March 2010

After much hard work and studying, Slick finished his training in Nampa, ID and joined Zoe and me (Donna) in Colorado last week. He was due in after the two-day drive on Wednesday mid-morning, but pushed through the night to arrive at 1am on Wednesday, blaming it on being “a man in love.” 🙂 Read more about his training on our blog.

Mom, Dad and Mom’s cousin enjoyed playing with Zoe, who gave us adult children the excuse to sing silly songs and to linger at the ice cream social. The plethora of baby sitters freed me to slide down the snowy slopes again a few times, but change is definitely afoot – I almost preferred to forego the steeps in favor of the flats where I could tow behind me the next generation of our family. Hence the cross country skis logged many more miles before we departed the high country for Colorado Springs where I’ll be working on adding a flying rating to my collection, courtesy of an Air Force education program.

As we prepared to leave the snowy heights last week, God gave us two special gifts. The first was one last beautiful mogul run on my last trip down the front of Vail Mountain. Much of the previous day’s powder remained, making the conditions perfect. I felt God’s smile as I gasped for air and danced down the bumps. The second gift was a Sunday full of friends, new and old. Of course going to Africa to fly little planes in support of missionaries is not the most boring potential future…and it certainly opened the door to conversation with many interesting people. The high country proved again that both in the vast but familiar terrain and with the spirits of those who choose to live there, our hearts are at home in Colorado.

Nevertheless, half of our flight training is behind us and the road to Africa on which we believe God is leading us seems ever more certain.

Chili and Zoe on Shrine Pass, a couple miles south of Vail Pass

“Onward and upward,” my dad used to say as we traveled. The last few weeks have included much of both.

We departed Vancouver, WA and the helpful folks at Servant Wings on 20 Feb, stayed with old friends in Hermiston, OR (where?!) and arrived the next day in Nampa, ID, 2500 feet above sea level. Slick has survived a week of grueling ground school, several flights and a day of cross country skiing with Zoe & me. Another two weeks or so of flying and he’ll be “fully trained” and ready to…be earth-bound for another year while we finish travels in the US and go to language school. But he’s looking forward to being finished and relaxing with family for a few weeks in…Colorado, of all places. That is, if God allows us to actually get there this time!

at the end of the trail, tho we did go a little further…of course!

I (Donna) am an adrenaline junkie. And addict almost. So I’d expect that fast and dangerous moments would stand out from the last month: cross country skiing on the foot of Mt Hood, or willing the Cessna 172 up over tall trees at the end of a short, narrow grass runway, or slipping between rising foothills and lowering clouds returning from Seattle in the deepening dusk.

But as I reflect on the last month, I’m struck again by the fact that the best memories come not from thrilling experiences, but from people. People – the folks who serve with Servant Wings, friends from the past (the Air Force, other places we’ve lived) and others we’ve met along the way. In contrast with Satan’s ruse, it’s not the “cool stuff out there” that transforms living into life, it’s the people right here!

Where are we? Where are we going? When? And where have we been?

Zoe, at the controls of the mighty Cessna 206