Hi friends, Lindsey here with a guest post I think you'll really enjoy. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser is telling us a story about an out of the ordinary day when he and his wife got a new perspective from the sky.
We remarried in a helicopter over the Las Vegas Strip.
That had been over a month ago, and though thick in preparations for setting up a Texas household again, I had been compelled to accept a speaking engagement in Myrtle Beach.
I'd called Barbara, at her home in Indiana, where she'd moved after our divorce. "You come. We'll make it the honeymoon we never had."
"I can't get time off from work. They need me to train up the new lady."
"If I know you, you've already got her trained to run the UN."
"I've got to pack."
"I'll come and help you, after Myrtle Beach. I don't have to teach until the next week, anyway."
Long silence. She was wary, willing to take another chance on me, but afraid of a second heartbreak from which she might never recover. "All right."
I emailed her the tickets, and started making plans, which required my arrival a day early.
And so, on the day she walked through airport security in South Carolina, I was there with flowers and a smile that made me blush. "I've got a surprise for you."
"When we get in the car, you'll have to close your eyes. Okay?"
Barbara smiled cautiously and nodded. "I'll play."
It wasn't a long drive, just around the airport, to the private aviation side.
Barbara opened her eyes and gasped. "You bought ANOTHER airplane?" I had one in Texas, but it had lain abandoned for 50 years and was a work in progress. This one was brand new, and gleaming.
"No, we're just renting it. I thought you might want to see Myrtle Beach from the air."
She smiled. "That's a lovely thought. Thank you."
"You know, you'll be my first passenger." I far preferred flying alone and had done so for almost thirty years.
"Well, I'm honored. Wait, am I the first person dumb enough to accept an invitation?" She punched my shoulder, and then hugged me. "Just teasing."
The airport was a small one, and soon we were airborne, climbing out to the east over the barrier islands that framed the sparkling sapphire of the Inland Waterway. "Europe, dead ahead. About three thousand miles, give or take," I said. The Atlantic horizon was a warm, misty blue.
Barbara was looking down, the headset mussing her hair, her breath frosting the window of the right seat. "Maybe later," she said, her voice tinny through the microphone that perched on a shaky bar by her chin.
It was time. "OK, wife." I slid the seat back, and crossed my arms. "You fly."
Cessnas are gentle and stable beasts, and this one droned on, burbling happily along its course, not caring, for the moment, if there was a hand on the controls or not.
"What?" Barbara's head snapped around, and her eyes were wide.
I kept my arms folded, and used my chin to point at the control yoke in front of her. "Fly."
She gingerly took the controls. "What if I do something wrong?"
"You won't. The airplane knows how to fly better than either of us. Just think of it as a motorcycle and bank into the turns."
"OK." She tentatively rocked the yoke back and forth, and the wings wagged up and down in response. "Is this OK?"
"Perfect. This is your flight now, sweetheart. Look out the window...no, not at the instruments. Use the horizon for reference. You have control."
She turned and looked at me, for a long minute. One wing started to tip, and I touched my wheel to bring it back level.
"Do you really mean that?" she finally asked.
"With all my heart."
Which is now in your hands, my dear brave wife. Now and forever.
You have control.
Andrew and Barbara Budek-Schmeisser live on a New Mexico mesa with a large number of rescue dogs, two haughty cats, and a snapping turtle. Barbara works in accounting, while Andrew, after his teaching career was ended by illness, has taken to writing Christian romance novels, along with Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart, a marriage blog.