|Last year's tulip display|
One really wonderful byproduct of writing this blog is being able to go back a few years and find out what things were like back then. I wish I had some way to go back even deeper into the past, but this sort of thing, a blog, didn't even exist a few decades ago. I kept a handwritten journal during the 1980s, 13 volumes which sit on my bookshelf. I will open one occasionally at random and read about what my life was like then. I have even posted a few excerpts on here, but mostly I try to live in the present, not the past or the future. I'm pretty happy with my life right now.
Last Sunday after I wrote in here, I packed up my skydiving gear and headed down to Snohomish to meet my friend Christy. We were both in danger of losing our currency, since we are required to make a skydive at least once every six months or we have to go through a lengthy renewal process, not to mention an expensive one, at our local Drop Zone. So we went up, after checking our gear carefully, and made a wonderful skydive together. It wasn't even all that cold, and it felt great to be in freefall again, and to feel my parachute open perfectly over my head. We landed right back where we started, both tiptoe landings, just perfect, happy and excited. Smiles all around, and then we took our parachutes inside to pack them up again. While I was doing that, I managed to tweak my back and realized that I probably shouldn't make another one. We had accomplished our goal anyway, so I drove back home and have spent the entire week feeling that pulled muscle.
Today my back is completely back to normal, and nothing is hurting anywhere, but I'll stay home and enjoy the first day since my travel to Turkey without having anything planned. My garden beckons, and I might go out and see how it's fared during the winter months. I haven't visited it for quite awhile. But then again, I might go for a walk in the sunshine and take pictures of the burgeoning spring. It's nice to have so many options.
Yesterday, my niece Allison (Norma Jean's daughter) gave birth to her second daughter. I wrote about Lexie, her first child, in an August 2010 post. Lexie is now four, going on five, and hopefully will be a help to her mother as she recovers from another C section. Allison is a very strong woman, and I think it won't be any time at all before she's back at work and managing her very hectic life with her two daughters. Allison is unmarried and has conceived both children through IVF (in-vitro fertilization). At first I was skeptical of the wisdom of this procedure, but in the subsequent years since Lexie was born, I've changed my mind completely. A baby is a blessing that is not to be missed, and each one of us is unique, no matter how we come into this world.
Allison didn't have nearly as easy a time of it this time, however. She was in labor for 32 hours before finally having a C section. Alicia Jean Stewart is 9 lbs 4 oz (more than 4 kilos!) and 20.5 inches long. In other words, a bruiser, in more ways than one. That's almost twice what Lexie weighed when she was born. Norma Jean is there, having traveled from Florida to take care of Lexie and help to maintain her schedule. I'm just glad it's all over and now the excitement of having a new baby will predominate, instead of the anxiety and trauma of the birth process. Welcome, little Alicia!
Today also marks the day in 1961 when I was first married. I always think of that every year when March rolls around. How long ago that was: fifty-four years, to be exact. I've met people who were born around that time who are now old, more than half a century old. My son Chris, had he lived, would now be over fifty. I guess there are at least a couple ways to contemplate this day: one, be thankful for all the years and decades of abundant life I've received; or two, be regretful about how few days and years are left to me.
No, there are many other ways to think about March 1, 2015. It's the day that a new life begins in my family, and it's the marker of yet another trip the earth makes around the sun. The beginning of a new season, and a time to think of enjoying the beauty of the tulips springing up out of the ground, and of contemplating what delightful vegetables to plant in my garden this year. Maybe today I'll head out to the garden shop and think of what I'd like to be harvesting out of my garden in July.
Whatever you decide to do today, I hope that you might stop for a minute and think about all the blessings you have in your life. You are one of mine, you know, and I hope I never forget to thank my readers and commenters for your presence in my own life. Until we meet again next Sunday, I wish you all health and happiness.