“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” 

When I woke up this morning, it was sunny but cold. Now, the sun has disappeared and it is only 29°. We are under a winter storm watch. The snow prediction for Cape Cod is 3 to 6 inches, but the snow is expected to change to rain and sleet.

I have no plans for today. Yesterday I was all over the place, five different stops. I even went to the dump with an almost empty trunk, so unlike me, but not to fear, the laundry is still in the hall so all is well with my world.

I didn’t have my first plane ride until I was in college. It was a flight from Hyannis to Boston in a prop, an Easter gift from the Easter Bunny. That single ride started it all.

I have ridden in a hot air balloon, an untethered balloon. It was a magnificent ride. We were one among several balloons taking advantage of the last of the good fall days. The ride had been postponed a couple of times because of the wind. It was a glorious morning. People still in their pajamas and robes rushed out to see us. My favorite view was of the pig farm and the scurrying pigs. We landed perfectly, basket upright. We had breakfast and toasted our perfect ride with glasses of champagne. In each glass was a pin, a replica of the balloon.

My helicopter ride was from LaGuardia to J.F.K. The copter took off straight up then whirred across the city. There was even a stewardess whose only responsibility was to make sure we were buckled. It was an amazing ride with the city close below us, but what was even more amazing was my luggage made it from Boston to LaGuardia to JFK to Ghana despite being out of my sight for an entire day.

My glider ride was out of Plymouth. The day was perfect with the brightest sun and the bluest sky. We were towed into the air by a powered plane connected to us by a rope. When we were high enough, the pilot of my glider had me release the tow rope. We soared over the ocean catching thermals. The view seemed endless. I could even see the skyline of Boston. The only sound was of the wind.

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One Comment on ““You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    This morning the temperature was down to 21° and the freezing rain ended just before sunrise. I worked from home earlier and then came to work around 10:30 The freezing precipitation should be over although the temperature today will barely go above freezing. The roads weren’t bad but the one freeway overpass was a little icy.

    You have me beat. I have never flown in a hot air ballon nor in a glider. When I taught student pilots in single engine airplanes, we practiced forced landings in the event that the engine were to fail. I never wanted to fly a glider becasue every landing is a forced landing. 🙂 Gravity always wins.

    I did get to fly a helicopter once with a pilot friend named Bart Kelly. Bart was one of the early engineers, along with Arthur Young, that invented the Bell 47 helicopter during WWII. I flew a Bell 212 twin turbine engine helicopter once, with a demo pilot, from the Bell plant in Hurst Texas in the mid 1980s. Here’s a link to Bart’s video on the early development of the Bell helicopter.


    Unfortunately, Bart is no longer with us. The film that’s on YouTube is a compilation of 16mm clips that Bart took in his youth and he would show them at lectures for friends and aviation groups. I suggested to Bart that he should put them together for posterity. He did and the video was produced and distributed by Bell Helicopter Textron corporation for promotional material. I used to have a VHS version, but now I don’t have a VCR to play it, but luckily, it’s on YouTube. I never got interested in flying rotary wing aircraft. A helicopter is a close formation of too many moving parts. 🙂

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