Well, I’ve sorta been on an unwilling and somewhat planned sabbatical from the whole blogging thing since Christmas. First thing is I went on vacation…. this is good. And instead of pulling the greedy pilot trick of working my vacation and getting paid triple or whatever, I went skiing with my church (countrysidebible.org) at Winter Park. Not only was the skiing amazing (great powder: for you New Englanders, that’s why it’s called SNOW skiing….), but so was the fellowship and the teaching. The teaching was on Lazarus’ resurrection, and my friend jazz hands has the notes on his blog (beholdinghisglory, see the link).

For some odd reason when I got back I worked a lot of day trips… Being home at night was great, but driving back and forth got really old and I flew a LOT (and a lot of maintenance flights, which rarely go smooth).

This week, however, I was on for six days straight, and what a wild six days its been. The first night, I was reassigned four times, and finally got on a plane bound for Champaign, IL. Or sorta bound. Whilst waiting for the captain, yours truly, being the excellent First Officer he pretends to be, carefully reviewed our release (several dead trees containing vast amounts of information including the weather) and determined the winds were going to far exceed our crosswind limits for a snowy, slick runway. When el capitan arrived, this was pointed out and summarily dismissed. We were going somewhere, so it might as well be in that general direction. I agree with this reasoning, but still, I would have bugged dispatch then and there.

Long story shorter, we had an amazing quantity of extra gas, so we held over the Champaign airport for 35 minutes before diverting to a new alternate, St Louis. I say new because we were listed for Indy and Des Moines, one of which was too windy (it rhymes) and the other way too far for convenience. All this texting back and forth via the ACARS burned up all said machines paper, which was ironically comic. The last straw in our divert decision came when the station called to tell us the wind was to strong to park at the gate, and the power was out anyway!

The flight to St Louis was easy and short, the passenger’s were sent away (the company generously forces them to pay for their own hotel, albeit at reduced rate, for weather related delays), and we prepared to get some sleep. The quick thinking flight attendant called the hotel to see about the van, and found out that said hotel had been out of business for six months. Whoops. Scheduling took another hour and a half to find a hotel with rooms, and proceeded to make the captain pay for the 35 minute taxi ride (they say they’ll reimburse). We waited an additional thirty minutes for the last tidbit, because the person working our problem went home at 1am, and neglected to tell her replacement. In the end, we got our sleep in a nice hotel, and I got to see the Gateway Arch. (and it’s a great story).

The day after that I was scheduled for an unheard of six legs…but extremely high winds (pointed the wrong direction) and a massive (houston to kentucky somewhere) line of weather induced a gate delay, two reroutes and the associated paperwork, an enroute spacing delay, a ground stop to DFW, plenty of poking around weather once airborne, WAAAY to much gas to land with (gear came down way early), and some holding. Baton Rouge to DFW: 2 hours 15 minutes late. Perfect landing in heavy gusts: Priceless!

That evening we shot a GPS approach to minimums in blowing snow at Springfield Missouri. I’m in Houston right now, and I’ll be home Saturday afternoon. Just another week in the life.

I’m going to try and go meet a friend from Paris for dinner tonight, but not before I put in a plug for the Sola Christos Conference at countryside next week. Come listen to Al Mohler, John MacArthur, and our very own Tom Pennington talk about the supremacy and importance of Christ in the Christian life. I’m very grateful that the Lord arranged for some extra vacation days so I can attend all four days!!

safeguard should be updated with the next of my ambassador series sometime early next week…. I hope

Nat

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