Sunday, September 23, 2007

We are only as old as we feel... We are only as old as we feel...

Until yesterday, if you asked me to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, I would have said, “that is crazy.” And to jump out of said same aircraft with my, soon to be, 85 year old mother, Frances, well…

We did it!

(Photos: copyright K. Schonbeck 2007)

One of my mother’s dreams in life was to skydive. Her oldest nephew, Pat, was a paratrooper in WWII, and she was always fascinated by stories of floating to earth on a billowing canopy of cloth.

So in honor of Pat, who passed away a couple of years ago, and our birthdays (I turn 50 this November myself) my mom, eight cousins and me (along with another 20 or so family spectators) went to Sky Dive The Ranch, in Gardiner, NY to experience for ourselves the rush and rewards of making “the jump.”

I had heard about this place from, Jack, of Jack’s Outback fame, who made a jump along with a host of other Cambridge area residences a couple of months ago. Listening to his story and hearing that a 90+-year-old woman made the jump at The Ranch, got me thinking that maybe this could happen for my mom; so I asked her. Without one iota of hesitation, she exclaimed, “sign me up!”

Imagine, you leave the relative safety of a plane at 14,000 feet and plunge to earth at 120mph, freefalling for 7000 feet before the parachute deploys and you glide quietly to earth on a colorful canopy. On the way down we floated past and through giant billowy clouds, which was a great highlight of the adventure. The whole thing was at once, a surreal, and a hyper-real experience.

When asked if we would do it again, I said, “perhaps” whereas Mom answered with a resounding, “YES!”


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Love you, Kate

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woo hoo!!!


10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm soooo impressed and inspired-I love the look on Mom's face as she's describing her magnificent adventure. Here's to you!!!!

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only am I impressed, but I so admire your Mom. She's awesome and inspiring. I've been wanting to sky dive for years and now I'm seriously considering it. Age, what's that, just another number. Be peace..........

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are my hero's!

Love, mary Jo

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You should definetly go for it. It has had a profound effect on me. Insights into myself just keep flowing since the dive....


12:21 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Now that is rocking. My dad is 83 and in good health and shape, but if he came to me and said, "I want to go skydiving." I'd say, "Dad you have lost your mind." But after reading about Frances...

9:32 AM  

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