No Problem

Every year in Alaska, somebody I know, or know of, or is known by someone I know dies doing something they love. More often than not, that something they love is an action that pushes to the extremes.  Eulogies celebrate the life of someone who grabbed life by the horns with great gusto, but didn't get to see as much of it as they could have. My father lived his whole life doing what he loved. He too, grabbed life by the horns, but he avoided being gored.
 
This brings back a memory of my father, who passed away at 98, who loved to fly and flew airplanes for 70 years, from the early 1930's until 2006 and lived another 5 years:
 
This is in the voice of my brother Eric, who is also a flyer: 
I had a trapline around one of the sloughs south of Mercer, North Dakota right off of State Highway 41. I was checking traps when I heard our Dad go overhead.  I didn't have to even to look up to know it was him because I'd know the sound of that 65-horse Contentinental anywhere. I could hear him turn south. I figured that he was heading over to Wilton to say "hello" to some friends. Most likely, that would be friends he had known since he and his father would travel by horse and wagon to the coal mine at Wilton. By the time they would have gotten loaded up, it would have been night and they would have gone to the home of those friends to spend the night before heading back the next day.
 
When I got done with the traps, I headed home going west on McLean County 22, which connects North Dakota State Highway 41 and County 29. As I approached the intersection with 29, I could see the buildings of our farm a mile to the north. As I looked west, I could see Dad's PA11 Piper Cub parked in a field just south of the intersection. It appeared to be tied down. 
 
As I got to the intersection, I saw Dad walking on 29. I turned the corner and stopped and he got into the pickup. I said "what's wrong?". He said "Nothing".  I started the pickup again and as I looked north, I realized that I could no longer see the farm buildings. They were covered with fog.
 
If you are reading this and don't get it, then you are a bold pilot.  If you do get it, then you might just get to be an old pilot.
 
"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. 
The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute."

- George Bernard Shaw