Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Volunteers are tickled by 'Frickles'

Pretty much the way my life has gone for close to the last 30 years, is my wife starts off on some new charity project which requires large quantities of volunteers, and I get ‘included’. I’m not complaining actually, because as I look back, it’s those experiences that have woven a great deal of richness and color in my life’s basic blanket. Yes the pace can also be exhausting at times too, but overall if you have the time and desire, then by all means – challenge yourself to volunteer for (and eat) new things.

So it goes this past week. I found myself on a very windy day in a small Cessna airplane piloted by my wife, heading for Greenville, IL. The goal was to do some advance work to check on supplies / support to paint a giant 70 foot diameter compass on the tarmac of the City’s airport. These ‘compass rose’ painting projects are a time-honored tradition sponsored by the 99’s, a national women’s pilot group. I had expected a bumpy flight with the wind and variable clouds, but amazingly the day was pleasant and the wife crabbed the plane perfectly into the 18 knot plus crosswind for a smooth landing.

We tied off the plane and had a short meeting with the manager, inventoried the paint, went over the plans and survey pins for the project. It was great but the meeting went TOO fast. We had hoped to allow some time for the wind to die down. It had rained heavily the night before, so though the main runway is asphalt, the best runway to nose the plane into the wind for a successful takeoff was grass – soft and wet grass. Weather is the ‘boss’ when it comes to flying so we borrowed a car from the airport and got directions to a local favorite BBQ, Old School Smokers.

Sticking with my general high-risk plan for life, there is nothing wiser than to load up on a lunch of heavy meats and fried food before a bumpy airplane flight home. But up to the challenge we bought a variety of menu items to sample. The fried pickles dubbed ‘FRICKLES’ were amazingly crisp and tasty. I volunteered first to try them and was pleasantly surprised. The turkey legs are supposedly very tasty too and firsthand, the pulled pork and ribs were great. We took back a catering menu for the airport manager since he’ll soon need lots of food for the painting volunteers next month.

When my wife and I got back to the airport, the wind had thankfully died down to under 15 knots. We returned our courtesy car and pre-flighted the plane quickly. I had my ‘frickles’ in hand and a load of odiferous leftovers to grace the plane’s small cabin and another meal. Indeed we ARE the intrepid volunteers that challenge life and its rich experiences at every turn. Today it’s the fabulous frickles as well as the fickle wind; tomorrow who knows - my wife will think of something!


  1. I LOVE frickles. But I've never heard them called that. :) Very cute.

  2. You are a gentleman to let your wife fly the plane, and to let her include you in her charity. Thumbs up!

    I had been in one charity project when I was a faculty wife in Singapore for 16 years. I included everyone in the family.(Though some of them reluctantly)

    Next time, our prison needs a new toilet, I will msg you, and you can be our volunteer prison builder.

    Thanks for visiting,

  3. Ms. Ann -
    HA - Very kind comments, esp. the prison toilet (check out Ann's blog at: http://mellowyellowmonday.blogspot.com/
    to get the New Zealand inside joke.)

    As for "letting the wife fly the plane" that is the ONLY way I can live on to write a blog. My wife is a 10 year PILOT and I am the 10 year PASSENGER. Thanks for stopping by. - W.C.C.

  4. Very nice all the way around. Flying and enjoying the frickles frying. Check out www.fabulousfrickles.com
    Enjoy the day!