|Ward, Linda, Karen, Carol, Diane, me, Peggy (Al's photo)|
I spent Tuesday at the hotel just resting up from my exertions, and I discovered the hotel had a laundry I could use. It was nice to be able to wash all my clothes before packing them for my return trip. Everything was covered with a fine layer of dust. Although my landings were much better than I experienced last October, I still had grit on my clothes and sand between my toes. And it was so hot! That last night I went out to dinner with my friends, new and old, and when we parted, I wished them all well in the larger formation record attempts they were beginning the next morning. The SOS record is sixty, and as of this morning they have still not broken that record. Today is the last day they have to try. I can barely imagine how tired they all must be; they have made four attempts daily to join up 72 skydivers for the last four days. Each time something happened to keep them from the record.
For me, I only made 11 skydives and I was very tired. I've got my fingers crossed that they will make it today. But for me, I'm happy to be here, picking up the threads of my own life. I arrived home Wednesday evening after a day of travel, and the next morning I drove to the Senior Center to join my friends for a hike up to Oyster Dome. Although this is a hard hike, 11 of us were up for the challenge. It was simply wonderful to be back with my friends again. Al took that picture of us as we basked in the sunshine at Lily Lake. You can see from the way we are dressed that it wasn't warm, but that sun felt just wonderful. I was just happy to be getting back into my old routine.
Yesterday was another sunny day, with the temperature getting up to 60 deg F (15 C). A light jacket was all I needed to be very comfortable as I joined 18 other women for our early morning walk. I couldn't help but smile and grin as we kept a brisk pace; we walked more than five miles and then sat around the coffee shop and visited. Peggy and Linda (from the Senior Trailblazers) got me started with this group, and they were both there yesterday, too.
Afterwards I went off to Joe's Garden to buy some starts and seeds for my garden. It was packed with like-minded gardeners as I perused what was available. I bought garlic starts, since I didn't have any planted. They will be available to eat in midsummer. Also broccoli, beets, mint (for the community garden), and two kinds of lettuce. I also bought purple carrot seeds. They will go into the ground today, another sunny day. The weather here right now could not be better, but the rain will return Tuesday, which should be perfect for my garden.
Do I sound contented? Well, I am; I wake every morning with a smile on my face, glad to be home and enjoying the natural air conditioning of the Pacific Northwest. I guess I'm a bit like a flower that thrives in cool conditions. When the plane took off from southern California, I looked down at the brown landscape and the smog over Los Angeles. In a few short hours, Seattle appeared as we descended through fluffy white clouds, and I saw the incredible green of my home, with the sparkling water of Puget Sound in sharp contrast to the dry desert I had left behind.
Yes, this is where I belong, where I am thriving and enjoying life to the fullest. It's nice to visit other places just to come back home and appreciate the natural beauty of this area. The only reason everyone is not flocking to this area relates to the long wet, dreary winters. If it were not for them, however, I couldn't afford to live here. And so far, I seem to have adapted; I don't suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), but I do find it difficult to go hiking in the rain, week after week. But then the days begin to lengthen and the sun returns to remind me why I love it here.
This very minute, as I sit here with my laptop and tea, the sky is beginning to lighten. As we move towards late June, the morning light will be coming through my window before I awake and the birds will start their morning sounds very early indeed. Right now they are all seeking for mates; the chickadee's two-note call, the white-crown sparrow's magnificent song, and the robin's unmistakeable trill. Together they make a symphony of birdsong that adds to my enjoyment, not to mention to attract someone to make babies with.
I would be remiss if I didn't also add the enjoyment of being back with my partner, who had prepared my favorite foods in abundance for my return home. Not one steamed veggie did I find while traveling, and now I have had three days of them to remind me of how much I need them for my own health. Life is good. I am sending out my sense of contentment to you, my dear blogging friends, and sharing it with you, until we meet again next week.