Week #50 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Keep ‘Em Flying!”

Prayer Card (compliments of Leber-Lakeside)

The Texan (Rob’s prayer card)

Week #50 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Keep ‘Em Flying!”

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and welcome to week ELEVEN of our Summer Fun Challenge!

Growing up Church, the last weekend of August always meant the same thing: AIR SHOW WEEKEND!  Mom and Dad would pack us up in the car and cart us up to Sussex County Airport for a full day of aerobatics, wing-walkers, and fly-overs in the hot sun.

As we got older, three of us drifted away from the tarmac and on to other things  — but Rob did not.  The screaming kid who held his ears with each fly-by grew into an adult who not only continued to LOOK at planes — but took flying lessons, logged his hours, served on a crew team, and even flew in historic aircraft as often as he could!

In short — Rob kept his interests flying!

Many people will accurately tell you that the first year of grief is notably marked by “the firsts” — the first holidays, birthdays, seasons, etc.  But as we approach the one-year mark, we are also painfully reminded of “the lasts.”  The last time we saw him, the last thing we ate with him, the last phone call or text…you get the idea.

One of the many “last things” I remember was Rob’s frustration that he couldn’t attend last year’s “Wings of Freedom” fly-in at Monmouth Executive Airport — which brings three beautifully restored vintage aircraft to the Jersey Shore for display, tours, and flight experiences.  It was August, he already wasn’t feeling well, and it was HOT.  Rob didn’t often express regret — but he recounted to me that the year before he had passed up an opportunity to fly in a P-51 Mustang.  The “flight experience” was expensive — but something he had always wanted to do.  I remember the tension in his already breathless voice as he remembered the words, “maybe next year.”

“Keep ’em flying!” is the tagline for the Collings Foundation — the organization responsible for that P-51 (among other vintage aircraft) and the “Wings of Freedom” tour, which coincidentally arrives at Monmouth Executive Airport this weekend!  (If you or someone you know are really into aircraft — check it out!)

Do you have things your fun list this summer that you’re already thinking…maybe next year?

Your assignment for this week: “KEEP ‘EM FLYING!”  A balanced life takes planning and purpose, of course — but we also need to grab moments as they come.  This will mean different things to different people — but as the summer winds down, think about those things that you really wanted to do this year, THIS SUMMER, and then pick one thing and make it happen THIS weekend!  Maybe it’s a ride in a P-51 Mustang…who knows?!

Regret is a stingy thing.  But with each drone of those aircraft as they buzz up and down the beach this weekend — I will remember Rob, and remember to keep my own dreams flying!

Spread Happyness — and share your last-minute flight plans in the comments!

8/28/15 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

PS: ONE WEEK TO GO!  Our FUN LIST still has room to grow — keep ’em coming!!! 

– Have breakfast for dinner — or dinner for breakfast!  (Thanks, Jeannette!)
– Tubing down the Delaware!  (Thanks, Jenn!)
– “One Tank Trips”
– Surprise trip for spouse or loved one
– Kayaking
– Beach time
– BBQ’s
– Tourist for the day in nearby city
– Walking the boards
– Rock climbing
– Scuba diving
– Touring an estate
– Time with family
– Sitting on the porch
– Watching for rainbows
– Learning to surf
– Gardening
– Writing a book
– Working on a “summer” project
– Moving to a new town
– Planning a spa day (or half-day, or even lunch hour)
– Taking Fridays (or Mondays) off!
– Day at the ballpark (Minor League stadiums are great, too!)
– Outside concerts/music events
– Hot air balloon ride/festival
– Pool volleyball (a Church-family classic!)
– Take yourself or someone you love for ice cream!
– Weed your front yard garden (and talk with neighbors and folks walking by!)
– Lose yourself in wonderful music, either listening or singing
– Play in the grassy backyard
– Play with your dog (or maybe your neighbor’s dog!)
– Sing karaoke
– Explore your town, county, state…through food and drink!
– Visit a farm
– Make plans to see friends you don’t often get to see (or schedule a gathering!)
– Blind-folded Make-overs!  (Great for a rainy day!  Bonus points if you go out in public after!)

(What are we missing?  Send me your ideas and I’ll add them to the list!)

4 thoughts on “Week #50 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Keep ‘Em Flying!”

  1. anne Wright

    This upcoming week bring with it reminders that the world has lost two of it’s brightest stars. My sister Chris, 9/2 and Rob, 9/5. Two beings who touched many but, who were in many ways polar opposites. Rob was a participant in life, my beautiful sister was a voyeur. Their commonality was they like people, and making people feel good about themselves. If I could I would spend this week in Italy or California hiking, touring, dining on Rodeo, riding a scooter in Rome. But, that is not available what I will do is:
    Have lunch with a new friend.
    Walk downtown Clinton.
    But, zip lining is still my goal before summer ends but, with one week to go not certain it will happen…
    Grace, we were blessed to have the best siblings who gave us so much and taught us the true meaning of life. I have learned from both these beautiful souls.


    1. Grace Church Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Anne! I love that you have your bucket list at the ready — and are finding a way to manifest it, even locally! The lessons are painful — but they are a gift that leads us to a better life. L’chaim! To Life!!!

  2. Barbara p. Whelan

    Go for a 3-4 hour swamp walk, in the swamp behind Clyde Butcher’s Everglades Gallery, Ochopee, FL, We did it w/friends last October. Awesome! Not at all what we expected! Great photograph opportunity, as well as learning about the ecology of what’s left of the Everglades!

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Well hello, Mrs. Whelan!!! Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to comment. You and Bill are so adventuresome — I love it! I will for sure add this to the list. It is perfect! 😉


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *