It’s an “interesting” time (in the Chinese curse meaning of the term) and certain sacrifices and adjustments are necessary. I understand that.
But I was cleaning out my wallet today after it got stuffed with receipts and little bits and pieces of accounting detritus over the last two weeks of travelling and in the process pulled out my private pilot’s medical certificate. It’s coming up for renewal in September, which I knew. It’s really not that big of a deal to get it renewed. Except that I’m not flying these days. In fact, it’s been almost twenty months since I last flew.
And I really, really miss it.
When I got my pilot’s license in 2009 I was just about as thrilled as I’ve ever been. There are plenty of stories about the training and I can still go on about my check ride and wondering how I managed to pass it (another day, I promise), but when the FAA inspector told me that I had passed and gave me the temporary certificate, I was giddy enough to grab the nearest stranger, shove my camera into his hands, tell him I had just gotten my ticket, and ask him to take my picture. (I’m usually not quite that aggressively outgoing.)
Whiteman Airport in Pomona is a great place to fly out of and I really like the folks at Vista Aviation that I rent planes from, as well as my flight instructor, Robert, who was tough on me when I needed it but never let me give up.
When I got my license I was thrilled to take each of my kids, The Long Suffering Wife, and other friends and relatives up for tours of the California coast, the San Fernando Valley, the Santa Clarita Valley and Simi Valley areas, the Los Angeles basin, and so on.
(Yes, you CAN see our house from here!)
I had plans then to be flying at least every couple of weeks, to start steadily expanding the local airports that I had flown into and was familiar with, to build up some hours and experience, to be working on my instrument rating in two or three years, to be working up to a bigger, more powerful plane, maybe to get a tail-dragger certificate, maybe get an acrobatic ratings. Someday soon I was going to own my own plane.
But flying is not an inexpensive activity. And my job situation was getting a bit uncertain, and discretion said that maybe those plans should be put on hold, maybe the cautious path was the wiser one.
The accountant’s brain says the decision to put flying on hold was wise. The pilot’s heart says that it was stupid.
Last week we flew commercially to the East Coast, and as always I tried to get a window seat whenever possible. But there’s nothing like the one on the left in the very first row, even if (or especially if!) you’re at 3,500 feet instead of 35,000 feet and doing 110 knots instead of 440 knots.
Once the job situation gets stabilized, it’s going to be time to renew that medical and get on Robert’s schedule for a few lessons to get my flight currency back. Whatever else will be going on, I don’t think I’ll be completely happy or satisfied until that’s done.