|Mt. Baker behind me last Thursday|
And then while I was fixing my breakfast, I realized why I had so much time: I had forgotten, again, to write my Sunday morning post on this blog. So once I got my breakfast started, I came out here to my trusty iMac to write this. The title comes from pondering the three things on my mind this morning: how much longer will I be able to skydive? How much longer will my knees hold out so I can hike in these beautiful places? And lastly, how much longer should I keep going with this Eye on the Edge blog?
I'll take them in order: this year I will turn seventy. Smart Guy has already hung up his equipment, which could be taken out and used again if the need surfaced (which it probably won't, given his age, his shoulders, and the age of his skydiving gear). But it could! And I am still driving down to Snohomish to play in the air now and then, as the summer season has just begun. At least this year I will continue to skydive, and if I want to make a jump as a septuagenarian I will need to make a few jumps next spring, since my December birthday will come and go without much chance here in the Pacific Northwest. So that is up in the air, so to speak. Time will tell.
I went on the same hike twice with the Seniors last week, once on Monday and once on Thursday. Al wanted to check out the condition of the snow to see if it was suitable for the larger group. He sent out an email inviting anyone who might want to join him last Monday. I went, although this week he's suggested something similar and I'll probably just go on the Thursday hike rather than make a second excursion. That's not because I wouldn't enjoy it, but because the wear and tear on my body means I feel the aches and pains far more than I like to admit. Of course, I'm not alone in this, since I hike with people around my age, but I have also noticed that in the more than three years I've been hiking with them, many people aren't going out with us any more, mostly because of infirmities such as bad knees and difficulty with the altitude and snow. I know that sometime in the future I might have to start going on the slower, easier hikes that the second group at the Senior Center offers. In the meantime, I really like being able to keep up with the tough guys.
The final "how much longer" is much more difficult to contemplate. I usually don't even begin to think about what I might write here until the night before, when I reflect on what would be interesting to me and to my readers. My readership is continuing to grow, without me even trying, and I get such amazingly insightful comments that I can't begin to express my gratitude... so I will continue here, with fits and starts, some good, some just filling the space, and sometimes, writing one on the fly, like this one today.
My mind has turned toward the day's activities, and I have certain rituals that I follow on a day when I'm going to skydive. Check my gear, make sure everything is in order, gas the car, stop at the coffee shop for a latte to keep me company on the drive south. It's a marvelous beautiful sunny day, and we haven't had one of those for awhile. Almost all of June was weathered out on the weekends, and I only made two jumps at the beginning of the month, nothing since. So there's the butterflies that I get every time when I've had a layoff of any sort. Dealing with those, practicing my emergency procedures (should I need them) so that they are fresh in my mind; it takes up plenty of my brain cells just making sure everything is as good as I can make it.
Then when I get there, my friend Linny takes over and makes decisions about what we will do in the air, what load we will get on, and all my fears recede into the background. Right now my life is more than full; it's overflowing with activity and excitement. I guess I will figure out "how much longer" one day at a time.