Saturday, April 11, 2009

Emotional mad dash to the finish... er, starting line

I've been a bit lax about writing.  There are so many emotions wrapped up in this experience that it's hard to sum them all up in a blog post. Excitement, disbelieve, stress, doubt. We've been keeping ourselves busy arranging pet- and house-sitters, last minute purchases at REI (while the discount still applies!!), giving notice at work and coordinating insurances - lots of to-do lists.  

Sometimes we lose sight of the big picture and bicker under the stress of leaving our home, leaving our jobs, leaving our family and real lives.  I just try to remind myself that all these "things" and beloved people will be here when we get back.  We have set our sights on an amazing experience.  Yeah, it's scary, but it's now or never.  And like my mother says, just take each task as it comes.  Today it's pet food and resupply boxes, tomorrow it's rattlesnakes and desert climbs.

Amid the whirlwind of preparations, we're also finding time for some fun.  There are lots of people that we'll miss over the coming months so we're spending as much time as possible with friends and family.  A couple weeks ago we went to visit my Aunt Patrice and Uncle Jim.  They were in good spirits and consummate hosts, per usual.  

We also squeezed in a little adventure while in western Mass.  Since quitting your job in a sour economy isn't exciting enough, we went SKYDIVING!!!  This was a surprise outing I'd planned for Chris's birthday last summer.  Bad weather foiled those plans but we happened to find ourselves nearby on a perfectly clear early spring day so we used our rain check.  Peter and Keith at Jumptown in Orange, MA took good care of us on our first ever tandem jumps from a plane.  

Talk about surreal.  It doesn't feel like you're plummeting towards certain death after you take that first step out of the plane at 13K feet. Rather, I was mostly concerned with keeping my back arched and catching my breath.  Chris, meanwhile, was trying to keep his breakfast down. When we landed next to the airstrip my tandem guide said, "Whoa, looks like Chris isn't feeling so well."  Indeed, he was ashen.  But we're both excited to jump again for Adrienne's 30th birthday next year!!  And during that jump, we'll be wiser and have 2,650 miles under our belts!

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