Eight days into the new year, and I’ve written nothing. The weather has been just brutal … for Florida … and I’ve become so acclimated to the warm climate that weather in the 30’s and 40’s is pretty miserable. There is a slight chance for a few snow flurries here at the beach overnight and into tomorrow morning, but no one is predicting that there will be any accumulation. We have a fire in the fireplace, chicken in the oven, and the promise of more seasonable weather by mid-week next week.
And by seasonable, I mean in the 60s during the day. It’ll feel like a heat wave, and I’ll be able to put the top down on the car again.
The holidays passed very nicely. Nine days with Jenni is always the best nine days of the year. Her visits are always too short, and it always seems like she should just be here, which is probably why I’m always surprised when it’s time for her to leave.
Couple of good highlights from the holidays. Enchilada Eve was it’s usual success. It’s always good to have your family and friends around for the holidays, and we managed to not break the bank to have the party. Still, we’re hoping to have less money stress next year.
I discovered over this holiday season that I can still land an airplane. Jim Campbell took Jenni and I down to Flagler Airport for the classic $100 hamburger. I’m learning more about the airplane, to be sure, and it’s coming back to me pretty well. We departed St. Augustine airport, made the short trip out to the ocean, and turned south just off the coast at about 1,500 feet. Trued up at about 140 knots, the thing that went through my head, and I may have said out loud, was “the next time I go to the Keys, this is the way I want to go.”
We arrived at Flagler, had a nice lunch at a restaurant called “Highjackers”, which struck me as an odd name for a restaurant at an airport … but there you go … and turned around and headed home. We went over to Haller Field, where Jim lives, he buzzed the runway, and it was back to St. Augustine.
I was flying the airplane, and he said “do you want the landing?” There was no way I was going to say no.
It was not the prettiest landing ever, but for my first one since 1988, it wasn’t too shabby. I got the airplanes wheel-side down on the runway. It was different setting power by manifold pressure rather than RPM’s but a throttle is a throttle, and the effect is the same. The big propeller slows the airplane down quickly when the power’s pulled back. I did my best to put the threshold of the runway in a spot in the windscreen and not let it move … flared a little too early, but all in all … a good landing.
The old saying is that any landing you can walk away from is a good one. A lesser-known corollary is that any landing that you can walk away from and re-use the airplane is a great one. I managed both.
New Years Eve was spent with old friends at the home of some new friends, and New Year’s Day, we braved the 50 degree rain and did the annual Polar Plunge … a quick dip in the Atlantic Ocean at 0900. Nothing like going for a swim in the ocean on a cold (for Florida) drizzly Friday morning. Hopefully it will be a good start to the new year.
And now, post-holiday, it’s back to the salt mine. We’ll be doing everything we can to make 2010 a better year than was 2009.
And I’m going to make an effort to be better about keeping in touch with you.