A smiling setting moon…

A recent night flight…

February, 2008

Before the flu befell me, the week before, I spent a weekend with Ann down at the house in Georgia, flying down on Saturday at midday after a morning at clinic. Ann was there to greet me as I landed, and walked up the drive to the house with me, helping with my bundles. It’s alway like flying into the next warmest season when I arrive by air in Georgia. The door of the aircraft opens on spring from winter. The breeze from the marsh carries a hint of salt, and a rich loamy aroma of its own, distinct from any other coastline.

It wasn’t a hectic or particularly planned out weekend. We simply spent time at the house, puttering with this and that, and took a long walk at the wildlife refuge on Sunday morning. Ducks-a-million and heron-a-plenty. Dappled sunshine everywhere. It was breezy.

As the afternoon came on, and it was getting to be time to fly home, the wind turned into the real story of the weekend, because of dangerous turbulence up across South Carolina and eastern North Carolina. Jet aircraft were diverting from Raleigh because of windshear and severe turbulence encountered on descent. Conditions were forecast to continue beyond sunset.

I was left pondering either an early morning flight or drive up the next morning, to be at work by 10am.

As it turned out, the winds were dying down quickly by 9pm, and I chose to fly back in the late evening. Ann hugged me, and sent me off. As I climbed away from Eagle Neck, the moon was setting in the west, an upturned silver smile of a crescent moon. The stars were brilliant overhead as the moon departed. The air was smooth for the most part, and the craft steady enough to settle my nerves. Flying at night is always a bit jangly compared to the same flight conducted in daylight. There are just so few options if the engine gets wonky at night, or over broad waters.

Roxboro airport hove into view, about where it belonged, and at the appointed time, so I landed and berthed the plane for the night. I was home with Kelly by 11:30 or so.

It was a wonderful weekend.

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