...because I like designing gentle things...
My dad, actually my stepdad of over 30 years, is my only remaining parent. He moved back to Michigan three years ago when my mother died, and immediately started volunteering at our local Air Museum, called the Air Zoo. He's a retired, much-decorated Air Force colonel and fighter pilot who flew in WWII, Korea and VietNam.
Now 82-years-old, I just started laughing when I received this email below from him today with the subject title: I FLEW AGAIN!
"One of the Air Zoo staff pilots owns a PT-17 (Boeing, WWll Primary Trainer--open cockpit). He is donating his time and airplane (and fuel cost) to give a ride to any veteran or active duty military person during the month of July.
I was the first to go this morning. This is the bird that I first flew in flight training 63 years ago. We flew for about 30 minutes and I had control of the airplane except for takeoff and landing. I CAN STILL FLY!! I HAVE THE TOUCH! I climbed out and leveled off at 2500 feet. Did some steep turns and a mild lazy eight. I nailed the altitude even in the turns. I asked him to let me do a barrel roll and a loop but he did not want to do that since we did not have parachutes.
Watch out fighter pilots from North Korea or Iran---I can whip your butt!"
During today's gathering the talk was about temptations, and I was supposed to create a table of tempting things. I had one of those waterfall-thought moments, when it seemed God just poured this display into my head to symbolize the appetite and hunger we often have for various things.
I had to roll fake joints for my dinner plate at church Saturday night when I was working on this. That felt a tad bit strange to do in church. I roll a really good joint, by the way. Just one more small example of how God can use anything for good. :) Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined him using my expert joint rolling skills to help draw people into worship at a church...
Just recently I wrote an article for our Inspiration and Faith section called Life in the Pauses. Just last night a part of that article came back to me.
Carman had come and helped me set up a display for our church gathering, and as usual on the drive back he selected the music - not surprisingly, a Led Zeppelin tune. We were less than a block from our drive when he started fast-forwarding the CD. "I just want to hear part of the solo," he told me.
I pulled in, parked, and without a word left the engine running and put my head back and let the music of Stairway to Heaven fill the car. Suddenly I was filled with one of those mysterious God-moments, when I had this heightened awareness of everything around me. In that moment, in that now place and time, I etched a memory of sitting on a summer afternoon with my 16-year-old son, feeling the air-conditioning cool our faces and watching him listen raptly to music he loves.
He smiled and said, "Thanks, Mom", as soon as the solo was over. It's really not over, though. I'm still savoring a moment when I slowed down and paused and felt such gratitude for having my teenage son still at home. I let the moment sink deeply in my heart. Life in the pauses. Oh yes.