Midwestern Wanderlog

2016-07-22 – Appreciating accomplishment

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Another sweltering sultry morning today, this one with fog.  Leading up to sunrise it’s always thinner than fog at or after sunrise – I suppose because the sun is already heating up the day, even before it’s put in an appearance!  A great sharp-edged bank of the misty vapor chased Cody and me across the valley as we were climbing the hill.

Sunrise Stats!
First light: 5:10 AM
Sunrise: 5:45 AM
Daylight: 16 hrs, 13 min

Using the shorter path was definitely justified, despite the greater exertion and more sweat involved; got to capture some lovely pinks among the clouds and even that greenish banding across the sky itself.  And I got the camera established before the valley and bluff opposite were complete obscured – always a consideration with these conditions.  Nothing quite like trying to line up a shot and having to guess where your customary marker is!

_MG_2448But enough about that.  It is a philosophical human truth that we get so wrapped up in our own lives and our own outlook and our own doings, that we forget that other people are the stars of their own stories too, the center of their own personal universes.  Don’t forget to make yourself aware and appreciate any accomplishment of your loved ones.  Yesterday my older brother Ted completed a goal that he’s had in mind for at least three years, if not longer.

Don’t know if you recall me ever mentioning, but Ted has a single engine Cessna, a 182.  He’s been a pilot for a number of years and I’ve even flown with him to North Carolina to visit our sister  Bridget for Thanksgiving, oh, must be ten-twelve years ago now.

It is an amazing experience!  If you ever get the chance to fly in a small plane, jump at it!  ‘A tin can with wings,’ is how our Dad describes it, and it is so much more than riding in a jumbo jet.  You get to feel jolts of wind, every little change in air pressure, and yet you’re still close enough to the ground to make out clear detail.  I remember once looking out the window of the 182 and seeing an eagle soaring just below us.

Well, in addition to being a pilot Ted is also an aircraft enthusiast; he’s fond of aircraft museums like the one in Dayton, OH, and he attends as many airshows as he can.

_MG_2413The last week of July every year is dedicated to the largest airshow in the United States, the Oshkosh AirVenture.  A solid seven days of aircraft, in seminars, aerobatics, and vendors – some of whom aren’t aircraft related, but all still interesting.  (If you live in the area – and even if you don’t! – you should go at least once in your life.)  Last year over 500,000 people attended, from more than 69 different countries; 10,000 private planes flew in and were parked in the field near the runways.  A B52 made an appearance as one of the static displays (Ted got to watch that one land, and he said that its wings were so much wider than the runway that airport personnel had to go out and lay down all the guiding lights so the B52’s wings wouldn’t knock them over).

This year Ted flew his own plane into Oshkosh.  He landed late morning yesterday.  He’s going to be tenting there for a week, attending the air show, perusing the vendors, hobnobbing with fellow pilots, and when he leaves he’ll be one of the aircraft slotted into the traffic pattern, requiring spot-on timing and a confident pilot.  To fly in or out of OshKosh is no mean feat!

So three cheers for big brother Ted in the accomplishment of his goal!

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