One item that goes on there if the weather is forecast to absolute crud (that's a precise meteorological term you usually don't hear on the weather channel), you have an airport to go to instead. Because in flying, like anything in life, it often doesn't go as planned.
This morning is one such day. I was supposed to be with Partner for Valentine's Day when another storm hit, dumping six inches of snow all at once on crash pad hamlet and making the roads unsafe. So this morning I was up early, made homemade yogurt, made some croissants from scratch, and have a pot of coffee and time to write. Not a bad morning by any stretch, but not what was planned.
How many times have you planned a flight, a vacation, a night out. Someone gets sick, the weather gets bad, you made the mistake of using a cut rate travel site and your luxury beach romp for $199 per person turned into the Alabama Chain Gang Holiday. How many times did you get that cranky crew chief that didn't like pilots or prolonged eye contact (if you do, don't blink, don't ever blink).
How many times did life sometimes mark you, pulling away bits of flesh or even a heart, without a suture to mark it closed so it will heal, nothing left but the fading whisper of guns and the descending of flags.
My Dad has always been active in the community and the church, as well as his local Chapter of the Lions Club. One thing he was particularly proud of was their newspaper recycling fund-raising program, which provided income for community and scholarship programs but not without a lot of hard, volunteer work. The shining marker of that program was a Newspaper Recycling Building built to further expand on that community project. The members constructed it themselves, husbands and fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers, laboring in cold and rain, hot and sun, often at the expense of their own sleep. In November 2000, newly constructed, vandals burned it to the ground,
On the flip side, I remember my Mom's funeral. I was pretty young, not a child, but still wet behind the ears, but was trying to help Dad as much as I could. He realized, before the service that he needed a haircut, his not having paid any attention to that sort of thing the last few months of her life. I offered to help. I got out the clippers, and turned them on nd made my first path through his hair (though bald on top, he had some fine red hair on the sides). Oh oh. Apparently you're supposed to put a guard on there to get it the right length. I'd shaved him down to the scalp.
Other then shaving his favorite football teams name on his head there was nothing to do but shave it all. He went to Mom's service looking like Jean Luc Picard. No one dared say anything. But you know, Dad hugged, me, made some great jokes about it, and held his head up high as he said goodbye to his first great love.
But I was OK, because from Dad I learned that whatever bad things may happen to us, there is only one thing that allows them to permanently damage our core self, and that is continued belief in them. You may cry, you may make that sound that is simple agony, but it is not the sound of relinquishment or acceptance, if even to the ear, they are the same.
It's your choice. You can go through your days with intractable and unceasing conviction of the inherent instinctive duplicity of all men, including yourself. Or you can give folks around you the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise. That doesn't mean you assume man is never evil, for indeed he can be, and you may find that out in that moment that's like the false dawn between dark and light, when only God's winged and four legged creatures know, and sound the alarm which you may not hear. For those moments you are prepared.
It's simply a matter of perspective. When you have a fight, a failure or a Charlie Foxtrot on our hands, as you can can, any time human will, machinery or mother nature are involved, you can shake your fist or cry your tears until you drown in them. Or you can dry your eyes, pick up the pieces, and make something with what's left that is of value. You may even find that what you thought you wanted was not what you needed, finding a happiness you never expected by the loss of what you did. For what some people think will make them happy, no challenge, no bends in the road, expected behaviors and outcomes, is for others, not routine, but an old, flat habituation for which no effort is made to move beyond it, until they are so used to that life, they fail to smell and taste it.
It was warm sheets going on smooth and taut with the remembered motion of hands. It was pastry formed and rolled and layered with fresh butter and remembered motion. It was those hands, compelling and guiding a dog up a ramp so he could lay upon that bed, which will be covered in dog hair, not invisible rose petals. It was time to remember, to say thanks, as I looked down upon the creeping ridge of show and ice before my shovel, not with anger, but astonishment, for the divine snowy brightness, that for just this moment, forgave an imperfect landscape its transgressions
I sit here now, Partner headed on down while someone tends to the Range, perhaps a day or two where the phone won't ring. Or it will. But for now, the birds outside twitter with only happiness for the birdseed strewn out across the dry, clear porch. The snow has ended, the light growing bright, graduating from grey to rose to the sky's ultimate sapphire. I wrap a warm blanket of gold about me, looking out onto mist off of frozen water, savoring the myriad waking sounds of life, listening for his approach.