I was watching my mother and her eyes got as big as saucers. My dad said, “Sharyn what are you doing?”
I grinned at him and said “I thought you’d enjoy taking a short ride!”
There was no response from either of them and it was the first time I had ever witnessed my mother at a loss for words. Once we got in the air my father relaxed a bit. We flew over Mendocino and up toFortBraggwhere I pointed out the hospital my father had worked at for more than fifteen years as a surgery nurse. A 182 is a little noisy and I only had two headsets and even though my father shared his with my mother, she still had very little to say.
I headed back south and flew out to their property which was about three miles from town and when we spotted one of the neighbors out in the yard I rocked my wings and told my dad to be sure and tell them it was him in the plane, because it just happened to be the same neighbor my dad had admired for flying all those years before.
After about an hour, I had landed back at the Comptche airport and was tying the airplane down (the winds are very gusty on the coast) and my father who had been in the Navy volunteered to do the job for me. Once the job was done and the wheel blocks were in place, he took a few steps back looked at the plane then walked over to me and said, “I’m so proud of you.” and then gave me a hug and a kiss.
It was the first time my father had ever told me he was proud of me. My mother never acknowledged any opinion about her first flight in any airplane.
Once more, it was a new shift in my relationship with my father, while my mother retreated further away from me.