Sunday, October 5, 2008


OMG, well for Mark's 59th b-day I decided on a surprise adventure. Skydiving! He has mentioned that he wanted to do it - not me, afraid of heights. So I'm taking my dream trip this year (27 days to be exact) and it would be awesome for him to have one of his dream adventures. So, I don't tell him. I take Saturday off work, tell him we need to leave early and dress comfortable - also take some extra clothes - winter running gear would be good. It was only 36 degrees out when we left the house yesterday morning. We had a 2 hour drive to Fremont, MI. About 30 miles to go I had him open his b-day card that announced the surprise. He was thrilled, smiles from ear to ear. We get to the Fremont airport, in the middle of nowhere - just a couple of hanger buildings and wind socks - yikes. We walk in and a group of people are hanging out just waiting to jump. A couple dogs are part of the operation and everyone is low key. The class begins and it all seems relatively simple to do a tandem jump. So Mark gets ready with the help of Tony is parachute jump together guy. Seems really cool, they are going to do a double roll out jump instead of a plain jump out and arch! Okay, Mark is excited and off they go onto this tiny 1957 plane (as old as me plane). Four jumpers pile in - Mark first - two solo jumpers and Tony - Mark's tandem. Off they go into the beautiful blue sky. About 15 minutes into is trip they hear a huge bang and the cockpit fills with smoke. The pilot is yelling "get out" so the solo jumpers bail. Mark and Tony kicked the door open and away the two flew. Since the door opened the smoke cleared and Tony is trying to get Mark hooked up (he is the only one in the plane without a parachute!) Tony gets the top hooked and Mark is at the door feet on the jump pad and asking Tony, "Am I hooked up?" Tony replies, "GOOD ENOUGH." Mark is like slow down here - and at that time the pilot says I think we can make it back - and they are really to low to jump unless really necessary. Mark and Tony back into the cockpit and Dennis (the Pilot- a good one I might add!!!!!) Limps the plane back to the airport and lands with a no good engine - the plane had blown a rod right through the casing! There was alot of action on the ground as I sat there - "Somethings wrong, there is a fire on the plane. Okay I see them - He can make it, if anyone can land that plane it is Dennis." People running out onto the runway as this tiny plane lands - they had tiny little fire extinguishers, not like any rescue vehicles at this airport. I remained relatively calm, thinking that Mark was the better of the two of to be going thru this - he'd be calm and I'd be crying. As soon as the plane stopped everyone leaped out - the pilot wasn't sure if really a fire or what - get away from the plane. Once surveyed they discovered it was the engine had blown up. No more flights yesterday, so believe it or not, Mark has rescheduled for the 19th - the day after our 9th anniversary! Wow. I wanted him to have some excitement but this was alittle much! Thank God everyone is okay and laughing - I think that is because everyone is so nervous about what a close call this really was. Mark is the man of my dreams and I want to keep him!


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