Sunday, June 18, 2023

Without A License

The person did not have a license! The person had no data indicating that training or lessons were a part of their past. It takes a lot of courage and/or lunacy to attempt such an activity with no relevant background. At least the person had a name: Orville Wright. I doubt if Orville Wright understood the impact of his actions, but they have been massive. 

As a young farm boy, I would often gaze skyward to see the white contrail of a jet or hear the distant hum of a propeller plane. The few times my family attended a Minnesota Twins game (always a double header because of the value) I watched airplanes take off and land from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The bleachers of Metropolitan Stadium (the cheap seats) were a fine location to satisfy my lust for viewing the airport. Needless to say, the airplanes captured my interest more than the game of baseball.  In the fervor of my obsession, I mailed a letter to the United States Air Force asking for photographs of their jets. To my surprise, I received a large, manila envelope filled with over a dozen glossy photographs of aircraft. It was my massive treasure. I developed a weekly rotation of the pictures on the bedroom wall. Orville Wright, 

Northwest was based at
even though long dead, gave me a world of visions and dreams due to his willingness to fly without a license!

My dreams and desires never materialized due to my need for corrective lenses. Decades ago the sight requirements were more rigid than today. I also learned that heights, spinning, and hanging in the air messed with my balance, perception, and bodily functions. Too many amusement park rides, along with a couple of turbulent flights in small aircraft created physical conditions which demonstrated my deficiencies for flight. However, I still enjoy not only watching aircraft, but traveling by air imparts a pleasant mystique. 

An author I enjoy 
After decades of staying in my lane of vocational licensure, the dream of journeying into untried competencies has returned. I want to express myself, be creative, and take risks in the arena of writing. It has been a dormant avocation. My small, but significant collection of instructional writing resources, along with the joy of using fine writing instruments has catapulted me into a space which is not frightening. I am setting aside the routine for the thrill of discovery. Whether anything gets officially published does not matter. I want to pursue that which has been in my being for years. I want expression to take flight. I want to enjoy the surprise of taking off. Thank you, Orville Wright!

Thank you for reading

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Jump With Both Feet


A street in Cartagena
The flight was scheduled to depart at 5am. It was an international flight with a connection in Florida. I have TSA Pre-Check, so the security screening process is quick. One bag to check at the self-service kiosk. Being at the airport three hours early certainly did not apply to me!

I had difficulty sleeping, so the ride share dropped me off at the airline's departure doors at 2:10am. The self-service kiosk indicated I needed to speak with an airline service agent. It must be an error. The third time this came on the screen I decided to follow the instructions. Off to the rear of an endless line which moved at a snail's pace. Because my destination was South America, the airline's agent needed to verify and approve Colombia's entry form which I had previously completed online according to instructions. After receiving paper, color coded boarding passes for my flights the rest of the process went as I had expected. Note to self: there is a reason for the three hour arrival before your flight advice!

This was my first, solo international flight. I have never been to Colombia or South America. On previous overseas adventures, my younger daughter took care of the details and so I just followed her. It made travel easy, but I did not learn the details of such travel. This time I had no one to follow, so the learning curve and the anxiety were steep. One way to learn is to jump in with both feet!            

One of the hiking guides

After returning and processing what had occurred over my ten days in northern Colombia, what rises to the top are people. The various cities and landscapes held a unique beauty. Individual tours, as well as the five day group hiking experience were packed with information, as well as physical and emotional fatigue. Beyond the Caribbean music, the hectic and chaotic traffic, the lush jungle, and countless varieties of tropical fruit, images of individuals continue to surface in my memory.

Cecilia in the market
Women who cooked with basic heat sources and marginal cookware in a crowded market produced delicious food and abundant hospitality. One of the guides on the hiking trip was not only agile and strong, but made certain everyone was cared for both on the trail and in our campsites. Most of this caring was accomplished with less than detailed communication. The ride share driver, who though recently married, treated me as a friend making certain (due to the late hour) that my lodging was available and acceptable. A woman from Canada who noted her sixtieth birthday by sweating, hiking, and persevering over five days while never second guessing her decision. 

Seeing the terrain, landscape, and sites of another part of the world is awe-inspiring. Seeing and interacting with a wide array of individuals makes me plan the next adventure. I am glad I jumped in with both feet!                 

Not just people,
but personalities