As the summer flies by…

MX 2013Where does the time go?  It’s been months since my last post, and it sure isn’t lack of excitement that has kept me from posting.  No, in fact it is quite the contrary.  Life has been busy for our little family of four this spring and summer.

Sid continues to compete at and enjoy the insane exciting sport of motocross on the weekends.  He competes in the 85cc Senior class, as well as the Supermini.

Sid in action...

Sid in action…

He also loves baseball.  Sid plays both pitcher and catcher for the local team, and I think he loves both positions equally.  I may be biased, but I think he’s got a lot of talent in baseball.  For many years, he held his place at 1st base; I think he believed he couldn’t play any other position.  But once he was challenged, he literally stepped up to the plate.

She's got her game face on...

She’s got her game face on…

CF (my dear husband) coaches Sid’s team, and the two of us make up half of the summer ball committee in our small town.  Besides running here and there for ball, we also try to squeeze in those full-time jobs.  I believe I’m now fully convinced there is a good reason I’m sleep deprived and a little behind on blogging ;-).

This girl is totally in her element in this photo, wouldn't you agree?

This girl is totally in her element in this photo, wouldn’t you agree?

Emily is a busy girl too.  She plays summer softball, participates in summer band, and when opportunity allows, she jumps feet first into some thrill-seeking adventures of her own.  If you’ll recall from earlier posts, our daughter, Emily, has a real love for helicopters; in particular, flying them.  She was fortunate enough this spring to spend a few days with our pilot friend, Fred, to improve on her skills with the controls.  Over the past year, she has gone from sitting in the passenger’s seat and observing, to flying, hovering, and as of recent, taking off and landing.

Since I work nights at the hospital, it sometimes works out that I’m sleeping when she is flying.  Truth be told, this probably works out better for everyone, due to my personal anxieties about flying.  On the day she came home and told me she’d practiced taking off and landing, I nearly fell over with shock & disbelief joy!  She is pushing 14, after all.  It blows my mind that she is capable of such a feat, and I’m both amazed and proud that her instructor, Fred, has so much confidence in her abilities.  So when an opportunity came about that she could fly one last time before Fred left the area, we absolutely jumped at the chance.

Almost ready for take-off!

Almost ready for take-off!

The helicopter needed to be relocated for some scheduled maintenance, and Emily and Fred were going to fly it there.  Fred had Emily help with the preflight inspection, before pushing the aircraft out of the big hangar.  As they sat in the cockpit, I could see them going over all the preflight protocols, and flipping all the right switches.  My heart felt like it was pounding out of my chest, as I tried my best to steady my hands for the camera.  This would be the first time I would see her taking off, totally unassisted by Fred.

With the engine and rotors up to speed, and my camera rolling, I watched with anticipation.  And as they lifted into the air, CF pointed out that Fred’s hands were out in front of him, as if to say, “It’s all her.”  As they flew off  into the blue sky, I continued to record their flight, until CF asked, “Are you doing okay?”

It was then that I sucked in a deep breath and cried; sobbed really.  It was such a mixture of how very proud I felt at that moment, and the enormous wave of relief when she flew away without complication.

My mother joined me on the long drive to pick Emily up.  I was so glad for her company, and her helpful assistance in navigating through an unfamiliar city.  There always seems to be an adventure when Mom’s around, and this day would prove to be no different.

Upon “almost” arriving at our destination, it was becoming evident that my early morning coffee fix was catching up with me, or maybe it was my nerves.  Either way, I suddenly needed to “go” and now!  I knew I would look awfully funny doing a modified version of “the grapevine”, running inside a building to ask if I could use their restroom, so I began to look for any other spot I could utilize.  Trees, bushes, even a vacant place to go behind the car… at this point, it didn’t matter.

I saw a nice shelter-belt of trees not far down the road, and pulled up next to it, just in time to notice an office building across the way with a big picture window in front.  No, that would not do!  Moving onward, I could see that just past the airport, the road came to an end, with a sign on a gate that stated, “No Trespassing Beyond This Point, Authorized Employees Only.”  I didn’t care to break any laws and go beyond that point, so I merely parked my car sideways at the end of that road, promptly jumped out and yanked my pants down.  I know, I may be going a little far here, but bear with me.  So when I’m nearly done, I look upward and am suddenly aware of the light on a post, that closely resembles a surveillance camera.  At which time I realize, oh dang… there probably IS a camera over here, if not several; this IS airport property, after all.   I’m probably being watched at this very minute!  Mom laughed so hard, I think she cried!  And thankfully, nobody ran me down and gave me a ticket for public indecency, or worse!

Air Care's new Bell 429

AirCare’s new Bell 429

With that little bump in the road behind us, we next met up with Fred and Emily, and found we had yet another delight in-store for us that day.  A very nice pilot from the local hospital’s air ambulance service offered to take us for a tour of their new helicopter.  We all hopped in my car, and followed him across town.  On the roof of the Good Samaritan Hospital was a beautiful Bell 429. Pilot, Shaun, gave us a thorough, and very interesting tour.  Emily absolutely enjoyed herself, as did Fred, Mom, and myself.

Being a Registered Nurse (RN), I have always been fascinated with the flight crews aboard these amazing air ambulances, as well as the pilots who operate them.  Flight nurses & medics are amazing health care professionals who provide care for some of the most critically ill or injured patients.  The pilots who fly them have extensive flight training, as they are frequently challenged with any number of difficult situations.  Be it the changing Nebraska weather, including the ever-present wind, or the landings on roads and fields, where they  depend a great deal on the people below to navigate them safely to the ground; helicopter pilots have very important, and often dangerous jobs.

Inside the Bell 429 Helicopter
Inside the Bell 429 Helicopter.  Pictured from left to right: Shaun, Emily, and Fred.

If you ask Emily what she wants to do when she grows up, there’s not a doubt in her mind; she’s going to be a helicopter pilot.  Just what direction she will go in that career is anyone’s guess. She could fly an air ambulance, such as the one pictured here, or maybe she will give sky-view tours of The Grand Canyon, Hawaii, or Alaska.

Either way, her dream is to fly, and I have no doubt she’ll go far with it.  Who knows, maybe one day she will fly us to New York to watch Sid play for the Yankees :-).