By Invitation Only: Dreams Take Flight - une femme d'un certain âge

By Invitation Only: Dreams Take Flight

When this month’s By Invitation Only topic was announced, I knew immediately what I’d be writing about. Marsha at Splenderosa hosts this monthly gathering of bloggers. There’s a topic or theme, and then everyone puts their own unique and lovely spin on it.

Here’s how Marsha described the topic for March: Tell us about the thing you most want to do, reality or fantasy,  that you’ve never done (money is no object, so we can be very creative & wild with this).

As I said above, the thing that popped right into my mind is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and probably will do before too long.


I want to take a tour in an open cockpit biplane.

I’ve always loved flying, and had my life taken some different turns a few decades ago, I might have become a pilot. And then when I found these pictures and clippings in my grand-mère’s scrapbook, I knew it was something I had to do.

You see, at the age of 17, my grandmother went up in one of those new-fangled airplanes, and dropped War Bond leaflets over Long Beach, California. This was in 1917, during WWI.

Since finding these pictures, I’ve wanted to strap on an aviator’s helmet, and fly in an open cockpit over the Southern California coast. There are several companies that do these tours; I just need to set aside the time and the funds to make this dream a reality.

Go see what the rest of the By Invitation Only bloggers would do “in their wildest dreams,” here.

What about you?  What’s the one thing you’ve never done that you’d do if money, time and logistics were no object?

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  1. March 5, 2013 / 11:10 am

    Wow, really? Not for all the tea inChina, that would scare me silly!
    Hmm, what would I do? Nothing actually, I’m either content or have no imagination whatsoever.

  2. March 5, 2013 / 11:10 am

    Wow, really? Not for all the tea inChina, that would scare me silly!
    Hmm, what would I do? Nothing actually, I’m either content or have no imagination whatsoever.

  3. Anonymous
    March 5, 2013 / 11:35 am

    I adore the clippings of the “flying El Paso beauty.” Beyond fantastic. Truly.

  4. March 5, 2013 / 2:09 pm

    I love the photo of your grandmother. And, I am guessing you are somewhat like her. Can’t wait to hear about your open cockpit tour.

    As for me, I’m not the sort of person who ever yearns to do that one exciting thing that would bring a rush of excitement or a moment when I say, “Yes, I finally did that” I’m much more likely to yearn for living in a particular place having a certain lifestyle. For example, I would love to live in Big Sur and be a naturalist. Or, I would love to be a textile conservator in Deerfield Massachusetts, or even a gardener and chicken raiser living on our rural Texas farm.

  5. Maharani
    March 5, 2013 / 2:41 pm

    I am currently learning to fly a Cessna 172-while it is tougher than grad school, it is the most amazing thing I ever did! I hope to solo soon and get my PPL. I was terrified starting out-you learn to manage it and as you dvelop skills, you dont feel as scared. I am 58 and by no means too old to start flying. I think more women should learn-it is terrifically empowering and sexy as hell! Aviation is still 98% male, but its a great supportive community and theres no reason, except perhaps cost, that more women shouldnt fly. I learn through a club that is reasonably priced.

  6. Anonymous
    March 5, 2013 / 5:14 pm

    I want to see Antarctica before it melts away. Also Olduvai Gorge and Egypt. It’s clear I need to keep working to afford my dreams!

  7. March 5, 2013 / 5:28 pm

    You must be so proud of your Grandmother! I hope you get to take your dream flight soon Susan. As for me, I would do what I am already doing :).

  8. March 5, 2013 / 5:28 pm

    I LOVE this! I would love to do this with you…is there room? And, your grandmother, what a gal. Sounds like my Mom-Mom, who was an adventurer X10. And, your dream can come true, Susan. And, by what you’re saying, it will. Olduvai Gorge, I haven’t heard of this since the 1960’s when they made a huge discovery there. Thank you so much for joining us, my friend.

  9. March 5, 2013 / 6:40 pm

    Eeeeee!!! But I have to say…chapeau…that sounds amazing!!! I have flown a few times in an open door helicopter (when my honey was taking photos) but this is the REAL thing. 🙂

    PS. Would you distribute leaflets just like your Grandmother did? And if so, what would be on them?

  10. March 5, 2013 / 8:11 pm

    I sometimes dream about doing something daring like a parachute jump, but then I don’t have a head for heights, which would it double scary! I think I would settle for something more grounded, like a trip on the Orient Express.

  11. March 5, 2013 / 8:21 pm

    What a dream, Susan… you must… 🙂 xv

  12. Mary
    March 5, 2013 / 12:30 pm

    I am with you on flying. Before this summer I would have said flying in a B-17, but then my husband arranged for me to do just that for our anniversary. Sat behind the pilot during take-off and then was immediately allowed to crawl down into the bombadier’s position. Dad served with WWII B-17 BG, so very poignant for me. It was an amazing flight. I’ve also been lucky to fly in a Stearman which was also great…you must do it.

  13. MJ
    March 5, 2013 / 8:39 pm

    How wonderful to have a grandmother who would and could do that and the articles about the flight! You definitely should fulfill your dream. Many years ago I went up in a open glider plane and it was AMAZING. And I’ll have to think about what the one thing that I would do is – ask me again in a few weeks.

  14. March 5, 2013 / 9:20 pm

    Took the biplane ride at the Aviation Museum in Ottawa; it was a blast, and I’m a terrified flyer. Do go, and tell us!

  15. March 5, 2013 / 11:02 pm

    How fabulous! It sounds like you may need to carry on the tradition – at least one time. And what an extraordinary grandmother!

  16. Sulky Kitten
    March 5, 2013 / 3:25 pm

    Wow, that’s too daring for me – I’m a nervous flyer at the best of times! I’d probably like to learn to drive, but there would have to be no other traffic around for miles. And miles. And no trees or walls either.

  17. mette
    March 5, 2013 / 4:06 pm

    I feel like the first commenter.
    Content with the presence, living one day to it´s fullest ( although it could be quite the same as every other day ).

  18. Adrienne Shubin
    March 5, 2013 / 4:17 pm

    I hate to fly – scares the crap out of me even in a big jet liner. I still do it, but only because my love of travel supersedes my irrational flying fears.
    I don’t know if you are aware, but there is a bi-plane rental company here in the wine country. They are quite well-known for their tours. Might be a good reason to come up north, do a flight followed by a little wine tasting!

  19. March 6, 2013 / 12:41 am

    What a great dream. Hope it comes true soon.

  20. Anonymous
    March 6, 2013 / 1:57 am

    Wonderful! Your grandmother was awesome; mine were rather tame, as far as I know. I hope you do this (and I bet you will). My wish has always been to live in London for a while; not permanently, but for a year or so. I’ve been an Anglophile since I was a kid, and have a family history there. I figure it would take at least a year to see everything I want to see, and immerse myself in the culture. But after a while, I’d probably tire of the weather, and want big glasses of iced tea (with lots of ice!)

    —Jill Ann

  21. Anonymous
    March 6, 2013 / 2:10 am

    Btw, meant to wish you Happy Birthday yesterday! I turned 56 in January, myself. I’m pretty happy generally, but admit this age thing is bothering me some. What do you think?

    —Jill Ann

  22. Anonymous
    March 6, 2013 / 5:01 am

    I would go to Hokkaido, about this time of year, to watch the courting cranes dance in the snowy marshes . . . and one day I will.

    Planning to fly in an open plane is exciting; knowing that your grandmother took the same flight almost a century ago is a poem.

    Happy Birthday!


  23. Jacqueline @ HOME
    March 5, 2013 / 11:44 pm

    What a wonderful ambition Tish and one that I would love to do. When I saw our BIO subject this month, my first thought was an ambition that I’ve had for years ….. to fly in a Harrier Jumpjet ………slightly different from yours but similar. I hope that it won’t be long before you achieve this and look forward to the photos !!!! .. XXXX

  24. March 6, 2013 / 9:23 am

    Hope that your dream comes true, and a belated Happy Birthday! Ladies, don’t worry about your age so long as your health is ok. Age is just a number, which I am entitled to say as a 65 year old who is still having a ball!

  25. Maharani
    March 6, 2013 / 12:34 pm

    A couple of things: there are no trees, roads or walls up in the air, though you DO have to watch for planes, birds and airspace restrictions. It is mostly empty and in some ways flying is freer than driving, though much more regulated!! Learning to fly has cured me of my fear of turbulence, which is not usually life threatening. While one should not take a small plane out in a thunderstorm, most “normal” turbulence is just due to the air being bumpy over terrain. There is no turbulence over water as the water is usually flat. THe only time turbulence really annoys me is if I am trying to land, as it makes it harder to aim for the landing threshold on the runway-the plane wobbles. Practice will fix that. I get a whole lot more our of the commercial flying experience than I have done for years, which is great as I have to fly commercial a lot. I feel much more confident on a plane, now I have some pilot training. I have learned a lot about the history of aviation and must applaud your grandmother for getting out there and trying new, untested technology in 1917! Amazing! And lots of people still fly biplanes-they are a joy to watch!

  26. Maharani
    March 6, 2013 / 3:01 pm

    This being a fashion blog (to some extent)-I have to say I’m having a lot of fun creating outfits for flying lessons that are comfy, practical and chic….. Just bought a Barbour gilet that should be perfect. Leather jacket, tee, scarf and nice jeans are good on a cold day. I prefer a flat or a bootie so I can “feel” the plane, not a sneaker-too clunky. The guys dress really badly (baggy jeans and shapeless tees) but that is no reason I have to….

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