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Michael Flies Us Over Lake Havasu

First Trip with Michael as Pilot, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

“Want to go flying?”

We stood outside our building after church Sunday morning. The air was cool and crisp. There was no wind.

“Perfect weather for flying, Mom. Want to go?”

Michael had come by our place on Saturday, we had all piled into his old VW van and drove the mile or so to the airport. But it was windy, and when he checked in the pilot’s lounge there were reports of 15 to 20 mile an hour gusts and there were cross drafts over the runway.

“I’m a little uncomfortable with this,” Mike said. “Maybe tomorrow will be better.”

The weather was perfect on Sunday and after eating lunch, Michael picked us up again and off we went to the Lake Havasu City Airport. He tugged open the galvanized doors of his hanger, performed the pre-flight checks and pushed out his yellow and white Cessna. Jerry and I climbed aboard.

Michael was aware that we might have some apprehensions about the flight, seeing this was the first time to have our son as pilot. Less than a year ago, Michael took his first flying lesson, loved it so much he bought a plane, and a couple of months ago became a certified pilot, who now could take passengers. An unusual thing about this is that Michael previously had a severe fear of flying. I write about that here, and here are pictures of the yellow Cessna.

“I’m going to explain what I’m doing as we go along,” he told us, “so you’ll feel comfortable and know that certain sounds are normal.”

Sure to his word he explained everything. As we sat on the runway prepared to take off, he held the readiness list in his hand and read aloud the checkoff items. All was in order.

“Okay, we’re ready. Here we go.”

The flight was smooth. “This baby wants to fly,” Mike said right away as the little plane took easily to the cold smooth air. “Flights are smoother in cold air,” he had told us earlier. “Hot air causes bumpiness.”

I was scrambling around in the back seat trying to take pictures, but I struggled with doing so. You can see from the picture at the top that the windows are not low and I had trouble focusing as I needed to. A couple of times I unfastened my seat belt and turned around for a shot. Michael took two passes at the bridge because I just did not get a good shot the first time around. My inexperience I’m sure. I kept wanting to roll down the windows and stick out my camera lens. Problem being: My window didn’t roll down. Look at that beautiful scene. The bridge you see–the London Bridge–used to span the Thames River. Amazing huh.

We were in the air about 45 minutes I believe, looking at the Colorado river, the canyons, the mountains and the town of Needles, Ca.

Want a look at our motor home? You can see two RV parks here–one has lots of empty spaces. We are not in that one. Seventh from left in the busy RV park, blue awning, tree behind it.

“Want to do a touch and go?” Michael asked as we approached the airport.

“Sure,” I said. I don’t recall hearing Jerry say anything, although he was enjoying the trip and was not scared at all.

Mike was muttering about being too high. “Gotta lose some altitude.”

Then we were approaching and could see the runway lights. “Come on, Baby,” Mike said, then of a sudden we were roaring off. It was only after we had landed and were talking to his instructor that I realized we hadn’t done a touch and go, but had done a “go-around.”

“I was too fast and too high,” Michael confessed. “I could have made the landing, but there was no need, and I pride myself on good landings,” he said, grinning. Indeed our landing had been smooth as cream.


My devotional blog is here.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

15 replies on “Michael Flies Us Over Lake Havasu”


Do you paraglide also? If not you should take it up as you wait for your leg to strengthen so that you can resume your running. 🙂


Look forward to reading your glider experiences.


How neat is that! I’ve always thought I would like to fly in a hot air balloon. They have some in Europe where you float over vineyards and castles. Sounds like great fun.

So, Mervi, were you the pilot who flew the hot air balloon that advertised the radio station in Bakersfield?


Sis. Buxton:
To me a hot air balloon is one of the most majestic ways of moving through the air, one that I have enjoyed several times. Many years ago a radio station in Bakersfield had a large hot air balloon with their advertising on the sides. This balloon would glide you across Bakersfield in the early morning light. Quite oh so very still, with just the sound of the burner as it heated the required amount of air to both keep the balloon inflated and aloft. Not another sound, you seemed to be drifting on your own personal cloud. Once in a while if you moved about to much in the gondola you would get a gentle side to side motion of the basket. But other than that just a soft slow drifting motion as you traveled through the early morning air. I preferred the early fall or spring because it would be cool in the mornings and the sounds from the city below seem to reach up to you as you moved through the early morning air. Many times people on the ground would stop and look up to see what it was crossing through their neighborhood, and then wave to you as you passed over their heads. You continued your voyage moving across the early morning sky moving at the whim of the gentle morning breeze.
It has been some years since I have had the opportunity to make a hot air balloon ride.

There are times when I miss the quiet and the calmness of those early mornings’ rides, moving like a cloud across the city. You were aloft and separate from the hustle and bustle as the city would awake and start its day. You were above it and just a quite spectator as the day opened its door.



Sis. Buxton:
Flying is my first love! But I am color blind once beyond the six colors of the spectrum. I cannot tell the difference between the blues and green lights on the runway at night.
I have always enjoyed flying, 707, 747, 737, DC 3, crop-duster, hot air balloon or a glider. The feeling of being almost free of the gravitational force we call earth.
MAN do I enjoy it. Yet, I am looking forward to that day when I will rise without any outside force or assistance.

See you on THAT day;


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