Santa, a Biplane, and Something To Be Excited About

Little kids like planes so I was pretty excited to hear that my barnstorming friend Dewey was helping with something special for kids in his community this Christmas. You see, he picked up Santa and gave him a lift to the airport in Springfield, Ohio on Sunday.

Santa and his elf spent that afternoon visiting with youngsters and learning their fondest Christmas wishes.

While Santa was tucked away with a line of kids in a warm airport terminal, Dewey was outside visiting with the kiddos and their parents. He fitted them all with aviator caps and goggles before lifting them up into the plane for photos.

Despite the cold, biting wind you only experience in western Ohio’s flat farmland (I’m from the hills where the wind can’t get up that much speed), groups of kids and adults came trooping outside for their turn with his 90 year old open air cockpit biplane.

I swear that many of them were just as excited to see the biplane as they were to meet Santa. The pilot seemed equally thrilled to give people the opportunity and to talk about the lost art of barnstorming.

He’s good with people and you can tell that there’s little he loves more than sharing his passion with others. It was fun to watch and I was happy to play a very small part that day.

A piece of me wishes I had something to be so excited about. I’m enthusiastic about lots of things and interested in almost any topic but there’s never been one thing that captured my enthusiasm so dramatically. Although, if I did something so cool as barnstorming in a fabulous old biplane, I might be singing a different tune.

Here’s a thought for today. If you have kiddos and you see a spark in them, you see that they’re excited about something, try nurturing that spark. Encourage them to learn and grow with that thing they love so much. It could turn into a career or maybe just a lifelong hobby. Either way, I’m guessing they’ll be happier than the rest of us who just bounce around from interest to interest.

And if Santa is coming to an airport near you, friends, go see him. There’s nothing cooler than seeing Santa climb out of an airplane.

Springfield Antique and Vintage Extravaganza

On the first day of my fifth grade year, I sat on the school bus next to the new girl in my class.

When you live in a rural community, having someone new move in is kind of a big deal. I was expecting her because our grandparents were friends and my grandma had asked me to be nice to her. I would have been nice to Meria anyway but I’m so glad we met. We’ve been friends ever since.

It’s been a lot of years since that first day of fifth grade (ahem…. no need to count them…) and we’ve been through a lot together. While we don’t talk every day, she’s always there when I need her and we try to do something together periodically.

Yesterday, we went on a little adventure to the Springfield Antique and Vintage Extravaganza. It’s like an outdoor flea market that’s devoted almost entirely to antique and vintage items.

I’ve heard about it for years but never had a chance to experience the extravaganza for myself. I thought the use of the word extravaganza was a little much – that is, till I arrived. This event is massive. It’s held at the county fairgrounds and it’s so large we never found the actual end, running out of steam in the hot sun before we ran out of booths to peruse.

We shopped for a few hours but eventually surrendered to the sun, leaving for lunch and a trip though the Heart of Ohio Antique Mall which is also huge and which I adore.

She’s gluten free and I’m pescatarian so we’re a real fun pair to feed in a place where all the vendors sell meat and deep fried stuff. Next time I’ll pack a picnic!

Anywhoo… we saw a ton of neat stuff with prices ranging from dirt cheap to completely overpriced. But you’ll have that anytime you shop for vintage and antique items. What you don’t have most places is the sheer volume of stuff to look at.

Meria found some glass pieces for her collection and I scored some mid century children’s story books- all in excellent condition for $2 each.

Admission is $10 per person but parking is free. If you plan to shop a lot, bring a wagon, shopping cart or a large tote bag to haul your stuff around in. And, of course, remember that cash is king in this setting.

Next time I’ll probably take a backpack and will absolutely remember to pack sunscreen. I forgot mine and have a nice sunburn today.

Want to learn more about the Extravaganza? Click here!