It’s a small personal victory, hoisting the windsock pole over Matekane’s western end with a new windsock proudly unfolding into the brisk winter wind. The windsock pole weighs a ton! Something like my own personal Mount Suribachi for this former Marine turned missionary pilot. Replacing windsocks regularly keeps us safe though, despite the mission to lift a heavy pole.
It’s a quick job, but I’ll need help. It generally takes four grown men to gently lower the 30 pound windsock “hanger” to the ground. Trouble is it’s attached to a 15-foot-long steel pole, so mathematically that’s in the 450+ pound range! Raising it back up in position is a feat, especially when volunteers are scarce!
What should have been a proud moment, admiring our accomplishment correctly indicating wind speed and direction, quickly became a moment of embarrassment when I realized I had somehow installed the windsock inside out! “Maybe no one will notice!” I reason. And with just a few volunteers on the ground, I don’t want to bring this behemoth down and back up again. I’ll just be quick to replace this windsock when it shows the first signs of wear – usually about a year.
That was over two years ago! My constant reminder outlasted its brother windsock, stationed on the other end of the airstrip (changed the same day), by almost a year! Though it represented the wind correctly, it always bothered me that I had been so careless.
Today was retirement day for the Energizer inside-out windsock. With three volunteer herd boys (men), we brought that pole down and got a new one installed. This time, I was careful to make sure it was right-side out! And as we stood back to admire our handiwork, I had the thought that maybe inside-out windsocks aren’t so bad after all.