Monday, June 19, 2006
What a day!
In my previous post, I told you all I'd tell you about the day I had. Wow, what a day it was. Well, it was Father's Day yesterday, and every year on that day, the town in which Sister and BiL live has a "fly-in" breakfast at the county airport there on the edge of town. People can go up there and have breakfast and get airplane rides. Well, a good friend of mine who we shall call "Dan" and I were very interested in going on an airplane ride because we have both expressed an interest in someday getting pilot licenses. Considering that neither one of us has ever flown in any type of aircraft before, we thought it might be cool to go to the fly-in breakfast and go for our first airplane ride together. So, I called the airport several weeks ago to see if we needed to make reservations, if two people could ride together, and how much it cost. Well, the cost was 10 bucks per person, the planes could seat 3 or 4 people, and we did not need a reservation. They were supposed to be offering flights from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I was pumped. I told Dan and we decided to meet at Sis and BiL's house at 11:00 so I wouldn't have to miss church. He got there a little bit late, but that wasn't a problem. So, after Dan got there, we headed out to the airport and it was raining, but not too hard. Well, we walked up there and asked if they were doing airplane rides. The woman taking the money said, "They've already closed off the airplane rides because of the weather. As a matter of fact, we're going to have to give some people refunds." So, Dan and I were extremely bummed out. But then he remembered that another town not too far from there was having an airshow with airplane and helicopter rides as well. So, we headed up that way. Unfortunately, neither of us knew where the airport was, so I called BiL and asked him if he knew. He told me the general area, but we didn't really understand the directions. Therefore, we drove around aimlessly for about 30 minutes until I called 1 800 free 411 and got teh airport's number. I called them and asked them if they were still doing airplane rides, how much it cost, and how to get there. He told us and we realized we'd been driving past it pretty much the whole time. Haha. So, we had to stop and get more money because we didn't have enough. We had to pay to get into the air show, and then the cheapest flights were in a helicopter which cost 30 bucks a person. But, we'd been driving for what seemed like an eternity and we decided we weren't turning around now. So, we finally got there, got in, and were directed into a parking place. Well, we looked and saw a big sign that said, "Helicopter rides" with an arrow pointing to this little tent over by one of the hangars. However, NO ONE was there except the people staffing the tent. I thought three things at this point. The first thing I thought was, "OH crap, they cancelled due to the weather, too." (although it wasn't even raining that hard). Then I thought, "They're probably so backed up that they're not taking anyone else for a while." And three, "They're probably not taking anyone up while the airshow is happening." But, I said to Dan, "let's go ask those guys (security people) if we can go behind the fence to the hangar and talk to those people." So, we walked up to those security guys and Dan said, "Hey, are they doing helicopter rides over there?" And the guys were like, "Uhhhh. I don't know." And I said, "Well, there's a sign that says they are, so can we go ask them?" (We wanted to make sure it was ok to go back there because when we first got there it looked like a truck was blocking the entrance to the tarmac.) The guys said, "Sure, go on ahead." So, we walked over there and Dan said, "Are you guys doing helicopter rides?" To which the couple responded, yes, we are. No one is coming over right now, so I can take you up now." We paid them and the man stood up and walked over there and said, "We'll take the red ship right there." And it was this little four seater helicopter parked right on the edge of the concrete. I wasn't expecting for that guy to be the pilot. He was just so quiet and unassuming that I thought he was just the money taker. But, he got Dan and me strapped into the thing and got in and told us that he was going to put the earphones on and if we needed his attention we should just tap him on the shoulder. So, he did his pre-flight things and we took off! I had this huge stupid grin on my face the whole time, starting as soon as I heard the rotors start spinning. It was SO AWESOME! He flew us up over the town and over the river and over the interstate. Seeing a town I'm pretty familiar with from that perspective just was incredible. We could look down and see people getting into their cars and in their backyards. We could see cars parked out in fields that looked like toys from that high up. We soared above the mall and Mal-Wart and The Home Depot, and they all looked like little Kleenex boxes from that height. And neither Dan nor I was scared at all. We just were amazed. When I was up there I said a little prayer of praise to God for the wonderful creation that we are allowed to see in different ways sometimes. It was awesome. Then, the pilot took us back to the airport and he gave us each these little fliers with some info about helicopter tours. We then got out of the helicopter and watched a little of the airshow. We had more plans for the day though, so we then left. Dan had invited me to a fish fry at his aunt and uncle's house. Well, I'd never been to that town before, so I didn't know how to get there. We took a shortcut and got lost yet again. However, we weren't really lost, we just didn't have faith in our navigating abilities. We stopped at a Casey's and asked the attendant on duty how to get to where we needed to be. We just hadn't gone far enough yet. We set out once again for his family's house. On the way though, I looked off to the east and saw some suspicious looking clouds. As I was watching them, I noticed that it looked like a funnel was starting to form. I said, "UH, Dan, is that a funnel cloud over there?" And he said, "No, it can't be." Then he said, "Yeah, yeah it is. I see it forming more." So, he said, "Do you want to follow it and see what it does?" Now let me tell you, I'm not really a daring person. Dan, however, brings out a bit of my wild, non-afraid side, so I said, "Sure, let's go." So, we turned to face it. It was probably about 2 or three miles away from us, and it wasn't very big at all. It was also very slow forming. Well, we were driving and watching it, but it went back up into the cloud and didn't come back. It was very exhilarating. After that, we turned back to go to his family's house. We got there and ate and chilled out. Dan's brother was there and he is a funny guy. Dan's aunt was kind of making fun of Dan, and so Dan's brother whom we shall call "Derek" whispered to Dan as he pushed a beer bottle toward Dan, "Here, hit her on the face with this." I laughed SO HARD I couldn't believe it. Then I kept laughing. Even 15 minutes later I was still laughing. Now as I type it I find myself laughing. I don't know. Maybe you had to be there. But, we hung out there for a while. We left and Dan took me back to Sister and BiL's house and we decided to hang out some more. So, I followed Dan back to his apt in one of the bigger towns in the area. He gave me a tour of the place. Then we checked movie times and decided to go see Poseidon. But, we had lots of time before it started so we had a walk around one of the city parks. It was nice. After our walk and before the movie we went back to the apt. and had a beer and chatted with Dan's roommate. The movie wasn't that great though. It was pretty cheesy in some spots, really predictable pretty much all the way through, and Dan and I laughed at some of the crying scenes because they were just so stupid. But, it was fun anyway. After the movie though, it was late and I had to go home. But, I needed to put some gas in my car so I could make it to school this morning. I meant to put 15 dollars in, but accidentally went to 15.10. I had the 10 cents, but I was fishing around for a dime and couldn't find one for the life of me. So, I was walking into the place and looked down on the ground and there was a dime laying right there, beckoning me with it's shiny wonderfulness to pick it up and spend it. So I did. And because I don't believe in coincidences, I just feel that God was with me yesterday from the big, amazing wonderful helicopter ride all the way down to the finding of a dime that I'm sure many other people simply did not stoop down to retrieve. It was one of THE best days of my life. Not THE best, but right on up there. Thanks be to God for God's presence in our lives, and for allowing us opportunities with friends and family.