The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Left hand/Right seat

ARRRRR. Sometimes I despair that I will never reach my goal. I want to teach a few or maybe several people how to fly or how to fly better as the case may be. My left hand seems to have a mind of it's own.
Seriously - yesterday I drove to the high school to pick up one of my darlings after track practice...some mom was plugging up the lane I was in by going the wrong way - I mean two lanes - one comes, one goes pretty straight forward. I pulled up not aggressively close to her vehicle thinking be cool you can sit here waiting on your kid - she'll make a correction - she knows how the traffic flow works here...dadada Then some other - another mom - pulled in behind her at just about the same time my runner jumped in the car and buckled up. I was aggravated - annoyed. It seemed the most appropriate thing for me to do was back up - back up with kids walking everywhere - 5 teams let out at the same time and the parking lot is swamped with HS athletes - their moms - and a bunch of 16,17,18 year old drivers hopped up on testosterone - all trying to exit from the exact same (only) exit... at twilight. Backing up was probably the most gracious thing to do but it made me feel like a loser. I pointed my index finger at the mom who was blocking me (as she chatted on the phone which annoys me no end also). My daughter said, "Mom, she just pointed back at you." So what did I do? Well, not left hand who has a mind of its own left hand rolled down the window and shot a little salute to the offending mom. My baby girl was appalled ... I was actually pleased that my left hand didn't make me put the car in park and just gum up the works for everyone. I did manage to back all the way back through that row with out hitting a child or rear ending anything.
Left hands with the beginnings of age spots really should be better behaved. Moms with truly darling well behaved daughters - like mine - really should be better people. That's what I am working on.
That - and getting awesome in the right seat.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Chicken - thinking about chicken today. Yesterday we sat, waiting on passengers. My flying buddy asked me what I thought of going to get a pedicure while we waited ...I'd havtah take my boots off for that.... Yeah, that might be too much of an ordeal to let them dry,she said. We went to the movies. This movie house was amazing...for "extra" you could sit upstairs, away from the riffraff, and drink cocktails or order dinner...the ticket agent said there were loveseats or booths. We sat downstairs. Leap Year was our choice. I knew my husband wouldn't want to see it, and it was okay for 6 bucks ... a nice leather seat in an empty theater. We talked as loud as we wanted to about the leads adorable shoes and the stunningly beautiful Irish...?...countryside. In one scene a chickens neck was wrung...outside the shot of course. Where do you think chickens come from? he asked, she answered,The freezer section. My husband and I have had the same conversation - "They come saran wrapped and boneless from the frozen food counters",I remember saying...ha that was a long time ago.

I spent my teenage years living 10 miles from the Texas/Mexico border. In the marcado there was a glass box - it looked a little bit like a popcorn machine. Inside it was a chicken who would "dance" when one put in quarters. The kids would throw those quarters in the slot and laugh like crazy while the chicken danced - the more quarters, the longer, and the more frantically the chicken would dance. The kids I was sneaking into Mexico with didn't realize that the quarters paid for heat in the floor of the glass box.

My brothers and I were not well supervised ... anyone of us would do just about anything when dared by each other. "Are you chicken?" Hahaha no, we weren't chicken - we were mostly young.

"Looking back now, well it makes me laugh
We were growin our hair, we were cuttin' class
Knew it all already, there was nothing to learn
We were strikin' matches just to watch 'em burn

Listen to our music just a little too loud
We were hangin' in there with the outcast crowd
Headin' to the rapids with some discount beer
It was a long train tussle but we had no fear.

Man I don't know, where the time goes
But It sure goes fast, just like that
We were wanna be rebels who didn't have a clue
With our Rock n' roll T-shirts, and our typically bad attitudes
Had no excuses for the things that we'd done
We were brave, we were crazy, we were mostly
Young ..."~lyrics Kenny Chesney

I'm not current on country music - when this came my best friend from back in the day called and said, "Go find this one you're gonna love it." I do.


Please help me to capture the many opportunities to smile and feel your love - that love expressed in I Cor. 13 - help me to fill my heart with the comfort and joy found there...and thank you for being willing to capture the shed tears so that I don't have to...thank you for having a bottle for those somewhere other so I don't have to carry them around myself. And thank you for being amazing and willing to amaze. I was amazed to see the sky yesterday - really good. I thought that's not even God's really good work...His really good work is accomplished in the hearts of men (and women). Please help me to be courageous enough to be vulnerable so that your work can be seen in me and maybe be helpful to someone else, but mostly just because I think you enjoy seeing your good work at least as much as I do. Thank you for being amazing.

Monday, January 18, 2010


This week I did a little exercise in weights and balances for my now flight instructor. I liked the exercise - it's always fun to show off those things you're good at - especially just right now as I wrestle with building my right seat skill set! Later in the week I had the opportunity to shuffle baggage around - just to tidy it up a bit. Later we picked up a hunting dog and a couple of passengers. Third leg is where I'm trying to get to because I noticed something that I think is interesting. We dropped off one hunter and pick up the wife and two children of the other hunter. The wife/mom is not enthusiastic about flying. She was quite anxious. I thought to ask her where she wanted the children's "go bags" and booster seats. I thought giving her control of something would be soothing for her. I think it was. She wanted to know exactly where all her baggage was. She was very concerned about her baggage. Her anxiety was expressed with a need to fuss with her baggage....

Last night I woke up thinking about baggage. Emotional or personal baggage.

We pack up our baggage and haul it around. I think no one can see mine...I try to keep it packed up - stowed out of sight. Does the weight of my burden show ... around the eyes ... near the heart?

"The Real Me" ~Natalie Grant

Foolish heart looks like we're here again
Same old game of plastic smile
Don't let anybody in
Hiding my heartache, will this glass house break
How much will they take before I'm empty
Do I let it show, does anybody know?

But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me...

Painted on, life is behind a mask
Self-inflicted circus clown
I'm tired of the song and dance
Living a charade, always on parade
What a mess I've made of my existence
But you love me even now
And still I see somehow

But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me

Wonderful, beautiful is what you see
When you look at me
You're turning the tattered fabric of my life into
A perfect tapestry
I just wanna be me
But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me
And you love me just as I am
Wonderful, beautiful is what you see
When you look at me

Sweet. Last night I thought about lost baggage - I get on this airplane but my baggage gets loaded on a different one and disappears. Wouldn't that rock! Or maybe I could minimize my baggage - day trip - carry on only - that type of thing. I am fretting about some of my baggage. I think I have everything all packed up - "OCDelineated" in to tidy little piles and zippered into compartmentalized pockets of my psyche ... . Nobody journeys baggage free. Somedays we carry our own, somedays we help those around us carry theirs other days they may help us carry ours. Seems like it comes down to weights and balances.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13 January 2010

I flew yesterday. I expect to fly today and tomorrow. I am going to do a quick note here bc it is today and then I am going to get busy on some learning. New CFI gave me at least 15 new different things to think about and a hand full of old things to rethink. I tossed and turned last night and every time I woke up I was thinking about one of them. Part of the reason I like flying is bc it gives me something productive to think about. I want to do bikram (hot room) yoga but I'd rather fly. There are costs (other than financial) associated with that. I continue to try to find a happy balance in my home life - the most important aspect of my life. It is hard to juggle - hard stuff. Yet the hard stuff seems to be where I can grow - not only as a pilot, but as a person.

I read something interesting this morning: Some people write to answer questions - some to ask questions. That has nothing to do with anything - it's random...but interesting.

I am learning something important now. I am a person who likes everyone to be happy. You know how some people can walk in to the room and light it up? That isn't me. Other people seem to emit this or that defining characteristic? I am a nurturer. I am good at seeing what it would take to make a person feel - better. That is what I can bring to the table - every time, all the time. I'm pretty good at a lot of things, but empathy seems to be my long suite. Like any other super power that can get to be too much for both the nurturer and the nurtured. I experience it as too much when people try to manipulate me by acting "not happy" so that I will try to fix it. I see my children working that angle pretty often. I don't blame them for being smart enough to "work" me - I am certainly responsible for building those pathways ... but it isn't healthy for anyone. One of the ways it can be too much for the nurtured is they may be somewhat disabled by me stepping in with the "happy dust". They may need the opportunity to get themselves happy...or maybe happy isn't called for at all.

Most of my work colleages are mid twentyish young men. They do their bonding at the local watering holes. They have been inviting me to join them to mark a specific happy occasion (in my life). I don't drink - not exactly accurate - I don't party drink. I may have when I was 20 something but that was a long (long) time ago. I don't miss those days ... I don't look back wistfully ... I don't want an evening out with the guys. At the same time I know that they are extending something that they see as valuable and I am trying to tread the needle of accepting the sentiment with out actually spending time doing something I don't want to do. I don't want to hurt any ones feelings. I don't want to spend time negotiating the extra stuff...I have a ton of work to do at any given moment. I am trying to do something that is important to me. And I am trying to find my place - the most productive place for myself - at the office. And I specifically want to become an effective flight instructor - I am certain that I don't want the dynamic set up of me being "nurturing" towards the student ... I'm pretty sure one cannot nurture someone into becoming a pilot. I am trying to sort through my skill set for a somewhat different way of approaching things. I am able to (pretend) that I don't "give a rat's ass" (expression compliments of first CFI) ... I can quite convincingly get there...but that is not the authentic me. I do care. I am trying to figure out how to be true to that without letting it mess things up. I made a mess last year while I was working on this and I hurt from that still - and maybe other people do too ( I sure do hope not). So I am trying to temper a strenght that can be not a good thing for anyone involved. I think that is the main "thing" I know to work on this new year. I think it may be a make or break aspect of my ability to function optimally at home and at work ... some basic airwork/lifework is called for here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I would think that by time someone is 50 they (me) would know how to handle just about everything/anything. I would think someone like me (me again) would be able to communicate with grace and poise at all times. I would think that I would be able to see things ... clearly. So far - not so much, but I am showing up to work on it. I am trying to see what God whats me to see when I look at what he wants me to look at. I'm trying to set my own ego aside and do what I think I hear God nudging me towards. Working with people on stuff that is important to them is more than just teaching them how to fly a piece of equiptment for's more than knowledge and skill and it reaches further in to them...they let you in to help shape them into who they want to become. The evolving product is a stronger aviator - you measure that in what you see them demonstrate...but there's stuff that we don't see. It's a huge responsibility to flight get in people's heads. I can still hear the instruction of some of them...when I'm flying...when I'm getting ready to do something not quite as lovely as they called me towards.
"...what are you aiming for... the 500ft markers ... no you're not, liar...(smiling)I am's primacy - habits are difficult to overcome...stay on it...teach better than you were taught..."

I am reading the material in the FOI and it has gotten me thinking about all the flight instructors I have flown with. Some of them have been really great instructors - a few have had their minds elsewhere.

I'll put the FOI stuff that I am specifically thinking about in quotation marks. Aviation Instructors Handbook FAA h 8083 9A.

"Human behavior is also defined as the result of attempts to satisfy certain needs." 1-2

"Helping a student acheive his or her potential in aviation training offers the greatest challenge as well as reward to the instructor."1-4

"Since it is human nature to be motivated, the responsibility for discovering how to realize the potential of the student lies with the instructor. How to mold a solid, healthy, productive relationship with a student depends on the instructor's knowledge of human behavior and needs. Being able to recognize factors that inhibit the learning process also helps the instructor in this process." 1-6

Human needs/ Maslow's hierarchy:

Physiological - if hungry/tired student may not be able to perform as expected

Security - instructor who stresses flight safety during training mitigates feelings of insecurity

Belonging - people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation...make every effort to set student at ease.

Esteem - a big one - "Esteem needs not only have a strong influence on the instructor-student relationship, but also may be the main reason for a student's interest in aviation training." 2-6

Cognitive and Aesthetic - need to know and understand what is going on around them - rush of dopamine whenever something is learned. Alsoabout subtle feeling/emotion of "liking" or not liking who you're working with...which affects learning.

Self-Actualization - be all you can be - when all above needs are satisfied needs for self-actualization are activated. Self actualized people are-> problem focused, appreciative of life, concerned about personal growth, have the ability to have peak experiences.

"learning is not just a change in behavior; it is a change in the way a person thinks,understands, or feels.2-3

I have noticed that a type of bond forms between students and instructors...sometimes it does. It's a little confusing for me because I personally don't always bond with the people I've spent time in the airplane with, but in general they are important to me ... and I have become very particular about who I want to be instructed by. I'm thinking about those qualities that I value as a student and may want to express as an instructor.

I am thinking about the few top instructors I have flown with...I'm going to be thinking about that some as I do the work to become the type instructor I want to be. BTW - instructing is what I actually want to do ... this is noteworthy because a lot of instructors are passing through this job on the way to their "real life" as airline pilots or freight pilots or charter pilots ... instructor pilot is seen as an entry level job for commercial pilots - a stepping stone. I don't discount that idea, or choice - I get it - but for me this is where I want to be for the foreseeable future.

Top instructor experiences for me - what I perceive, not necessarily exactly how it is/was -

For one thing,I want to feel inter personally safe with the instructor - when you are learning you have to be able to expose areas of yourself that are not what you hope they can become through effort -

You have to be able to say, for example...this is my crosswind landing technique...I crab all the way down then at the last minute I straighten it out before touch down...that's how I was taught. Then they say - I can see that that is working for you, but it is not the simplest way to land this plane in a crosswind situation...and this is why....and this is the potential problem with that (potentially exceed rudder authority) (possible cross loads on the gear) (more steps = more potential for error)(etc)...and when you are instructing students I would like for you to be able to give them this technique...wing low...keep it in keep it in and remember to hold crosswind correction on the we roll.

New - brand new students don't always get in the plane ready to learn. Student's who have acquired some skill may not wanna learn for reasons - their own reasons - too.
I have had a lot of fun rolling down the runway after a crosswind landing with one of the mains up off the ground - it made me a little nervous because it didn't feel normal but the instructor said - hey what are you doing (setting the wheel down) ...this is the fun part...and I said I don't want to flip over...he said there's no way you can bc the wind is coming from over there...just hold it off as long as possible and it will settle itself down to the runway as the energy dissipates. Two different instructors helped me put this skill into my flightbagoftricks. Pretty cool. Flying is a lot of fun. It's a lot of work too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

More than a story

I'm remembering a story in the book of Daniel. I don't want to recount the whole story. I'm also remembering some song lyrics - "I grew up in Sunday school, I memorized the Golden Rule and how Jesus came to set the sinners free... I know the stories inside out, I can tell you all about the path that led Him on to Calvary. - But ask me why he loves me and I don't know what to say...but I'll never be the same because He changed my life when He became everything to me - more than a story' . " Here it is:
Avalon - Everything to Me.
The Bible used to seem like a book of stories to me - kinda more like ideas or representations of what God would want to say to us. I didn't see it as a whole - thing. I saw it as little pieces. I jumped in to read a little here and jumped out when it didn't make sense or seem relevant. I could see and even get some "good" out of the "stories" but I didn't experience the word of God as I do now. It's like kinda getting the theory of the four stroke engine with out moving forward (or backwards into the development) to the next part - the "So what?" part. That simple engine powers something - eventually engines became more complex - or less complex depending on how you think about it - at any rate engines have become more specialized/efficient at providing what they provide.
That story in Daniel about the three Hebrews who were put in the fiery furnace - it's an interesting story - complex, rich. The part I am thinking about as I sit here tonight trying to get warm is this: The Angel of the Lord was seen in in the flames with the three Hebrews. King Nebuchadnezzar gave the order for the three to be released from the fire. The story says that the furnace was so hot that the guard who tossed them in, in the first place, was burnt up by the heat. When the three came out of the flames, the story says their clothes weren't says they didn't even smell like smoke. I love that. Beth Moore's Bible study on Daniel is riveting - yeah - it really is. She made the observation that the Bible says that these guys didn't even smell like smoke. She says when we go through trials - hardships - pain -we like surviving the trauma but we at least want to hold on to that smell of smoke ... . We want everyone to know what we've been through.
I like it that God showed up in the fire. I like it that the ropes the servants of God were bound with were burnt off in the flames. I love it that when they came out they didn't even smell like smoke.

I love it that we don't have to smell like smoke either.