Pacita Jugo Ladd… “Nana”

My Nana was many things to me over the years. She was a grandmother and a babysitter. She was a mentor and an advisor. She was a resource for travel tips and great grandmother to our son. Through it all, and especially as I grew mature enough to realize it, she was a friend. Our conversations, though split by a fifty year spread, were always casual but meaningful. She would offer me suggestions on how to live my life and how to raise Judah and do so as a peer… never with an air of authority. She kept that spicy Filipino side suppressed until necessary to quickly end a conversation. And believe me, should could pull out the big guns if need be!


A tale of two snowmen

Our neighborhood in Baltimore is situated between several colleges and universities and therefor we have many student renters living on our block. It gives me the chance to often think back and realize what a horrible tenet I must have been – back in the day. When we ran out of oil for the furnace we would burn garbage in the fireplace and all sleep in the living room.
During the snow storm last week several snowmen sprung up after the weather cleared. The boys to our right are athletes (I had to spell check athlete) while the boys to our left have a drum kit that they practice on early in the morning.
When looking at the snowmen, I’m certain you can guess whom belongs to whom.


$#*! my son’s caterpillar doesn’t say

Several times between now and the era of the stage 2 Huggie overnight diapers I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of sleep deprivation to awake in the land of disproportionate proportions with over sized talking caterpillars, four keyed colorful pianos and airplanes whose propellers spin with a psychedelic glow not too far off from the St. Elmo’s fire that buzz around the blades of a turboprop before a lightening strike


If you watch enough daytime TV… you will get cramps

In the morning we sit on the porch in our jammies and eat breakfast while the morning commuters honk at each other. Eight hours later we eat a snack outside and watch them return. Typically, we take a couple walks a day with one of the dogs and make sure the neighborhood is in check. We watch a little TV… “Two hours a day maximum, either educational or football. So as you don’t ruin your appreciation of the finer things.”


I made a burrito and forgot to shave

My job as a pilot is made much easier by checklists and routines. We do the same thing – the same way – every time. Our checklists are written in a way that is intended to flow logically as we set up the cockpit for each phase of flight. It’s the times when something upsets that flow – that checklist items are missed. You’re midway through a taxi checklist and a radio call breaks the cadence of the “challenge and response” and it’s easier (and safer) to start over rather then stumble back into it.


Something I haven’t heard in sometime. “First Available?”

I was asked this last night when looking for a table in Milwaukee. I haven’t heard that in years! It took a second to register what she was asking… and then I couldn’t remember what the alternative answer was. “Um… no. Last available? Er… Whichever is first – as long as it’s not smoking. Well… unless it’s going to be a really long wait. What is the divider between the two availables? If it’s that half wall, I’ll take smoking if I’m within a tables width of the divider. Where are the vents? Are they smoking near the bathroom?

The latest in our adoption journey – said with a heavy heart.

We’ve come across many unexpected obstacles in the 7 weeks since Judah’s birth and navigated several stressful events in the three months prior but the latest, unfortunately, is the most serious one yet. Through it all, when people would sympathize with the lack of sleep brought on by a newborn, I would laugh and say, “He is the easiest part!”

24 hours old

Judah Originally uploaded by stork123 We’re right down the hall in our own room and go in to feed and change him every three hours. While we’ve begun to split […]

Don’t you want your own baby? Adoption isn’t Plan B.

“Don’t you want your own baby?”
This is my favorite.
If you asked this, don’t be ashamed. I’m not “outing” you. It’s a common question. I hear it about as often as I hear, “Can’t you guys have your own?”
How about this one. “You’re so great to save that baby.”
We’re not saving anyone… we’re starting a family.

My date with another woman.

Last week I took the birth mom to the Doctor for another sonogram. We’re onto weekly appointments now and I will see her every Friday until the due date of 1.9.10.

We checked in and she rushed off to the restroom. I guess these things happen when you are 35 weeks into a pregnancy. I sat with my back to the receptionist and took note of all the pregnant women in the room. Actually, this is the third seat I took.

At first I decided on a love seat with a floral print and no signs of swine flu with room for two. Once seated, I wasn’t sure how close we should sit. We’ve known each other for more than a month now and have had several times alone together but with all the other moms in the room and the floral print and maybe she doesn’t like love seats.
I got up and moved to a couch for three leaving room for the holy ghost (as the nuns would say in grade school) but then I realized it was out of sight of the bathroom and feared she wouldn’t see me and think we backed out. Then I chose a real comfy love seat with several empty chairs to the right and left and ample magazines to choose from. All this was done in the span of about 60 seconds. All the pregnant moms were watching me. “This guy has some serious nesting issues.” I assumed they were thinking.

Phew, I took my seat.

“Mr. Lebowski.” The receptionist called out. Apparently at me. (Her name isn’t Lebowski although that would be great. We’d have to name our son “Duderino.”)

“Mr. Lebowski.” The receptionist called out. Again.

Alert the pitcrew, we’re coming for more fuel

5:30 am show in DC for a 6:15am flight to Kansas City and then Milwaukee for a 3.5 hour sit in the airport before our trip back to DC. And then, back to Milwaukee for the night. During the 3 and a half hour sit, I rested under a CNN airport news network TV reporting on overworked and underpaid regional pilots. I sat  listening to experts compare the experience level of Sully on the Hudson and “commuter pilots.” (I’ve been a commuter pilot for 10 years and have stayed here while watching friends go off to the major airlines with the “experienced pilots” only to get furloughed as those major airlines give more flying to us… the regionals. When hired in 1999, my “Region” was PA. Now it’s the U.S.)

Bike Parkinglot

bike parkinglot Originally uploaded by stork123 Headlights and mudflaps and trunks oh my. We’ve spent days riding around town. When peddling with groceries in hand it’s a challenge to decide […]

And it does spin

Originally uploaded by stork123 This windmill is down the road from the houseboat. It’s spins in the evening and is on the tourmap for travelers. There is a bar below […]

Our haiku challenge

on the amstel canal northern lights uncluttered my mind peaceful tidbits linger by: susan       stray dog barks for me disregard, i’ll sleep it off then a human […]


4sale Originally uploaded by stork123 Well, after living on 1609 for many years now – maybe it’s time to move on to bigger and better. Moving is something we’ve toyed […]


sneaky Originally uploaded by stork123 Aside from bluffing my way into free internet access codes at hotels that don’t offer it FREE to crew – I enjoy the free breakfast […]