I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, June 6, 2010


This picture was taken a few years ago in Eloy, Arizona, over the Christmas holidays. We are both in it, Smart Guy and me, in the far left corner. I'm in purple and he's in white behind me. It's not so different from what we did yesterday (although the size of our formation was much smaller) when we went down to Snohomish and made three jumps. It was in the car as we were coming home that we had one of our conversations.

"How were your openings today?"

"Pretty good, except I think I opened in a track once and got whacked."

"Mine were all great, but I had closed end cells every time."

"That happens to me, it's almost expected with a Stiletto."

"The wind got strong enough that I had to cut my downwind leg short so I wouldn't get caught over the buildings, and then I was long on my final. But I even landed in the peas once."

"I saw that. I've been setting up to the north and starting my final a little higher, but you're right, it does make it hard to keep from overshooting."

"Remind me to clean my cutaway cables when we get home, okay?"

"Sure. Good idea."

"It was a great day today, huh? I always feel so satisfied after a jumping day like today."

"Yup. Me too."

This is not your usual senior citizen conversation after spending a day together. I don't know how long we will be able to keep on doing this, but it's been twenty years now (for me, he's been jumping for 47 years) and we're both still going strong. I feel like life is really good when I've had a chance to play in the sky over Puget Sound, opening my beautiful Stiletto parachute and taking a look at the ocean, the clouds, the mountains peeking through like ice cream. My life is good, and I'm happy to take a moment to say thanks.


TechnoBabe said...

I showed this conversation with my hubby. You and your husband are truly an inspiration to the rest of us. I am just a few years behind you and we live our little quiet life. You amaze me!!

The Retired One said...

Sure sounds like heaven! You have a good life, my friend~!

Jo said...




You are my hero. I wish I had the guts you have. You amaze me...!

I haven't had time to visit my favorite bloggers lately, *sigh* and every time I visit you, you are doing something wonderful.

Grandma Nina said...

If I didn't see the parachute picture first I would have no idea what you guys were talking about. I hope you get to keep doing this for at least the next 20 years. And here I sit on my butt!

Whitney Lee said...

This is really nice. The trajectory of this blog has been really interesting. You covered your past, with all it pain and regrets, and moved into the present and giving thanks.

I'm heartened to see that aging doesn't mean cessation of one's passions. This is very uplifting.

Linda Reeder said...

I love the fact that everything has it's own lingo. I only sorta' followed yours. Wasn't yesterday just the perfect day!

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

We have conversations like this, only with different topics. You have a great relationship too my friend and the fact that you share a passion like we do, is awesome!
Tell me... What would stop you from sky diving and who is the oldest skydiver in the world?
Another forty and the names will be Smart Guy and Djan!

CrazyCris said...

Taken out of context that is a very surreal conversation! :p

I'm sure you'll keep enjoying this activity for as long as possible... don't stop until there's really no alternative!!! ;o)

Star said...

I think we all need a thrill in our lives and you certainly have thrills in your D-Jan. It's lovely to hear you talk about your sky diving and what it means to you. To have a hobby you can share with your man must be very rewarding as well.
Blessings, Star

gigihawaii said...

LOL. My idea of a good time is spending time with hubby, but it is usually on land. We did flew in a helicopter over Na Pali on Kauai a few years ago (besides flying to foreign countries), but nothing like sky diving. David might be willing to go, but I am too chicken!

Amy said...

Jan, I just came over from your other blog. Wow! When I was in my twenties, I had many friends who skydived. I could never get the courage up, and I haven't really regretted it. But I admire you and your husband greatly for pursuing a sport you love!

Dianne said...

that photo is wonderful
I can only imagine what that feels like
keep on keeping on :)

Elisabeth said...

You are a braver soul than me, DJan. Pleased to meet you. I'm new to your blog, from Australia.