Monday, October 24, 2011
I'm one of the lucky ones!!! My life has been filled with activity, adventure and some really great people! My younger years were filled with speed! I was brought up in my dad's "service center" where I learned a love of cars and motors. By the time I was 16 I was building hot rods and getting high on the power of V-8's (motors not drinks). I loved the roar of the modified power plants unrestricted by standard eshaust systems. I was into motorcycles - the feel of the wind rushing by unhelmeted head. (or maybe it was through my head as I now look back at it.) I slalom skiied at high speeds and was quick to take stupid dares. Although my friends were much like me, always looking for excitement, I want to mention that believe it or not, we were not into alcohol for our kicks. Simply didn't need it. Life was good!
Got married when I was 21 to the girl you all know as "Luv" and settled down some, but not much. We still loved adventure, but sought it out in different places. We were never idle! Got started on a lifetime of camping, hiking, and outdoor pleasures. We made new friends who too loved to play. Volleyball was a big deal to us at the time and we played almost every weekend at least 8 months out of the year and even built a volleyball court in our back yard which was used for volleyball parties on a regular basis. Life was good!
During this stage of our life, all of a sudden we found ourselves to be parents! Whoa! Wait a minute, we weren't mature enough yet for that role! But we learned how to play the parts. The boys grew up moving from being carried in backpacks and sitting in bike seats to carrying backpacks and racing down rocky mountain trails on their own bikes. Volleyball got to be a family sport with the teens vs. the dinosaurs and the dinosaurs were good! The calendar was scribbled so full of events that you could hardly read the dates: sporting events, musical events, drama and working out at the gym kept us all in a very hectic mode! Life was good!
And then....empty nest!!! How did that happen? Our kids were grown up and we still weren't! So we filled the newly formed gaps in our calendar with travel and yet more adventures. When we got home from school on Fridays our pop-up camper was already hooked up to our vehicle that was already loaded with all of our gear and we were off for the weekend. Destination - all over the place - wherever there were festivals, or trails or moving water. Oh! ...and by this time we had taken on the new challenge of country dancing that we literally jumped into with both feet! In fact we got so fanatical about it that it became our part-time job! We taught beginner line-dancing at campgrounds all over PA! We had a blast! Life was good!
Suddenly, we're retired! Again, how did that happen? We still haven't matured! It's a whole new era, but the calendar is still full just about every day. Many of the activites are the same: hiking, biking, kayaking, etc. but today we have the freedom of traveling wherever and whenever we decide to do it. So instead of kayaking just in PA streams all of a sudden we find ourselves doing it in places like Kauai and Alaska! Wow! Who would have thought. And making new friends has become an even bigger adventure by forming friendships from all over the world on the internet and then actually traveling to them and sharing real life adventures with them. Life is good!
(Now for the really BIG "Life is Good" - these two immature fun seekers somehow became GRANDPARENTS! Just how amazing is that!!! Two granddaughters and three grandsons from 9 months old to 8 years old! Everyone beautiful and everyone amazing! It seems like Luv and I are always babysitting and we love it. Our house is again cluttered with a house made out of a cardboard box, kid size chairs, a rocking horse in the living room that was actually mine when I was a toddler (imagine that). There's artwork on the refrigerator and pictures hanging everywhere! Again I find myself with a kid in a backback and it might even feel greater this time. All of them have already been introduced to a love of the out of doors! I am almost overwhelmed by the experience of them. Life is amazing!
Along with the passage of time came new activities. A big one in our life I already mentioned - our country dancing. But there have been many many more. Both of us have learned many new skills. Luv has become a very talented and creative quilter. I learned a lot of new skills by assisting a carpenter in building my garage w/ 2nd floor wood shop and also building a large addition on our little house. (totally new experiences for a teacher of 35 years!) I've learned that I love to work in my woodshop, something I never had the opportunity to do for the first 56 years of my life. ....and now recently, I have learned that I really enjoy singing!!! I had done the teenage thing of being in a rock band, but we weren't very good (BIG understatement) and I never considered myself as to having any real aptitude for the activity. Then somehow about a year ago, we got talked into joining the church choir and for the first time in my life I find that not only can I sing in harmony, I love doing it. Just like speed (fast things, not drugs) made me high back when I was a teen, I have now learned that singing brings out that same great feeling! (BTW, I still like fast things! LOL) So, you know, I've still got to say: Life is good!