Above: I teach Adi the finer points of shooting a BB gun. Someday she’ll move on to real guns and then I won’t have to worry about her dating some liberal weenie when she’s older. That’s the plan anyway.
Janice recently recovered from COVID, praise God for that! Three weeks ago she was well into the recovery process but still struggling with a nagging cough. So much so that it triggered contractions and we found ourselves at the hospital in the middle of the night getting ready to have a baby! The only problem was that the baby was slightly ahead of schedule. Janice was only 35 weeks along and ideally humans are born at 39 weeks or something like that. We were tempted to just let the baby come but we were advised that, although there was a high chance the baby would be fine, there was a small possibility that his lungs weren’t developed yet. It wasn’t worth the risk if we could avoid it. So, after getting all hyped up to meet the little guy, we reluctantly cooled our jets and told Baby to wait. Far be it for a Snader to be early for anything. My dad says it’s a Snader tradition to be “a day late and a dollar short.” The nurse gave Janice a shot that stopped the contractions. It also made her shake like a fan that was missing a blade. It did the trick though.
So much so that now Janice is despairing that the baby will ever arrive. Although her due date isn’t until October 28, Janice acts as if the baby is four months overdue. She stomps around the house like an impatient egg-bound duck. I suppose the feeling would be about the same. I do feel really bad for her. Each night we lie down in bed and wonder if in several hours we’ll be frantically contacting an unfortunate babysitter and making a beeline to the hospital. This makes Janice a broody hen. Every night everything must be put away and organized nicely because someone may be coming over to watch the kids in the middle of the night. The pain of someone being in our house when it’s messy is worse than the pain of giving birth, apparently.
I suppose the waiting is a good thing. Janice feels a lot better and is mostly back to normal but she still tires more quickly than she did before. It’s not a bad thing that the baby is giving Janice a chance to gain strength before his arrival although according to Elliot, giving birth will be easy. The other day in dramatic fashion he pointed to Janice’s belly and said, “The baby will go down, down, down, and then pop! And we’ll go ‘Awww.” Elliot has been talking quite a bit and he’s getting funnier by the day.
Since Janice will soon go “pop,” I’m scared to do maintenance on the van. I have two wheel bearings right now that should go on the van but I know that as soon as I take the old ones off, Janice will immediately go into labor and we’ll have to steal a car to drive to the hospital. It can wait for now. Every day I’m walking around at the hangar with my phone at my side. I nervously check my phone every time it dings and dongs to see whether Janice may be summoning me. I don’t mind but lately I’ve been working on some cool stuff.
One of the projects is a Pilatus Porter that will serve down in Guatemala at a medical clinic. It’ll carry short term medical teams from the big city into the bush where the clinic is located. The clinic serves a largely indigenous Mayan population. Some people may describe the Porter as being ugly. I prefer “utilitarian.” It’s one of the few airplanes I know of (which isn’t an extensive library) that can carry its own weight in cargo. Pretty impressive!
The plane was designed and built in Switzerland. Some people may describe the Porter as being ugly. I prefer “utilitarian.” It’s one of the few airplanes I know of (which isn’t an extensive library) that can carry its own weight in cargo. Pretty impressive! The mission bought it and excitedly prepared it for service. Unfortunately during training the plane departed the runway, struck a gully, and ripped the landing gear off, resulting in extensive damage. There are only about five Pilatus Porters in the whole United States and finding a mechanic who is knowledgeable about them is almost impossible. The mission didn’t know where to turn to find an experienced mechanic who could advise them as they undertook this massive project. They knew about MMS Aviation because we had overhauled an engine for their Cessna 182 earlier in the year. They decided to bring the Porter to MMS so they could have an American base to ship parts to and some help getting the plane back into service. Little did they know Chris Jutte, a supervisor here at MMS Aviation, worked on Porters in Indonesia for eighteen years! Chris knows them inside and out and is an invaluable resource for the organization as they bring the Porter back to life. God brought a guy from Indonesia to our hangar in Ohio so he could help a mission from Guatemala work on a plane made in Switzerland. Pretty cool! I get to tag along on the adventure and fix some cool stuff.
A few days ago I was putting two new tires on the right hand main gear of a King Air that’s used in a ministry reaching Chinese populations in the United States. Aircraft wheels are two separate halves bolted together. If the tire is tubeless, an o-ring is installed between the two halves to make it airtight. Since these tires are rated for 190 mph, the sidewalls are quite stiff. You’ll soon find that you do not have enough of hands to squeeze the halves together while simultaneously starting the nuts on each bolt. As it began to dawn on me that I didn’t have enough hands, Dwight, the former CEO of MMS Aviation, walked into the hangar. He gave me a few pointers on the project and even lent me an experienced pair of feet as he stood on the wheel so I could get the bolts started properly.
Maybe the next post will be a birth announcement. Thanks everyone out there for praying for us and being part of our story. Until next time!