Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hmmmm... thinks I better get over Writer's Block posthaste!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jump 51

I used to be a avid skydiver. Back before I had a husband and children, my passion was indeed jumping out perfectly good airplanes. Though I do love land activities, I will admit to often missing the feeling of flying.

I recently came across my old log book where I diligently tracked the details of every jump. I took the plunge 157 times. This is a mere drop in the bucket compared to my friends with wings who literally jumped thousands of times.

My log book is hard to decipher. It seems I spoke a different language as a skydiver. I read entries that said, "Launched a round. Rotating molars - 4 points! Yee-haw!" and, "Meat Missile! Wahoo!" While those cause me to search in the furthest reaches of my memory to remember what I possible meant, I also read entries that brought me right back to the moment. Jump 107 detailed, "Adrenaline rush! Opened at 4000'. Could see for miles! Very alert. Very intense. Very fun." This was my first night jump. I remember that intense feeling of jumping into blackness. My senses were on hyper-alert.

And, then, there was Jump 51. The infamous jump. The log simply states, "Good jump - bad landing. To the ER." I will preface this with saying that most skydiving accidents are skydiver error. I am no exception. My gear worked perfectly. I, however, malfunctioned. At an elevation where I should have been committed to my landing, I second guessed myself and drastically changed my landing pattern.

I remember the seconds before impact. I clearly thought, "This is going to hurt." And hurt it did. With the wind to my back instead of my face I hit the ground at approximately 25 miles per hour. I remember having my hands out in front of me while weeds whacked my face as I dug a shallow trench in the landing field. Once the motion stopped, I literally jump to my feet and shouted, "I'm alive!" This was immediately followed by my bending over in utter agony.

I was told that I would forget the pain of childbirth. I have to say, nope. Not so much. The pain I felt on that day - June 6, 1994 - was also one that stays with me. I think I recall it because it still nags me. My pregnancies and stress have found me gripping my back and breathing in some gorilla form of Lamaze.

After the "stumble," a friend took me to the ER where we were told to wait amongst people feeling a tad under-the-weather and kids with runny noses. After over an hour of impossible pain, which was not relived by sitting or standing, I approached the triage nurse.

"Please," I implored. "How much longer is my wait?" My words came out in gasping bits.

The nurse, looking bored beyond comprehension, replied, "Well, it will be awhile. Tell me, how would you describe your pain."

I looked at her and chopped out, "Excruciating!"

I don't know whether she sensed the truth in my voice or feared I was about to come unraveled, but moments later I found myself laying on a gurney getting x-rays. After the x-rays, I lay on that gurney curled up as the doctors talked in hushed tones. A woman came by sweeping the area. She looked at me and said, "Hold on." She came back with a pillow and a nurse with a vial of the good stuff. I thanked that woman profusely before I floated into the clouds on a psychedelic journey.

After that, my biggest concern was that the paramedics who came to transfer me to a larger hospital were not attractive. Weren't all paramedics attractive? I may have voiced this out loud. Whether I did or not, I found I wasn't concerned that I had fractured my back. I wasn't concerned that I had come dangerously close to severing my spinal column. I rattled off the number to my parents' location. They were out of town for the worries!

The next few days was spent in the hospital followed by numerous doctor appointments. I was fitted with a brace that fit pretty well under my clothes. And, I was on the mend. I saw a neurologist because of the location and nature of my injury. He warned me to never skydive again. Three months later, I sent him an 8x10 glossy of my first jump after the accident with a note thanking him for helping me keep my wings.

I hung up my wings a couple years later. I felt a nagging that I couldn't shake. I decided to try something on land and signed up for a marathon. Since then, running has been my passion. But, I still look up at night and know I once flew the skies with creatures just like me. That gregarious bunch always had my back and will forever have my friendship.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The "Grabbing"

Though we became engaged about five months after we met, my dear hubs and I initially began our courtship on a cautiously optimistic tone. We had both be a previous companions and were in no mood for games or nonsense. Still, we did the things that only those who date seem to have the stamina to do. We would talk into the very wee hours of the morning and, then somehow, I would get myself to work by 7:30 each day.

I remember one particular evening. My now hubs had come over to my house and we had dinner and watched a couple of movies. And then...amazingly...he kissed me. I had been waiting for that kiss! So now, in addition to our long talks we added the kissing element (remember when you could kiss for hours!?!?). As our evening progressed, I looked at the clock and was shocked that it was 4:30 a.m. I had scheduled a run with my friends and was supposed to meet them in an hour. I remember sternly looking at my now hubs and saying, "I have to try to get some sleep before I run. You can stay and nap with me but we are just napping! No funny business!"

Soon, we were snoozing on top of the covers as far apart as my full-sized mattress would allow. No one was more surprised than me when I awoke to find my hand firmly planted on my dear hubs nether region. I gasped! I remained motionless. Was he awake? Why on Earth had I grabbed him? How long had I been holding onto, It? I listened. He was breathing steady. Maybe he was still asleep. Gingerly, I released my grasp and quickly move my hand back to my side of the bed. I lay there, horrified, until the alarm sounded and I hastily made my way out the door.

Neither of us spoke about the "grabbing" until after we had been married for a couple of years.

"Hey, remember that one night, when I said you could nap with me before a run?" I had asked.

"Oh, yea. The night you grabbed me?" he laughed.

I was surprised to learn that he had been awake. I asked him what he had thought when it happened.

"At first I was excited, then I realized you were asleep. Then I got nervous. I was sweating cause I didn't know what to do, " he said. Then he added, "Mostly, I was surprised."

Well, I am certain he has been surprised many other times that I am unaware of. I don't think I have grabbed him in my sleep anymore. I have woken myself up petting his head but everything stays above the waistline. Perhaps to my hubs dismay, that is as frisky as I seem to get in my sleep these days.

Monday, July 6, 2009


It was my turn to put Miss Ellie to bed last night. After her two stories she looked at me and said, "I want my daddy!"

I replied, "Well, you get me. Tomorrow is Daddy's night to put you to bed."

She huffed and said, "Fine!"

I decided to lay down with her for a bit so I stretched out on my side next to her. My mistake.

Fuming she hollered, "Don't look at me!"

"OK!" I responded. But, before I could look away she shrieked, "Fine! I am just going to go under here and pick my nose!" And, with that, she flung her blanket over her head.

I didn't want to check to see if she was actually picking her nose because if I did she would surely see me trying desperately hard not to laugh at her!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

We huffed...

...and we puffed! And we bleeeew the candles out!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tomorrow is the big 3-6!

So, tomorrow I tack on another year. Unbelievable! My life has taken many twists and turns to arrive at this very point in time. I can be pensive and reflect on my journey, but instead I find myself immensely enjoying the sound of my dear hubs and children attempting to bake a cake. This is my hubby's first cake baking experience. And, lucky for him, it seems our almost five-year-old is the Grand Pooba of cake baking. Not only is our son barking commands, but our daughter is parroting him. So everything is echoed. I am sure my husband is exasperated, but from where I am sitting it is highly amusing.

I hear the click of glass, the whirl of the mixer (which I am surprised they located), the opening of the oven door, and the arguing of siblings. My son is detailing the next steps to my hubby. It seems there will be lots of sprinkles involved in this masterpiece. I can't wait to taste this cake which has been made with copious amounts of love. I am sure Betty Crocker will come through for my kitchen full of big-hearted bakers.