Sunday, August 19, 2012

More Than One Way to Fly

Every time a plane flies over, my late bloomer husband, Charles looks to the skies. He can even recognize an airplane by the sound it makes as it passes over. I see a wistful look in his eye and hear a longing in his voice to once again be “pilot in command.”  But since starting his own company to develop devices to improve aircraft flying qualities, there has been little time to pursue his flying passion.
With a second retirement not too far in the future, he has discovered a new hobby–fly fishing. This more down to earth pastime can be just as demanding of time and energy. I have been told that one or more fly rods, fly reels, dry flies, fly lines, and fly boxes are all necessities for the sport and that fly casting and fly tying are necessary skills. This man was born to FLY.  It’s equally important to him to learn all the culinary tastes of various kinds of trout so they will be tempted to grab the fly on the line. As you can see, waders, boots, and a waterproof vest are also vital pieces of equipment as well as the perfect fishing hat. I wish I could say I share his love of stomping around in the woods, rivers, and creeks, looking for the ideal spot to cast a line. But since I don’t want him to venture into the woods alone, I am usually seated somewhere nearby swatting the flying insects that like to inhabit that environment.
I have also been put on notice that once Charles’ retirement is a reality, he intends to complete his bucket list by transforming our basement workshop into a hangar, so that he can build a light sport aircraft. Before he reaches the day that God calls him home, he plans to climb aboard that homebuilt airplane, soar above the clouds, and make a picture-perfect landing. Charles’ determination to pursue his dreams is fueled by two things—his blessing of good health plus his favorite Bible verse. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Way We Were

Do you ever have a song that plays over and over in your head? “Memories, light the corners of my mind, Misty watercolor memories of the way we were.”1 You probably recognize the song, “The Way We Were” sung by Barbara Streisand from the movie of the same name.
No doubt, my brain hit the REPLAY button because I hit the SEND button this week. With a mixture of excitement and anxiety, I emailed my memoir manuscript to Inspiring Voices for their initial review and recommendations. Like a first time mother, I nursed and fussed over my newborn baby for many months. My manuscript baby was changed over and over again. When I least expected it, another change would demand my undivided attention. It was finally time to hand my manuscript over to someone else’s capable hands.
My next monumental task was to find the photos for the interior. I do not exaggerate! You would agree if you saw the disorganized state of my 60 plus years of photographs. “Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind… Smiles too painful to remember…”1 I had put off that sorting task for years because I didn’t want to deal with stored up memories. It turned out easier than I expected, since I dealt with my emotions as I wrote my book. The next challenge was to find the ten interior pictures allowed by my publishing package. It was not easy to distill my life into ten snapshots.
The memoir writing process has been a profitable mental and spiritual exercise. It has helped me to forgive and put “The Way We Were” in perspective—to see the BIG picture of how God has been at work in my life. As I am freed from dwelling on the past, I can move forward into the exciting future God has planned for me. 
1The Way We Were, Lyrics by Alan & Margaret Bergman and scored by Marvin Hamlish, 1973.