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  #231  
Old 09-19-2016, 12:32 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Home (cont.)

















Americaís immortal beauty began glowing within me more powerfully than it ever had, and from that glow there reflected back to me from familiar scenery a new and sanctifying Vision that promised joy and everlasting life in the presence and protection of her Creator, my Master, the Lord Jesus himself. My house, which I painted like a taco shop a few years ago because of a $600 mistake that I couldnít afford to fix, took on a sudden beauty I had not noticed before:



Even my own bathroom down the hall, where any welcome guests might experience at least a glint of my attachment to her, took on an entirely new and astounding aura of the American beauty I so knew and loved and adored:



Where else might my joy be found and made complete? Where else might my love be made whole? Then the Lord took me to the hangar doors and I opened them. The Dove was there. I preflighted her, pushed her out, climbed in, and primed her. It was crank time again, but I did not know where the Lord was taking me. It did not matter. It was Beauty at its best.
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RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
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  #232  
Old 09-19-2016, 08:05 AM
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dougweil dougweil is offline
 
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What a great story Scott. I enjoyed every word!!
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Hudson, WI
president, Twin Cities RV Builders Group
RV-4, sold
RV-7 completed and flying N722DW, 630 hours
Based Lake Elmo, MN (21D)
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  #233  
Old 09-19-2016, 01:06 PM
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catmandu catmandu is offline
 
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Am I the only one who subconsciously inserted the sound of a slide carousel advancing while scrolling down from picture to picture on the last two posts?

Nice photo essay, Scott. And thanks for sharing every part of this mission at a very personal level. It offsets the all too prevalent internet anonymity one normally finds.
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Maryland's Eastern Shore
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  #234  
Old 09-19-2016, 05:37 PM
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
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Location: Landing field "12VA"
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Default Do you even Diary an Old Soul, bro? ;-)

"But for over one week, I woke up to the same sad sight, and with it, to an inner tumult that manifested itself with bedsheets torn back in great haste: I woke up looking out through my own bedroom window, not knowing where I was or where I was going, feeling an immediate and urgent impulse to get up, pack up, crank over, and blast off to another place I knew not where, but I could definitely feel that place clutching at my heart and pulling me desperately inward toward itself, like a colorless gray morning fighting for the light of dawn to bring meaning and purpose to a day that seemed to have none:"

A dim aurora rises in my east,
Beyond the line of jagged questions hoar,
As if the head of our intombed High Priest
Began to glow behind the unopened door:
Sure the gold wings will soon rise from the gray!--
They rise not. Up I rise, press on the more,
To meet the slow coming of the Master's day.

Sometimes I wake, and, lo! I have forgot,
And drifted out upon an ebbing sea!
My soul that was at rest now resteth not,
For I am with myself and not with thee;
Truth seems a blind moon in a glaring morn,
Where nothing is but sick-heart vanity:
Oh, thou who knowest! save thy child forlorn.

-Geo. MacDonald
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RV-10 - N130YD reserved - under construction

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  #235  
Old 09-20-2016, 12:20 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Home (cont.)

Just the other day, I flew to a small community only 26 nautical miles away from Merced. I had a rare craving for donuts, but I decided to treat the flight as if it were an extension of the mission across America. To that end, the very beauty I had so known and loved for those five weeks across the nation was crowned by another example to make my love even more complete.

The Lord took me to Firebaugh, CA (F34). Once again, with the exception of a few crop dusters occupying a far corner of the field, I landed and found myself the lone bird on the tarmac. The beauty of my America was right there before me, and I felt the Lordís powerful presence as I walked through town. What would I find?



The Church was alive and well as I entered the outskirts:





Two apple fritters, two maple glazed donuts, and a cup of coffee later, I continued my exploration and uncovering of a California farming community:







At the center of town were both the old and the more modernized fire and police department buildings:





There was a new apartment complex being built across from the middle school, but what souls would be there to populate such grim vacancy?



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RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
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  #236  
Old 09-20-2016, 12:21 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Home (cont.)

Most of the old stores and shops were closed, even that Saturday morning, yet their buildings stood sentinel to an era in American history that would otherwise have been forgotten in the fast-paced world spinning beyond their web-covered panes of glass:





One shop, an electrical supply store, harbored an obvious love for aviation, though nobody else was around to admire the display:



A bus for farm laborers sat vacant and ready between buildings, the sweat from one worker’s shirt still evaporating in the sun as the cloth hung limply out of a window:



Next, I was led to the local tomato packing shed, bringing back fond memories of my youth when I worked one summer in Merced in a facility nearly identical to it:











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Last edited by Scott Chastain : 09-20-2016 at 12:38 AM.
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  #237  
Old 09-20-2016, 12:23 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Home (cont.)

Behind the packing shed, a set of tracks bent through town toward the southwest, guided, it appeared, by an infinity of tau-style Crosses along the way:



Soon, I was led back to the airport and allowed to enjoy a few final scenes from Firebaugh, just another tiny town, but brimming over with the beauty that could only belong to my America:









Before launching out, I witnessed one final sign of Godís presence as a chopper landed atop a trailer beyond the windsock. A young man climbed up from the rear caged area of the vehicle and began filling up the chopper tanks with spray chemical. Before blasting off in the Dove and heading back to Merced, I looked at the Cross one last time. That was when I knew my America was with me again, and this time, I brought her beauty home with me for good:

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  #238  
Old 09-20-2016, 12:26 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Conclusion

The Lord took me to the edge of my grave, and at the edge of my grave, I looked down. I looked down, and I was not afraid.

In Heaven I had a sister, a sister I had never met. She died of pneumonia at the age of only ten months. Exactly ten months later, my mother gave birth to me. Wendy’s death became the doorway to my life:



My mother and father were family planners, but they certainly had not planned on my sister dying. Though my mother denied it, I knew that if Wendy had not died, my being conceived only a month later never would have happened. And that was the grave I looked down into.

After my journey across America, I began asking myself more seriously than ever before a simple, age-old question: What if I had never been born? What then?



What beauty was there in the death of one human being, in the death even of a nation itself, that the spirit of America might live on forever through the resurrection to everlasting life?



After ten years of building and over eight years of flying the Dove, there remained one room in my house called the RV Room, where various composites, spare parts, excess building materials, painting equipment, plans, and tools littered the floor as a trailing expression of freedom that was to me as American and as beautiful as human flight itself:



Yet there still remained far beyond the miles of the American mission flight the very question of my own pathetic and measly existence here on Earth: Had I never been born, would America have been a better place? Would Mercy Hospital, the site of my birth, remain as it did bearing the sign of my passage through life in the shape of the Cross?



And just beyond that hospital at Applegate Park arose another startling question: Would Joshua, another transient like myself, be any better off in my absence, or was I ever able to make a difference in the lives of others like him who also suffered the wounds of a broken and misguided world?



My life and the beauty of it hung limply over the very pool where I spent most of my childhood, and I saw in the absence of people there a death in myself that held me underwater long enough to see the reflections of eternity on the surface:



I saw the death of myself at the place where my grandfather used to take me fishing when I was just a boy, and in that Vision felt life pouring through me as the glide of water slipped gracefully through the narrow passages of dead and drought-stricken pasture:



I saw and felt the desiccation of a dying land below the windward wave of America’s beauty, and dared to call it home:



And home became my heart, where the miracle of resurrection, where all life and strength and glory and honor and blessing and riches dwelt in the innocence of childhood, never again to be stripped away or torn or tattered or mocked for her humility, but held and comforted and tenderly embraced and nurtured for the child that she was. She was new, she was free, she was safe, and she was home. She was America.

She was America the Beautiful.

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Last edited by Scott Chastain : 09-21-2016 at 11:29 AM.
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  #239  
Old 09-20-2016, 12:45 PM
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RVbySDI RVbySDI is offline
 
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I have refrained from posting on this thread. However, I must state this is the most profound introspective writing I have ever read!

I read each post with anticipation. . .walked away from reading for many weeks. . . finally came back and started reading again. Having now completed this vicarious journey, it is ironic in deed that I am sitting here reading these final posts while the haunting sounds of Bruce Springsteen's "Paradise" echoes from my computer speakers. All I am left with is a reiteration of Sam's word. . .

WOW!!
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  #240  
Old 09-21-2016, 07:14 AM
N62XS N62XS is offline
 
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Default God bless you

ďHe who knows himself best esteems himself least.Ē

H.G. Brown
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