Happy Friday! Happy weekend! We have had a little relief from the heat. It was only in the 90’s this week as opposed to the 100’s the week before. Break out the sweaters!!
Corny has been bugging me about learning to fly. I tried to explain to him that one must have wings to fly. He told me about the people dressed in green who he meets in the sky all the time. It took me a minute before I figured out what he was talking about. Ooooh! He meant soldiers parachuting at Ft. Bragg. I asked him if he had happened to notice the big puffy pieces of cloth above their heads. He responded that yes, he had noticed, but he had already figured out what they were. Even though I knew that they were parachutes, I couldn’t resist asking him to enlighten me. Corny seemed very proud that he knew something that I did not. I couldn’t wait to hear this!!! He patiently explained to silly me that they were sun shades to make sure the skydivers didn’t get too hot or sunburned. He told me that being that much higher and closer to the sun might hurt the delicate human skin. They weren’t protected with feathers like birds.
It took a lot of effort to stifle my laughter, but I told him that his theory made sense. I told him that the pieces of cloth also served to catch the wind to slow the person down so they could land easier (and not break any bones) and help them steer where they wanted to go. Corny thought that sounded plausible. He then suggested I should get a parachute so I could fly. I told him I could get a parachute, but I would also need a plane to take me high up in the sky so I could jump out of it. Unfortunately, he knew of a small airport about a half hour away that had little planes that people jump out of all the time. Being the plucky feline that I am, I would never back down from a new adventure. I agreed to try skydiving.
I was not going to do this by myself, so I recruited several of my bravest friends to accompany me into the clear blue yonder. Bobbi said she would try it if she could bring Skippy and Hammy along. I told her the more the merrier! Cali, Dot and Vuvuzela surprised me by saying they thought it sounded like fun. I figured it would be nice to include one of my new ferret friends, and Jibbers jumped at the chance to skydive. Then there was Malcolm. He wanted to know what food was involved. I told him it didn’t matter to me if he came along or not. I was not going to ply him with food. He seemed disappointed but didn’t want to be left out of a trip that might involve passing a KFC. He mumbled something about us needing him to keep us out of trouble so he might as well tag along – I don’t think those were his words exactly, but I’m too much of a lady to say what I think I heard him say!!
I tippy tapped the Raeford airport and let them know that a party of nine would be coming to skydive the next day. They tippy tapped back and said they were looking forward to meeting us. They had seen me perform at the Dogwood Festival and were visitors to my website. Oooh! Fans! Now I know how Sandra Bullock must feel!
Our brave team assembled in our front yard at the crack of dawn and we all piled into my brother’s car for the trip to the Raeford airport. The car was pretty quiet – I think some of us were having second thoughts. I know I was. Corny greeted us at the airport and showed us some of the airplanes. We knew which one was going to be our plane!
The nice folks at the airport showed us around and answered all our questions. We had to take a class before we could board the plane so we all sat quietly while we waited for the instructor. All except Malcolm, that is. He was getting hungry and grouchy. Tristan agreed to drive back to town and find a KFC. Before the class was over, he returned with several buckets of chicken. He thought we all might enjoy a snack since we skipped breakfast. Most of us were too nervous to eat, which left lots of chicken for Malcolm. He was in heaven.
When we were sufficiently educated in the art of skydiving, we put on our jump gear and headed for the plane. I tried to tell Malcolm to leave the leftover chicken behind, but he thought the trip into the sky would take a long time and he would get hungry again. I didn’t know how he could think of food at a time like this. It was much too exciting!!
The plane taxied down the runway, getting faster and faster. It was a small plane so it shook and rattled as we sped up to takeoff speed. Just as I was beginning to think something must be wrong – whoooosh! The plane smoothly lifted into the air. We all sighed aaaaaaaah at once. We climbed higher and higher until we leveled off at a gazzilion feet (or so it seemed – actually it was around 13,000) We peeked out the window and couldn’t believe the view. Everything looked so different from up here!!
Then it was time to start jumping out of the plane. It goes against every logical bone in one’s body, but I was determined to see this through. Each critter wanted someone else to go first and we just went around and around about it. Finally, Jibbers had had enough and scurried to the door. He looked back at us, smiled and jumped out!
Wow! What a brave ferret! We all peered out the door to see him waving and laughing as he fell through the air. Now we all wanted to do it. One by one we jumped out of the plane – Geronimoooooooooooooooooooooo! We all loved it. Everyone was smiling and waving to each other.
Surprisingly, there was no sensation of falling, more like floating – and very windy!!! Our little tails were just flapping around. We had no control over them! It was such a cool sensation that I didn’t want to end.
Then I noticed Malcolm wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I looked back at the plane in time to see Malcolm and all his chicken come flying out the door of the plane. I was hoping I wouldn’t get hit with a piece of chicken once I hit the ground!
Our instructor, who jumped with us, signaled us to open our parachutes. It seemed like only a minute since we had left the plane, but I didn’t want to become a large splat on the ground. We all pulled our ripcords and braced for the slowing of our fall. We must have been a sight; nine of us floating in the sky. Now all we had to do is have a safe landing and we would have done it. After being so high up and having so far to fall, the ground seemed to suddenly come up fast! But our excellent instructor had us prepared and we all made nice controlled, gentle landings.
As the instructor went around helping us gather our parachutes we were all chattering with excitement: Did you see me? Did you see that? Wasn’t that cool? We were high fiving each other and just grinning with satisfaction. Well, most of us were. Malcolm was frantically running around with an empty KFC bucket trying to find the chicken that had gone flying out the plane door with him. He was not pleased. “Wasn’t that a blast Malcom?” I gushed and slapped him on the back. Even in his agitated state, he couldn’t help but let a smile creep onto his face. “Yes, that was cool,” he said in the clearest voice in which I have ever heard him speak.
Poor Tristan had to listen to our stories all the way home. Each one wanted to tell him what they did and saw. He was very nice and tried to act interested in what we were saying. I’m sure he was relieved when we finally arrived home.
I invited everyone back to the deck for a beverage before calling it a day. We thanked Corny for encouraging us to try flying. We all decided he was very lucky to be able to do that whenever he wanted. I am so glad we weren’t afraid to try something new!
Hope you have a great weekend! Go out and try something new – even if it seems scary. Especially if it seems scary!
Love & licks,