Now that I've reached the Age of Wisdom & Social Security Checks, I periodically look back at life to assess its top 10 events. I'm grateful that it's not an easy task. But I've just experienced another event in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico that made the list, & I'm so excited about it, I had to write. Since I'm all about my new passion in life, jewelry making, one might think the new entry in my top 10 relates to that. NO! I'm reserving "jewelry-making" as number 10 for some milestone lightning-bolt achievement, like creating something so very special that I love it just as much 3 years after creation OR Nordstrom decides to sell my jewelry OR a very exclusive "juried" craft show picks me as a vendor. Of course, I must first find the courage & confidence to ask for their consideration! Hopefully, one day...
I've had a good life filled with a wide variety of passions, so the Top 10 includes a surprising assortment. Here's my list in chronological order, NOT in order of importance to me --
1. Winning a 6 wk cruise for 2 from New Orleans (hometown) on a cargo ship, across the Gulf of Mexico, through the Panama Canal, and down the west coast of So. America, almost to the southern-most tip of Chile. As a 16 yr. old with no money who thought a trip to Mississippi was a big deal, this was HUGE!
2. Marrying GZ, my unique, opinionated, exasperating, lovable, & gentle husband of almost 39 years.
3. Giving birth to our daughter, my greatest accomplishment, my pride & joy.
4. Experiencing killer whales -- unexpected, up close & personal, in the misty silence of dawn on glassy calm waters of Puget Sound. The loud & profound sounds this huge pod made very close to our little boat as they plunged back into the water from repeated full-body leaps or spewed gallons of water from their blow holes still give me chills of awe...
5. Catching huge steelhead (5 a day!) on my #8 flyrod. Disappointed at missing the silver salmon run we had timed our Alaska trip for, we lucked into an amazing run of steelhead. For readers who don't fish, that's the icing on the cake PLUS the cake!! I'm not too proud to welcome dumb luck.
6. Becoming a grandma to 2 adorable little critters 4 & 1 years young. Grandma-hood is a very special club, where the secret handshake is the wide-open arms of an overjoyed, smudged-faced child, running toward you yelling, "Grandma, Grandma!" Absolutely nothing compares to that...
7 & 8. Two Personal Family Losses -- sad & of great significance to me.
9. Fighting the good fight last week in Cabo San Lucas -- See picture sequence below, showing 1 of 3 marlin I caught on The Sport Fishing Event of My Life, surpassing even the steelhead. GZ & I caught 5 total, with another 2 breaking the lines. By my 3rd marlin, my lazy left arm was trembling with so much exhaustion & pain that it's still recovering 5 days later. We released all the marlin back to the Pacific. But even without a huge 6' marlin mounted on the wall, I will never forget the physical fight of my life! There were moments when I wondered if the fish would pull me & our fearless skipper Milo overboard. And how did Milo escape the sharp, bony 18" bills usually aimed at his gut? And how did Cheryl pull in 80 -- 100 lbs of resistant, leaping fish muscle? Here's the action for just 1 of my 3 catches.
10. Reserved for that thunderbolt moment in my jewelry making. The excitement I feel while creating a new design
almost equals most of my fishing thrills & chills even without yet reaching the grand, lightning bolt creative achievement. Until that occurs, it's hard to imagine what could bump the #10 spot I've reserved for jewelry!