Tuesday, July 9, 2013

More thoughts on talking to a Paraglider from NY

The dreams were free at night.  I'd launch my 5 year old body(?) off gray shingles that left silvers in my bottom when I'd slide myself down the roof.  Below the peak of the barn roof was a haystack half as tall as the peak.  I'd soar off that roof and try to touch the clouds.  I would do swirls, twirls, somersaults and cartwheel through the air.  It was easy, and it was freeing.  I remember feeling the pure joy of flying, not in the black night of dreams but in the cerulean blue of hot Kansas skies.

The dreams were so real to me I actually thought I did fly at night while I was sleeping.  The dreams occurred with regularity and became something I always looked forward to at night.  I was never scared, and I never fell to the ground.

I don't remember how old I was when the dreams stopped.  Life just kind of got in the way and anchored me to the earth.  Daddy got sick.  We moved off the farm to Lincoln, KS.  Daddy died.  We moved to Salina, KS.  With each year the chains of gravity kept me grounded, and I forgot all about the dreams of flying.

It wasn't until after I was married and started having children that an aunt of Pat's talked to me about her dreams of flying.  Estelle, also had dreams of flying when she was young in Iowa.  We compared stories, and once again I remembered the thrill of soaring through the air and the wonder of the earth below.

I often wonder what those dreams symbolized for me.  Estell really believed she flew.  Did I?  It was so real and so natural in my dreams.  It was a time in my life where sorrow had not touched me.

This year I attended a dinner for the paragliders racing in the Woodrat Paragliding race at Fiasco Winery in Ruch.  Sitting next to me was a man from New York who had flown Paragliders all over the world.  He encouraged me to try a tandem flight.  I mentioned to him my dreams of flight as a child.  He told me that people who have those dreams usually wind up paragliding.


That got me to thinking. I thought of flying.  I thought of the symbolism ripe in the act of flying with a paraglider.  I thought of turkey vultures and how they use the thermals to kettle.  I wondered how paragliders got from Woodrat to Grants Pass and back again.  I was intrigued by the whole idea of comparing and contrasting my childhood flights with the act of paragliding  today.

I tried my hand at a sonnet because I've also been thinking about William Wordsworth.  I combined my thoughts of flying with the craft of writing a sonnet.  Sonnets are HARD work!  It's like Sudoku for my brain!  I'm not too fond of my results, but I like the difficulty and challenge of writing in iambic pentameter and rhyming.

I'm currently working on a free verse with the same theme.  Maybe someday I will take the venture and do a tandem paragliding ride.  I think I should in honor of that happy, free spirit of a child I was back on the barn roof, launching my body skyward!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On Talking to a Paraglider from New York in form

In nights of dreams, the clouds fly high above
barn steeples, grazing hay, and toeing trees,
as westward blades of windmills list, shove
the wisps amongst the limbs.  The lee
of slope running on shingles gray with age.
The step I take : a foot launch, lifts the wing.
I kettle up the core, Vario gage
beeping .  Dew creates bases. Arms I fling
to catch my cloud quay.  Unstable as Geier
in flight.  I fear not dreams of flying high
to heaven.  Gravity of dust, flyer
in hell of air foil collapsing. I die 
of trees and rooted rock, awake and bound
once more, in beds of iron, and chains of ground.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Hero, Southern Oregon Subaru

I forgot to mention on the freeway when I was stuck I also got a visit from the State police.  Officer Freeman was quite the hoot and could do Standup comedy if he wanted too!  I was well cared for stuck on that freeway!

Today I got my car back.  They said the hose camps had slipped off and sprayed all my transmission fluid out.  Nothing was damaged.  Thank God.  They fixed it all, no charge and detailed my car.  Wow, Southern Oregon Subaru came through with flying colors!  Shannon, my service person, was awesome! She is my Super hero!

  A happy ending for my car adventure.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Me and My Car

Car Troubles and the single woman part 2:

Last week I was on a mission with my car. I've been dreading it because I feel so inadequate around car maintenance stuff.  In fact, I had kind of a revelation about cars, myself and my ex husband last week.

I digress here. 

 I have always felt insecure being the one to drive people around.  I usually defer to them to drive.  I realized it's because my ex had always complained about my driving. In the early part of the marriage he rarely let me drive and if he did it was white knuckled with gasps.  Later in the marriage he had to let me drive because he was drinking.  After awhile I got kind of a toughen attitude about it.  Did he want  me to drive so he could drink?  Fine, then he could just suffer through it.

Unfortunately, the boys picked up on his phobia and when they got to be teenagers they also mocked my driving.  Yes, I did slide on black ice and wind up in the ditch on Sterling Creek. (Doesn't everyone who lives up there slide on Hayes corner?) It was one time in 30 years.  Yes, I have hit a couple of deer, or they hit me I should say.  (They have a tendency to run into people's cars) But Pat hit deer too.  (Doesn't everyone on Sterling Creek hit a deer sometime?)  I could list all the times and mishaps of everyone in the family.  My mishaps were no greater than theirs. Yet I was left with the insecure feeling about my driving, so hence I let other people drive.

I will admit I did let Pat take care of the car stuff.  He reminded me to get oil changes.  He took care of tires  So when I became single I knew this area would be a challenge for me.  I've been pretty good about the oil changes.  I like the way the Subaru Service Dept treats me.  I have a woman who takes care of me so I don't feel put down by a man for my ignorance.

About a month ago I noticed a gouge in the sidewall of one of my tires. Yes I know, don't berate me, it was my doing for parking or rubbing up against some kind of barrier.  I was dreading this because I knew with a Subaru being an all wheel drive I would probably have to replace ALL 4 TIRES!  It worked out that I only had to replace one, and it was warranted so it was free!

The next item on my list was an oil change, and I thought I was due for my next maintenance.  Fortunately it was not due for another 3000, and all I needed was an oil change.  I did mention that I noticed my air conditioning wasn't blowing cold or my heater hot.

Now I'm not a total air head.  I do check my gages.  I glance out my mirrors periodically while driving. I don't answer my phone when it rings while I am driving, and I don't text while driving.  I had noticed nothing strange except for the heating and cooling system.

My radiator was dry.  I did not notice the car running hot.  So now I've added sniffing to identify radiator fluid and checking for puddles under the car to my routines.  I replaced my radiator a week ago.  You can BET I'm watching that GAGE!

Which comes to my Sunday stuck on the Freeway.

I got gas and was heading to Central Point on the Freeway to go swimming at my friend's house.  Midway between the South and North Medford exits I glanced into my rear view window and saw black smoke. CRAP.  (I know that is not good.)  I checked my gages.  Nothing.  Everything was reading normal.  I looked out again.  Yep.  Black Smoke.  About then I notice I could no longer accelerate.  I coasted for a ways to get to a safe place to pull over.  Then I called my friends the Nelson's to come get Queenie out of the heat.

The next panic was where did I put the towing information?  I knew my insurance paid for towing.  I started digging though the glove box.  I had old bills from the insurance company, but I could not remember the name of the Car Care.  

About this time I hear a knock on my window, and I look up, and there are 4 firefighters and a fire truck behind me!  I guess someone had reported my car on fire.  They were very nice and popped my hood, checked my engine, asked if I had water for the dog and myself, and if I needed any help.  I assured them I was calling the tow company and my friends were on the way.  They told me it looked like I had lost all my transmission fluid.  Great.

I called Subaru to tell them I was having my car towed there, and I asked if I could get a loaner car.  I kind of got hemmed and hawed about that.   My friends showed up and Perry, who is a jack of all trades, looked at my engine and pointed out how my hoses from the radiator to the transmission were all popped off.  (I was wondering if this might have something to do with them replacing my radiator a week ago?)

The tow truck showed up and towed me to Subaru.  I have to say as soon as we explained what happened they got me a loaner car.  Perry took pictures of the hoses, and I am really hoping that Subaru does right by me because I really want to believe they are good guys.  I am waiting for them to call me this morning.  I am hoping no other damage has been done.  I am hoping they admit fault and fix it for free.  I am hoping.

Of course at the back of my mind I am running through the scenes trying to see if I was at fault for any of this happening.  My natural tendency is to take all the blame for whatever happens to me.  I'm so used to being blamed I can not  seem to escape the condemnation.  (May I say I am so glad there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1  I just wish I could apply that in all my life naturally.)  I really don't think there was anything I could have done to prevent this from happening.  Except maybe get an auto mechanic degree? Or check my engine every time before I get in to drive.

Come on Southern Oregon Subaru be my HERO!