jumping, fun and shifting tides

When I ran for conditioning as a teenager, I chose the part of town where it was “garbage day” so I could jump the trash cans lining the streets. I seized the opportunity to spilt the surly bonds of earth and learned to fly in college. I moved to Colorado to be a ski bum. In less than a year, I could barely ski a run without launching off all the rocks and ramps I could find. In the summers I learned to ride mountain bikes, and shortly I found myself airborne off earthen berms and over downed trees. Even on a road bike I hop over the cattle grates, leaving Sandi far behind as he slows down to bump his way over them.

 

It seems that my penchant for jumping is hereditary. As Sandi and I fought to stay upright and paddle our kayaks in a straight line, my sister Ginni gathered speed to “jump” logs lying across the slough. Ramp the bow up until her weight is right over the log, then lean forward and slide smoothly into the water on the far side. With enough momentum, it looks like a jump. With not enough, one spends significant time and effort looking like a weeble-wobble, swaying forward and back, coaxing the kayak over less than gracefully!

 

Sandi and I visited Ginni and David at their farmhouse on the island across the Columbia River from Cathlamet, Washington. We spread 16 tons of gravel to more useful locations than a huge pile on the driveway. We grilled mounds of scrumptious grub on their Hibachi. We tried our hands at two-person juggling. We readied our first-aid expertise as David juggled knives. We took pictures of Ginni’s flock of baby chicks in their cozy coup. We trucked the kayaks across the street to the slough and paddled the long way to the Columbia past floating houses and long-ago beached barges buried in wild flowers.

 

It was a great trip, filled with laughter and fun. But it was more than a month ago, and since then we’ve discovered that we’ll move yet again and have no idea where to or when but probably before 2007. We’ve decided to get me off active duty and into the Reserves to maximize our time together. And finally, we lost a puppy when she climbed out the barely-open window and got hit by another car. It’s taken some time, but we’ve grown attached to our new pound puppy, Chili, with her multitude of nick-names (Fatty, Birth Defect – for her parrot-mouth, Bag-o-dog, Chunky Monkey…) and she keeps Triscuit happy with her boundless playfulness. 

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