying the power license test and it was mind boggling. And you did that! I am impressed beyong words! And you made my day by making me write this or caring enough to want me to write this!
      Okaaay so no pressure on my part, but since you are an amazing writer, I’d fail on my part, if I didn’t agree… the ball “is” in your court! 😉
      xo

  9. Beautifully written and so inspirational! Good for you with that experience in your life! I totally agree about the passage of time. It overwhelms me at times as well. 🙂

    1. Thank you Kelly,
      I just went back in your archives and had such an inspirational time. I love when I can take time to just appreciate good advice and excellent writing and get it all in one place!
      xoxo

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