My neighbor Carol works late and odd hours, and she told me that when she gets home late at night she'll go out to the back porch and he will come when she calls. So he's quite a well socialized kitty. I've been told he's also been neutered, which is a good thing, considering the large number of feral cats around here. It should keep him from getting into cat fights. That's my hope, anyway.
The first day of spring will be this coming Thursday, with the Spring Equinox happening at 9:57am PDT. I know this because of one of my favorite websites, timeanddate.com, which I use fairly often when wanting to know something like the time of the equinox, or how many days there are between events, and other interesting tidbits. You might find it useful yourself. I'll be out hiking with my friends when the equinox occurs.
It's raining here right now, but the signs of spring are everywhere. We're accustomed to rain in this part of the country, and the temperatures have been on the mild side. I've been reading on my blogging family's sites that even in frigid Minnesota and North Dakota the temperatures (and snow levels) are moderating. As the days get longer and the nights shorter, as well as the rays of the sun become stronger, it's inevitable. Even though each season is only three months long, it sure does seem as though winter takes up more of the year than summer does. Maybe it's because during the summer months, we have the doors and windows open and we don't have to bundle up before going outside.
I'll be leaving for southern California in a little more than two weeks from now. I've been starting to plan for the trip, making shuttle reservations to the airport, getting my parachute down to the Drop Zone to have the reserve parachute repacked and inspected, renting a car and the like. I found out from my friend Gene at the coffee shop that Costco has a travel section and that I should be able to get a rental car at a cheaper rate. He was right! I saved myself almost $50 over the original price I was quoted through Orbitz, so that was a good move. This will not be a cheap vacation, but I figure since it's likely to be my last visit to Elsinore for a skydiving vacation, I won't worry about costs. My friend Frankie, with whom I shared expenses last year, is not going to attend, so I'll be paying for everything. I decided I didn't want to share a room with a stranger, even though last year meeting Frankie (who doesn't snore and was a perfect roommate) was a good experience. No sense pushing my luck.
I know many of my blogging family don't believe that I'm actually hanging up my skydiving gear, but it's true. I can feel it happening, and it's appropriate and even a bit of a relief. There's no doubt that skydiving is an extreme sport, and although going to places where I can skydive with my older peers is fun and exciting, everything needs to be allowed to fall away when the time comes. It's taken quite a few years for me to come to this place, and I've been skydiving for 24 years now. Starting when I was 47, I never would have believed I would STILL be indulging in this habit today. And it truly is an indulgence; when you are living on Social Security, you're not usually trying to figure how to eke out enough money for a skydive or two. That is part of what makes going to these Skydiving Over Sixty events so much fun: I realize that I'm not alone.
One of my blogging friends, Arkansas Patti over at The New Sixty, suggested when I wrote about all my recent health issues, that I'm in a period of "boils and sores," which we go through sometimes in life. It really resonated with me, after having lost my sister, caught a terrible cold, then developing a sinus infection and an infected finger. A period of difficulties, that's for sure. Now that I am on the upswing, I can see how tough the last six weeks has been. It also helps to see the days increase in length. The garden is beginning to call me, although the last nice day we had I was hiking in the woods with the Trailblazers. Today it will rain all day, so I won't be heading out there, but it's coming, I can feel it calling me.
Once I get my knees in the breeze, I might forget all about the garden. But I just don't think so. There's a shift happening within me, and it feels just right. I do hope that the weather is beginning to release its winter grip on your part of the country and that you are feeling that sense of spring renewal. And oh yes, don't forget to wear some green tomorrow, St. Patrick's Day!