Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog


Knowing when to call it quits.

It takes years of work, the investment of thousands of dollars, many hours of flight experience, and a commitment to studies as well as a dedication to excellence, to become an Airline Transport Pilot.

During my career, I was able to add three Jet type ratings to that certificate.

It wasn’t easy!

However, I am proud of the career I chose and the opportunities offered to me as a result of that career.

Along the way, I became a Flight Instructor for Single and Multi-engine aircraft, as well as an Instrument instructor.

Flight Instructors have to renew their Certificates every two years or they lose that license to instruct.

While I was teaching and giving check rides at Flight Safety International, that certificate was automatically renewed based on performance. Even after I retired, it was renewed the first time based on the previous years performance.

This year however, my CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) license is due to expire at the end of May, unless I renew it by attending a seminar called a “Refresher Clinic”.

The reason I have taken time to explain this is to let you know why I find it so difficult to give it all up.

My dilemma has been whether to renew my CFI certificate or not.

It is so difficult to allow that license to expire after all those years of hard work to obtain it, but the simple truth is that I never again expect to instruct in an airplane or a simulator, or even in a classroom for that matter.

So I have finally made the decision to allow my CFI Certificate to expire. That means that I will no longer be able to instruct in an aircraft after the end of this month.

Finally, I am at peace with that decision. That part of my career is over. I have been blessed with the opportunity to pilot an aircraft in and out of 44 States and 13 foreign countries.

It has been a wonderful career and I have met some very interesting people along the way.

Retirement was the biggest step away from aviation.

Now, stepping away from the ability to ever return to teaching is another huge step.

Marilyn & I pondered the state of the economy and the fact that we have lost a huge amount of money that we looked at as our nest egg, with hopes that some day we could have an even larger amount to pass on to the kids and Colby.

That dream is no longer a realistic possibility. We are like so many other good people who have watched as the greed and mismanagement of the politicians and the Corporate big-wigs destroyed our financial security along with our dreams for retirement. At least what we thought our retirement options would be.

We are so lucky to be debt free and living this lifestyle, which is a relatively inexpensive way to live.

When I retired I thought that if things went bad, I could always go back to flying airplanes. The reality is that time does not stand still for anyone and, at my age, returning to the cockpit is no longer a viable option.

We have decided that if we need additional income, we can work camp, and continue to live this wonderful lifestyle, that we love so much. At least we would be doing that together. While I was flying I spent so much time away from home. We are determined not to be apart any more than we absolutely have to be.

Life is still good to us and we are still living our retirement dream. Just not with the security and the confidence that we once had.

We are no different than many other retired folks.

So we live, we laugh, we love, and we realize that God has blessed us with the things which matter most.

Family, friends, and the good health to enjoy them. Life is good!

Now, I’ll finish this journal for the day. Tomorrow will be a busy day, as Marilyn watches Colby while I lead three tours of Cameron Cave.

We never know for sure what adventures tomorrow may bring so we’ll just wait to see what that day has in store…..



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