Ok so what a day, they put the harness on you and say lets go. You get on the plane and climb to 13,000 feet. It takes 15 minutes to get there. As we approach that altitude the instruct comes up behind you and starts hooking you to his harness pulling it tighter and tighter and I mean tight. Then you slid down the bench seat along the side of the plane until you reach the open door. He pulls and tugs on the straps again and it gets tight. He cries out put your toes on the rail. The rail is the door edge. You look out and you see nothing. I mean nothing but the wide open sky. Your mind goes, “ummm this ain’t right” and everything in you is like “don’t, you will fall.’ He then says to you arc back from your hips up and when we go bring your feet back. Kick me in the ass is the term he used. Before I can say “Ok” we are out the door falling. He starts spinning me around and I start to get nauseas and I wave no more. He stops. We fall from 13,000 to 5,000 in one minute, that was ONE MINUTE. That is approximately 120 mph. He then throws out the chute and you come to …….. what I would call an abrupt halt. It wasn’t real hard but quick. He again starts to swirl and again I wave him off. He stops. I asked where is the wife because everyone is at a lower altitude. He points to the right and he says, ” do you want to catch them? We have to swirl.” I say, “Let’s do it.”
We descend very quickly. At one point I thought the envelope of the chute collapsed. Ten minutes later we are on the ground sliding on our asses. Oh man! my head was spinning. He said it was the adrenaline.
They discovered each other on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon in mid-August and met every night there after for three weeks straight. They gathered at the same restaurant each time. He would get there around 5 and wait for her in the parking lot. When she arrived they would walk in together, him holding the door open for her. The host greeted them and asked, “Your usual table.” They turn to look at each other and smile. He turns back to the host, “Sit us at a different table, thank you.” They talk all night long about everything, no small talk but subject of life past and present. They knew in each of their hearts that something special is happening. She would sit across the table for most of the dates playing the age old game of “footsies”. Then eventually they would sit side by side for the intimacy and the easy of hearing each word that is spoken.
The voice of the host can be heard over their conversation at the end of the evening, “OK, you know you two can stay while we cleanup but you will have to go so we can lockup. It’s 12 o’clock again.” Every night it’s the same, they talk until midnight. Their conversations blend together effortlessly.
He raises out of the booth and reaches for her jacket on the other side of the table as she moves out. He holds up the jacket as she slips her arm in and then the other. They walk to the door. He pushes it open for her and follows her out. There is more conversation as they reach her car.
“Again tomorrow?” he looks at her.
I tripped and fell the other day. I awoke from a restful sleep in need of the facilities. I dressed myself all the way down to my socks and shoes. I looked over at my glasses and thought I don’t need those. I can see distance perfectly fine. I grabbed my jacket and keys, opened the door to the truck and stepped out. No I didn’t fall from the truck though there are two steps that must be taken to get to the ground four feet below the interior floor of the truck. It was when I stepped up to the curb walking to the back of the trailer. At about twelve inches the curb was built higher than a standard curb. I caught the right tip of my shoe just enough to make me lose my balance. I regained control of my foot in seconds and continued with the foot only to step on a large round river rock. Unfortunately the rock was not stable enough and down I started. The first point of contact was the right knee, then the right hand, ouch, then the left hand. I wish this could have been the end of this event but no it is not. When my left hand touched ground my head continued. As my head came closer to the rock the proverbial statement this is going to hurt went through my mind. It did.
I recovered and dusted myself off and went about my business. That was five days ago and all the wounds have healed over including the one on the bridge of my nose between my eyes. Note to self-learn to raise your feet.
Place yourself in the drivers seat of your favorite vehicle. It is rolling on a long stretch of Interstate I 40 in the state of Arizona. It’s early morning. You reach with the help of the dashboard lights to set your cruise control. The only illumination of the darkness outside are the headlights of your vehicle. With them on you can see the road but everything surrounding the road is obscured. The dark sky blends into landscape, there is little to look at but the roadway. The sun has yet to rise. You look to the clock on the dash, “six o’clock.” You think to yourself, the sun doesn’t fully rise until seven. Turning your eyes back to the windshield, “Damn it’s dark.” Wait what is that? There is a faint blue line creating a horizon. It is not a straight horizontal line but jagged like teeth on a saw, not uniform. As the minutes pass you look higher into the dark as the light from the sun hits the clouds changing from the blue to a yellowish orange color. You now notice that the sky is filled with streaks of clouds. They are not puffy clouds but more of a streak across the sky. Like you stuck your fingers in paint and touched the sky on the left and dragged them to the right lifting them as you go until it comes to a point. The colors become more rich and vivid now as if the sky is on fire. Just then the glow of the sun reaches over the top of the mountains. You look back at the clock and it reads seven.
My wake up alarm this morning is the sounds of metallic tools hitting the ground. I raise up out of bed and rub my eyes. I throw my legs over the side of the bed and pull open the blinds on the window. I glance out the window with my eyes wide open because of the limited light to see what the noise is about. There is two Hispanic gentlemen dressed in dark blue slack, lighter blue shirts and brown full brim straw hats standing next to golf cart filled with supplies and tools. I watch as the shorter one reaches for a garden fork. It is pitched to the ground. The other taller man surveys the lawn, steps off the width then the length. He hesitates presumably to figure the square footage of the yard before he turns to tell the other his answer. He then turns and walks to the cart. The shorter one tosses bags to the ground from the cart counting, “Uno, dos, tres …..” The taller one reaches the cart in time to throw the tenth one to the ground.
My phone rings and I reach for it taking notice of the time. It reads 6:17. The groundkeepers start their day early. Here in the desert valley the temp still reaches mid 90’s so I image they will beat the heat and quit early.
I answer the phone with a, “Good mor…..” the automated voice stops me in mid word. It is Direct Access telling me my cards is locked down and to transfer the call to security by pushing one. It sounds suspicious. I have not actively used the card in a year or more. I end the call and a quick search finds there is an alert out for account holders.
Returning to the activity outside my window I see the lawn sprinkler running and the men returning the tools to the cart. So the day begins and I have a few projects of my own.
Today is the celebration of the first meeting of a lady I dearly love. This day may have more meaning to me than even the day of our wedding day because had it not been for that great day there would not have been a wedding. She is a very caring and motiving person. Her spontaneity keeps things ever so exciting.
I remember telling her, “I wished I had meet you long ago.”
“Don’t worry we will make up for it starting now.”
We have been on a great adventure and enjoy every corner, every hill and valley, and every stop in between.
I want to exercise. I want to stretch. I want to reach up to the left and then over to the right. To twist at my waist to look to see what is behind me. Then return to face forward to see that there is so much to see, so much to do. To ascend 800 feet above your starting point in a mile and a half walk to the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park Utah. Where you hear your successors returning to the bottom giving words of encouragement, “Keep going it is around the corner and it is worth it.” Is this trivial in comparison to a climb to the summit of Mount Hood in Washington State. Maybe make that climb to watch the sunset with the Arch in the foreground then to descend a vaguely mark trail that is lit only by the stars in the heavens and a flashlight in your hand. What if you make this just one episode in a series of events? To expand your reach. After the one experience move to another. There doesn’t have to be a progression to it. You can reach for the sky and then down to the earth. Cross training should be in your mind as to not focus one any more than the other.