Jul 23, 2009

Signs, Miracles, or Luck?

See what you have to ask yourself is
what kind of person are you?
Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles?
Or do you believe that people just get lucky?
M. Night Shyamalan
So if you are new to this blog, rest assured, SO AM I! In fact here is a direct quote from my journal:

"I'm a little intimidated by the whole blog thing so I think it will be quite awhile
before I start journaling online."-written 15 minutes ago
I decided however that it would be easier to just do it quick like ripping off a band aid so here we
I believe in signs and miracles more than luck. Luck is fickle and not controlled and I'm very OCD so I would like to believe there is a reason for everything. I think when you are diligently seeking something out that God sends little directions through signs or circumstances to help guide the way. I believe sometime he has to throw those signs at you like a bucket of cold water to wake you up enough to pay attention to them. When you recognize those signs I consider it a miracle. Here is a story of just such a miracle.

To Fly or Not To Fly

My parents and I had been planning a joint trip to the Oregon coast for a few months. I was going to the Oregon Coast Children's Book Writing Workshop (OCCBWW) and my parents were going for their first real vacation in some years. They would be celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary and my dad's 58th birthday. In light of how long the trip would take to make by car my dad had offered to fly us over there in his little Cessna 180 named Goosebump(my childhood nickname was Goose so I like to pretend he named it after me, his favorite daughter!). The only factor that we foresaw that would hinder our flight was bad weather but the week previous to he trip had been beautiful and a the forecast was promising.

A few days before we left for our trip the starter on the plane had failed and so there was a new one on order. In the meantime my dad had to "prop" the plane. A fairly simple looking process where you manually spin the front propeller to start the plane. Another complication arose the night before our trip. They had flown from their hometown Hailey to Boise, where I live. During the flight the oil pressure continued to drop while the engine temperature continued to rise. (Who knew those two things were related? :)) No problem! We were all still determined that
we would be able to make the trip.

We headed over to the airport at 6 AM so that we could fly while the air was still "smooth". I am not a morning person but was willing to make a sacrifice so I would not have to sit in a car for 13 or however many hours it would take to get to the coast. I had packed light per my father's request so there wouldn't be a risk of us exceeding our weight limit. In fact I didn't eat breakfast for that very reason. We loaded our stuff and untied the plane. My dad added some additive to the oil tank to help with the issues they'd had the day before. He clapped the hood of the plane nose down and my mom and I climbed in.

"Put your toes on the brakes." My dad instructed my mom who was in the co-pilot seat.

She did so and he went to the front and pulled hard and fast on the propeller. On the third try it roared to life and I fidgeted in the back seat.

The pilot side door slammed as my dad joined us in the cockpit. I could hear him talking into the head phones to the flight tower as we taxied toward the runway. It was all the usual gibberish that I pretend I can automatically understand since I am the daughter of a pilot.

I had, however, understood that we were cleared for take off. Then I noticed my dad tapping one of the gauges. Then my mom took a turn tapping it. They went back and forth like this for
about a minute. Each tap growing progressively harder till I wondered what the gauge covers were made out of to withstand such a beating. At this point I heard my dad talk into the headset and it sounded suspiciously like "never mind".

I felt the plane lerch backward and smoothly the engine noise dropped to a quiet whirr and died.

"What's going on?" I asked.

Dad hopped out of the plane and lifted the panel on the nose.

Mom turned in her seat to face me. "This gauge is stuck and Dad's not sure if he can get us there without it or if there's a quick fix."

Dad slammed the nose cover shut and leaned in the door and yelled "Toes!"
Like the obedient daughter that I am I pulled my feet back towards my seat trying to get them out of the way. Oddly enough though he didn't get in or slide the pilot seat back. I realized he
was headed back out to "prop the plane".

I casually started talking to my mom while Dad went to the front of the plane and began pulling the propeller. The engine roared to life and then seemed to accelerate in volume rapidly. My mom and I continued talking (have you ever heard the term "walk and chew gum"?) I noticed my dad trying to make it around to the pilot's side. He gave the wing a semi-wide birth and fought the wind from the propeller. His shirt was stretched against his chest and belly with only the buttons seeming to keep it on. At the moment that I wondered how his hat was staying on it too went flying off his head. To my surprise he didn't turn to grab it. I was musing to myself wondering if this happened a lot as I watched his cheeks rattling like a chipmunks in the wind. I could tell he was putting a lot of effort into getting to the door but it didn't look like he was getting very far very fast.

The nose of the plane slowly started to veer to the left and a million thoughts flooded my brain, Mom must be steering. Did she know how to steer? Mom doesn't know how to fly. Wasn't she supposed to have her feet on the brakes? If Dad didn't hustle he wouldn't make it into the plane. Could wind rip your skin off? I hope Dad can get his hat back. The winds so strong it looks like Dad is waving his arms. Was he saying something?

To Be Continued