Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My husband is a pilot.

Not to brag or anything, but I think having a pilot for a husband is pretty awesome. And a couple weeks ago, while still living in Hell-tus (that's my new name for Altus, and I just thought of it - isn't it witty?), I said to Andrew, "I can't believe you have never flown me in a plane." That comment started a chain of events that led to today: the day I got to fly in a little plane with my pilot husband.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that we don't own a plane, he was not able to fly me himself. But we got the next best thing - a family plane that his dad shares ownership in, flown by his cousin Jason. I don't feel gipped that he didn't fly, because it was still completely AWESOME to go up in a little plane like that. I had been warned that a small, private plane is a bumpier ride than a big, commercial one. I was a little worried, because I always get nauseous while descending, on every flight since I was little. I'm not really a big flying-lover, in all honesty. But today - today that changed. Today I came to understand why Andrew loves flying so much, and why it has been his lifelong dream to become a pilot. So here's the story of my first time in a private plane.

I married into a "car family." By that, I mean cars are a big deal to Webbs. Andrew's dad owns a car dealership, to start with, and they get to drive alot of awesome cars without buying them. Such is the case with car. Now, I'm not a car person, but I couldn't help but smile when I walked out of the garage and found this black beauty waiting for me in the driveway. Driving in style? You'd better believe it.

We got to the local municipal airport to meet Jason at about 7am. I didn't know quite what to expect from the plane - all I knew is that it was pretty small. He opens the hangar and this is what I saw:

Small is an accurate description. I think the Corvette was roomier than the plane. But who cares - it's a plane! He pulled it out with a rope. No high-tech stuff here. It was a pretty old plane (I think 1960s) and smelled just like my Grandpa's old camper. I sat in the back seat and Andrew sat in the jump seat to act as co-pilot. I brought both the video camera and the DSLR so as not to miss a single moment of the experience. I took about a million pictures through the dirty little window back there, and I never knew how beautiful New Mexico was. It's a ton better from the top than it is driving through, I'll tell you what.

We flew over Navajo Lake and saw what I call the floating trailer park - a ton of houseboats that are made of cheap metal and are just an eyesore. But the lake is awesome.

The best part was circling around Shiprock. I have driven past that impressive rock formation many times, but never is it more amazing than from up high in the air. It has eroded at the top and forms what looks like a paper-thin ridge, and it has way more little tower things than I had ever realized. What a cool moment that was.

It was an incredibly smooth ride. The skies were totally clear and blue, and the visibility was clear as far as my eyes could see. I didn't get sick on the landing, amazingly enough. We flew for probably about an hour or so, and I loved every minute of it.

I told Andrew that I want to buy a plane. People who think boats are cool obviously haven't flown in a private jet. Planes are now my recreational vehicle of choice. Now, if only I could find a couple hundred thousand dollars...

We sped home in the Corvette - Andrew wanted to show me how powerful it was, but all I could think when he revved the engine was what a waste of gas it was! But he was pretty thrilled to drive it.

It was an experience I'll never forget, flying in that plane. It brought to my mind Andrew's favorite poem, called "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee Jr.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring thereI've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.


Ali Flegal said...

Your hair looks awesome. So is the fact that your husband is a pilot. Well done, Steph!

Annie said...

Wow, I love that poem. It's wonderful.

Elise said...

Steph! I got to fly a plane last month and I loved it too! It was awesome. I was totally thinking of that poem the whole time but I couldn't remember who wrote it. Thanks for posting that! It brought back fond memories of Aunt LaDawn and co-op...

But flying is amazing. I want to buy a plane too now. :)