Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘flying

Nice Distraction

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My hope of forgetting about the distressing loss of 22 chickens in one quick event didn’t really work but yesterday’s attempt sure was a nice try. I have to laugh (though it was more like a whimper) now when I look at the images I posted just a few days before the attack, showing all those birds and me sitting among them. That didn’t last long.

Our nice distraction yesterday of friends flying in for a day and the wonderful summeriness of dining on the deck and playing in and on the lake was quintessential lake life. We paddled kayaks and stand-up boards around the island and into the nearby bay, pausing to visit with folks on a neighboring property.

We soaked in the luxurious water and absorbed oodles of solar energy while chatting away the hours. It goes without saying that the food Cyndie and her mom served up was plentiful and divine.

One particularly noteworthy moment of the small-world phenomena came as Mike and Barb were headed down the steps toward Marie’s car for the short drive to the Hayward airport. We had invited a neighboring Wildwood member, Julie, to join us for dinner since she was here alone this weekend. Having visited all day and through the meal on first-name introductions, it wasn’t until we were leaving and Cyndie and Julie were inside cleaning up after the meal that Cyndie mentioned Mike’s Architecture firm does restaurants.

Julie asked what his last name was and then rushed out to re-introduce herself using her last name to reveal Mike and Julie had been working together, albeit, remotely, on one of her restaurants.

Surprise, surprise. And an electric moment for all.

Marie and I watched Barb and Mike’s plane lift off into the hazy air as they departed on their return flight to their lake place in Grand Rapids, MN.

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Mike reported the visibility as “Hayseeee.”

Their visit and the grand day at this lake place were a really nice distraction. Unfortunately, the reality I want to be distracted from remains a cold, hard fact… Still.

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Written by johnwhays

July 17, 2021 at 7:50 am

Plane Delay

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Our plan for the day played out perfectly, right up to the point where the pilot, standing next to his suitcase, took the microphone to speak to the throng standing in queue to board.

The walk-around revealed a leak that would require taking the plane back to the hangar for repair.

How can you argue with a delay situation that involves not flying in a plane with mechanical issues?

We didn’t settle into a bed until the wee hours of this morning, but did so safe, sound, and thrilled to be laying heads on pillows.

We’re here!

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Written by johnwhays

January 19, 2019 at 8:45 am

Planning Ahead

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I’m happy to report that yesterday’s commute went without a hitch, despite completing the last few miles home in the afternoon in an ever-increasing snowfall.

It was a busy night for me last night. After putting Delilah through a long workout with some off-trail deep snow, I needed to plow the driveway and do some shoveling, before heading inside to pack for a weekend out of town. Not just out of town, but out of state. We are flying to spend the weekend with Cyndie’s parents in Florida, traveling with our friends, Barb and Mike Wilkus.

Our trusty home and animal sitter, McKenna, has offered to cover the necessary days that will allow us to spend a night before and after Florida at Cyndie’s parent’s Edina home to maximize efficiency and minimize driving between home, work, and the airport.

That meant I needed to think about getting ready for work this morning, as well as packing for four days in Florida, and then making sure I will have everything I need for going to work the following Monday. After work today, I will drive to Edina. Cyndie will meet me there to spend the night before we head to the airport with Barb and Mike early in the morning.

We get back to the Cities late on Sunday, and will be able to avoid the long drive back to Beldenville by returning to the Edina home for the night. Monday morning, I head directly to work from there.

That’s thinking a lot of days ahead for me. So much for living in the moment.

On the walk with Delilah, we found some good evidence of the icing that was occurring on Monday. It looked like someone had painted our fence posts gray, which, humorously, was my first thought when I spotted the odd sight.

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Oh, yeah. It was just ice.

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Written by johnwhays

February 21, 2018 at 7:00 am

Enough That

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That’ll be enough of that. I’ve changed the login password so the animals won’t be able to babble on here again for as long as I can avoid it. I’m grateful for their help and everything, but I think it is best delivered in small doses with long intervals between.

We had new help tending to the ranch while we were gone and they did a spectacular job of caring for animals and property. It makes our time away that much more enjoyable. Our fun was guilt-free.

Flying to Barb and Mike’s lake place worked out fabulously. In just a blink of an hour we were there. It was a wonderful weekend of palling around with treasured friends, eating out, shopping, playing games, boating, swimming, hiking, visiting, cooking/eating/cleaning, taking in a movie, sharing stories and laughter.

Happily, the weather cooperated in allowing us to fly home on schedule, without conflict.

It was a priceless weekend. Thanks, Mike and Barb!

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Written by johnwhays

July 24, 2017 at 6:00 am

Distant Thunder

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We had plenty of warning last night that heavy weather was going to visit. The majority of thundering was happening well to our south for about an hour before it moved in and started dropping rain on us. The sun was just setting when the edge of the billowing tower of clouds became visible, giving them a foreboding glow.

It was a late night for me, as I crammed to get some manure management done before we head out of town for the weekend. It’s a job I have been neglecting for enough days that it was going to be a problem for our horse-sitter while we are gone if I didn’t do something before leaving.

And, we are leaving this afternoon. In fact, I am leaving from work. Our plan is to meet at the airport in Eden Prairie to fly to Barb and Mike’s lake place near Grand Rapids.

After completing my manure chores, I needed to haul some hay into the barn for the weekend. Then it was time to shower and pack. I struggle every night just figuring out what I will wear the next morning for work, and that got amplified last night by needing to also think through a weekend of possible needs.

Since we are flying four people in a small plane, the goal is to pack light.

It’s a great recipe for forgetting something, if you ask me.

I packed a swim suit, and my sunglasses, so I at least have the essentials if something else was overlooked.

Now we are just hoping there is no thunder happening along our flight path during the hours we hope to fly. If the weather isn’t friendly enough, we’ll simply drive up north instead. Which, in that case, would mean I could then haul up more than I need, like I usually tend to do.

Maybe I should toss all my heavy non-essential items in my car just in case. It usually turns out that if I bring extra stuff, I won’t have a need for it. The need only arises if I don’t bring something.

It’s like a law of physics or something. Probably a cousin of Murphy’s Law.

Wish us some flying luck! It’ll be pretty sweet if we are able to pull it off. Who wouldn’t want to cut the travel time to the lake in half?

Here’s hoping any thunder is REALLY distant during the appointed hours of our planned travel.

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Written by johnwhays

July 20, 2017 at 6:00 am

Dreamy

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in one of those moments
when sleep claimed control
the mind flew off a cliff
within the proverbial instant
that eyes held down the blink
auditory input stopped
but certainly not the vibrations
so which circuits take a break?
and how do they know so to do?
nowhere became everywhere
and everything in-between
places wander in
materializing fully furnished
with myriad mysteries
feigning a familiar event
for a fraction of a sec
then consciousness shows up once more
half surprised
yet not quite
choosing to put up a fight
making sleep circle around again
for another stealthy approach
from a more northerly view
to claim the inevitable prize
a pausing of various systems
so the body can do
what sleeping bodies do
allowing the mind to taxi away
despite not having filed
any hint of a logical flight plan

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Written by johnwhays

June 8, 2017 at 6:00 am

Welcomed Home

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Despite some fleeting moments of inclement weather early in the morning (after a really nice little thunderstorm in the middle of the night) our flight home was on-time and without incident. That part about no incidents is a little surprising because of the number of babies and infants on board.

I spotted the youngster sitting closest to us was under headphones and being mesmerized by programs on a tablet for much of the 3-hour flight. What a great invention when it comes to really, really wanting a child to be occupied for an extended time. Too bad that advantage gets offset by the greater number of times when parents would like their kids to be present and engaged with others in a moment when they instead choose the oblivion of a tablet.

When we landed in Minneapolis, instead of having George and Anneliese pick us up, we took a taxi to Cyndie’s parent’s house in Edina to borrow her mom’s car while mine is in the body shop for repairs. That had us on the road for home at about the same time I would normally be driving home from work on a Monday.

That’s one way to quickly put an accent on the fact we are not on vacation any longer.img_ip1904e

We were met at the door by a very friendly dog who seemed very happy to see us again. Before unpacking a thing, we changed into work clothes and headed out to walk Delilah and tend to the horses. Cyndie decided to put her recent gains in mobility to the test and grabbed ski poles to support her first foray into the snow and uneven ground of our trails. She had done some good walking on multiple surfaces and outdoors while we were in Florida.

We made our way to the horses and got right back in the swing of the usual routine.

Anneliese made a wonderful dinner, followed by a card game at the table, making us feel completely and warmly welcomed back to our home.

Just to get myself fully back into things at Wintervale, I did a little repair work on a problem spot on the electric fence. It was arcing something fierce at the insulator that Legacy had pulled off the t-post. Turns out he cracked it. It was a quick fix of swapping out the bad one with a replacement stolen off a post that wasn’t currently being used.

With that task accomplished, I felt like things were well in order after 5-days away.

Now we have new snow expected tonight and tomorrow, which will serve as a final punctuation mark to our welcome home.

No doubt about it, we are no longer in Florida.

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Written by johnwhays

January 24, 2017 at 7:00 am

Fly In

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For years, I lived within bicycling distance of Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, yet I never attended any of their events. Yesterday, I walked among planes and talked with pilots at my first fly-in. It has me marveling over what I missed all those years.

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It also has me appreciating all the money I have saved by not becoming a pilot. 🙂

IMG_iP3774eCHWith the Battle Lake airstrip within walking distance on a beautiful paved path past the Glendalough State Park, Cyndie and I hiked under the series of incoming aircraft to take in the spectacle. George was already there with an orange vest on as a volunteer helping direct traffic when planes taxied past the wandering spectators.

The incoming civilian small planes floated in with little fanfare while the louder, larger, and faster military planes made speedy passes and garnered the bulk of attention. I was filled with questions about the difference of all the designs and found an excellent teacher in George’s friend, Ed.

DSCN5118eI first met Ed at an impromptu drop-in visit for dinner at George’s house. He had become a mentor for George during his time of instruction to earn a pilot’s license. While chatting about the typical first-meeting details that define us, we quickly surmised that Cyndie and I had purchased our home and property from his sister. We had an instant bond.

I also quickly learned why he made for a good mentor. He was not only an experienced pilot, but he had spent his career directing planes as a flight controller.

Flying, like so many other pursuits, holds an allure that can easily pull a person in all the way. Despite that, I learned, the number of pilots is on the decline. There are less young people entering the field than the number of flyers who are aging out.

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I’ve survived the pull of that flying thrill several times before, with pilot-friends Mike and Rich both bringing me along on flights, and the time when our son, Julian, was investigating the possibility. I think I’ll be able to withstand the pull again with George and Ed.

I wouldn’t help the averages, anyway. At this point, I’d just end up being another pilot in the 60-year-old bracket.

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Written by johnwhays

September 4, 2016 at 8:41 am

Flying High

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Cyndie and I have been invited to spend the long Labor Day holiday weekend at George’s family lake place in Battle Lake, MN, but we won’t be driving up together. That’s because I am already there. George flew me up yesterday evening in his small plane.IMG_iP1675e

I raced home from work, threw some things in a bag, and off to the Red Wing airport we drove. A couple of hours later, he had me safe on the ground at the grass landing strip of the Battle Lake municipal airport, which is right next door to their lake home.

It was a beautiful evening and the flight was hardly bumpy. George had warned me it could be a rough ride, but we lucked out. I wasn’t at all uncomfortable and gleefully absorbed as much of the overhead perspective as possible before sights disappeared behind us as the miles slipped past.

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IMG_iP1682eCyndie will drive up to join us today after she tends to the morning chores. Our property sitter and animal caretaker, McKenna, will be overseeing operations at Wintervale while we are away.

Cyndie and I need to be back earlier than George does, so I will be riding back with her on Monday. I’m guessing the trip will seem a lot longer on the way home for me, than it did coming up.

We really flew!

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Written by johnwhays

September 2, 2016 at 6:00 am