Sunday, August 2, 2015
This past Saturday was the day I decided to cross one more thing off of my bucket list: Sky diving.
It was one crazy experience, but I'm glad I did it. So, let me tell you what it's like, because pictures and videos only tell half the story.
The plane itself is no big deal. You get in a harness and board the thing. There are two benches that go along the length of the plane (at least on the plane I was on). You straddle the bench, and face the back of the plane, next to your instructor and photographer. Then the plane takes off. It's very loud! At 1500 feet, they open the doors of the plane to get "air conditioning," because it gets really stuffy. Before they do that, the instructor hooks you to himself. At 14,000 feet, it's jump time. You scoot down the bench, squat down, and walk to the edge of the open door. Then you wait. The jump master says, "Ready?"
You say, "Ready!"
Then it's one, two, and you're out the door!
Oh, yeah. I forgot to tell you how cold it was up there. Freezing! And did I mention how loud it was? It gets even louder when the wind rushes past you!
I wasn't nervous at all, stooping by the doorway. It seemed like a pretty normal thing to jump out of a plane. But when you go out. Whoa! It takes a second for your brain to figure out what just happened. But it's only a second. Once you figure out that you have to arch your back, look up, and kick your legs up, you're fine. That's when you orient yourself as to which way is up.
My first comment would be how much air is blowing against your face and body. Cold air! You can't look down, because all that cold air rushing up will make it impossible to breathe. You must look up, which isn't a problem when you have a photographer pointing a video camera in your face. Did I mention how fast you're going? Over 100 miles an hour! At that point, you don't even have time to think about how nice the view is. You're just wondering what the heck you just did!
When you're stabilized, you can do tricks. My instructor wanted to know if I got dizzy easily. I didn't think so, so we agreed to test that theory - by spinning in circles. I linked hands with the photographer, and went around a couple of times. Then he let go, and I went around and around and around, all while going down at a hundred miles an hour.
But then came the part I didn't like. Parachute deployment. I would have been quite happy to free fall all the way down. (Until maybe I splatted on the ground.) When the parachute is deployed, it's a major jolt to your body. You are yanked from a horizontal position, to a vertical position, and rocketed upward. That's when my harness hurt. Maybe for guys this isn't so bad, but for a woman? Ouch!
After the parachute deploys, it gets quiet, and things slow down. You can talk to your instructor, which is exactly what I did. Except, I was feeling quite nauseated. I'm not sure if it was the spinning, or the falling, the harness, the tight goggles, or the fact that I was very hungry and thirsty (I had waited four hours to do the jump.), or a combination of all of it, but I thought for sure I was going to vomit when I was 2000 feet above the ground.
I wish I had been a little more comfortable at that point, because the view was really beautiful. My instructor asked if I wanted to steer the parachute. I would've if I wasn't feeling like I was going to completely lose my insides. I wanted to get on solid ground, and get that darn harness off of me! (The instructor did loosen it, but it was still uncomfortable.)
The landing was easy. Usually, you have to stick your legs in front of you, and you land on your bottom. We came in slow enough, that I was able to land on my feet.
When I landed, I was praying I wouldn't throw up. I looked like I was about to in the video, but thankfully, it all stayed inside.
Would I do it again? Yes. It was an awesome (I know - I said "awesome" way too many times in the video. Just deal with it.) experience, and I'm glad I did it. If I do it again, I hope I feel a little better so I can enjoy it even more.
If you'd like to watch an unedited version of the video, here it is.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
What's going on in my teenage daughter's head is a desire to own more pets. "Mom," she said. "My friend has a pet hedgehog."
"That's nice," I said.
She put her iPhone in front of my face. "Here's a picture of it puking up peas. It's so cute. Can I get one?"
I gave her one of my sideways looks. "No."
"What about a pocket pet? I've always wanted one of those."
"What's a pocket pet?" I asked.
"Those things we saw at the mall. They look like flying squirrels."
"No. Absolutely no flying squirrels!"
She must've figured she wasn't going to get any new adorable fur balls, so she stopped the discussion.
Later, my family and I stopped at a restaurant called Cracker Barrel. It's one of those places that has a gift shop inside. When we were about to leave, my husband said he had to do something and he'd meet us at the car. I figured that meant a trip to the restroom.
We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, I went back in to see if he had gotten lost. I found him. He had just finished checking out, and he had a package under his arm.
"What's that?" I asked.
He handed it to me. I looked inside.
It was our new pet. A pig. Her name is Petunia. And she's very nice. She even walks and wiggles her nose. The good news is, she doesn't fly or puke up peas. I think we'll keep her.
Monday, July 27, 2015
It started innocently enough. My husband was sitting on the sofa with a Nerf gun tucked under his leg. He figured nobody would see it. And they didn't.
When the group of ten-year-old boys came up behind him, ready to shoot, he gave them the shock of their lives. He grabbed his weapon, stood up, whipped around, and fired. All in one motion.
Let's just say, the boys didn't stick around long. They scattered, howling from the stings of the Nerf bullets, and retreated to safer ground.
My husband let out an evil laugh and shouted, "Beware of the Pain Train!"
Right. Especially one with military training!
Friday, July 24, 2015
I took a look at it. Sure enough, there was a substantial hole in the stuffed dog's neck. Lots of cotton stuffing was popping out. "I think I might be able to help."
I grabbed my special medical kit which contains assorted thread, needles, and scissors. Then I went to work. In about five minutes, I had the gaping wound all stitched up. I handed it back to my son.
He looked at it. "Wow," he said. "I can't even tell where the hole was. You're a pretty good stuffed animal doctor!"
(It's amazing what mamas can do!)
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Before I begin my story, I wanted to let you know about a new book that will be released in a few weeks. It's called, Hot Pink in the City, and it's by my blogger friend, Medeia Sharif. I've read a few of her books. They're very good - ones that would appeal to Young Adult readers. She's a very talented, hard-working writer.
I'm sure this book will be excellent, too!
Now for the story:
I was putting my son's clothes away last night. When I opened his sock drawer, I saw something very strange. A toasted bagel.
"Bubba," I called. "Why is there a bagel in your drawer?"
He came in and looked at it. "I don't know how that got there."
"You don't know how it got there?" I asked. "Well, dude, it didn't just walk in there. And how many times have I told you not to bring food into your bedroom? You're going to end up with ants in your pants!"
He made a face.
"What were you trying to do?" I asked.
"I was cleaning up. You always tell me to put things in my drawers, so I was doing it just like you said!"
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
"Mama, I want a piñata, six Nerf guns, silly string, party hats, balloons, and lots of cake, ice cream, and candy."
"Bubba, don't you think that's a little extravagant?" I asked.
He shook his head. "No. It's a double digit party. You only get eight in your lifetime. I'll only have seven more after this. It has to be special!"
"Oh," I said. "Well, I'm going to have a double digit birthday, too. Can I be extravagant?"
"Sure, Mama. What are you going to get?"
"A ticket to jump out of an airplane."
He looked at me like I was crazy. "Really?"
"Yep. Because I have only four more double digit birthdays left. I'm half-way done with them, so I'm going to make this one special!"
(Yes, ladies and gentlemen, yours truly is going to jump out of an airplane in less than two weeks. It's going to be awesome!)
Thursday, July 16, 2015
I bet you can't guess what happened. Yes. The downdraft from the helicopter caused my papers to fly off the table.
"Bubba!" I said. "Get that thing out of here!"
He laughed while I scrambled to get everything back in order. Once everything was in place, I took a deep breath and resumed my work.
Five minutes later, the boy was back. I anchored everything down, because I knew what was coming. Sure enough, Mister Annoying Pilot maneuvered his air craft above my work space. Without looking up, I reached and grabbed that thing right out of the sky.
I looked over at my boy. He was clearly in shock.
"Have you ever heard of King Kong?" I asked.
He nodded. "The giant ape that knocks airplanes out of the sky?"
"Yep," I said. "Guess what?"
He shrugged. "What?"
"I'm Mama Kong. And this helicopter is now out of commission!"