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DID - Desert Island Dream by Peter Fruehling

May 28 2012 at 5:17 AM

Peter Fruehling  (Login Acro-Pilot)
from IP address 198.228.211.64

I was surprised and honored to be asked by Kevin to put up my Desert Island Dream. I've met so many amazing people here in our community and the DID has been a way for me to get to know all of you that much better. I don't feel worthy to have been chosen but am truly grateful.

For better or for worse, here we go!

 

 

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I wake up early Monday morning to a ringing phone. It's my risti brother Kevin Schmieder calling to say his company car is broken down and his wife happens to be out cruising on the Triumph. Once again he needs to be at work in 20 minutes so I fire up the RV-7 and head out to pick him up.

 

 

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On my way home I take a slight detour to get around some weather and end up getting swallowed up by a tornado which knocks me unconscious.

 

 

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Some time later I wake up flying straight and level somewhere between my home base in Minnesota and what looks to be a small desert Island! Running low on gas I land safely on the beach because crashing on a desert Island would be too obvious right Aaron?

 

 

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I quickly take stock of what I happen to have with me in the plane and find 2 watches in addition to the one I'm wearing, my iPod shuffle with only 2 songs (OMG), 1 book, my iPhone with 1 movie, 1 picture and can only recall 1 memory from my 43 years.

 

I'm lucky enough that the watches I happen to have with me can work together to help me maintain my mental stability on the Island. The ever trusty Rolex GMT II helps me stay grounded with what time it is back home in Minnesota and think about my family and friends. My PAM 390 will help me adjust to my new life here on this desert island thinking in hours and daylight rather than minutes and seconds.

 

 

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The two songs on my iPod were put there to motivate me to during workouts and think about times in my life that were particularly meaningful. Little did I know they would be the ONLY songs I would have access to while here on this desert island. The songs are:

 

Artist: deadmau5

Album: Random Album Title

Song: I Remember

 

Artist: Foo Fighters

Album: Wasting Light

Song: Rope

 

 

The book I have with me has been with me for decades. Its teachings and lessons have guided my way since I was a child and still lead me today. Lessons in life, love, forgiveness and faith still come to me from its pages.

 

 

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The movie I loaded for the trip to Kevin's and back is one that has been my all-time favorite for as long as I've been going to movies! This movie helped me discover the wonder and fantasy of film and inspired many things in my life from my flying to being more confident as a teenager. And not just because I could KICK ASS with a light saber!

 

 

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Photographs are an important part of my life. The feelings they bring back and the memories they pull forward are truly priceless to me. Choosing ONE photo of the thousands at home is a task that could take days. The one I chose for this trip comes from my heart. The context of this picture is as much a part of the shot than the image itself. It was my daughter's first birthday which we celebrated with a trip to the sea. She had just finished eating her first ever piece of birthday cake, most of which ended up ON her rather than in her. This moment with my wife bathing our daughter in the sea is one I'm thankful I'll have forever.

 

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All the memories of my life from times with my amazing wife Beth, the birth of my daughter Teagan to the incredible experiences with friends all make me who I am today. However, as I sit on this island and ponder life, there is one memory that has guided me more than any other:

 

In 2006 my wife's father retired from his professorship at the University of Wisconsin. He's one of those people that never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He is perpetually positive, never gives an opinion unless asked, is humble to a fault and is an amazing spiritual leader for his family. He's one I truly aspire to be like and fail regularly. His plan for retirement is to travel the world with his bride of 39 years and enjoy the fruits of his years at the University and his years in the U.S. Army.

 

44 days after his retirement he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma; the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Nine short months later on October 3rd, 2006, he was gone. At his funeral I had some time alone with his body and his spirit. I prayed over him and as I did, I put my hand on his chest and promised him that I would take care of his daughter for the rest of my life. I felt him there with me in a very powerful way just then, with a calm thats impossible to explain. That moment in my life inspires me to work at being a better husband, more dedicated father and closer friend to everyone I'm fortunate enough to connect with. It was clear that he was there with me then. And he was happy.

 

 

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This photo was taken 3 months before he passed away. He had been fighting a brutal fight for his life every day for six months here and didnt know if he would wake up the next morning. The spirit he maintained every single day knowing that he was going to die at any time drives me to never be a victim regardless of the circumstances. He was truly a great man. I hope to be half that strong one day.

 

 

As I sit on the beach and wonder how this all happened I hear the distinctive laughter of a little girl I know well. I turn to see my wife and daughter walking toward me on the beach! They are one person to me and the reason I live my life today.

 

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                  Yes my wife can kick my arse.

 

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And to finish off this dream, they are carrying a piping hot pizza from the best little pizza dive on earth: Red Savoy in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota! I'm a simple guy and if there is one meal I look forward to its a big sausage and pepperoni pizza from Red Savoy. It rivals any slice in Chicago my wind city brothers!

 

If you've made it this far I'm truly honored. I appreciate you letting me share and hope to connect with as many of you as possible at GTG's or wherever our community takes us! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.



- Peter

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