Tag Archives: mountains
The Big Six-Oh!
As of 5:10am on Sunday, November 20th, I am officially sixty years old. Wow. How the heck did that happen?😮 Mentally, I’m still around twenty-five. Yes, my sons are in their thirties, but that doesn’t seem to have an impact on my mental age. Aging is one of those things that, until now, hasn’t really impacted me.
Kenn turned sixty in August. One day recently, he stopped and asked “Are you having a hard time with turning sixty?” I had to give the question some thought. The best answer I could come up with was “Maybe a little bit.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not huddled in a darkened room binging on Ding Dongs and baking shows, but turning sixty has been… thought provoking. Kenn said it was a little harder for him too – not necessarily his own age but the realization that our oldest son will be forty in a few short years. (My brain and fingers insist it should be spelled “fourty”.) Oddly enough, it was a similar situation for me in that it wasn’t my own age that was a bit of an eye opener. I’m the baby of my family; my sisters are nine and ten years older. In September of 2021, while we were on our road trip up the East coast, my oldest sister had a stroke. I was shocked to realize that she was only six months shy of turning seventy. Whoa. Before I know it, I’ll be the one turning seventy. (Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, as my Grandmama used to say.)
A couple of months ago, Kenn asked what I wanted to do for my birthday. My answer was immediate: I wanted to take the camper to Amicalola Falls State Park for the weekend. I was long overdue for a soul recharge in the mountains. Being the good hubby that he is, Kenn had gone online and made reservations before we finished our conversation. The trip was wonderful and relaxing, just what I needed. We did a little hiking and a lot of being lazy. We even caught part of a raptor show at the Lodge.
Due to the temperatures (forties in the day, twenties at night), we weren’t allowed to keep the “city water” connected to the camper full time. Instead, we had to put water in our fresh water tank for use at night. (We have tank heaters to keep the water from freezing.) However, this was when we discovered that something wasn’t working right. Instead of a steady stream of water from the fresh water tank, we only got spits and spurts. In addition to being frustrating, it gave us a problem that we needed to figure out before we take the camper to the Asheville, NC area for New Year’s. Kenn informed me last night that the problem has been resolved. (Yay!) Fortunately, it was something relatively simple; one of the valves was in “winterize” mode. Once he switched the valve, everything started working correctly. Whew!
So, how well are you dealing with aging?
Here We Go A Fossiling
Given a choice between the mountains and the beach I’ll choose the mountains every time. There’s just something about the mountains that makes my heart happy and fills my soul with peace. I love the scenery, the wildlife and, even during the hottest times of the year, the mountains usually bring at least a slight relief from the heat. (Summer in the South is frequently like living in a sauna.) However, the beach is Kenn’s happy place. He and his family spent a week at the beach every summer and the memories of those times still hold a special place in his heart. Over the years we’ve each learned to appreciate the other’s favorite.
I’ll admit, it took me a while to learn how to enjoy the beach. The two biggest hurdles for me were 1) I can’t swim and 2) I’m a redhead; I practically burst into flames in the sun. (We won’t get into my irrational fear of sharks.) For years, most of our trips to the beach consisted of me coating myself in sunscreen and sitting in the shade watching Kenn and our boys cavort in the surf while I silently counted the days and hours until we could leave. Eventually, I learned that even a non-swimmer can have fun wave-surfing on a boogie board. (Aside from one trip to the ER when a rogue wave slammed my foot into the ground. Fortunately, my toe wasn’t broken; I just had a lovely purple toe/foot for a few days.)
But, the thing that truly taught me to appreciate the beach are fossils. I love getting out and scouring the shoreline for shark’s teeth and other fossils. Over the years I’ve found hundreds of shark’s teeth and met another fossil hunter who helped me identity other items as fossilized sting ray barbs and puffer fish mouth plates. When the time comes for me to shuffle off this mortal coil my boys will have to decide what to do with all of the baggies filled with my beach finds. (I hope they’ll do more than just toss them in the trash.) Fossil hunting in the Peace River in Florida is on my bucket list.
Now I just need to figure out how to spend more than three days at the beach without being ready to lose my mind from boredom. (Not even fossil hunting has been enough to change that.)
Until next time, happy trails!