Archive for April 15th, 2010


Up! Up! and Away!

April 15, 2010

On my way to Washingtonville NY last week I asked my driver Dot if she’d mind “dropping by” West Pointe. My friend Ellie had insisted when she heard where I was going that I not miss a chance of a lifetime. She assured me I would not be sorry taking this short detour.

Ellie was exactly right. Dot graciously took me there and I was thrilled with the sights of history and the sounds of tomorrow’s officers. The place is a city on a hill and its light cannot be hid. We only stayed a few hours and had not begun to see all there was to see. It is not a destination you just enter wily-nilly but you must have a purpose to enter the grounds. We had decided to eat dinner at the beautiful Thayer Hotel on the grounds and we were so glad we did. The Friday night seafood buffet was memorable and left us all moaning with delight.

But the memory that stays with me from the experience were the para-shooters. They were training cadets who were dropped out of helicopters over the Hudson River and floated (think fast float since the winds were strong) in great arcing circles and landed in a designated area marked by a yellow flag. We were told they were getting ready for the Army Navy game where they would parachute down with the game ball.

The winds whipped at them with great gusto and we were impressed at how accurately they were able to maneuver themselves into position and then land on their feet running…well, except for one unfortunate fellow. At first I thought it was a speck on my eyeglasses out my peripheral vision, but then the speck’s legs began moving as he tried to redirect his parachute. Seems a burst of wind caught him off guard and sent him out in left field…way out. He ended up coming down in a parking lot full of vehicles. I was praying my heart out as I saw the possibilities…like him smeared across a windshield. Instead he dropped safely between two cars. Whew!

I’ve been out in left field….haven’t you? Left out of the job market, left out of the party, left off the guest list, left in the parking lot while everyone else seemed to be at the ball…or ball game. I had empathy for him that had been created inside me when I suffered my own unexpected gust of wind blowing me off course and away from others. I guess that’s the good part of disappointments they teach us to care about and be sensitive to those who are struggling to land safely.

This week let’s keep our eyes open for those out our peripheral vision…they may need our prayers.