I’m Wendy. Perhaps I could say that I’m a nice regular white Christian girl, but that all went away more than three decades ago… and I was never that white. I’m half Colombian… not that race matters, really – Some people think I’m nice, but they’re probably not Baptists.
I left home as soon as I could and made it as far as Denver, where a big chunk of my heart still is. The weather, people, city and countryside all team up to make it great for me. The bike routes (as of right now, submerged beneath “biblical flooding”) are really the Jewel of the city. Hundreds of miles of bike routes to get you from the ‘burbs to the Mountains.
I don’t live there anymore.. I don’t really live anywhere. I go where there’s work. When I’m not working, I go to Denver, or San Diego, or Utah, Or Tecopa Hot Springs, or Reno… there’s actually quite a list of places I love and visit.. Most of them are on the West coast.. even though my family is mostly East. South America is quickly making that list.
Work for me is UXO. (Unexplosed Ordnance Disposal) I clean up old bombing ranges. Yep, they’re all over the country.. in an earlier age, we didn’t have a thought about where we trained our military… our view was then… as it is now, myopic. There was nothing there.. why would there ever be? Fast forward 60+ years and we are routinely digging old shells out of the ground in many places we want to build into. There is plenty of work to keep us busy far into the future. Here and abroad.
I started riding motorcycles when I was stationed in Whidbey Island, WA (another place I’ve promised to return) with the Navy. I kayaked and ran trails around the Island when I wasn’t riding my moto. It was a little 650 Honda Shadow. I rode that thing around for years.
I left the Navy to do contract work. My first stop.. Iraq. It wasn’t what I thought it would be. I was disappointed in my co-workers. I didn’t feel as though they really wanted to make it back home. Add to that the worry of being rocketed, shot or blown up daily and having a steady stream of horrible food, I left. When I returned, I thought I’d just take a couple weeks off to “get normal” but I didn’t. Something was gnawing me. I reached all around inside my heart and couldn’t find the joy that used to live there.
I ran the dogs and rode my bicycle until the idea came to me – I would learn to Paraglide! I got in my truck and went to Santa Barbara, Ca for a month to learn how to fly.
At Elings park, on the first day of training, I flew. It was short, only about a minute, but when I landed, AHA!! I fell down on my back in the middle of the field and laughed.. and laughed. and laughed. I laughed until my stomach was sore and the tears were drying on my cheeks. I hadn’t felt joy and freedom like that… since I was a little girl dreaming about flying. At that moment, I knew I was a lifer.
I touched my joy. It still disappeared a lot, but I knew where to find it. I’ve been flying for almost seven years now and riding motorcycle for more than a decade. I love them both dearly and can’t imagine living without.
Two last things and then I’ll let you carry on.. I don’t watch TV. I never really have. I feel like it steals my life minutes away… I really like a couple things I’ve seen, (especially Food Network) but I feel like I become a slave to the next episode… I am not an effective multitasker, so nothing else will happen when that box is talking to me.
And I love food. I would consider myself a foodie…. more than that. I suspect my life will revolve around food someday… More about that later.