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Live for the Future

Story ID:7431
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2011
Person:Life
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Live for the Future

Live for the Future

Live for the Future

The first picture has the trees on the right that
the plane barely cleared. The second is where the plane came at us and the 3rd shows the trees in the back of the meadow the plane disappeared behind.

Live for the Future

Ginny was awake when I came out of the shower and prepared to go to work. I
had a few minutes before I had to leave, and since she was up, I poured a cup of tea and
joined her with her coffee on the balcony.

Mornings are the best time of day in the summer. The one hundred degree
temperatures of the day before gave way to the high desert night. The temperature on that
clear and beautiful morning hovered around sixty – perfect for this Canadian.

As we talked, we both scanned the pasture on the other side of the train tracks and
the canal. A few cattle grazed peacefully and young calves chased each other like big
kittens in play. We looked for the fox that frequents the area in search of an easy meal.

An osprey landed on the telegraph pole and stared into the canal, also looking
for breakfast. To our left, a tiny plane took to the air from the small Caldwell airport,
a mile away.

I looked to the right of the pasture, where towering trees provided shade for
the farmer’s house. There were usually a few hawks perched high in their branches, also
looking for nourishment. They weren’t there on that morning.

An approaching plane caught my attention. It flew toward the airport from behind
the trees. “That’s a strange looking plane.” I commented to Ginny.

“Where?”

I pointed. “There, coming in behind the trees.”

Ginny spotted it. “I see it.”

“It’s coming in awfully low.” I paused. “Gin, I don’t know if it’s going to clear
the trees.”

We watched closely. The plane sped over the top limbs by only a few feet,
dropped lower and sped across the pasture as it headed to the airport. Ginny and I looked
at each other. Something wasn’t right.

We turned our attention back to the plane. It flew past us and then its wings began
to bank left and right. My heart caught in my throat. “That plane’s in trouble!”

I was about to see something I never wanted to see – a plane crash.

The plane made a severe left turn and came directly toward our balcony twenty
feet off the ground.

I leaped to my feet, reached our patio door, pulled it open and was ready to drag
Ginny through the living room and out the front door before the plane hit. My heart
raced, ready to explode.

Ginny sat spellbound in her chair. I reached for her, turned my head to see where
the plane was and to determine how much time we had to escape death.

The plane was one hundred feet away and closing fast. I grabbed Ginny’s hand.
My heart roared like a racecar in my chest. I started to turn and then saw the plane pull
up a few feet from the telegraph wires. It shot straight toward the sky, banked left again,
dipped low to the meadow, pulled up, missed the trees at the back of the pasture, crossed the
highway and disappeared from sight.

Ginny and I waited for the crash and ball of fire.

It didn’t come.

I remembered seeing a plane fly like that before. “Gin, it’s a crop duster.”

“Look at my hand!” she told me. It shook like a branch in a hurricane. “Nothing
like a good adrenalin rush to start my day. It’s much better than a cup of coffee.” We
shared a laugh.

In those last few minutes, when I thought I was going to die, my life didn’t flash
before my eyes, it was my future. My concern was for my wife, children and
grandchildren. They are my love and concern. I thought about all the things I still needed
to accomplish. The past is in the past. I still had things to accomplish, dreams to come
true and life to live.

The past is gone – great memories. It’s not worth dwelling on. The future is
important. Live for the future.

Michael T. Smith