Thursday, June 7, 2007

This week's column

I've turned in this week's column for the RV Builder's Hotline.

Making a deposit to my motivation account
by Bob Collins

(June 8, 2007) -- Back when I did a little more business traveling than I do now, I would catch my bearings by finding the nearest baseball stadium and working my way from there.

When I was out in Anaheim for my one -- and only as it turns out -- trip to the Los Angeles area about 20 years ago, I walked three miles to the stadium, turned around and walked back to the hotel. It was like a scene from Forest Gump, but that's the way it is for me in strange cities. Find a stadium and find your way.

Last weekend, my son and I went to Cleveland for the weekend, to watch the Cleveland Indians play. You can read all about it on my other blog. It was a little easier this time since the hotel I chose to stay in is right across the street from Jacobs Field.

But it wasn't until Saturday that I realized that things have changed with me over the years, and airports are now my home base; not because I fly into them -- I don't fly much anymore, let alone land somewhere -- just because, as much as baseball has meant to me over the years, airplanes have given baseball a run for its money where my heart is concerned.

So what happened Saturday? Patrick and I walked from the "Jake" down to the Rock n'Roll Hall of Fame, which is right next to the Burke-Lakefront Airport. It was particularly interesting for me since the last time I was near Burke was about 40 years ago, when my Dad first brought me to Cleveland. We weren't there to see the airport, we were there to see the Indians in the old Municipal Stadium, right next to Burke.

That area, run down in the '60s, has all changed now. It looks great, and Burke looks like the perfect place to visit. In fact, how many times do you RV builders find yourself visiting areas, seeing the airport and saying to yourself, "I'm going to fly here some day."? That's me and Burke. It would be the perfect flight; the perfect day.

First, the airport is as beautifully situated as Meigs Field was. It's right on Lake Erie and right near downtown. I could, if I were to ever actually finish my RV, leave my home after breakfast, and be sitting in the Jake for an afternoon game, as long as I can fly into Burke.

One of my favorite bloggers Dave Gamble, made this dream trip last year. I stole the picture above from him.

Builder's motivation comes in all forms. While we're pounding rivets and soldering wires, it's hard to keep from making mistakes, because our concentration often shifts from what we're doing, to what we're going to be doing someday. Flying. Flying to our dream locations.

For some it's Catalina, or Bermuda. For others, it's Cleveland. Go figure.

Flying -- and building -- is at its best when it combines the various joys of life. For me, of course, I can think of a dozen ways to combine baseball with flying and with my natural -- unnatural if you listen to my kids -- love for finding out what's around the next corner.

When I got home from Cleveland, the grass needed mowing and, yet, there was this big unfinished, well, "thing" in the garage. The canopy frame is in the middle of wrestling with me, I'm not any smarter about running electrical wires than I was six months ago, and I'm certainly not richer than I was six months ago and there's this little matter of putting an instrument panel in. Oh, and I hear these things require engines and props.

These projects can get daunting at times. So much to do and so little time to do it. So much to spend and so little money in the bank.

That's when I go back to the basics -- dreaming. Last weekend I made a big deposit into my builder's motivation account.

It should last me through next winter. Or at least until the Indians win the World Series.

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