In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Three Point Landing (Re-post)

For some reason, my thoughts wandered to my brothers. I have one left, and two that moved on. 

Through all that life brought, my brothers, and I, stayed close. We'd help each other, when we could, and always found the moments we had together as treasures. A cold beer, a pleasant afternoon, and time slipped away before we realized it was gone. 

Time has slipped away forever for two brothers. I have only memories and they never seem to be enough. 

I wrote the following somewhere right after I started my blog. When I read it again, I'm reminded of a special evening, a brilliant orange sky, and the sound of car tires sizzling on hot wet pavement. 


Years ago, all the little corner stores had section of toys. There were slingshots, crummy plastic gizmos and the best: balsa wood airplanes. The balsa airplanes were somewhat of a treasure. They usually didn't last long and were easily broken. If not lost in a tree, a neighborhood dog could destroy one in an instant.

There were two types of balsa wood airplanes: the glider, which was fairly simple and the rubber band powered glider with wheels. Both were inexpensive by today's standards, but at that time, they were a sizable expenditure for our young minds to consider. The glider meant finding five coke bottles; the powered version required thirteen, which could mean days of looking and not buying a Frosty root beer and a Zero candy bar. When the long barefoot walk down hot asphalt streets was added, the airplanes required measured thought before purchasing.

Late one evening, after a strong summer thunderstorm, my brother and I ventured out front to survey the aftermath. It was a perfect evening. The damp streets were still running water at the curbs. The trees dripped in the completely still air. Traffic was light and my brother knew it was the best opportunity to fly his balsa wood airplane.

He brought his plane to the street, wound the rubber band and let it fly.  It made a short loop through the steam that rose from the street and crashed in a neighbor's yard. He did this a few more times and then had an idea: Wind the rubber band almost to the breaking point and see if the plane would take off. He tried his idea and it worked.

The light was fading and the brilliant orange of the dissipating clouds signaled that our evening was almost over. Soon we would have to go in. My brother wound his airplane extra tight to make one last significant flight. He carefully placed the plane on the ground, adjusted the tail fins just a tad, and let go of the propeller. After a few moments on the ground, the plane took off, made three lazy circles over the street, and made a perfect three point landing.

We both stood in silence for a moment. We had just witnessed an unforgettable moment in time. I don't remember what he said when he spoke, but it was pure joy. He couldn't believe what we just witnessed, and neither could I. He had to try again. He did, but his effort was in vain. I don't think he ever managed another three point landing, until he was getting his pilot license.

That was over forty years ago. A lot happened since that time and I'll never be able to share that moment with my brother again. He's gone, so I decided to share it with you.


  1. It's amazing how seemingly innocuous moments in time can become some of the most cherished memories of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. I could close my eyes and envision a similar memory of my younger brother and myself. A Saturday evening, the folks had returned from the grocery store and our treat was a pair of balsa wood airplanes. The non propelled ones had a large staple tacked into the front of the fuselage.
    You have inspired me to recall and jot down some of memories that your story has awakened. Thanks; and again, you do have a way with words, Jess.

    1. In reality, there's nothing left of my brothers, except memories and a few photographs. Anything I can write to preserve who they were is important to me.

      Write every chance you can. It's what releases the frustration.

      And, thank you for the kind words.