When I was a kid, like all of us I had many dreams. There are three that I remember – I wanted to be a ham radio operator, I wanted to be a pilot and I wanted to scuba dive. I’ve been blessed enough to realize 2 of those dreams, ham radio and flying and may still have time to chase the third.

Being a kid is a wonderful time because our dreams are not stifled by reality. As far as a kid is concerned, there are no limits – absolutely anything and everything is possible. Those are the dreams worth having! Kids imagine being a rock star and an astronaut and a doctor/scientist who cures disease without worrying about finding time to do all those things.

Then we get older, and when we find that we have difficulty finding time to do a simple home repair, we tend to put our dreams into standby if not long term storage.

But deep down inside there’s still that kid who has those dreams. Not had – has. And every once in a while, through luck, magic or Divine intervention that kid manages to break through the everyday cares and worries and remind us of our dreams.

I had that happen this past weekend, and not only totally enjoyed it but was able to share it with my kids. It was great.

Back in the late 80’s I earned my private pilot’s license. Later, when I had time to fly I didn’t have money; when I had money, I didn’t have time. The last time I flew was in 1991, but the desire never waned. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with the blessings that I enjoy every day, but I still hoped to fly again.

This past weekend I wanted to do something special with my son and daughter while my wife was out of town. We talked about going out of town or maybe horseback riding. My son and daughter couldn’t quite agree on what we should do.

Then the kid inside me got involved. Now that kid has almost 35 years more experience at being a kid than my son and daughter together. Bottom line is I arranged to rent a plane with an instructor and take them up for a flight.

There is a poem that many pilots believe explains it better than they can. I shared it with my daughter and now share it with you.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

For a great biography of Magee, go here

My daughter especially loved the experience and was given the chance to sit “left seat” (the pilot’s position) and with the instructor do a takeoff, a touch-and-go and a full stop landing for her first 0.2 hours of student pilot time. ( A big thanks to Curtis Eads Flight School.)

I think my dream will live on. Here’s Katie after her flight.

2 responses to “Flying

  1. My husband is in the process of refreshing his pilot skills. It has been about 30 years since he last flew. Just prior to Christmas he got a flight physical and his updated pilot’s license. You should have seen the grin on his face! I will be the first to admit that I don’t really “get” this flying thing, but my husband does. Thanks for the post!

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