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Gratitude – Day 3

Today Barry and I celebrate 5 years as Californians, which officially makes California the place I’ve called home the longest since my family left Kansas for Florida when I was in college.

Similar to yesterday’s post, reflecting on where I was during various parts of my life, inspired by On This Day on Facebook, this image brings up a lot of emotions for me.

The most obvious of which is total elation about being in California. We pulled up to the skydiving center around 1:45-2:00 PM after 2-3 days of me saying “MOUNTAINS” every five minutes during the drive. We sat on the picnic table by the water fountain for a bit, by ourselves, just taking in the sights. We didn’t know anyone yet except for the owners.

I remember sitting there, dreaming of all the awesome shit we were going to do there. The possibilities were literally endless, as we had just reached what a lot of people would consider a “retirement DZ” – somewhere where they jump year-round, which means you don’t have to go looking for winter work. All we had was what would fit in my car. We didn’t have a place to live lined up yet. We hadn’t checked into a hotel.

It was the beginning of a new chapter.

And while there was a lot of awesome stuff and tragic stuff that would happen in the years that follow that moment, this picture reminds me of pure joy and hope and excitement for what was to come. And for that, I am immensely grateful.

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