‘Fairway to Heaven’, A simple day in Florida


I live on a little grass airstrip in rural Florida. 102 other people also live here, we all contribute to the upkeep and operation of our little home. This year, I’m serving another tour as airport manager. I like the job, it is all done outside in the sunshine. Running our place is a whole community effort, ongoing for decades. If being here didn’t  restore someones optimism about people, not much else would. 


On a day were many millions of people in America succumbed to media and corporate pressure to feel fear and react emotionally, I chose to turn all that stuff off and go spend some time outside.  I am deeply bothered that the America of my ideals, the “Home of the Brave”, is not easily seen in our national behavior on this day.  Rather than dwell on something I can not effect, I went outside to do something productive on the runway. 




This turtle, about the size of a tennis ball, was taking a little stroll down the road to my house. There was little danger he would get hurt, often many hours pass between vehicles on my road.  You may have passed a wild turtle today, but were not walking in a peaceful setting, and you didn’t get to see them. There are many rewards and obligations people feel that keep them very busy. I understand this. I personally am not well equipped to digest stress of the daily sort, and if I could, I might never have found the setting I live in. My only point to share is that given the choice, perhaps any shift toward the simpler options in life would serve your sanity as well. My work involves showing people the simplest method to go flying, and how to be the master of this, not merely its owner. Your life, your choice, but for me, simplicity is sanity.




Little guy with a long way to go. Didn’t seem to bother him, it was nice out and as an animal, he has no other option than to live in the moment. I watched him for a while and thought about how I wasted a lot of my life as a self-made exercise in stress and conflict.  Why was it important? I like to know, and then I might have some reason that I spent a lot of my life doing things that brought me little happiness.  I was sent links today, to a heated internet debate about alternative engines. There was a time I would have felt a very strong compulsion to express something there, but I read the comments, and it was very obvious that no one was learning anything or changing their opinions. I watched another engine provider I know personally, get very frustrated explaining a point he was correct on. I watched and couldn’t quite remember why I once would have typed an effectively identical essay to an equally closed minded people. I shut the laptop and went back out to the tractor.



7 Replies to “‘Fairway to Heaven’, A simple day in Florida”

  1. William, you have found the secret of a life well-lived. Serenity and an appreciation of the natural world…..what more could anyone want? When I had a house on a lake north of Dallas, I had 3/4 of an acre, and we homeowners took turns mowing the Corps of Engineers property behind the fence to keep down the local field rat population. Riding that old Monty Ward mower was my meditation time. I still treasure the time I spent there – the sunsets over the water (and the full moons too), the flocks of Canada geese, the bald eagle that landed in the cottonwood behind my house, the crack of a beaver’s tail on the ice in winter. I will carry many memories of those years, but that part of Texas has now been “developed” – nothing affordable now and not even much of the over-priced. You have chosen wisely…..

  2. Simply put, I’m with you William even as our mowing is a couple weeks out.

  3. I love the blue doors on your hanger! It’s nice to step back and see what they look like from further away. Glad to see you out and away from the technology that has so many of us in panic mode. Also, can’t wait to learn how to drive that tractor!! Oh, and you did make sure the turtle made it safely right?

  4. William,
    Maybe it is because we’re the same age, but your comments reflect my sentiments to a T.
    The less complex, the less stress. Technology is great, but just as I see in my workplace, just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
    Enjoy the peace, and thanks for letting me visit!

  5. WW,
    I know “Exactly” how you feel.
    I used to live on and mow the runway at Flying Ten in Alachua FL.

    It was a BIG Old IH560 with a 10′ deck. Took me about 4 hours.

    Hours well spent. Those were good days.
    Happy Mowing.
    Kevin Hanna

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