December 28, 2010
Structural Icing, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 52
Sunday morning, pre-post -Christmas breakfast:
I’m flipping through magazines, sipping a gifting of Mountain Blueberry coffee and loving it despite the nose wrinkling protests of others that coffee should taste like coffee. “It does taste like coffee,” I protest… “and a blueberry muffin.”
As the pajama-changing, breakfast prep scattering starts, I settle back with my favorite big black dog and a magazine hoping to find some inspirational new topic to write about. The November 2010 issue of Flying magazine header article addressing the Great Lakes' effect on structural icing looks promising.
“It seems as though some of our most vivid memories come from some of our worst experiences in life. While many pilots don’t remember their first, they will probably never forget their worst. For many, it remains etched in their brain forever. This time of year, convective signets seem to morph into icing airmets as we become prisoners in our own space. But, we can avoid making painful lasting memories if we do some careful pre-flight planning and use some streets smarts to negotiate the system to our advantage during this icing season.”
I skimmed through article searching for physics, skipping the techie talk, sure I didn’t get out of it what that author intended, because as usual my mind flew somewhere entirely.
Structural icing. That’s pretty much where I’m at. Iced. Caught in the limbo of structural icing: frozen in between wanting to be euphorically happy that I have made it this far, and the only semi-acceptable reality of this mediocre place. There is something to be said for acknowledging how I’ve arrived here, and knowing that my own inability to fly at present is due to simply standing still too long, not seeking alternate routes, and exposing myself to elements without regard to long term effects. It’s comfortable alone, above the clouds, in the sunshine of my own false sense of security. It’s pushing through the clouds and coming back down to civilization that poses the most risk. That’s where the moisture hits you. If you’re lucky or if you’ve planned well enough to skirt pitfall pockets, the concentrated condensation rolls away relieving the pressure. If you’re not so lucky or haven’t mapped out alternatives, serious structural icing seizes the opportunity to freeze coat you… from the outside in.
I guess it’s time to pull out those street smarts, find ways around heart-flow traffic jams, calc a good block altitude, rise to required alternative heights. Time to pull out the original instruction manual, find some truer words to fly on, defrost the clear-window ice-box I’ve been frozen safe inside, and glide back in.
December 21, 2010
Dream in Detail, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 51
If your dreams have lost their focus, head in a juvenile’s direction. You might be surprised by the clarity with which they dream, and the imagination they so enthusiastically apply to everyday items.
Take for example, the Flush-a-vator, as described by a nine-year-old in delightfully vivid detail:
The room is red. The walls are lined with video games like a library, and there’s a urinal. And when you flush the urinal, the water powers the elevator which brings you to the second story where you’ll find a huge-screen tv, a mini-fridge with a freezer, and robot to get you ice cream when you ask for it. Amusing and captivating; taking multitasking to a new level and harnessing the same simple hydro-energy for two functions and some frivolity.
And to think, I was all proud of my recent imaginings when an acquaintance gave me the recipe for some delightful and delightfully easy truffles. Ingredients: a package of Oreo cookies, one block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese and melting chocolate. Finely crush the Oreos and mix with room temperature cream cheese. Cover in melted chocolate. My mind merely made the short stretch to using those festive mint-flavored Oreos.
Perhaps, as adults, we need to un-train our brains: to allow ourselves the clarity of planned rejuvenescence. Remove the constraints and practicalities, imagine the best of everything we want and create a vividly detailed pictorial mind-collage. No more vague goals, no more practical-izing, no more hazy half-wishes.
Close your eyes and imagine, and if you happen to fall asleep, it just means that we’re not too old for rejuvenating naps. Enjoy the pleasant unplanned slumber; dream in detail.
December 19, 2010
I Had Enough
I had enough, once,
and I liked it.
Lost so much,
gave the rest away.
Can't be sure
how long I'll stay
strong and standing.
Know for certain
you gotta to fly
to make the landing.
December 12, 2010
Box and Bow, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 50
Three cups of coffee and seven dozen snickerdoodles into the last available baking Sunday before Christmas, I realized how ahead of the game I am for a change. As I sit down to write this I am 90% done shopping, 75% done wrapping, and have baked 33.333333% of the cookies needed for festivities and visiting.
Snow has been falling steadily since 7:00 am. The view from the living room window reminds me of a precious snow globe, long since gone. There’s a lot of long since gone in my life. I’m not sure how I feel about these particular Kid Rock lyrics, “GOD put his hands on your shoulders way too soon.” Sometimes, that’s how it feels missing my grandparents and my Dad, my mother-in-law and her mother, a cousin, my husband. Other times, I feel GOD’s hands may have not moved soon enough to end the suffering and pain. I know I am theologically out-of-bounds, though; there is simply no argument. GOD’s timing is perfect, and I’ve come to recognize that I am where I am because of that. The only true things - the only real things we have - are our emotions. Too often, our emotions drive our faith or drive out our faith. Our emotions last, unlike gifts or any objects
So, I guess it’s time we take some time from our preparations to prepare our hearts; to bring them back to the present and away from the presents we all expect and give. To distract us from that trying feeling we’re all up against this time of year, I present to you from my heart , this precious gift: Everyone dies. Some are blessed to know it’s coming in a more immediate sense, some are taken away with little notice. There is absolutely no reason for anyone’s death to be a surprise. I know that’s a weird and probably unwelcome notion to try and wrap your head around this time of year, but you can do it. Do not give in to the fear; let the knowledge booster you.
Concentrate on the people instead of the things. Include a little something extra in each gift: an appreciation note. Tell each person the real motive behind the box and bow: I like your smile. I love your laugh. I appreciate your sense of humor. You have the best fashion sense. Tell loved ones, coworkers, waitresses… everyone you hand a gift to this year. Tell them one thing you think makes them special. That will be the gift they remember.
May the LORD bless and keep you.
December 07, 2010
Future, ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 49
It’s so much easier to ignore your empty when you avoid exposing yourself to others’ full.
Despite that, I stubbornly lift myself and continue forward. So far this holiday season, I've conquered two events knowing before I attended that I'd be hard pressed to stay. I actually missed two escape routes at the first event because I was busy talking and enjoying myself. Didn't completely negate that panicky feeling when I realized I only had one option left, even though it was the most reliable one. Didn't have enough time to panic at the second. No downtime. I liked that!
I wish I'd kept track of how many people told me it would get easier. It’s not. It's only getting harder. I suppose the fact that it’s not getting easier, means I must care more about this not being alone thing than I thought. I guess. I'm not sure. Which might actually be more healthy than being sure. Because being sure leaves you without any options or wiggle room, and makes you look ridiculous when you change your mind.
In some ways, the worst is over. Yet, I'm still unclear how to deal with the future. For a while now, I've only been planning in short increments - this week, next week, the week after. I'm ahead of that now: a short upcoming trip in January, possibly one in March, possibly one in July, possibly one in September. All that pretty much constitutes a longer term future than I've considered in a while.
In the meantime, though, the immediate future is still in control. The holidays are approaching and events keep coming, and, yes, like everyone else I am seem to be running out of time at the end of each day. I need to reverse the slow-down and put some hustle in my bustle. I’m thinking that one of those previously scoffed at pre-lit spiral pull-up trees in-a-bag might be a viable decorating option. I’m not 100% sure which unpacked box the ornaments are in, but I have located the wrapping paper and gift bags. The majority of the presents (except the ones which are back-ordered or still in route apparently via slow-trot covered wagon caravan) are in one place, bundled into future ownership piles, ready to wrap. … sometime in the near future.
Facebook Gems November 2010
11/6: Jodi Ann Selin Korte can't decide if IKEA really just isn’t that simple… or if she is really just that simple.
11/8: …. sincerely thought semi-city living would exempt me from MiSS: Michigan Skunk Season arrived at 2:00 am and is still going eye-watering strong. Need a truckload of baking soda...
11/8: … is wondering if someone can invent a "clapper" add-on for cell phones. You know - you clap and the phone rings... so you can find it without the embarrassment of having to track down facebook friends currently online and asking them to ring you
11/19: ... has scheduled a Pre-Thanksgiving mini MI tour. Saturday: looking forward to getting pie-eyed with the McCormicks in Yale, roasted with the Pruitts in Adrian, and hopefully grubbing with a Gafner or two in Blissfield on Sunday!
11/21: Accomplished 300 miles today: 6 ladies, 6 hours, 85 homemade handmade-crust fresh-sliced Michigan apples pies, and one BobsterMcCormick to thank for the butter/sugar runs. 3 hours later more pies with the Pruitts one pizza and one 125 mile transported dutch apple. Still on go... need a shut off switch....
11/23: Thanksgiving Traveler Tip: Obey the 3 c’s of road cuisine: coffee, chips and candy. I’m pretty sure I’ve never fallen asleep while eating, so there must be something to this…
11/25: Wishing you God Speed and safety as your travel to your blessings.
The Plea: tried not to react... failed miserably... and'd be a lot better off if I could find a way to laugh about it now instead of tomorrow. C'mon now, make me laugh.
The Answers: 1. the pirate didn't know how the ship's steering wheel got into his breeches...all he knew was that it was drivin' him nuts.....ARGH!!
2. so I've beeen trying to come up with something funny off the top of my head.. And yeah that sortta humor doesn't just come to me... Sorry soo uhhh turn that frown upside down? That's the best I got ha
3. Did U go 2 Sears.....Again....?????
4. we all have to let it out now and again....