Loops, spins and zooms did not dissuade my great Aunt from becoming the first woman pilot in the Canadian skies

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Eileen Vollick knew she wanted to fly before she was 18. The only problem was, it was 1927 and no other woman in Canada had ever even attempted to earn a pilot’s license.

Undeterred, she applied for, and was granted, permission to apply to be Canada’s first female pilot. Not long after her 19th birthday, the youngest anyone could begin training in Canada at that time, she took her first flight. It was in a Curtis JN-4 Canuck open cockpit bi-plane.

Her instructor broke the rules on the flight by introducing her to aerobatic stunts like ‘loops, spins, and zooms’…

My wife has a good friend who summitted, yes -made it to the top, of Mt. Everest several years ago. He got COVID one year ago and is now a 'long hauler'. He can barely jog around the block now. I pray for those who have been so severely impacted and especially for their families. We need leaders in all walks of life and all political persuasions to come together and get everyone vaccinated - NOW - or even more will needlessly suffer.

As a recently retired person now working on sailing around the world I think your approach is spot on. Many people sail around the world on a budget of $20,000/yr while others need to +$1M just to operate their yacht. My advice is to choose the life you want and find a way to make what you have fit into it.

My last newsletter was on patience and why now more than ever it is desperately needed and seemingly in short supply. It strikes me that closely related to developing the capacity for patience is sacrifice. My definition of sacrifice has always been to give up something now in order to get a greater reward down the road, i.e. we ‘sacrifice’ this to get that. Pretty simple. In the context of my sailing adventure, I had to sacrifice many things over many years in order to save the money needed to buy the boat, pay for updates, etc. As you might…

August was a break from sailing but not without some adventure, although of a much different nature. Emma and I got to spend a week or so hiking in the hills of the Lake District in northern England.

It is a place of remarkable beauty with rolling hills, lush forests, and scenic waterfalls.

Who or What Inspires You

The most gratifying thing for me since starting this newsletter is the number of people who have said they find my story and adventure inspiring. Inspiration it seems can be a two-way street, i.e. some have found inspiration in my story and plans and I’ve found inspiration in the belief that I’m helping others. I also get it from reading stories of others who have accomplished something amazing or overcome seemingly impossible odds. Not surprisingly, many of the most compelling stories of inspiration come when love and passion are the sources of that inspiration.


In my opinion and without a doubt the most remarkable physical and mental accomplishment of an older person is the story or Yuichiro Miura. I learned of Mr. Miura’s accomplishment while staying at the Kathmandu Guest House in Nepal three years ago. My wife, Emma, is a huge fan of Nepal and trekked there many times including making it to Everest Base Camp. Three years ago we decided to do the Langtang Trek. This is considered one of the easier hikes in Nepal reaching an elevation of 3800 meters (12,500 ft) ending in the small village of Kyanjin Gompa. It…

Is there a secret to a long and productive retirement?

Jose Bonafacio Villegas lives in a small village in Costa Rica where he has been tending crops and riding his horse since 1921. He retired from working the farm at 95 but at 102 still rides his horse nearly every day. You can learn more about Jose and his life here.

Anthony Mancinelli began working in a barber shop in New York at the age of 11 in 1922. He continued cutting hair full time until he was 107. He passed away not long ago, several weeks after retiring, at 108. …

Let me begin this post by saying that we all have biases. It is in part how we categorize and make sense of our world. Bias is an inclination for or against a person, group, or concept. Prejudice is an unjustified or incorrect attitude towards an individual based solely on an individuals membership in a social group. We all have biases but hopefully few, if any, prejudices. The key is for the bias not to become a prejudice.

Our biases are shaped by the world around us and begin at a very early age. They are either refuted, changed, or…

Michael Doherty

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