Saturday, May 19, 2007

Too Sexy for My Shirt

My brother came to town late Friday night with his youngest son, aged 13 in tow. The two older children had a dance or some such to attend at home, so didn't accompany him. John is working on a project and left his son with my parents for the weekend.

I had a very full plate this weekend. Trying desperately to get the rest of our stuff out of the other house so we can finish up and close that chapter of our lives. It's rough going. Who knew one could accumulate so much crap in the space of a year??? Then on top of it, granddaughter K's babysitters bailed and she wound up coming to spend the night here while her parents work. The in-laws are getting settled in their assisted living apartment; their house is sold; they ALSO have the what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-all-this-stuff quandry. They want help too.

So, what do I do?

Why, I go to the airshow, of course!!!!

This is not as heartless as it sounds. Darling Man was at the old house doing some cleaning up chores and disposing of hazardous waste at the Hazardous Waste Roundup. It's not as scary as it sounds... but you can't just dump paint or batteries or any number of other common household items at the dump anymore. They have to be disposed of differently. So he worked on that, and I was home with Z-boy (who is starting to feel better, thank god).

The plan was this. My father and my nephew "W" were to come collect Z-boy and they were going to go to the airshow while I took care of moving business. But then "K" was going to come spend the night and I realized that my whole weekend was going to be shot. Not going to get much done, so I may as well enjoy the airshow too. So I piled into the van along with the boys and off we went.

I don't talk about it much, but I'm enamoured of the flying world. I worked for the FAA for a while at the Academy in OKC. I learned how to fly a small plane (divorcing before I could get my private pilot's license - then I couldn't afford to fly anymore). I wanted to be a crash investigator. And I loved looking at planes. Big ones. Little ones. Old ones and new ones. I hadn't missed an airshow since I moved back home, though they were much smaller than the big ones in OK. But you could count on a Corsair or two, a Mustang, a few Pitt Specials, Piper Cubs, and of course, my favorite - Stearmans (big bi-planes). There were also plenty of Cessnas and Beechcraft to admire as well.

As it turns out, my father knows the owner of the two Stearmans quite well. He's married to an old friend of mine (we've lost touch until recently) and they live very close to my parents. And Dad bought "W" a ride in one.

I was SO jealous!!! What I wouldn't give for an opportunity like that. But the rub? I now suffer from vertigo. A ride like that would pretty much do me in these days. Z-boy couldn't go either because of his swimmer's ear, but I'm not sure he'd have been enthusiastic anyway. He's a bit on the nervous side when confronted with something like this. But "W" got to go! He climbed aboard, donned his "Snoopy-style" leather helmet with goggles, and off they went soaring into the sky and disappearing into the haze.


They were gone for about 20 minutes, and we waited anxiously for his arrival to enjoy his glee at having such a ride.


He climbed out of the cockpit and walked back over to where we were waiting, barely containing ourselves from jumping up and down and clapping.

"WELL?!?!?!?!? How was it??!!" Dad and I asked in unison.


Dad and I looked at each other in disbelief. Good? That's all he had to say?

Oh, right. Thirteen. The ultimate cool age. Good.

Of course, "W" will never forget this. And when he's older and has kids and grandkids of his own, he'll regale them with stories of when he was a boy and rode in a bi-plane around town one hot spring morning. And I'm betting that when he tells that story many years from now, there will be an edge of excitement in his voice, an enthusiasm that wasn't obvious to us today - and his grand kids will ask....

"What's a bi-plane?"