Monday, October 10, 2011

A Homecoming, Plane Crash, and Birthday...Oh My!

Well, friends, the past twenty-four hours or so have been a tad bit more eventful for my family than most of our Sunday/Monday combos. Oh, it began and ended quite normal enough, but with some excitement thrown in the middle courtesy of my sister-n-law's husband, it will go down as a weekend to remember in our family for some time to come.

First up, we celebrated my church's birthday, with something we call a homecoming service. Thirty-three years ago our little, white Baptist church was founded by a group which included my father, who was its first pastor (he's also our current pastor in an interim position as we look for someone else to fill the role). Actually, my dad is the one who built the church, too. A fond memory I have of that time is of playing with my Barbie dolls atop a large stack of sheetrock or plywood inside what would become the sanctuary while dad was working there one day.

Dad at our chuch homecoming doing one of his most favorite things...eating dessert. Make that dessertS.

Now, homecoming services for us always include a meal - which we call dinner on the ground. It's a thousand wonders the message the following Sunday is never on gluttony, because we Baptists like to eat, especially fried chicken and all the fixings. Of course, I'm hoping the good fellowship we have with one another cancels out any wrongdoing on our parts when it comes to this particular deadly sin.

Some of the boys at church doing their favorite after-church activity...climbing trees.

As we headed home from church I think John and I were of the same idea...a nap would be excellent. However, the nap would have to wait.

When we pulled in the drive we noticed Blake, my sister-n-law's husband, flying. Blake has two planes, a vintage WWII L3 and a Beechcraft Bonanza. On this day, he was up in the L3.

John-Heath loves to watch him fly and walked down to position himself between our house and Blake's landing strip for a better view. As John was unloading the back of the SUV I headed into the house to change clothes. I was in no more than a minute when I heard what sounded like some pops. My first thought was that the plane had sputtered or stalled. As I walked back toward the garage, it hit me that I did not hear the sound of the plane anymore. When I walked into the garage I saw John running off the hill from our house and then I saw the plane down. By the time I got into the drive John was at the plane and yelled for me to call 911.

Turns out, while doing touch-and-go landings (something he had done countless times before) his right wing clipped a recently rolled bale of hay which sent the plane out of control through the field and across the edge of a pond where it came to rest just a few feet from the bank.

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. While the plane was damaged beyond a feasible repair, my brother-n-law walked away with only minor injuries. We all feel very blessed. The outcome of this could have been so much worse.

And once the heart-racing excitement was over, John-Heath made an already memorable day even more so for him, by making friends with the rescue workers.

Now, on to a little less surreal sister Sheila's birthday. Of course, if I told you how many candles she's blowing out this year, you may say that does seem surreal. I had better keep that number to myself though. You know how these old women get when it comes to revealing their age!

Well, happy birthday, Sissy! You look good for someone creeping toward official retirement age. Love ya!


Connie said...

Happy Birthday to your church!!

And WOW! That crash looks kind of bad. So glad that no one was hurt.

Heather said...

Glad to hear that your brother-in-law is safe and sound. Happy birthday to your sister too! I love her spunky photo!

Farmchick said...

This is quite an action packed post! Glad the crash turned out okay.

Anonymous said...

Tyla, WGBC will always have a special place in my heart. It was at this church that I really began to grow spiritually and get close to God. Your dad and mom took me under their wings and mentored me, all those years ago and I will never forget it. (Tina Rippy Emery)