I started flying in 1982, and then got married and ran out of money, time, and permission. Not necessarily in that order. I started again in 2004 in North Carolina, and while money was no longer a real problem, time was. It took me 22 months for my Private, but the point that I became discouraged was not when I lost my first CFI (who brought me nearly up to my solo, and left for a corporate flying job), but when my second CFI quit - as in quit instructing all together, to join a construction company. Up until that point, I was a passenger in my pilot journey, simply following the lead of the flight school. But instead of quitting, I specifically requested one particular CFI, Bruce, to help finish my ticket. Bruce was not building time in order to move on to something better (he owned his own non-aviation business) but was instructing for the love of flying. Of course we had to duplicate much of what I did with CFI #2, which was expensive and time consuming, but Bruce brought me to a much higher level of proficiency. I passed my checkride on December 7, 2005.