I turned 40 today. Had a great weekend celebration. On Saturday, a friend offered to make me a fancy birthday brunch – anything with croissants, fruit, and whipped cream is good. Hung out and we went to a bunch of garage sales – it was so fun. It happened to be one of those days where I found stuff I’ve been wanting to buy for awhile – a tea tray, port glasses, sake cups, and a few other odds and ends.
Saturday night I went to out with a group to the Free House. I had friends from multiple spheres show up – friends I met at work, friends from my previous work, and friends I’ve known forever. It was pretty awesome, I had a great time. Stayed up really late. For me, having a get together where people show up means so much to me. That’s what I want, good times with friends. It makes me so happy to have an evening with people I care about – and the ones who consistently show up are the ones who will never know how much it really means to me. It makes me tear up, to be honest–because at my heart, I’m a bit of sap. But it’s a good thing to love your friends. 🙂 I LOVE MY FRIENDS.
On Sunday, I checked my email and there was last-minute invite to go whitewater kayaking with some friends. Since I’ve never done it before, I had to take advantage of the opportunity. So at 9:00 am we headed up to the central part of the state to the Red River. We got up there about three hours later, it was me and a couple of experienced guides. This has been on my bucket list for awhile.
However, within the first half hour, I had a really bad scare. I had been reckless and hadn’t adequately practiced my wet exits – I flipped and panicked. I got a brief, horrifying glimpse of how incredibly easy (and terrifying fast!) it is to drown upside down in a mere three feet of water, because I struggled with getting my swim skirt off. Total rookie mistake. As I was going down and yet resisting the inevitable, one of the guys helped out and managed to get that off. It was over probably pretty quickly and I found myself standing by the capsized kayak in the river, shuddering and taking big gulps of air as water poured out of my nose. My vision was blurry at first – my contacts had moved around a bit – but they reset. But the worst thing was that we were already downstream – the only way out was to continue through.
Much like having to drive a car immediately after being in an accident, I found myself not being able to get completely get over it, because I was still in it. I think I did okay, and the river was very beautiful. There were many placid spots where we would pinwheel down the river in slow turns. I got to see a river otter on a rock with a fat crawfish in his mouth, a bald eagle at fairly close range, and a variety of dragonflies. But every time we got to a rock or a drop, I found it hard remain calm – I was fairly terrified of tipping over again. Of course, I probably should have done it in a safe place, but I just didn’t feel up to it. So next time, I will have to practice deliberately tipping upside down and ripping the swim skirt off. It’s the only thing that keeps you in the kayak, you slip right out otherwise.
After three or four hours of paddling, we stopped at Zeimer’s Falls and one of the guys went on to get the truck – I was pretty much done. I have no regrets, but I was really tired by the end of the day, so glad I got a ride back and didn’t have to drive myself. It was probably good to get for me to get a little bitch slap from Mother Nature. Always respect yo mama.