Mom

I have been thinking about my mother a lot recently. When it comes to learning new skills, my mother has always been an inspiration to me. When I was a child, she was always convinced that my brother, sister, and I could do anything we put our minds to, provided we just had the determination to see it through, but she also lived that belief. She was always taking on new projects and developing new skills. Whether it was a sewing project, knitting, wallpapering, house painting, furniture making, and toy making, she was always adding to her creative skills and learning new things. I remember being impressed as a teenager that she decided to take evening courses in physics, just because it interested her. Also, when I was in my teens, she began a long career teaching. For thirty years, she passed her enthusiasm for learning to generations of young children before retiring last year.
        Twenty two years ago she moved to Santa Fe New Mexico. This was in part because the high desert beauty appealed to her on some deep level, and partly to the large number of aviation enthusiasts who live in the area. Mom pursued first an interest in Ballooning, then hang gliding, and about ten years ago a passion for flying propeller driven aircraft. About eight years ago, she started building her own bi-plane. A slow project, which required her to develop new skills, but which allowed her to discover new communities of home-airplane-builders, and flying enthusiasts. She eventually became the president of the local chapter of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association), and was instrumental in forming a local chapter of the Ninety-Nines, and international organization of women pilots.

Mom Ballooning

        Mom did not get to finish her plane; she was killed in a car crash at the end of May. She was on her way to a big fly-in, three days of camping out under the wings of classic airplanes that gather for socializing, exchanging information, and sharing an enthusiasm for flying. I had spoken with her a few days before the accident, she was full of excitement for the Fly-in, and was looking forward to meeting up with a friend after the event who is an astronaut.
        Mom was full of enthusiasm and plans for the future. She was 71, far too young, but she also had an incredibly rich life, full of creative energy right until the end. I just hope that wherever she is, they have airplanes.

Mom flying a B17

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