Around this time of year my counseling practice gets as busy as KOSH in July! The pressures of holiday time, changes in weather, and family commitments makes a lot of folks want a little “dual” on the couch. One of the things I remind my clients of is the fact that even at our worst times, we have something to be grateful for. As we are on approach for 2014, I am reminded of the things I am thankful for in the past year.
Our aviation family is really quite small and well connected. This allows us to bicker like siblings but in the end stick together toward a common goal. Whether you are from a red state or a blue state we understand that we need everyone in our family, including our crazy uncle.
I love doing charitable work at airports. The impact is three-fold. First it helps the worthy charity. Secondly it illuminates the value of airports to their communities. And lastly it makes me feel good. Whenever I am having a personal pity party I think about how I can be of service to others. Service gets me out of my stresses and helps alleviate stress for another. While it might be too late this year to start a holiday event at an airport, do some thinking about next year, and while you are at it, attend an event like a toy drive, Toys for Tots, Toys for Kids now.
I am appreciative that I have my major source of long-trip travel be an airplane. Flying my vintage Mooney allows me to save time, do more things, and enjoy the flying. Last month I flew for an hour and a half to Northern California, completed some business, then flew back to my home ‘drome. Had the trip been in a car it would have taken twelve hours.
I am always in awe of little airports that put on display days, airport days or fly-ins. We attended one last month in Central California’s Minter Field. Here is how they welcomed their flying and community visitors: Free pancake breakfast for all guests flying in; free presentation by a WASP and a gal who was a “Rosie the Riveter”; free spot landing and flour bombing contest with cash prizes [I was the bombardier in a 1943 Super Stearman and got 3rd place]. They had lots of aircraft on display, a food vendor or two and I almost forgot, free popsicles! The event was well attended by the public from the surrounding communities. Being an event administrator myself I would estimate the day cost $750, maybe $1000. But think about it? How much ad space can you get for $750? TV Spot? Not much. Goodwill in the community? Priceless.
I am grateful that we have big airshows to go to such as Sun n Fun, EAA Oshkosh, AOPA Summit. These large shows give a lot of exposure to the communities in which they are held as well as provide an excellent source of education, gadgetry, and social connection.
So as we ready ourselves for 2014 we should be mindful that unless we all work together the tapestry of our general aviation family could fade. Think of how you can contribute to its vibrancy. Get involved, use your voice, get in the air and have some fun.
The opinions expressed by the bloggers do not reflect AOPA’s position on any topic.