Days in Flight

I completed my annual ritual of closing the two tiny screened windows at opposite ends of our shop.  They let a little air circulate.  I closed them tight for the winter, along with our foundation vents and storm windows (the old kind you close separately). 

Weeks ago, I retired the summer box fans from the upstairs northern windows and closed up the others.  Now, I look out the windows and it’s raining leaves.

My favorite summer shirt, a tattered relic of a tie-dye tank shirt who’s odometer has rolled over at least once made it through one more season, barely.  My wife, Diane, recommended it lands in the rag bag, but I was thinking more along the lines of a commemorative flag display box. 

We enjoyed an August visit with our kids and grandkids in Michigan.

My Granddaughter has a ’57 Chevy just like mine!

We got to meet some of their friends and attend our granddaughter, Sauvie’s birthday party.

Brandon has a policy of not posting his kid’s pictures online, so this might be as close as we get to seeing her here.

I helped my son, Brandon, work on his Corvair Rampside pickup.  It had two or three fairly high priority issues needing attention. 

It’s good to feel helpful, but I don’t think we fully resolved any issues at that time. 

It was more like: identify the problem, begin the fix, and discover a part can only be ordered online to complete the fix.  I think we got close on a couple repairs, so maybe I was nearly helpful. 

If we were a fishermen family, he’d be proudly displaying a catch – but look how clean that automatic transmission pan is!

Brandon heard and verified by an app that there was currently a good possibility of seeing the Northern Lights from his town.  If I had a bucket list, seeing and photographing those lights would probably be on it. 

The moon-rise over Lake Superior was promising.
The elusive Northern Headlights in the parking lot was about as close as we got to any aurora.

It was definitely worth staying up late and hiking through the dark, up a closed “park district(?)” road to reach the most likely viewpoint on the water’s edge. 

I enjoyed the hike with my son, even if we didn’t see the Northern Lights. 

We enjoyed a September visit with our kids and grandkids in Florida.

We got to meet some of their friends and attend a little
kid’s birthday party (Déjà vu!).

This was the son rising when we arrived at the airport in Orlando

Their riding lawnmower would only run (very poorly) with full
choke.
  Moving the choke to off, the
motor would die immediately.  I was able
to clear the carburetor and install a fuel filter.  It felt good to get that running right. 

Later in our visit, my wife, Diane, announced that she and I
were taking our grandsons to Jeremiah’s for ice cream.  Jeremiah’s specialty is a mix of ice cream
and flavored ice. 

That first sounded to me like a suicide mission, but in a spirit of positive cooperation, I asked if she knew how to get to Jeremiah’s.  Our daughter-in-law, Aubrie, gave her directions – printed directions. 

We buckled the boys (including dinosaurs) into their third-row child safety seats and headed down the road.  Diane read the directions: turn right at the first light, but then she said, “it also says to stay on this road and turn right on another street – I don’t get it. 

What is your preference? I asked.  “Turn right – here,” she said.  I did, and she directed another right turn when we reached Orlando Ave.  We now had no idea how to get where we were going, so we drove on.

She was trying to make sense of the map and directions when five-year-old Kellen asked if he could see the map.  He said he knows from cell phone maps that if there is a big red question mark, that would be our destination.  Diane held up the map to show him there was no red question mark on this map.

Then, two-year-old Jory asked, “Can I have the map?”   He didn’t want to see the map, he wanted to have it in his hands.  I was pondering the likelihood that a two-year-old might look at a road map and say, “Yes, you need to turn right at the next light,” when much to my surprise, Diane turns around and stretches to reach back to hand him the map (the boys were sitting in the third row – in the very back).  I hear Jory say, “Oh-Owwwh….  it fell down (between the seats)I can’t reach it.” 

Diane can’t reach it either.  We continue down the road with no directions and no clue.  The apparently worthless map was stuck somewhere back there between the seats.  I was wondering if this had ever been a plot for an episode of The Twilight Zone

‘There’s a store,” Diane said, “I need to stop.”  She went in and I was attempting to get directions on the phone – but it began ringing.  It was our son, Robin, calling to see how we were doing. 

I told him we were lost. 
He said he found page two of the directions still on the printer.  I thought, “that perfectly fits this story.” 

He told us to go the opposite direction on Orlando until we see Firehouse Subs, Nathan’s is behind it.  We did, found and ate ice cream with flavored ice and made it home with all present and accounted for (including dinosaurs).

After four weeks of twice-daily sinus rinsing and thrice daily nasal spraying, my asthma/allergy specialist stated the cause of my nearly constant post nasal drip – causing nearly constant throat clearing and cough – remains unknown. Not just unknown, after all the tests, there is not one clue.

My latest quarterly cancer test result was again my favorite outcome – “Stable.” I can live with that. It may be as close as I can get…… to normalcy?

I remain thankful to God for this life full of blessings.