Thursday, September 27, 2018

Matching Shoes

I can now wear my own shoe and no more leg bandages!  The Doctor ordered continued progressive weight bearing (40-60lb), and out of home therapy recommended for twice a week. I can finally shower, bag free on the leg, and can soak those dragon scales of my right foot. My next visit is scheduled for four weeks and the Doc wants me at 60-80lb weight bearing.


Of course me being me and feeling a bit better I had to ask if I could drive. The answer was an instant NO, not until I can stand on my right tippy toes full weight bearing. That's going to take a while, but I'll get there. At least he gave me a goal to shoot for.

Mary drove me to todays appointment since she has been cleared to drive. My bride no longer has to wear her back brace, unless she feels the need for extra support.

With all of our progress we decided to go out and have a celebratory lunch at one of our favorite places. Me, my Bride, and my walker, enjoying the sights and sounds out together. We are once again trying to make life normal.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

First Hangar Visit

Today I ventured out to the Ocean City airport, thanks to fellow pilot Rob S (Rob's PPG Adventure).  Rob was on his way home from Soar the Shore held at Cambell Field - 9VG, and stopped in to see if Mary and I needed anything done around the house.  I have been wanting to check on our cars that are stored in our hangar, previously set up on trickle chargers by Rob himself. We were off to the airport!
Photo by Rob S.  Actually, that's Rob flying!
We rolled through the tenants gate passing below the Huey helicopter mounted for display. It brought a smile to my face, seeing the helicopter workhorse on guard.  As we passed the 100LL fuel pumps my anxiety was rising, now turning the corner for hangar bay F.  There was F7, home to our magic carpet for years.
Rob pulled his truck up to the hangar, then exited and unlocked the single door. As he stepped inside  I heard the hangar door latch spring open, a very familiar sound. I could see myself flowing through the exact routine. The door started to squeak as it road the metal rails to expose the planeless void.
Nothing but a car and a truck, it was depressing.  I exited the truck and used my walker to slowly make my way to my directors chair that Rob had repositioned inside the hangar.
There I sat, listening to all the airport sounds, my heart breaking.  Rob was very kind, giving me some time as he puttered about with disconnecting the chargers and driving the vehicles.

I gathered my thoughts and texted Mary, still at home.

It feels weird being here at the airport.  Rob is driving the all feels strange.

Mary texted back....It's great Rob is getting you out for awhile.  Are you ok?

I responded;  I'm ok, it just breaks my heart. life moves forward and I'm happy to be alive.

My Bride is the best, she then texted she was worried about me going to the airport but reminded me we have new adventures ahead of us.  I love her!

Rob returned finishing up and backing both the car and truck in, setting up the chargers once again.  With the vehicles exercised we loaded up for home.

It indeed felt strange, no pat on the cowl to acknowledge a good flight, no last look at the beacon to confirm the master is off.  Instead, the sound of the door latch securing the hangar door and closing of the single door. All while I sat in the truck......but life moves forward and I'm happy to be here.

Monday, September 17, 2018

VLOG Update

Just a quick update to keep the VLOG active on YouTube.  I sure miss posting flying videos!
I dug out the only remaining video camera I have left after the accident. I am using the Activeon CX Gold and the audio portion pretty much stinks. I will have to either secure a mic or figure some way to provide better audio.

I also added "Our Favorite Trips" under the Favorite Links section.  We are still looking through all of our posts and adding as we find special travels that provide so many great memories.  Check them out!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Urge to Flight Plan

Despite working through recovery and not knowing our future with flying, I still had the urge to weather watch and work my flight plan.  Back in September I was working the plan for Sanibel Island Florida and BACFest in Louisville Kentucky. (September Plans)

I didn't grab a screen shot of our would be departure day weather, Wednesday the 12th, but I do know it was 300' overcast here in Ocean City for the better part of the early morning. If memory serves me correct, we would have been able to head west before noon. This would have worked out very nice since KJVY would have been VFR, which always makes it easier.
Departure day in Louisville (today) would be an early start. Weather is looking good, winds 070 at 11 knots, overcast at 20k. Ocean City is once again IFR this morning but it looks to clearing around 11am.
The flight would be a three hour hop to KCKB, Clarksburg facing 17 knot headwinds. A stop and go for fuel then the last hop home of two hours and forty minutes to Ocean City.
I only wish I was flight planning for real and us actually heading home after a great time with our BAC Family. We are not sure what the future holds but for now it's one day at a time, together with my Bride.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Finally, A Positive Visit

My latest doctors appointment finally produced some positive news. After the ceremonial cutting off of the bandages, the weekly routine, we all got a look at the troublesome incision. The incision on the back of the leg healed up just fine.
The Doc was quite impressed, I even detected a bit of a smile. The last five stitches, under the yellow cover, were removed and once everything was cleaned up the whole incision was covered with new sterri-strips. I used the alcohol wipes to rub all the itchy spots and really clean up the rest of my leg.

One big positive note, no splint required. I had nothing but the sterri-strips and some sort of pad type bandage covered in two rolls of cotton type material and two ace bandages.
Docs orders, I can move to partial weight bearing. I had to confirm that and ask if that means flat foot for balance or actual partial weight. It was work up to partial weight bearing and working the ankle. Finally after two and a half months I can start to put weight on the leg. I also had x-rays taken and doc said the fracture lines are getting harder to see, which means things are healing.

It's been a long painful process. The emotional swings when I'm hurting really can drag me down but the small victory like today helps get me refocused. My back pain has increased with all the walker work and that is concerning, but I'll push through that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

BACFest Memories

It's that time of year, yes, time for the gathering of mice at BACFest

Unfortunately, Mary and I will not make it this year. What was to be a busy month of flying the Debonair with a vacation to Sanibel Island in Florida, then BACFest in Louisville Kentucky, has instead turned into a, tongue in cheek, stay vacation.  OK, honestly more like serving time.

Enough of the what if's, let's look back at all the fun we had attending the previous BACFests with a few pictures and comments.
September 2011

Our first BACFest was in Ithaca New York.  Our house was crazy busy as we were going through a kitchen remodel and the weather was not playing nice for our departure or return days. We actually gave thought to driving. Pray harder to the weather Gods!

The weather did relent and we were able to depart on schedule after dropping our Mastiff (Maggie) off at the boarding kennel. Flight conditions were clear and we made the flight in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

We had a great time with our BAC friends. The Farmers Market on lake Cayuga was fun and exploring the goodies at Life's So Sweet Chocolates made the day. Great memories of fun times and getting a chance to visit Toughannock Falls was a blast.
On departure day the weather was not playing so nice.  Temps were in the forty's when we left and the freezing level was at eight thousand.
It was a fun ride home noting almost two hours of IMC. I broke out just as I passed over the twin bridges and made a nice landing back at home.

September 2012

Bacfest 2012, what an adventure!  We had a blast making this trip and really taking advantage of the Sundowner, our magic carpet.

Our first leg was KILG to KTTA, Raleigh Executive.  Three and a half hours of VFR conditions with a quick gas and go to head for stop number two.

Our next stop was KPXE in Perry Georgia.  This leg was strange, I was given a clearance of just five miles...I still remember the "what the heck" moment as I chugged and plugged. The limited clearance was due to an inbound Cirrus on a practice approach at fifteen hundred  feet, I had been cleared to three thousand. As we passed I was cleared for the remainder of my route, as filed. This was a great flight, 3.2 hours of smooth as could be with us enjoying the tunes through XM.
Our last leg was for KJKA, Gulf Shores. This leg we saw the biggest cloud build ups EVER! It reminded us of driving through NYC and all the tall buildings. We dodged and weaved our way finally arriving at Gulf Shores.
This BACFest was all about beach time. Mary and I spent our time on the beach and in the water.
The ride home was another long day in the saddle. I monitored wx along our route and when I was closing in on our first stop, Tullahoma KTHA, I made the decision to divert to Smyrna, KMQY. Leg one was 3.6 hours.
We topped off our fuel and made a quick turn around for the next stop KCRW, Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV. This leg was 2.8 hours.
Our last leg was busy with altitude changes and hand-offs for traffic.  We also had to dodge a few build ups. It was a welcome sight seeing the twin bridges as we arrived home with a beautiful sunset view.
September 2015
After the Gulf Shores trip we were ready to stretch our wings, this was going to be the longest trip to date in 08Romeo.
Mary and I had big plans.  We wanted to fly to Dubuque Iowa, then while that far west we wanted to visit Mt Rushmore.  The trip gets better, after Rapid City we pointed to Kansas City to visit our friends before finally point 08Romeo for home.  Great memories that will last a life time! 
Our first leg was scheduled for KCDI, Cambridge Ohio.  The winds had changed and I would be dealing with headwinds and IMC conditions. When I launched off runway one-four at Ocean City I did feel anxious climbing out, right up until we entered the clag. Once on the instruments it was all business and everything felt natural.
Our next leg was to KVPZ, Valparaiso, Indiana. This was a smooth flight VFR conditions and ended with a nice landing. We spent the night and had a great dinner at Kelseys.
Thursday morning, October 1st had us departing Valparaiso for Dubuque. It was a smooth fast flight to KDBQ.
We had a beautiful waterfront view from our room at the Grand Harbor Resort overlooking the Mississippi River. Mary and I enjoy some us time walking the riverfront.
This BACFest had excellent workshops for the board and our member meeting along with maintenance clinics. We all enjoyed a riverboat cruise for dinner to close out the events.
On Sunday we continued west for Rapid City SD and Mt. Rushmore.
September 2017
BacFest 2017, what an adventure. We had just returned home from Sint Maarten on September 2nd, ahead of Hurricane Irma slamming the islands.
With the house and pets back to normal we were once again ready to travel. The plan was to fly to New Bedford, MA but weather had other ideas. Hurricane Jose was terrorizing the east coast and of course continued on ahead of us to the North East. We had great plans of visiting Mike B and his wife Kim along with our friends Adam and Jeanine and their newborn son Declan. We were also looking forward to catching up with family.
I waited out the weather and we decided that if we were going it was going to be by ground transportation. And so it goes, the pilot and his bride are driving to BACFest. The couple of hour flight was now an eight hour drive. Ughhh.
We had fun with our BAC friends as we explored Thames Street and a few museums. The annual banquet was excellent and we had a blast.
Mary and I are still recovering here at home, but this week our hearts our with our BAC family as they gather in Louisville Kentucky for BACFest 2018. I will be tracking multiple flights and watching Hurricane Florence as she moves towards the east coast.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Random Thoughts During Recovery

The Physical Challenge

Mary and I have been through so much. The physical challenges have been non-stop since the day of the accident, but, we are making progress.  A simple task of putting my pants on is such an accomplishment...insert my typical eye roll... Trying to feed the dog and cats or clean a litter box with bending, lifting and twisting restrictions has been a real pain for Mary. Cat litter boxes are beyond her allowed weight restriction so it takes coordination with neighbors to perform this simple task.  Let's not forget she still can't drive and my bride has to deal with yours truly 24/7. It's never easy for people to ask for help and we are no exception, its been a very humbling experience.

Last night was the first night I slept in our bed since June 28th. We are having the hospital bed removed today.  Sounds pretty simple, right?  I have looked at our bed since I came home from the hospital, every single time, all three times. I finally conquered that hurdle. The simple things mean so much as we try and put our lives back together.

The Mental Challenge

The emotional part of all this is like the boogeyman, floating around in both our heads but not a topic for discussion at this time. We understand our lives have changed, forever, as well as our lifestyle and passion for travel. I know at some point the accident will be addressed and it will be good for the both of us to let it all out. I'm not sure when this will happen, but as of yet, it has not been the right time. 

One morning...

Mary and I were going over our daily ritual of quicken updates now that I can wheel in to the office. As we sat discussing something my computers screen saver kicked in and right before us pictures of our many destinations flashed.  Our conversation stopped, not a word was said, as we fixated on the screen. When we looked at each other we were both in hit home that for us life has drastically changed. We hugged, both acknowledging how much we enjoyed our travels by way of our magic carpet.

Our life will keep moving forward, and we are both very thankful for that. As to flying again, not a clue where that will go and honestly we could care less at this time. We have forged friendships even deeper and made new friends along this journey. We will continue to appreciate the time we have together.

Ever since I was a child I learned many life lessons. From my years playing baseball, throughout my school years and even over my work career, there was always something to learn and carry forward. This experience is the same, although I am struggling with what it is I need to take away from it all. I do have an even deeper love for my bride and know there is nothing we can not rise above, together. Maybe it's the lesson of accepting help from others so that we may give more to others when we are healthy. Maybe I'm just trying to solve a life puzzle that is still missing a few pieces.

Our journey will continue moving forward. Mary and I look forward to the day we can once again travel to new destinations and enjoy exploring and meeting new people. For now we heal, enjoy our own company, and our family and friends that surround us. Life is good.