I sit here the night before Thanksgiving with multiple layers on, my nose cold and the backs of my ears feeling the cool air circulating in my living room, the temperature set at 65. The Roman shades are still up so I can enjoy the spectacular Christmas lighting I put up this year. The May pole is planted in the middle of the seven-circuit labyrinth that fills my front garden and hanging from its 15-foot tip are fourteen strands of multicolored LED lights. I am so proud of this accomplishment. It took several hours of mathematical figuring with the help of Google to find the circumference of a circle where the radius is 4 ft; and to determine the length of the hypotenuse of a triangle where the pole stands 15 ft. tall. I loved geometry but remember nothing. The three lengths of lights measured 66 ft each and, stretched end to end, I wanted them to hang in equal lengths with traveling distance between them around the edge of the circle on the ground. It was complicated. This seventy-seven year old brain figured it out and when the taped strands of lights rose skyward, their 14 lengths reached the ground evenly spaced around the pole. Must be the MindWorks at work.
These days leading up to Thanksgiving and the holidays are full of all the emotion that comes with a long to-do list and the hangover from holidays past. Yet somehow this year the Christmas letter is written and printed and ready for my grandson Jack to help me mail on Saturday. The special gift list for the holidays is updated and ready on my website. The version of the letter for family and friends not in my Shaklee family is printed and ready for mailing and labels for both sets are printed, stamps purchased and all will be done Saturday, using up the Christmas cards and envelopes I have stored over the years.
I have the Christmas event planned for the grandchildren: we will meet at the Experience Music Project for lunch and an afternoon of touring the exhibits, virtual music performing and good times at the Seattle center, maybe including a carousel ride. Why not? You never get too old for that. Even if these children are late middle school, high school and college aged.
Today I hiked with two stalwart friends who are as reluctant to give up the weekly wilderness as I am. It was a trip up the backside of Cougar Mt., one of the Issaquah Alps, near foothills of the jagged Cascade Range, a second growth forest of Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock and Red Cedar with big leaf maple and alder and plenty of thick sword fern and salal on the forest floor. The trails, developed over the years, are now maintained by the Greenway Mountain to Sound organization with the help of the Washington Trails organization. The hiker heading for Shy Bear Pass climbs to dramatic cliffs and past giant erratics (those mammoth boulders spewed around the region by the tumultuous volcanic and glacial periods eons ago).
My body keeps going and is getting stronger all the time, thanks to the guys at the Xgym. I feel lucky today. My cousin, Jack Bell, seven years my junior and far more diligent about his fitness than I, suffered a massive heart attack a week ago last Friday. He was in the gym at the time and experts performed CPR immediately. Ten days later, he is in a rehab facility near San Francisco where they will provide 5-7 hours a day of physical therapy to bring his fitness level back. This is the man who climbed Rainier for the Breast Cancer Fund and inspired me to climb Mt. Shasta a year later. He greeted me at the end of my climb with a silk prayer scarf from Tibet where he and his husband had gone. I greeted him at the end of his Rainier attempt with a big glass of Physique. It was a high wind, socked in, fog impeded ascent and he was in bad need of an after workout restoration. He has been up Kilimanjaro, Whitney and Aconcagua in Argentina, and others I have forgotten. He will climb mountains again.
Jack’s dad died of a heart attack. Jack will not die from this one. He has taken Shaklee vitamins for a long time. They probably help. His mother died of Alzheimer’s. He has been taking Vitalizer Gold and recently added MindWorks. This is a man who believes in prevention and the heart attack strikes him anyway. He will probably have a complete recovery because of those thoughtful and persistent prevention efforts.
We will all die. We do have some measure of influence on how and how soon.
I am off to my time-share in Mexico with my sister-in-law and two friends in their early 80s. The four of us will have a great time in the warm sweet smelling air, the fine-grained sand, the elegant accommodations and entertaining nightlife of the Gran Mayan Resort. We will shop for exquisite jewelry in the market and eat fish, guacamole (made fresh by me daily) and drink margaritas.
The deeply religious festival of the Virgin de Guadalupe will be our pre-Christmas advent preparation. Early December is a lovely time to be in Puerto Vallarta where Guadalupe is the patron saint. I have counted out my Shaklee supplements, my individual portions of Vivix, my 180 Smoothee mixtures for breakfast every day. I’ll be ready for whatever.
So much to be thankful for. Good health, good friends, loving family. I bid your prayers for all who struggle during this season when the airwaves perpetuate jollity and if you are not participating, you feel wrong somehow.
Be well, Do well and keep moving.
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