My childhood was a touch different than most, in that my dad built an airplane in our garage.  It was a bi-plane, similar to Snoopy and the Red Baron.  Two seats, pilot in the rear, and you wore a leather helmet and goggles.  Open cockpit.

One day while I was in 3rd grade, my dad went to fly his “experimental plane.”  He had to have 50 flying hours prior to bringing up any passengers.  As he flew over our street – Holmes Ct. – he waved the wings.  The engine also sputtered, which Mike Raschko inquired about, but I just muttered, “it has to be part of the plan.”

We received a call no more than 15 minutes later, and my dad had crashed the airplane between two homes.  No one was hurt, including my dad.  It was the same day as the school carnival.  I remember being taken to the carnival by some friends.

Almost four years to the day that the plane finally left our home for the airport, it arrived back.  The very next day my dad’s crumpled plane arrived by flatbed truck to our home.  My dad began rebuilding the plane that very morning, and had it flying in a year.

The plane still flies today.

I learned a lot in my family.  I learned that anything is possible.  I learned that hard work pays off.  I learned that if you crash, you get up, and you start working again.

Five things to do with a CRASH:

  • Start to form a plan.  This is the “now what.”  I remember meeting with a staff person who had to leave staff immediately.  It was a “crash.”  The best thing we could do in the limited time we had was to form a plan.
  • Take proactive actions.  There was the “economic crash” a few years back.  I received word from a number of donors that they were going to have to significantly cut back.  After the 3rd “crash” call, I knew that I also had to take action.  On that day, I took steps to cut our budget by 25%.
  • Brainstorm the good!  I was with a guy having coffee yesterday who just had to tear up his house (drywall) looking for a leak.  It was a “crash” of sorts.  They found the leak, they called the plumber, and it is being repaired.  He said, “I have wanted to change that bathroom for years . . . now I finally get too!”
  • Learn.  Wow, are these the best times to learn?  Yes they are.  Learn about the way you are wired, learn what God might have for you, and learn what your heart is experiencing in this “crash.”  Small example:  Last night at Hudson’s flag football game, with 17 seconds left, we were up by one point.  The opposing team got an offside penalty.  The coach was so upset – although it was still their ball – he forfeited the game!  There is something to learn here . . .
  • Ask for help!  Remember, you are not so strong that you can’t ask for help.  This can be a coffee time to just process the “crash.”  People want to be with you in the “crash.”  Reach out and process it!  On the day my dad crashed his plane he didn’t go to the school carnival – instead he went out to dinner with his closest friends.  It was his form of “help.”

Bless you today!


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