8th March 2005

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I've gotten a handful of e-mails about my new arrangement and whereabouts, and I'm sorry that I haven't gotten around to sending any sort of proper notice until now. So I figured that I'd make a chapter of it-certainly no stories like in the travel chapters though.

New aircraft. Tail number will be N138LN when it gets here.

I'm about a month into the job now. It's going well I think. It's nice to be flying again, although I've drawn a lot of days with bad weather so I haven't done a whole lot of flights. But that's ok. Volume for the program is about where it should be, and the weather can only improve with the changing months I suppose. I've been working on an education project that is just about done, and a master plan for outreach that I always wished we had at Medstar. Before long I can really get the wheels turning on that. The 24-on/72-off schedule is great, and I manage to get enough of my extra things done at work that I don't have to tie up my days off doing it.

We had a loaner helicopter for a while, a B-model BK from ARCH in St. Louis. A bit quirky, that one. Right now we're driving LifeEvac's backup, another B-model that leaks a bit in the rain and has a bad paint job. But the new EC has arrived in Richmond, and we should have it this week. From the pictures I've seen, I think I'll like it better than the other ECs I've flown in. The completion in the back is more functional, although there's no third seat.

I'm renting a room in a house in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with three other guys. This is the first time in a long time that I've lived with guys, and perhaps it will be the last time for a while as well. I am by far the oldest; with me included the average age in the house is 22. There is no dishwasher, and no one seems too enamored with doing dishes

Fredericksburg is not the party central you'd think it would be, but it's nice that I live just about 5 minutes away from Amanda and John and that I'm close enough to DC to get in there now and then, but far enough away that I'm not up there all the time (although this past week is a poor example of that last point). I've made a couple of friends here. One of them even seems to understand my fascination with Iceland, and has even considered going there herself. See, I'm not crazy after all.

I spent the other morning--a weekday morning--at the shopping mall. Before it opened. They have a wig store there. I'm not certain that I've ever seen a wig store before. I was just waiting for the post office to open, but I felt like I was blending in with the mall walkers. I didn't have one of those cool nylon suits though.

This is what life has become. I so have to get back on the road.

I've been looking for someone to teach English to, to practice my Spanish with. I'll start working with Habitat for Humanity again as they start some projects this spring. I'm still hoping to make a quick trip across the pond when I get done here to see some friends and check out the place in Scotland I was to go to. In the meantime, I'm keeping the wheels turning by reading about a few countries every day from a big picture book I bought-two pages about every country in the world.

My address for the foreseeable future is:

57 CL Walker Blvd
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
The mobile I have is 602-505-3825. I'm going to start migrating to another e-mail account soon, but that will be a different mailing. I think that in May when my mini-lease runs out I might see about finding a place either more toward the city or more away from it. Right now I'm stuck in the middle where DC is far enough away that I have to plan it a bit, but also far enough from the mountains that getting out for a hike on a nice afternoon is a bit too much of a production. I would like to be able to just walk out my door and do something.

For now, that's about all that's news. I took the story that I wrote for the Christmas letter down because I decided that I didn't like it. I'm offering this replacement, which says what I wanted much better: "Why We Travel," by Pico Iyer. I read it sometimes to keep me content with my semi-settled life.

Space in the house is a bit tight, but there is always room to be made if anyone wants to come check out the wonderfulness that is Fredericksburg. I hope that early spring (or fall, depending which hemisphere you're in) finds you happy, well, and safe.

Take care,

I had some requests for pictures from the last Guatemala trip. Here are a smattering of people (click on the thumbs for full-size-images). I cannot find pictures from the Maya-Scotch wedding, but when I do I'll put them here as well.

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