Friday, July 18, 2008

A Pilot Looks at Forty

Small tribute to a classic Jimmy Buffet tune as I leave the land of the thirties behind and join many of my friends in the exciting world of the forties.

I hit the road on 14 July on my first offstation mission since returning from the squadron's deployment in March. We flew 4 1/2 hours to Dover, Delaware and spent the night, the crew enjoying some Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner that night. The next day we took off for Spangdahlem AB, Germany. We turned our jet over to another crew and went to our off base hotel to await the next mission.
I must say that I miss certain aspects of the crew dog life. The middle-of-the-night alerts are for the birds, but it's the times when the crew gets together and explores some local culture and takes in the sights...that's when the fun begins. We have a couple of days before our next mission (a rare occurance in these days and times) and were blessed with the use of a "Blue Steely" AF van, so we took in a little historical culture. The crew hopped over to nearby Bastogne, Belgium, to walk the ground where the "Band of Brothers" of 101st Airborne fame made their famous stand during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. Great museum there at the historical center. Afterwards, we drove down to Luxembourg City in the Duchy of Luxembourg. Dinner was Pizza Napoleatana washed down with bubbly mineral water--tres European! We ate in an open square with a brass band playing in a nearby gazeebo. Of course it was a bit chilly and drizzly, and we all stuck out like sore thumbs with our shorts and t-shirts.
Today is much less "cultural." We're staying on base and I'm blogging while my clothes finish drying.

I guess there's worse places in the world to be when you turn 40...


Martha said...

I have already started crying about my 40th and it's still 6 months away. I knew there would be a time when I would be happy that I was the youngest in my class. That time is now!

Happy Birthday!!

Rick said...

"Forrrrrteeeeeee" - let it roll off your tongue. Get a good feel for it. Enjoy it, because this is as young as you'll ever be. I didn't "feel it" until some phone survey called, asked me about coffee stuff, and then asked my age at the end, and I had to say, "Forty".

George said...

Happy Birthday.

While you're in the "neighborhood" over there, you ought to hope over to the alps and catch a stage of le Tour de France. And bring me back something.

Chuck said...

Kirk - "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Message Mr. Spock?"

Spock - "None that I am aware of, except, Happy Birthday."

Ah, how many years did our lunches start off that way? We weren't even half the age we are now.

I love how, as Rick says, it sort of rolls off your tongue. I think I over thought the whole thing a few months ago, but now I am ok with it.

Todd said...

Welcome to da club, Colonel! 40 hasn't changed me much, except that sometimes I break wind without realizing it.

Rick said...

Todd did that before he turned forty. Don't let him tell you any different. "Forty" just gave him an excuse when the dog wasn't around to blame.

Chuck said...

While in Buffalo, I was in a Tops grocery store. I noticed the cardboard standees in front of the Budwiser end cap - a young guy and gal decked out to go to the beach holding a cold one.

Then it hit me.

I am no longer in the targetted market age for beer. I guess they figured they already have me, or, I am not going to start now.

Still. Just another reminder.