Adventuring

I don’t know why I feel the urge to do something adventurous when milestone birthdays come around. But sixty-five is here and I decided I wanted to get more out of it than Medicare. Ziplining was my choice and my husband joined me in the adventure recently while in the North Carolina mountains. Highlands Aerial Park was great but it wasn’t the big rush I expected—not like skydiving five years ago. I guess stepping out of an airplane at 14,500 feet was a bit more dangerous.  I wanted a real challenge. So I got a new tattoo. The tattoos on my back have been with me for years and since I can’t see them, I forget about them. I decided I wanted one I could see, one that would call something important to mind every time I looked at it. I...

Find my stories online!

You can find more of my stories on the following websites: www.howtopackforchurchcamp.com www.potatosoupjournal.com www.tacobellquarterly.org. (look under Essays) www.storyhouse.org

Honest Answers

I wrote the following five years ago but never posted it on my blog. It’s about time, I’d say, as I’m about to hit the age 65 milestone! And I DID jump out of that airplane! I have always measured my words carefully, thinking through everything I want to say before I open my mouth.  After all, I don’t want to be misunderstood and I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  Everyone knows that the “sticks and stones” rhyme is far from true; words hurt much more than a fist in the face. So, I’ve been surprised by my recent tendency to answer questions quickly, without forethought.   The first time came on a trip to Montana when my daughter’s in-laws asked what was on my bucket list.  Now, I’ve never...

The Non-Outdoorsman

He doesn’t much care for the outdoors, that husband of mine. His aversion is largely due to allergies, as he seems to have a negative response to any green, growing thing. Two hours of yard work will put him out of commission for the rest of the day while his head tries to sort out the histamines and congestion that have incapacitated him. Allergy meds help, but George is averse to taking pills of any kind. If he feels badly enough, though, he will occasionally take Allegra or Claritin. “I took drugs yesterday,” he said after an hour of spreading mulch, “and I felt so much better than I feel today.” “What does that tell you?” I said, in hopes he would acknowledge the benefit of using some help on a regular basis. “Bubble boy should not go outside.” Like I said,...

Perfect Couple, Imperfect Trail

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a place known as Graveyard Fields, so-called because of the moss-covered stumps of logged trees that resemble tombstones. The Pigeon River flows through the area, with waterfalls accessible by various trails. My husband, George, and I easily hiked to one waterfall and then attempted the much longer trek to one further upstream. The terrain appeared similar until we came upon a sharp drop-off that afforded no rocks or tree roots to use as footholds or handholds to help with the climb. I knew my knee’s torn cartilage couldn’t handle the impact of jumping to the lower level of the trail. “I don’t think I’d be able to get back up even if I could jump down there,” I said. “This is about a four-foot wall and I know my arms aren’t strong...

All-in-the-Family Perks

Seniors living with their children and grandchildren is something I never experienced, but it’s an alternative to moving older family members into an assisted living facility. The question, though, is whether it’s a good alternative. My husband had a glimpse of that life through his two friends, Bobby and Flynn, each of whom had grandparents living with them. “How did the grandparents spend their time?” I asked. “They watched soaps on TV, smoked cigarettes….” “Didn’t your friends do things with their grandparents?” George recalled that he and Flynn often took Flynn’s grandmother, Emma, to the store. “To get groceries?” “No,” he said. “To buy beer.” “Beer?” It took a few seconds before I understood and my jaw dropped. “She bought beer for you and Flynn because you...