April, no showers

Quack_2

Quack!

Scary giant with a camera surprises duck.

Duck_2

“I’m fine now. See my pretty blue feather?”

Another sunny, warm, dry, breezy, beautiful day. Possibly the finest April in memory. The flip side: there’s a Fire Weather Watch today.

Ride

Airfield_horses

When I drove past the Hampton Airfield on Saturday, on Cedar Road, I looked to see if any planes were landing or taking off. Instead I saw a couple of riders galloping their horses along the side of the grass strip runway. Pure exhilaration!

I drove around to the airfield entrance off Route 1 to see if I could get a photo, without stopping traffic. There they were, walking now.

2horses

Horses and airplanes are two of my favorite things. The riders look pretty happy too.

Reminds me of a great autobiography, West with the Night, by Beryl Markham. She was a racehorse trainer and bush pilot in Kenya in the 1920’s and 30’s.

The book is #8 on National Geographic’s list of The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time.

“I have lifted my plane from the Nairobi airport for perhaps a thousand flights and I have never felt her wheels glide from the earth into the air without knowing the uncertainty and the exhilaration of firstborn adventure.”

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears.

– Arabian proverb

Looking up

Mapleblossoms

Maple blossoms

Trees have flowers.

Hips

Rose hips

Made it through the winter, a little weathered.

Pwill_2

Pussy willows

It has been beautiful for days, with buckets of sunshine. After I dropped Laura at the Away bus at 7:45 a.m., I walked along the North Beach seawall with other walkers, joggers and roller bladers. Big waves and lots of surfers.

Carpe diem Saturday.

I’m off to Concord shortly. Must remember the fold-out lacrosse mom chair.

P.S. You might add some flavor to your Saturday – they’re OPEN.

Spring vignette

Turkey2_2

Turkey in our backyard

This is the difference between 14 and 46.

“Mom, look, there’s a whole big group of them!” she calls from another room.

I jump up off the couch and go to the kitchen window, thinking the turkeys are back. “I don’t see any.”

“No, out front.”

“Turkeys in the front yard?”

“Not turkeys. Boys!”

The high school boys’ track team is running by.

Welcome as the spring is to the earth

Crocus

Purple is now, for this early bloom time, a favorite color.

I saw the first-of-the-year turtle in the pond this morning, paddling a little dazedly in the sun. It is going to be 61 degrees today, wowsa. The tiny cranberry-colored maple-tree flowers are blooming in blue sky fields.

In family news, John is promising me some photos from Barbados. Anna got two or three small parts in The Winter’s Tale at The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth this June. She is Emilia, lady to the queen, and the shepherdess Dorcas, and possibly “the Oracle,” which I guess may be the character also known as Time.

In yesterday’s home lacrosse game, Laura scored the first two goals artfully, aiding a win against Dover 5-3. It was nice to catch up with old friends on the sidelines. Bishop Brady next, on Saturday in Concord.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.

– Margaret Atwood

At the beech

Beech_2

Through winter and early spring, beech trees stand out in bare woods because they cling to their old leaves that look almost golden in the off-season drab. See the pointy little buds? As soon as they unfurl, the tree will drop the old leaves all at once, in a golden shower.

I’m such a devoted sidelines mom I drove an hour to Nashua to watch Laura’s game yesterday afternoon. It was worth it. At one point our team was down 4 points, then it was tied 8-8. One of our players was fouled inside the arc with 4 SECONDS left. And she scored on the free position. So we won 9-8. Yeah.

First home game today. Girls’ lacrosse has 4 home games and 11 away games this season, including to Hanover and Lebanon, over 2 hours away.

Images

My husband was one of the hundreds of American Airlines pilots at Logan Airport and across the system who picketed yesterday against management’s asininity.

This article sums up the issues really well: American Air Pilots Protest Against Management

American is the only major U.S. carrier to avoid bankruptcy during the latest downturn, averting the move in 2003 with support from labor concessions.

Our family’s concessions – 1/3 pay cut – were just about equal to our mortgage payment, ouch. (Just after we had renovated our old raised ranch, as luck would have it.) And today, April 16, top management will be divvying up millions in bonuses (just like last year) but are refusing to negotiate the overdue pilots’ contract and live up to their promises of “Pull Together, Win Together.”

Dude, what is going on with top executive compensation in general these days? It has completely separated itself from reality and floated up into the stratosphere.

Pilot issues in a one-page pdf nutshell: Where We Are Today and How We Got Here

Nearly 3,000 pilots have lost their jobs, 1,500 saw their pay cut in half and all the other pilots took at least 25 percent cuts while senior executives get 700 percent pay raises.

The pilots don’t just want some of the money they gave up back, they want management to invest in the airline itself – improve on-time performance, staff all parts of the airline, buy the spare parts they need, not get into an MD80 situation again.

Here’s a blogger who believes pilots are underpaid.

They need to fly an aluminum tube into the sky at 30,000+ feet altitude and then have to land that same contraption without burrowing it into the ground. Add Mother Nature to the mix with her bouquets of rain, snow, sleet, wind, and overweight tourists and the fact that this is a safer mode of transportation than most options speaks volumes to the integrity of their profession. Unlike a bus driver, who may be able to divert a bus to the side of a road, pilots have no such option.

Bless you, James. And don’t forget that since mid-September 2001 they have been wearing clip-on ties. Some of them have become Federal Air Marshals. And it’s not over yet.

Video in this Logan story: Pilots picket at airport. Hey, I know those guys!

Being a commercial airline pilot ain’t what it used to be in the golden age of aviation, but there’s still a lot to love about it. AA pilot Kent Wien, of Exeter, NH, blogs the ups and downs (har) of a pilot’s job at the excellent Cockpit Chronicles. My husband flew with him recently and said he is a serious Mac geek and lots of fun on a trip.