Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Day the Airport Came Alive

Out with the old...
Each spring, a special day arrives at Lee Bottom.  Never acknowledged as an official event, and rarely anticipated, is a moment so unpredictable it often surprises even us.  It’s the day the airport comes alive.

Combine random work schedules with a month of wildly variable weather and you end up with a vaporous target.  Sunny but cold isn’t good, warm and rainy won’t cut it, and a half day of good weather isn’t acceptable either.  Required is a day 24 hours beyond the last rain, of relative warmth and low wind.  But, even if these things converge it doesn’t happen unless we are both off for that day and the next (recovery time).  And yet, due to the time of year, the day is almost never expected to be that day.  So how then do we know when that day has passed? 
Some of today's visitors.
The day the airport comes alive is recognized after the fact by the occurrence of several things.  The tractors and other random pieces of equipment are started for the first time of the year, batteries are charged, oil and fuel is checked, tires are aired, and the chainsaw comes out.  Trees that have started to grow where we don’t want them are removed or identified as candidates for the gallows, mole and ground hog holes are located for filling, and thin areas of grass are seeded.  The windsock frame is greased or the sock itself replaced, cones that have gone missing are located, and we make sure the phone works and airport rules are in place; items critical for the airport inspection.
If the majority of these markers have been attempted or completed, only two remaining pieces of the puzzle are required to make it official.  These are one, a five page list of items in need of fixing, and two, our bodies long for a hot tub and massages.  And so, looking back, today was the day the airport came alive. with the new.

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