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January 23, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Battle of the Helicopter Parents

Amusing to watch, if nothing else.

You know the ones. Hovering. Flighty.

Overly picky about where they sit down.

Quickly maneuvering to give their charges any advantage and to keep them safe.

Helicopter parents must have thought themselves in paradise.

small child and dad getting ready for TV interview

Prepping for TV interview. (A Super Dad notices Mom screaming from car, “Wipe his face. Wipe his face!”) ©

Pretty common to hear the Coast Guard helicopters overhead – especially during holidays and summers.

Some boater is always in trouble in the lake, in Galveston Bay, or offshore.

We wave at the bright orange birds daily, but they are much too busy to pay social calls.

Last night the Coast Guard was doing normal practice manuevers over the Galveston Bay when some ill-advised birds apparently attempted a protest. 

(Were the birds drunk after a big seafood dinner? Or just bird-brained ornery?)

Feeling a hit, the helicopter pilot knew he had to find a landing spot fast.

No permissions granted. Coast Guard helicopter parked at Target. All rights reserved. Copyrighted

“Honey, while you’re there, can you pick up some milk?” ©

And what could be more welcoming than the obscenely bright glare welcoming glow of the Super Target/Home Depot parking lot?

It’s true. Target has everything. Even nests for big birds.

Home Depot has all sorts of tools and says right there on the sign “Pick Up Here.”


All rights reserved. Coast guard helicopter in parking lotCopyrighted. No permissions granted

It’s common for people to stop in Home Depot for repair stuff, but this is probably a first.©

The helicopter landed without incident.

Shopping carts and yellow tape fenced off the area.

No one cared they took up more than one parking space.

Now safe, embarrassment passed, they are a bit amused by all the attention.

(No sneakin’ in and out unseen around here. Nope, just plan on sittin’ down and vistin’ a while with the locals. Coffee? Junior bacon cheeseburger? Wendy’s or Chick-Fil-A’s fries?)

We don’t often get to see and thank these guys up close for all they do.

An added bonus? There’s an elementary school right across the street!

Serious helicopter-loving parents grabbed the kids out of beds, bundled them up against the drizzle, and hurried over.

Helicopter moms who never let a teachable moment go by, detoured for a bit for before lining up in the drop-off lane. (“Don’t cry. The school won’t mind if you’re tardy. It will not ruin your perfect attendance. It’s a helicopter in the parking lot for goodness sake. You don’t see that every day.”)

Of course people have to wiggle through all the TV crews. 

all rights reserved. TV film crews and helicopter. no permissions granted. copyrighted.

TV film crews were also helicoptering. Jostling for position. A little discussion here between two of them.©

Chick-Fil-A is sending over a steady stream of food and hot coffee. Welcomed as it is 40 with drizzle-ish fog.

The Coast Guard has gone over every tiny inch of the helicopter and the engine to assess damage. They plan to take off in a couple of hours.

all rights reserved. Coast Guard examining engines for damage. No permissions granted. Copyrighted

Checking under the hood.©

It’s turning into a nice PR event for the Coast Guard.

Meanwhile, one of the local cops scowled and said “It’s making a mess of the parking.”

(I examined the mostly empty parking lot. Replied “Well, it’s not exactly a big shopping day.”

He did have to smile. Likely he was chilled and unprepared to walk around  outside all morning. Coffee was being brought. And he did cheer up when the TV camera crews came over. )

A big orange bird sitting in the mist.

Somehow that’s just perfect.

For those dreaming of flight.

Whirl away, little helicopters,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

all rights reserved. Helicopter in the mist. No permissions granted. copyrighted

Helicopter in the Mist. Sounds like a movie with a happy ending. The blue striped lighthouse is Kemah’s. Galveston Bay is about two blocks that direction from here. ©



  1. robstroud / Jan 23 2015 6:48 pm

    As a USAF veteran, I always tease my “paramilitary” Coast Guard friends, who formerly fell under the auspices of the Department of Transportation rather than the DoD… but I say this wholeheartedly: Thank God for the United States Coast Guard!

    Liked by 3 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2015 7:01 pm

      Would it be an example of “little brother” syndrome? (ggigles)
      We love the Coast Guard guys. When we hear them flying over, we know they are headed out to help someone in trouble – no matter the weather, day or night.
      And it is not true they are anti birds, so share the space, feathered guys!
      Thanks for landing with a comment


  2. MamaMickTerry / Jan 23 2015 7:02 pm

    Very cool post and wonderful story in so many ways.
    *starts engine and lifts off the ground and moves to the next task. Happy for the brief reprieve 🙂


  3. Beth / Jan 23 2015 7:22 pm

    First, glad that the crew landed safely. I love it that Chick-fil-a pitched in and the Coast Guard were welcoming to families coming by to visit a bit. You know, we never get helicopters landing at our Target. Now I feel a bit cheated. I know what I’m suggesting in my next survey!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2015 2:35 pm

      And I thought having seagulls around Target was cool….do you think the seagulls squawked how welcomed they felt there to the ‘copter (who was tired of repeated drills. It takes pilots so long to feel comfortable with stuff. ‘Copters catch the idea quickly.)
      Maybe you should start a petition for helicopter visits. Fun for all. Thanks for sending a soaring comment


  4. Paul / Jan 23 2015 8:06 pm

    Bwahaha! Cool post IB. Apparently helicopter pilots are trained to do an emergency landing when ever there is an alarm or any indication of a problem. Helicopters don’t do powerless landings well. I know something of this as I was born and brought up in Halifax, Nova Scotia which has two military bases and a Coast Guard base that serves a very wide area in eastern Canada. We have an aging fleet of Sea King helicopters for SAR (search and rescue)which are being replaced with American Sikorskys shortly. These helicopters have been rebuilt a few times and now the airframes won’t take another rebuild. They have been around for easy 50 years. When I was young and apparently to this day, these helicopters have been dropping from the air around Halifax onto roadways, fields, parking lots, yards, etc, at any indication of a problem. Here’s the latest (at a golf course) that happened last October Bwahahaha! To my knowledge they have never had a fatality. You know you have to replace your helicopter fleet when each unit logs as many road miles as air miles.

    It was funny as a kid growing up around these birds – you kept an eye upwards all the time to make sure you didn’t get in the way of any falling objects. Even the seagulls scattered when they saw one coming. When i was trucking (in my twenties and early thirties)they were doing an overhaul and my company (American incorporated) hauled many loads of parts from Sikorsky in Connecticut to Halifax.

    Anyway, they have done an admirable job of SAR and saved many lives. I tip my hat to all those Coast Guard guys all around the world who descend from the heavens to save lives and protect the endangered.


    • Paul / Jan 26 2015 5:56 am

      Too long?


      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 26 2015 1:02 pm

        Of course not! Running behind as the German is visiting…and well, see today’s quick post shortly. Planning to catch up today with comments. Thanks for your patience.


        • Paul / Jan 26 2015 1:10 pm

          😀 Thanks!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 26 2015 2:21 pm

      It is lots of fun being located near a base. (No fair, my folks went to HAlifax and I didn’t even get a t shirt! It looks beautiful) All sorts of flyers show up. You could tell who was in town by what was landing. The Sea Kings were classics. Even kids can tell the type/brand from shapes and colors. (Wondering..if helicopters were people, would drones be annoying gnats?)
      You win. Helicopter towed down the street. Loved that! (Would write more, but the dogs are helicoptering in the dining room….) Thanks for towing a flighty comment this way


  5. bulldog / Jan 23 2015 8:43 pm

    Great post and love the helli… would love to own one…, then I could sell it snd put the money in the bank


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2015 2:41 pm

      Helicopters are pretty, but they are probably more expensive to keep in gear than a kid in shoes. Maybe another hobby…Thanks for whirling by to chat


  6. susielindau / Jan 23 2015 8:46 pm

    I’ll never forget when we were battling flooding our governor said, “Thank God for the Coast Guard.” He meant “National Guard.” Ha!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2015 2:43 pm

      Whew – when it’s flooding, the first thing people think of is helicopter me outta here. Poor guy. I’m with the “you knew what he meant” crowd on that one. Hope the knee is kickin’ better now! Always glad to have you stop by.


  7. Ally Bean / Jan 23 2015 10:21 pm

    What a fun thing to have happen across from an elementary school. Perfectly acceptable to be late for school when real life drops down in a parking lot, right on target, so to speak.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2015 2:47 pm

      “Right on target” How did I miss that one?
      Hope the school forgot the test prep drills and walked all those kids over there. Call it P.E.! Kids need to see the lessons available on the other side/outside the classroom doors. That one little boy was just thrilled..his dad, too. (Poor mom huddled in the car didn’t want her baby on camera with a messy face – it was obviously a rushed trip.) Thanks for parking a comment here

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Foghorn The IKonoclast / Jan 24 2015 12:22 am

    I was also in the Air Force and was a Weather Forecaster and loved it. Briefed a lot of Hueys.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 26 2015 1:54 pm

      Talk about serious combination of adrenaline rush and cold analysis: Air Force Weather forecaster. Not your average TV weather babble. Thanks for keeping our guys safe up out there. Glad you landed here a bit to chat

      Liked by 1 person

  9. PiedType / Jan 24 2015 12:48 am

    “It’s turning into a nice PR event for the Coast Guard.” Perhaps they should do it on purpose next time. And more often.

    Glad they had a nice open parking lot to set down in. Emergency chopper landings don’t always end happily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2015 2:52 pm

      “copters in trouble have very little time to find a safe spot. Scary.
      They do have air shows not far from here, but a helicopter in a parking lot? Much more fun (better if planned). That would make a good PR event. Thanks for gliding by to chat


  10. Robin / Jan 24 2015 1:14 pm

    How fun for the kids across the street! Looks like it was fun for you as well. 🙂 We see a lot of the Coast Guard here, too, and very much appreciate all that they do.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2015 2:55 pm

      How could any mom drive past a helicopter and not stop? Even without much coffee, it’s difficult to miss that red-orange paint…and the shopping cart corral.
      A good teacher could make a whole day of activities/lessons including all subjects with that one.
      Always fun stuff around here – you probably wave at them a lot, too. Thanks for parking here to chat


  11. jmmcdowell / Jan 28 2015 11:39 pm

    Glad to see they were able to land safely! And that it could turn into a fun and educational experience for the local kids (and young at heart).


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 29 2015 12:52 am

      It must have been a big pelican and they must have been flying pretty low. (If they were buzzing the Kemah boardwalk, I bet they got a stern talking to…The young hot shot NASA pilots used to buzz the neighborhoods and get called down for it)
      It was funny to see a ring of Target shopping carts fencing it off right at first. Coordinated colors!
      Thanks for flying in with a comment.


  12. Spinster / Jan 29 2015 3:42 pm

    Cute story. Rode one in college for a little less than 30 minutes. Fun times.

    As always, thanks for sharing


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 30 2015 11:59 pm

      We see so many different types of helicopters overhead from the medical, offshore crews, Air Force of all sizes and shapes, news copters, and the annoying real estate agents/private owner ones (there’s yacht with a landing pad not far away…). Such weird machines that really don’t look very flight worthy shaped. You are so lucky. Was it really loud – people always seem to have headphones on to communicate. Could you see down under your feet?(that would be so unsettling)
      Thanks for flying in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Spinster / Feb 2 2015 2:22 am

        Yes, saw the college campus and some of the city. Can’t remember how loud it was, but the view was nice.


  13. Kourtney Heintz / Jan 29 2015 6:03 pm

    Adorable story. Great PR for the coast guard. Love how the helicopter moms were rushing their kids there to see this. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2015 12:51 am

      Nothing is a educational as real life! Really funny is the Coast Guard actually had a PR event at another elementary school planned for this week. Target’s parking lot seagulls apparently are watching out for the neighborhood school’s kids. Glad you flew in for a whirl around the post


  14. pnwauthor / Feb 16 2015 6:47 pm

    My faith in humanity has plunged. I enjoy your humor though.


  15. noelleg44 / Feb 18 2015 5:08 pm

    Great that you thanked these guys and I loved the contrast of helicopter parents with a real helicopter. Those “birds” are very tricky to fly and also dangerous. My husband once took one to pick up a patient in Indiana who needed to get to Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago and flew through a snow storm and high winds (he is an MD). He had always wanted to take a trip in the rescue bird, but after this, no more!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 18 2015 5:38 pm

      Helicopters are scary – not like on tv. My husband had to take one on business – once was enough. The medivacs are good ones, but even their crews say “It’s more like a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ it will crash.” Thank goodness some are brave enough to fly them. (MDs in family here, too) Thanks for flying in with a comment



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