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 1, 2014

June is busting out all over

Salad greens, beets and borage
Hey, it's already June! And here in the Pacific Northwest, especially up here close to the Canadian border, we have a spell of some very fine weather right now. No rain in the forecast for at least the next ten days (although that could change), which means I'll be watering my garden every evening during that time. Everything truly is busting out all over, including smiles and lots of exposed flesh around here.

Today I'll be traveling down to Skydive Snohomish to see if I can get a jump or two together with my old friends. It will be the first time we've gotten a chance this year. It seems that, although the weather has been fine during the week, the weekends have been wet and dreary. That, and the fact that my friend Linny was injured last year and finally feels ready to make another skydive, are the reasons I'm heading south. It was last August when she had a hard opening and suffered whiplash. It can happen, but hopefully all that is behind us and we can start fresh this year.

This year, my last year of skydiving. Yes, the more I roll that concept around in my mind, the more right it feels. But then a thought will pop up, that maybe I don't have to stop and could let it fall away more gradually. However, skydiving is one of those things that you really cannot do halfway and still be safe and stay current. Every winter I am anxious and nervous before the first few jumps of the season, and now it's been almost two months since my last skydive in southern California. I've got those same butterflies going on right now, and I will continue to feel that way until I've actually landed under my beautiful canopy. Then I can hardly wait to get packed up and go again.

However, the infirmities of my body make it harder and harder to get that canopy back into the bag and ready for another jump. I'll look for a packer to hire today, since I know I'll be much less tired at the end of the day if I do that. There are a couple of good ones at the Drop Zone if they are not already too busy. If I do end up having to pack for myself, I won't make many, that's for sure. But it will be wonderful to visit with my skydiving friends again, so I will be fine no matter what the day turns out to be.

My friend Judy is going to be spending the summer recovering from a fall. She was coming back this week from a visit to her family in the south, and while in the airport she fell on her right elbow and shattered it. Right now she's waiting for surgery and is in a great deal of pain. She loves her garden and won't be able to spend any time in it for the next few months, so I'm really wondering what I can do to cheer her up. She's got lots of friends and family to take care of her, but I sure would like to do something, which would make ME feel better. I've thought of maybe flowers or books, but nothing seems quite right. I'll think of something. She is having difficulty sleeping, since she cannot move her right arm (it's in a sling until the surgery). Maybe one of my blogging friends will think of something and make a comment that will solve my dilemma.

I threw my back out last Tuesday by making a thoughtless move in my exercise class. I should know better, but I keep forgetting that certain movements will cause my lower back, in the sciatic area, to pinch a nerve and then for a few days I can't use it properly. It always gets better, and there is only a little residual pain there today, but between my bum knee and my back, I can feel that stuffing my parachute into the bag will not be fun. It is interesting to me, though, that the adrenaline rush of skydiving and the shared experience with my friends can make me completely forget those little things while I'm involved in the activity. And then on the drive home I realize how tired and sore I really am. Hopefully that will be the situation today.

What else is on my mind? This coming Thursday we will once again be heading up into the High Country on our hikes. We might be turned back by snow earlier than we would like, but it should be beautiful with clear skies and views of my favorite mountains. Although I enjoy our lowland hikes during the winter and spring months, they just don't compare to the breathtaking vistas and forested trails that we get to experience in the summer. I remember when I first started going on these hikes five years ago. I was unable to imagine the level of enjoyment and camaraderie that would develop with my hiking friends. They are like family to me now, since we spend the entire day together, week after week; you get to know each other very well. And since I blog about our activities, they all tell me how much they enjoy the pictures and chronicle I keep of our adventures.

I can feel this post coming to an end, as my thoughts begin to move toward the day's events and what I still need to do to get ready to go. The sun is streaming in the windows, my tea is gone, and I can feel myself anxious to get out the door and down the road to Snohomish. Yes, the thrill is still there, nowhere near gone, when it comes to skydiving. I'll take every last little bit of it I can! Until next week, I bid you farewell, and I hope you find a wonderful activity (or two or three) that will remind you how wonderful it is to be alive!


Gigi said...

Poor Judy! My first instinct is to bring food; both goodies and a meal.

Have fun playing in the sky today.

Anonymous said...

You are a true friend. Friends like you are hard to find. Enjoy the sky dives, for they are soon to come to an end.

Rian said...

When my friend broke her hip a few years ago, I brought her the afghan I'd been working on (it was a small soft fluffy one that she could throw over her lap) as well as a basket of bread, soup, and cookies... and a funny card about the *interruptions in our lives*! You have a garden full of fresh green... I love fresh baby greens!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Soft landings! Poor Judy, I would probably take over some food, something that could be warmed and be a complete meal..and some fresh crusty bread! Comfort food:)

Linda Reeder said...

As I read this at 11:30, the cloud cover is still heavy here so I am really hoping it is clear in Snohomish.
How about taking Judy something lovely or delicious from the Farmer's market next Saturday, since it will be a while before she can get out.

Elephant's Child said...

Poor Judy. Food and comfort of course - but perhaps also a small potted plant to bring a little of the garden she loves indoors.
Have a great time playing in the skies.

Sally Wessely said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. That truly is a bummer. As far as gifts go, I think it is always the thought that counts. I know that sounds trite, but perhaps a basket with some your fresh produce in it (If she can fix food.), a book of crossword puzzles, a light novel or two, and a small pillow upon which to rest her arm. Or just the pillow would be great. When I broke my elbow, I had one of those small, crushable microbead pillows that I placed under my arm for support. It was a God send during the day, in the car, and even at night.

Sciatica pain is the worst! Keicha and I both have been suffering with it for week. Right now, I can barely walk. I'm going for an adjustment tomorrow. I hope you get to feeling better.

Red said...

The older we get the more fragile we become. However we still have to challenge ourselves because the option of no challenge is in no way desirable. Your garden is very advanced.

Linda Myers said...

I should have gone to Snohomish to watch you jump today!

Dee said...

Dear DJan, I hope your skydiving was a delight yesterday and that one of those two packers was available to do that for you. It's so good to listen to our bodies and to realize what we need to do to help ourselves continue to feel healthy and vigorous.

As to your friend Judy: if she really enjoys reading, the turning of pages may be difficult for her right now. So I'd suggest giving her an audio book. Fiction or nonfiction there are so many fine books and readers. I listen to a book as I walk and drive. Peace.

Friko said...

Another year when you will take the last jump?
A bit like the entertainers who aways do their final concert tour.

Be careful, DJan, although you love what you are doing it will take more and more out of you. Do what makes you happy but be aware of the pitfalls. (No pun intended.)

Your enthusiasm and happiness come off the page; it’s wonderful to read.
Still, take care.

Jackie said...

Your garden looks so beautiful; I know that you will enjoy the fruits of the harvest as well as you have enjoyed tending to it. Both are much fun to me!
I'm so sorry to hear about your back problem. Do take care of you...and take care of your back.
Regarding what you can do for your friend who fell and hurt her arm and who can't do the things she loves to do now, sending cards or letters to her...even though you may live close...(I always enjoy getting "real" mail) :)....sharing some of the bounties from your garden, or just ask her what would make her happy for you to do for her or with her. Chances are, she'll tell you! You are a kind soul, Jan. I'm so glad we met through blogging.

Rita said...

I hope all went well, you were able to hire a packer, and took lots of pictures. :)

I thought of food, too. Something she could just nuke and fix one-handed. Or weeding her garden some for her while she's laid up. Asking her if you can pick up anything for her at the store or go with her to help carry. Watching a movie with her at home--just spending time hanging out, you know?