A Beautiful Sunset

This is something that I think most people enjoy, at least at some point in their lives.  Watching a beautiful sunset, even if only for a minute, can go a long ways towards making it a good day.

Some of my fondest memories from high school are sitting on a park bench overlooking the Salt Lake Valley and watching the sunset with my girlfriend.  It didn’t need to be anything other than that to be a great evening.While I lived in San Diego, I spent many an evening riding my motorcycle along the coast, or pulling off the road to sit on the beach and watch the sunset.  It is just such a peaceful time to relax and rejuvenate.  
Now that I get to fly regularly I get to see some of the most beautiful sunsets ever, from the air.  Being in the front of the plane provides for some incredible views in many  of the different places I have visited.

I think one of the best things about sunsets is that everyone gets to enjoy them.  It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, what country you live in, if you are healthy or sick.  The beauty of a sunset is something that can literally be enjoyed by anyone, if they only care enough to look.I will forever enjoy the peace that can come at the end of a long day, which is why I am grateful for beautiful sunsets.
What are you grateful for?

Chicken and Waffles

In keeping with not going more than a few days without mentioning food, I present to you chicken and waffles.

At first glance, this is an unlikely pairing, but once you have had it, it just makes so much sense.  I will not insult your intelligence as it truly is as simple as it sounds.  A yummy waffle with syrup, and some delicious fried chicken.  In this case they include some buffalo chicken sauce which I find to be a delicious accent to the meal. 

I know it isn’t very healthy, but it is delicious, and it put a smile on my face this morning.  That’s why today I am grateful for chicken and waffles.

What are you grateful for?

School Starting

So this gratitude is really just an extension of my wife’s gratitude, but as it brought her great joy, I too am grateful for it.

Our two oldest kids started school today!

While it is not a total break for my wife yet, she still cut her responsibility in half on a daily basis.  I am happy to report that the kids had a great time getting settled into their new school.

I remember being a kid and always being excited to go back to school.  By the end of summer I was generally bored and just wanted something to do so school was a welcome distraction.

I am so glad that my wife will have more freedom now, and I will be even more excited when the other two start in about a month.  I meant to pull the picture from her Facebook page to show how excited she was, but the computer is off so that will have to wait for tomorrow.

Some of the greatest joy we can experience in life is celebrating the joys of others, which is why today I am grateful for school starting so my wife can get a little break.

What are you grateful for?

A Good Day

In life there are some days that just completely suck, and there are other days that are incredibly amazing.  These types of days are certainly in the minority in life.  Most days I would suggest, fall somewhere in between.

And of those majority days, I would submit that most of them are generally good days.  You know what I mean.  You have an uneventful day at work but you get some things done.  Maybe you get to leave a little early.

You get a little exercise, maybe a little entertainment and a good meal.  As I always loved to say growing up, “it’s all good”.  

As nice as it would be to have incredible days everyday where you make a ton of money and eat incredible food and everything just works perfectly, that is just not reality, and that’s okay.

Reality is that most days are just good days without any remarkable occurrence, and I think that is probably a good thing.  It is those types of days that help us be grateful for the simple pleasures in life.  

We realize that once again it is the little things that matter most, and that as we take the time to appreciate them, we will find them to be increasingly more fulfilling.

I am looking forward to a few days of adventure in the coming weeks, but tonight I am just grateful for another good day in my life.

What are you grateful for?

Good People

I feel like I talk in this general vein a lot on here, but I also feel like it cannot be overstated.  With all of the crap that is going on in the world, and all the terrible things people do to each other, we can never have too much talk about good people.  The awesome thing is, they are everywhere.

I’m sure many of you can relate, but in the last week I have had multiple friends pick me up and drop me off as I got repair work done on my car.  I was invited to a friend’s for dinner because not only did they want to help get me out of the house, but they enjoy my company, and the chili was amazing.  I have been given three meals worth of food.  I have had great conversations about fun things.  I had a friend buy me a donut.

I know all of these are little things, but something else that I also can’t say too much, is that it is the little things that matter most.  We will never be able to do great things if we don’t take the time to do the little things.  

That is what makes good people so valuable.  They are not perfect, and they don’t do things for recognition, but they do the little things because that is just how you should treat people. 

I realize I have been somewhat vague in this post rather than calling out individuals, who definitely deserve credit, but I am just letting my heart run with it tonight.  

If you aren’t a good person then stop being a loser and fix it.  If you are a good person I thank you for your your efforts, and tonight I am thankful for you.

What are you thankful for?

A Good Day’s Work

I’ll be honest, work has been pretty darn slow recently.  I did discover yesterday that there were a few more things I could be doing, but it would not have given me all that much.

It really is just the nature of most jobs in that there are ebbs and flows when it comes to the amount of work that needs to be done.  With the transition that my squadron is in right now it has just been a serious ebb for me, but not so much today.

Today was a nice little change with a ton of stuff to do, and even a deadline to get it done by.  It was so nice to actually have something to accomplish, and the ability to get it done.

It always helps to have a friend there to get work done with, and I had just such a person today.  To take a moment to brag on him, I love working with Lawton because we are able to talk out the problems or challenges that we face and come up with a solution.  We are both able to speak freely and spit out ideas, no matter how stupid they may be.  This ability to share ideas without fear of destructive criticism has been invaluable as we try to make the processes better and set those who will come after us up for success.

This morning, and actually even starting yesterday, was an excellent opportunity to work through just such a process in an attempt to refine it and make it easier for our shop which is facing a significant manning reduction in the very near future.

It was so great to use our minds and look for solutions.  We were able to handle a ton of paperwork in a relatively short period of time and really test out the process that we had altered the day before.  We were then able to refine the process again afterwards and make the whole thing even better.

While I have always been partial to a good day of physical labor, it can be equally rewarding to have a good day of mental labor.  That’s why today I am grateful for a good day’s work.

What are you grateful for?

The C-130H Hercules

C-130 sunsetDon’t tell my wife, but I have been having a secret love affair for the past five years.  Actually, it’s not a secret, she knows.  That’s right, I am in love with a 100,000 pound piece of pure engineering genius.

Not only that, but she is an older woman (women?).  My current loves are all 43 years old, but some of their sisters are over 60.

Enough with the secrecy, I am in love with the C-130H Hercules…oh wait, it was in the title.

In all seriousness, I genuinely do love this amazing airplane.  There are not really enough positive words to express my affection for her.  To be totally honest and straightforward, I thought I didn’t want to be on a C-130 when I first became a navigator, but after this five year love affair, I can’t imagine being with anyone else.

The C-130 is definitely not the flashiest plane in the Air Force inventory.  It doesn’t fly the fastest, or the highest.  It can’t be refueled in the air (those crazy special operations variants can), and it makes its living executing what we affectionately call, trash hauling.

What it can do is fly low to the ground and deliver cargo to those who need it.  That may be troops on the ground, or it may be survivors of a hurricane or earthquake.  We can also land at remote, unimproved landing strips, which means it is the one that brings the first people in to get things ready for everyone else.

I really could go on and on extolling her virtues, but it is probably easier to just redirect you to my other blog where I do so on a regular basis: AviationGuy.com.  Also please enjoy the video below.

I know I haven’t gotten to fly her in far too long, and maybe it is just absence making the heart grow fonder, but today I am super grateful for the C-130H Hercules.

What are you grateful for?