Wednesday, February 25, 2009

blue-sky days

Today is one of those blue-sky days that happens at this time of year, at the end of February and continuing on into March, where you want to walk for hours, soaking up the sun, enjoying the wind on your bare hands and head, and looking at the woods, the trees, and the snow with long blue shadows over it.

It's a truly fine day, and it's so warm in our house that I have the window by my desk cracked open, and I can feel the cool air coming in, and hear the wind rustling the pines. It's a marvelous feeling after months of closed windows.

As you can see from the above photo, I volunteered for the Flight of the Silver Dart Centennial Celebration. I staffed the Welcome Center canteen, where we were serving hot dogs and hot chocolate, with these splendid napkins.

We were encouraging people to take more than just one, not because we thought they were sloppy, but because it's a collector's item, of a kind. One woman took eight, saying she'd use them at her next dinner party!

Ah yeah, here's the money shot. A week ago, before the festivities got into full swing, and loads of people came to town, Mum and I went down to the hangar/tent, and were allowed in to take pictures. The cluster of engineers watched me take pictures for a while, then one of them said, "Do you want to sit in the cockpit?"

"Uhh... yeah?!?" I eloquently responded. They let me push the pedals and turn the wheel, too!

However, when it came down to the replica flight, I wasn't around. You see, the Big Fancy Replica Flight (complete with the Governor-General in attendance) was planned for Monday, but the weather report for that day showed crap: ice pellets, rain, heavy winds, snow. The lot. So Sunday, a beautiful day, a blue-sky day, the organizers held "test runs" down on the lake.

There were thousands of people in attendance, and the plane flew beautifully, flying a total of five times! There were also military flypasts, and paratroopers jumping from helicopters. It was a beautiful day, and all there said it was a truly memorable day.

I wasn't there. And I'm OK with this. I wasn't there because I had planned to go out to Middle River, and stay a day or so with a good friend, and get in some snowshoeing. So when the Silver Dart was taking to the air, I was in Gold Brook. (Why settle for silver when you can have gold?) Gold Brook is the site of an old gold mine, no longer in operation, and the road out there winds along the side of a hill. In winter, with no leaves on the trees, you can see out over the Middle River, to the hills on the other side.

It was a lovely spot to listen to the "shump-shump" of snowshoes, and get away from all the people.

Coming soon: redesign! Woot! After six years of looking the way she looks right now, "mlle. h. bean" is getting a makeover. Watch for it!

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