From the window of a small plane, the country is a living Norman Rockwell painting
From the time my husband was a boy, he dreamed of learning to fly planes. He finally indulged his passion some 13 years ago, when the moratorium we agreed upon early in our marriage of "not until the kids are grown" ran out. The day our youngest got his college acceptance, my husband announced, "I think I'll head out to Gaithersburg to take a few flying lessons."
We bought a single engine, four-seater plane in 2000, sold it when we moved to China to live for 3 years, then traded up to another used 2006 model on our return about a year ago. This plane, a Cirrus SR22, has won its place in my heart for the parachute that is built into the top of the fuselage. Even I, who usually ride shotgun, know how to deploy the chute in an emergency, one that might for example disable the pilot or the plane. I always sleep like a baby the nights before we fly, reassured by the fact of the parachute. Remember those little balsa wood toy planes with the parachute that gently and evenly lowers the whole plane if you drop it? That's the general idea of how it works on our plane.
Owning a plane is about the last thing I ever dreamed of doing, but I appreciate it now for its functionality (visit the grown kids at a moment's notice) and even more for the pleasure as well as the complete disengagement from everyday pressures that it brings to my husband. He's a natural flyboy.