Thursday 13: End of Summer snapshot

Cheeks puffed out, lips pursed, I grumped at Mr. T. (Yes, “grumped” is a verb in our house.) “One too many biscuits,” I said. As if there is such a thing.

You see, Fall descended on Sacramento last weekend in the form of a beautiful, beyond-needed rainstorm. It was all thunder and sheets of water and rainbows. Naturally, we required soup. And biscuits. Lots of biscuits in my case.

Of course, the crispy weather lasted for only a day or two before the high 80s came back and I got to reflecting on the last lovely bits of Summer. For an it’s-been-so-long-I-might-have-forgotten-how Thursday 13, I present an End-of-Summer snapshot of life around these parts…

1. A recent photo:

On Labor Day, T and I flew to Nancy’s Airport Cafe in Willows, California for grilled cheese. Now, more specifically, I flew T to Willows on the 9th anniversary of our first flight together… to Nancy’s for grilled cheese. (Actually, we’d originally tried to go to Jonesey’s in Napa, but it was closed for the holiday way back when.)

2. On my nightstand: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” the FAA Private Pilot Test Prep Manual and “Flight Behavior.” Also, on audio: “The Fault in Our Stars.” Have I mentioned how much I love my library card?

3. Current worry: Getting it all done. Work research projects. House projects. Flight hours and exams. Overdue (in my mind) journal articles. Job apps. Lesson plans. Argh.

4. An adventure: Flying to Ridgecrest, California and buzzing the desert near China Lake in the Vans RV-4. T and I flew down for a formation demonstration at Ridgecrest’s Parade of 1,000 Flags, a 9/11 memorial.

5. Just finished: “Until I Say Goodbye.” An incredible read with slight side effects, like me planning my own funeral, ahem.

6. A point of pride: I’m teaching a couple classes at Sacramento State this Fall. My students in “Critical Analysis of Messages” are knocking my socks off lately. Such a smart group! It’s so fun to teach when students are engaged with the material and discussions.

7. Something exciting: After a couple hiccups this summer, we’re finally on our way to revamping the Back 40, our erstwhile backyard pile of weeds. Our landscaper designer dude came over last weekend and is drawing plans as we speak.

8. A celebration: The Reno Air Races for Mr. T’s birthday! We missed 2011 thanks to the big crash (see “Mourning the 2011 Reno Air Races“), and in 2012 we missed because my best friend had the nerve to get hitched that weekend. To be back in one of our favorite places felt like coming home. There’s nothing (not even Oshkosh!) that’s like watching those Unlimited Gold Racers thunder through the sky at 500 miles an hour. Not to mention, this year we knew a handful of the racers in other classes, so we had a lot of folks to cheer on.

The Unlimited Gold line-up–the fastest of the fast–at the 50th National Championship Reno Air Races.

9. The coolest thing ever: I flew a plane, BY MYSELF. Completely and utterly alone. To somewhere. And then back again. Alone. I’m still polishing the full blog post, but suffice to say, it was damn cool.

 

My first completely independent flight with empty right
seat proof.

10. A miracle: Being present for the birth of my best friend’s baby. Nearly literally, by the way. I was around for all 40 hours of the labor. When T asked if it was free birth control, I said “Not really. More like an advertisement for the epidural.” Joking aside, I was honored to be around as a new life came into the world.

11. Something I’m grateful for: Facetime! Thanks to that neat invention, I get to see my newborn niece who lives across the country on a regular basis.

12. A new recipe: Salted caramel and nutella stuffed double chocolate chip cookies. Sounds convoluted, yes, but the end product: phenomenal.

13. Something I’m looking forward to: My Brooklynite sister Brenda Lynn just bought a plane ticket for Thanksgiving… and she’s bringing her boyfriend out West for the first time. Is it November yet??

xoxo,
shawna

Other Thursday 13s:

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