Sunday, May 31, 2009

Flying Machines Should Have Engines

There is a Glider Port in Blairstown, about 5 miles from our house. I just watched a small, single engine plane fly over towing a glider. A few minutes later I saw the same plane return, without the glider. I did catch a glimpse of the glider a moment later, on it's own.

To anyone who wants to go up in a glider I must ask, "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR EVER LOVING MIND?"

Any flying machine that I go up in must have at the barest minimum one engine. I would prefer two or more but no less than one. It's not too much to ask.

How does one go about learning to fly a glider? Trial and error? Practice with balsa wood ones off the roof of your house first?

Do you have any control over where you are going? I somewhat understand Hot Air Balloons and following the air currents and frankly would go up in a balloon before I would a glider. At least as long as you have fuel, you have some control over the balloon, vertically speaking of course. Seems like you would have a little more say in where you would land as well. Not so with a glider. THERE IS NO FUEL. No fuel = no control.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I’ve had the pleasure of spending this Mother’s Day weekend with my two grown daughters on a sort of road trip adventure which consisted of loading up a dorm room full of stuff into two SUV’s and heading home. My oldest lives in Boston and lent her new Jeep to the cause and we headed south to Virginia to bring my youngest home from college for the summer.

The weekend was special on several levels. Youngest was happy to show off her campus to her older sister, and show her sister off to her friends at school. She is quite proud of her school and her sister so for her it was special after three years to have them together, if even for a few hours. Elder sister is quite proud of her own accomplishments as well as how far her younger sister has come and was happy to lend a helping hand. It was good to see them working together and to see the love and respect that they have for each other. That alone was enough of a Mother’s Day present.

The South is a whole world apart from what my girls are used to, even though I was born and raised in Texas and my eldest was born there too. Let me say how much I love Virginia. It is a beautiful state. The Shenandoah Valley is breathtakingly beautiful in the spring and I was pleased to share this with my eldest for the first time. I’m not sure she was as impressed as I had hoped, as the great outdoors for her is best viewed from a downtown skyscraper. I for one love the rolling hills, the green pastures dotted with cattle, hip roofed barns, and rail fences. It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to see why early settlers went that far, parked the horse and wagon and decided to stay a while. I could be perfectly happy there too.

Saturday morning we sauntered into a local fast food establishment in Amherst, Virginia, two beautiful young butterflies and a moth. I noticed for the first time that my eldest was dressed from head to toe in clothing purchased entirely on her own, meaning with her own money. Not a stitch was purchased with dollars from mom and dad. I was proud. We were not over dressed for the task of packing, loading and driving that lay ahead of us, but by local standards we were as out of place as any Yankees could be. As we fluttered in, the moth and her two young butterflies, everyone in the place turned to stare. We went about ordering, etc, etc. as one does in such an establishment all the while aware that we were the most interesting thing to happen in a while. I’m not sure how we were more interesting than the man wearing overalls and waders or any of the many others in decidedly odd local attire but clearly we were. We weren’t wearing plaid. We weren’t wearing gimme caps or t-shirts. Our SUV’s in the parking lot had license plates from far off and exotic Yankee strongholds, New Jersey and Massachusetts. I guess I should be grateful all they did was stare. We may have been saved by my Texas accent that just won’t go away despite the fact I have been out of the state for the last 23 years.

We loaded up both vehicles and headed north, making it past the Mason-Dixon Line in early afternoon. The girls took turns driving one of the vehicles and I drove the other one, sometimes leading, sometimes following. It struck me as I drove on Interstate 81 that it was somewhat poetic. I took the lead as we left the school, leading my youngsters homeward. Somewhere along the way they took over and I followed, happy to let them lead me for a change. This was much like life; this lead and follow routine. As a parent I’ve done more leading, but it felt good to follow for a time, watching my grown daughters set the pace, decide when to make a move, when to hang back and let others go ahead. I found no fault with their decisions and was content to watch them fly ahead of me all the while knowing that they felt confident knowing that I was behind them all the way, ready to step up and take over the lead if they should falter.

It was a great Mother’s Day weekend. I think I learned something from spending this time with my girls. It wasn’t a fancy restaurant and flowers, but I couldn’t have asked for a better time.

P.S. – Thanks girls for the new camera! You know me too well.

Love to you all,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Heading East

The time has come for me to pack up the wagon and head East for the summer. Thankfully my wagon will be a jet leaving out of LAX but the packing is just as much of a pain.

I'm sorry to be leaving Hubby, Betty(the dog) and my roses behind but my girls, swimming pool and almost six acres of lovely hardwood forest await me. You can ask me later how I'm getting along with the forest and the ongoing eradication of undergrowth. Give me a few weeks and I'm sure I'll be singing another tune!

Leaving the land of taco shops for the land of hot dog and ice cream stands. Fair trade? Maybe, maybe not.

I know I've missed seeing all of my hundreds of daffodils blooming but perhaps the dogwoods and the eastern redbud will still be in bloom, maybe some forsythia too. With some luck the azaleas survived the winter along with the butterfly bushes and rhododendrons.

I'm looking forward to lounging on the deck, watching the birds, deer, bears, turkeys, chipmunks and other assorted critters as I work on my rewrite of Over Exposed. Maybe I'll even get back on track with Ryder and Raine's story.

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all. I have to wonder about this dubious holiday which seems to have been created by Americans in order to have an excuse to eat copious amounts of Mexican food and drink Margaritas. To this I say - who needs an excuse?

Have a good one.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Visit to the Getty Center

I can't think of a better thing to do on a lovely Saturday afternoon in L.A. than to take in some art at the Getty. If you haven't been there you owe it to yourself to take the time and go. Admission is free but they get $10 from you for parking. For that lofty sum you also get a ride from the parking garage to the museum at the top of the hill (3/4 mile) in a tram. It's not Disneyland, but it's a nice ride.

When you get to the top the buildings themselves are a work of art and well worth the trip. The fountains and gardens, as well as the sculpture gardens are as good as they come. The view from various balconies can be spectacular, the best in LA, if the weather is clear. Today wasn't one of those days,but the fog across the valley created a feeling of being isolated on top of the hill and that was fun too. It's nice sometimes to imagine L.A. just disappearing!

I won't subject you to my photos as they can not possibly do justice to the place. It's a must see in L.A.

Favorite's today: Photography by Paul Outerbridge. I won't try to describe it, but I will say the man knows his desserts. Check it out on your own.

The Impressionist Gallery - Always my favorite place. I love Renoir's La Promenade, Monet's Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge, Van Gogh's Irises and Pissaro's Landscape.

I could go on and on, but alas I'm afraid this is becoming boring. Check my list of links for the Getty Center website.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!