I'm never going to joke about skydiving again.

I have always admitted, when topics invariably turned to high adventure dares and wouldyou, couldyou, shouldyou, that I have never had an urge to skydive because not only is the prospect of leaping out an aircraft to almost certain death (law of attraction + law of probabilities = me being strapped to faulty shoot) an extremely undesirable activity, but more to the point, remaining in what most insiders consider to be some of the least functional aircraft on the planet (ie. those owned or leased by skydiving outfits) seemed to me like asking for death's hand in marriage.

And a recent local tragedy confirms as much.

Every time I read of such news, I feel an overwhelming urge to want to lock my children up and never let them out to experience and live life. I fear premature death of my children above all else. It is surely the worst kind of anguish.

Samuel Johnson once noted that "to neglect at any time preparation for death, is to sleep on our post at a siege." Which is a pretty way of saying that most of us are like the sleepwalking dead. We have half-assed and meaningless communications. We forget and/or neglect to say and show I love you to those who mean the most to us. And we put up those all important someday dreams for...you guessed it, one fine day which may never come.

If you had a crystal ball premonition that you would die in six months, what would you do? Nothing? Everything? We would all do well to live life with terminal illness urgency, in six month chunks, if only because such intensity would illuminate and pervade each and every waking moment as something universally precious and miraculous.

The long and short of it is that life is short so we must seize the day and make it sweet. Yes, it's that age old carpe diem thing again. Did you know that carpe actually means to "pluck, gather, harvest," which is a much more interesting way to look at plundering and robbing the 24 hours before us. Pluck the day while she is ripe....like a robber bride in a runaway carriage. I suspect Christina may be tempted to now add this lovely little simile to her bad analogy list. But if the shoe fits, it must be your sole mate. Or something like that.

So in the spirit of running off with the day, we're stealing away tomorrow to go hibernate (translation: sloth) in a cozy cabin at a nearby State Park. We have been extremely guilty of allowing this insane school year and weekend sports schedule dictate time or lack thereof, to us. This is akin to breaking the first of terminal living commandments. " Thou shalt not let menial life schedules run your life." Easier said that done on the home and economics front. But come on, what are the kids more likely to remember - that one Thursday soccer practice or a fall mountain getaway weekend?

Speaking of remembering fall mountain getaway weekends, Holy Son was assigned the task of recalling a vivid childhood memory for his Humanities class this week. He chose an illness narrative near and dear to his temporal lobes about a time he got sick during a trip to the Lake Louise Hostel in 2002.

The funny part of the weekend was that one night when my parents were preparing dinner for me, my Mom was trying to feed me two pieces of sausages. I said to her, ‘’no’’ but she made me eat them anyways. Then I said, “I feel sick’’ but my parents didn’t believe me. Then I said, ‘’I’m going to puke’’ and my dad quickly rushed me to the bathroom. Right when we got into the bathroom, I started to blow chunks everywhere but the bad part was that no puke went into the toilet. After I blew chunks everywhere I left the room going to tell my Mom what happened and my Dad had to clean it up. My Dad said after he cleaned it up that the puke was on the ground, walls, mirror, and the sink, that I plugged with the large chunks. After throwing up I felt so energized, asking for food, running around with my head cut off and bugging my Mom to play games that were upstairs in the loft. This is a vivid memory I will never forget because of the hard
work my Dad put in to clean the bathroom and the amount of puke I sprayed all over the place. I never knew that one person could throw up so much and in short period of time. I sure felt better and now know how to spell relief, P-U-K-E.

Ahh yes, it's all fun and games until someone loses their dinner. Anyways, we're very excited about the getaway, how ever brief it will prove to be, and hope to be able to finally get to Leavenworth for a daytrip. I vaguely recall that Holy Hubby and drove through the Cascades enroute to Seattle 15 years ago and being amazed by the scenery but my memory is sketchy.

If I had six months to live, the bulk of those six months would be spent in various mountainous regions. We four Schmidt of no fixed and permanent address heart mountains. It's why we identify so acutely with mountain literature and lore, it's why hubby is a climber (albeit lapsed climber), and it's why we've sought out so many mountain holidays in our travels. From the Canadian Rockies to the Swiss Alps to Milford Sound to the Karakorum, Himalayas and Hindu Kush ranges, there ain't no mountain high enough in our books that aptly measures how much mountains fuel our collective souls.

It's enough to make me want to break into song a la Julie Andrews with acute laryngitis. Climb ev'ry mountain, ford every stream. I so adore the Sound of Music, the bestest, most wonderful movie of all-time. If I had six months to live, I would loudly and lewdly sing Sound of Music songs in public more often, and I would take leisurely boat rides on alpine lakes, even, err especially if it meant being harmoniously sandwiched in das boat with seven Von Trapp kidlets.

Did you hear about that guy, Dufus, who, rumour has it, moonlights as the switchboard operator for the elite School for the Gifted? Is moxie a genetic trait, I wonder?

We have that same bill. I've attached it to my dream poster. Someday I'll spend it. Maybe on the penultimate day of my demise. Which is not to be confused with the ultimate day of hubby's demise. That is the day he gets his long-promised Beef Wellington.

We have a thing going - it started right around our first anniversary - where I ask him what he wants for dinner and he replies Beef Wellington. Fast forward eighteen years and yes Virginia, still no beef wellington. I finally 'fessed up to him that I've never prepared his much-coveted dinner because I'm planning to do so on the day he kicks the divine bucket. Someday, I promise. He ever so pragmatically noted that we may not necessarily have advanced notice for this auspicious occasion. There he'd be in his final unsuspecting moments, flashbacking through life and reflecting on all those missed Beef Wellington moments, before flash forwarding through the tunnel. And his final query would be, where's the beef?

Perhaps all good cows go to heaven.

Speaking of dead cows, we did our annual gajillion things we're thankful for tradition during Thanksgiving (Cdn) dinner on Monday. We all write out a bunch of things on little slips of paper, chuck them in a basket and then pass the basket during dinner so we can each take turns reading them aloud. One of the funniest was Holy Hubby's "I'm thankful for dead cow." We were all speechless for a second - it was a very mooving moment.

Anyhoo, back to the laughtrack. I was considering surprising Holy Daughter with tickets to the upcoming Hannah Montana concert, which coincides with the week of her birthday, but it's reputedly sold out. Further thoughts on that here. Anyways, been there, done that, lived to blog about it last year. The things we do for love.

Like this dog, for instance. Isn't that sweet? Most of us might think so. But this apparently isn't, or so claims Facebook. It's laughable actually, that something so fundamentally natural has been deemed so culturally objectionable.

Anyways, those are my stories this wet Seattle Wednesday and I'm schticking to them. It's time to go carpe some fruit off this day's branch.


Mud Duck said...
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Becca said...

Seize the day and live it to its fullest because we sure aren't guaranteed another, that has always been my motto. And you captured it so well.

Hey, we are going to be in the Sea-Tac area from 11/9-11/11 at the Raddison and sightseeing. Want to get together and finally do the meet and greet with the fat chick and the bearded one? :-) Email me...yeah that still works!

The Beast Mom said...

Sure, that analogy fits my list. ;)

I don't know what I would do exactly w/ 6 mos left to live. I just saw a friend's mother for probably the last time this side of heaven. She's not likely to be around by Christmas. She gave me a parting gift knowing this was her last trip to WA (she lives in IL). Along with the crystal snowflake pin she gave me, she wrote me a card that said this: "Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening, and live everyday of your life as if it were your last."

You've probably read/heard that sort of saying before, but this time for me, even the cliches cut to the core.

It's a very sobering thing to know it's the last time you'll see someone and be able to know that ahead of time.


Lynn said...

Being one of those people living on borrowed time, past my Death Toll already, I try to just savor every bit of life I have. I am grateful more than most people, I've noticed. I laugh at a lot more...more people, more things, more situations, myself. I see the beautiful in the commonplace that I've noticed so few others do. I've learned that it's such a waste to be petty, to be judgemental, to not be open, to refuse to love or learn as much as possible.
With each new pain or illness I get, I am further reminded that I don't know when my time may come...just like everyone else in this world. We each may only have six months left to live...or six days-the lucky are told so they can make the most of those long 180 days and make peace, love and joy. The rest of us walk along in oblivion, choosing to figure out on our own how to live out our lives, no matter how long or short they may be.

SAAM said...

We should all live as if we won't be here in 6 months but sometimes life gets in the way of the stuff we should do. So I hope your weekend get away was a good one. The 'blowing chucks' story was funny and I hope the HolySon didn't have another experience like that!!
My mother lost 2 children (before I was born) on the same day and, says my older brothers and sister, was never the same again, obviously. I make sure I hug my child and tell her I love her every day!!! No one knows what is coming.

Jorge said...

This is a theme I can relate to, spending much of my working day with people whose fate is discovering that life as they know it changes in an instant. By the time the news of an incurable disease is delivered, time for other choices has often run out. We all do well to live our lives ever mindful of its ephemeral nature. Be well,

Jorge said...

Thanks for the concern. Fortunately, we're OK (for now)but I've had two close friends who had to evacuate, and one whose house was severly damaged by the flames. So sad that many of these fires were started by arson! Be well,

Jungle Mama said...

Holy, So sorry I have not written you back but they turned off our internet unexpectedly this month and we have just gotten a new provider. I have not read the post, the first line got me thinking too much and I don't have time for that kind of stuff with all I have to catch up on. ha! As for the cake, I like your multi level cake idea. The first thing that came to my mind was a tiered cake in black with red roses and some thin white lines as a design (cornelli lace or even some paisley with a few dots here and there). Thing about using black icing is that you need a whole bottle of the icing coloring to actually turn it black. Not that it's bad, I'm just warning you before you start dipping toothpick per toothpick into your icing for over a half hour ;) I promise to get back to you more soon. If you'd like I might be able to come up with some more ideas as well and maybe find your some pictures as well. Let me know what you decide and if you'd like some tips.