Like a small child on the night before Christmas, I climbed into the guest bed at my parents’ home the other evening, tossed and turned, head on the pillow, unable to fall asleep.
The light I turned back on, and button I pushed atop my cellphone to check my email and Facebook, read an article or two online. I did this again and again until the calendar on my phone’s clock was about to turn to the next day.
Sleep came, finally, not fitfully, but bringing needed rest. But then as day turned to night, or night to day, at some hour unknown in the middle of it all, I heard it, outside my window – the sound of a waterfall rolling down the side of the house, constant, not ceasing.
I closed my eyes, wishing it away.
No, not this, I thought. Please rain, don’t dampen my parade.
This was the morning I was, in my sixth decade of life, to take the ride in an antique biplane for which I’d waited since what seemed like forever.
The tossing and turning started anew, the rain continued. Sounds of a house awakening began – my octogenarian World War II Stearman pilot dad up and about, my mother, too.
And it was I who said before bed “I’ll be up early. I’ll try to be quiet. Don’t worry about me. I’ll grab coffee when I go to Mickey D’s for wi-fi."
But, that breakfast dose of wi-fi – it was to be an appetizer to a main course, a flight in a WWII-era biplane.
Now, with that seemingly spoiled, the appetizer had lost its appeal as well. Getting up and getting moving didn’t seem to matter. It wasn’t unlike arising on Christmas morning to find a tree under which no presents wait.
“Wait for my call,” he’d said, my pilot friend, when we talked the night before to plan the flight.
Wait, I did, excited still – wondering if I’d be a character in the story of the little plane that will – or will not – take a rain-gone-past sky adventure.
That morning the winds came and went, the skies stayed dark. By mid-afternoon, working again, I heard the sounds of Stearman in the air.
I got a message saying the plane in which I was to ride stood “resting” in a hangar, so I looked forward to yet another excited night, morn of eager anticipation and flight of a lifetime.
For, no matter how many times one flies – whether this is my first or only biplane ride – the exhilaration and joy of that first ride is a once-in-forever experience.
Flyer-I-wannabe, I can’t wait to live it.
Writer-I-am, I can’t wait to put in in words.
Please come back to read about it, and I’ll come back to tell it.
© Ann Tracy Mueller 2012