It is early Saturday morning. You have been pushing hard at work all week. But
today is yours. The Wife and kids are out doing, whatever, and Daddy gets
some time to himself.
Some of your buddies went bowling and some are going to the game, but you need
some quiet time to commune with nature, and to bring your life back into
balance. Time to think, time to relax, time to enjoy with no caffeine, no noise,
no rush, no hurry, no stress.
The sun came up about an hour ago. The temperature is a very comfortable 60
degrees going up to about 75. Humidity is low and the breeze is a wonderful 5
mph coming from the perfect direction. The morning dew is starting to lift with
that slight fog that it gets sometimes. Overhead is a single bird of unknown
type working a thermal in lazy circles. You envy him, just a little.
The hi-start is laid out and there is a comfortable folding chair set right were
the chute will come to rest. There is a cooler with some drinks, a sandwich for
later and some hot coffee and a roll for now. ( OK, a little caffeine.
You do your range check, check the air, feel the breeze and launch. Beautiful!
The first couple of launches go well. You hunt around but there is nothing much
happening. That's OK. This is like fishing, without the rowdy guys and the bad
On the third launch, you get the height and the direction you want. The plane,
a simple R/E woody with years of time on it, just floats off the line. No big
zoom. No heart pumping vertical release. Just floating off the hook, so as not
to disturb the air or scare the thermals.
As you venture out you feel a bump, with your eyes of course, and start to
circle. And a little thrill builds up inside as the plane starts to rise. The
lift is not strong but it is there. And you work it.
As you rise you sit down in your chair. You put in a couple of clicks of rudder
and put the radio down. You reach over to pour that coffee and grab that roll,
keeping your eyes on the ship the whole time. She is riding the core and
You pick up the radio, settle in, put your feet up on the cooler and work the
thermal from your right, across the field, to your left over the next 15
minutes. Life it good.
You feel you are far enough down field, and have lots of height, so you break
off that thermal and head right. At about 1/4 mile to your right you hook again
at about 300 feet. And up you go again.
After a few moments, that bird you saw earlier comes to join you and ride the
lift with you. You feel like you are buddies in the air and sharing a quiet
ride together. Life if very good.
Around 11 AM, your friend shows up. He sees you are in the zone. "How long?" he
asks. Oh, about an hour, I think. You never bring a watch and the flight pack
will carry you all day if you want. R/E planes just sip milliamps.
He pulls out his R/E woody, pulls back on your hi-start, and the two of you ride
the lift, side by side. You introduce your friend to the bird and the three of
you fly for... who knows how long. The conversation is quiet and friendly. You
talk of kids and wives and family and the sweet things in your life. For what
could be bad at a moment like this.
Then another bird joins, perhaps the mate to the first. The sun is comfortably
warm, and rising over your right shoulder. The breeze is the perfect amount to
keep you cool and make for good launches.
The simple pleasures are the best!
When you get home, you are relaxed and happy. You kiss the wife, hug the kids
and all is right with the world. Then your 8 year old comes to you and asks
when you will take them to learn to fly with the birds, just the two of you.
And a smile crosses your face that will probably never leave.
You smile at your wife and she smiles back and says, I know, another plane.
Oh yes, life is good!