Archive for January, 2012

Taking the long road…

 Happy last day of January!  This month I ran 20 days and logged in over 130 miles.  January was the mark of my first half marathon and my 2nd Annual Women Inspiring Women Conference.

January generally marks new beginnings for many people, starting with January 1st many make their new years resolutions.  Did you make one this year?  Are you keeping up with your plan? 

Maybe this will be the year you will begin writing your life story, or maybe 2012 will be the year you complete your book.  There are so many goals to set and accomplish.

I am currently setting my sites on the month of February where I plan to complete my second half marathon here in beautiful Palm Springs.  I am working on setting a goal of trying to run 6 half marathons in 2012 and then  aim for running my first full marathon in 2013!

I entitled this blog taking the long road because sometimes when we do take the long road we see so much more.  We can take our time and savor those experiences and memories.  As you look over your life journey, when were those times you decided to take the long road? 

With my running I tend to get very bored with running the same route, so with my handy pedometer I am not stuck running the same 5 or 10 mile course each week.  I am free to roam and explore my world.  As I take the long road in my running it gives me precious time to contemplate and meditate.

Enjoy your last day of January and get prepared for the beautiful month of February!

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Mondays with Melitas – January 30, 2012

CLOSE TO LIGHTS OUT NEAR THE AIRPORT                 JAN. 30, 2012

     I need to say more about my flying days, and describe the instructions that one had to go through to be licensed as a pilot.  While taking your flight

Instructions, you would first be accompanied by the Instructor, and you would be taught how to take off and land — very important, in fact I would say most important. When you got that down pretty good, you would then be flying around learning all the other maneuvers of turning, etc., etc.          

     When you had progressed enough in your proficiency to fly solo, you had to practice, practice, practice. You had better practice take-offs and landings till you could manage them in your sleep. I was good at this.  When I went in for a landing, I landed — not like some who would give it the throttle and not land because they were tentative, or plain old scared — then they had to get into the pattern and try to get the plane onto the landing strip for a second try.  Some would have to try more than that.

     Now, about spins — you have to practice these over and over because in the event that you would somehow find yourself going into a spin for no reason and Mother Earth is coming at you, and you don’t have a clue as to how you got yourself into this mess, you would have to know how to extricate the plane out of a could-be very deadly end to an otherwise beautiful day.

     When practicing your spins, you climb to an altitude of 3500 feet, stall with the nose of the plane up and veer off into your spin. Spinning, spinning, spinning,  (but not exactly the Wheel of Fortune by Kay Starr) then at 2000 feet you pull out and fly straightaway.  

      On this particular day, I was flying my beloved Luscombe in the airspace between the Airport and the Ocean practicing, practicing, practicing the spins, for over an hour, everything was going great, it was a bright sunny day – no June gloom — then ALL OF A SUDDEN as I am pulling out of the spin when there was a very loud earsplitting snap of metal, and the plane was out of control —it was flying level, but only kept turning right.  I will never know how I kept my cool to figure out what had happened. My mind was racing!  First thing I said to myself, “I do not want to crash, and ‘become late’ as they say inBotswana when you croak, so get busy, THINK!”  The plane was only turning to the right, and that’s when I realized that my left rudder cable pedal was ‘way back — it was the one that had snapped — and the right pedal was ‘way forward;  so with my feet and legs, with all my might I had to get those pedals right in the middle. It dawned on me that I had to use both feet on the left pedal to align them. Indeed, I struggled, finally aligned them and could fly straight.  So now I could fly straight, and did so to get myself calmed down, and also figure out how I was going to set the plane down on the runway. I sure didn’t want to run out of gas just flying around.  If that happened my Plan B would be to fly to the mouth of the creek where it empties into the ocean, (it was dry at this time of year) and glide on to the beach.  I really gave that plan up very quickly, and would only think of Plan A, and that was to make a landing smack dab on our runway. It was more familiar territory.

     So I circled around high over the landing strip, and then gathered the guts together to finally take it down with no way of knowing what would happen.

I got into the pattern, and as I was over Aunt Mae’s house I looked left at the

strip, and thought “Oh, my God” what do I do now. Then into the descent to land, and I CHICKENED out — hit the throttle and picked up altitude. A fraidy-cat, so now that made me mad!   I flew around into the pattern again, and this time as I passed over Aunt Mae’s place — she was there, but just wasn’t aware of all the activity of an airport — I said to her: “This time I do it.”  With that, flying into the last leg to land,  I prayed a lot. I had no notion of what would happen when the wheels touched down, so as soon as they did, I put those brakes on like there was no tomorrow — just like I was feeling, there was no tomorrow— and stopped like on a dime.  It was the shortest landing ever on that field, probably taking up 1/10th of the field, if that.  I tumbled out of the cockpit

 on to the field, just laying there when Bill, the Major, came running, yelling: “What’s the matter, Melita, you have NEVER made a 2nd pass at this landing strip—-“ 

      I could not speak — I got myself up off the ground, walked off, got into my car and drove across the valley home with Aunt Mae.

      The next day I drove back to the airport, and got into a plane, and took off —

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 A few days before I left for my half marathon in Phoenix, my mom called me and wanted to give me a phone number.  She told me that my cousin Marlene lives near Scottsdale and when she told her I would be arriving with me daughter wanted to meet me.  At first I told my mom that my time there would be short and that I didn’t have time to call.  But after hearing the disappointment in my mom’s voice I decided I would buck up and make the phone call.  After a few rings my cousin (nearly my mom’s age) answered the phone and when I told her who I was, I was expecting a polite exchange of words and then I would politely let her know it was nice talking with her, but I wouldn’t have time to meet with her.

What surprised me was the warm exchange between us.  Marlene was a link to my mom and to my family, many of whom I have never met.  After a nice 20 minute conversation we decided to meet for lunch on Saturday before my run on Sunday.  I realized that I forgot to ask her what she looked like, but when she pulled up, I immediately knew who she was.  She looked a lot like my Aunt Juanita (her mother and my mom’s older sister). 

We had such a beautiful afternoon sharing and getting to know each other.  It was wonderful connecting with family and I look forward to meeting her children (my cousins who are a ll about my age).  I am so grateful that I stepped up and made that phone call.  Not only did it make my mom happy, but it connected me with a piece of my heritage.

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The Power of Speech…

 I love this picture of Maggie!  I was thrilled when I met with Maggie during the summer and she accepted my invitation to be a speaker at our 2nd Annual Women Inspiring Women Conference.  If you are not from the Palm Springs area, you may not know Maggie…but someday I assure you, you will!  Maggie is not only an amazing writer, but as she proved to everybody at the conference, she is a gifted speaker.  She shared with the women that she was nervous, but she did such an amazingly fantastic job.  If you would like to know more about Maggie and who she is please go to her blog and read all about her amazing travels.  I can hardly wait until she writes her book. 

Maggie is a truly gifted writer, and an amazing woman!

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Writing Close Up…

  Yesterday in my classes my students did a phenomenal job.  All of their stories reflected their ability to get up close and personal.  I heard stories that brought tears to the students in the class.  I loved the heartfelt stories that were basically straight from their heart.  Not only was the writing beautiful, but when they shared their own personal story of pain and heartache, others in the class responded with love and compassion.

One of the beautiful things that happens in my classroom is the bonds that form.  I love watching the women come together to share, cry and love. 

Writing that comes from the heart is never easy, but writing, exploring and releasing is so healing.

I am thankful I am a part of my students journey and as I get to witness the growth, it is such a beautiful thing.

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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