We traipsed up to Jones Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains yesterday morning before heading out to Menifee, where David’s mother and stepfather now live. It was a fantastic hike on a beautiful trail, except I forgot my hairspray.
David, who can fix anything, corrected an errant cabinet hinge in his mom’s kitchen, climbed the stepstool to reach a light fixture too high for an 84- and 90-year-old to attempt, and did other generally handy chores like putting up extra towel bars and sorting out his mom’s computer glitches.
For fun, we brought a puzzle. Last night after the chores were done, we poured the pieces out on the coffee table and set to it. David’s stepfather José would have none of it, declaring bitterly, “I can’t stand those things,” which made us laugh. He retreated to his den to read a book about WWII while David, Bonnie, and I sorted through the pieces and slowly and gradually brought the picture of “Sleepy Fox Farms” to life. None of us had done a jigsaw puzzle in decades. José was amazed that we finished it, and reported that there were long silences while we worked on it, punctuated by occasional cheers when one of us found and placed an especially elusive piece.
Today’s entertainment consisted of driving to Perris Valley Airport to watch the skydivers. You can see them dotting the sky from Bonnie and Jose’s backyard, but we wanted to have a closer look, and the airport is only three miles from their house.
There wasn’t any sign warning about possibly plunging to your death on a skydive, but the officials are apparently quite serious about the perils on the ground.
This plane is called “The Shark.” It touched down every 20 minutes or so to pick up another load of 15 to 20 adventurers.
It was lots of fun to gaze up as the plane mounted the sky, then dropped the divers that looked like grains of sand at first while they were in free fall, and wait for their parachutes to bloom and for them to drift lazily down, some landing delicately on their feet and others tumbling in the dust. We all agreed, us youngsters in our 50s and 60s and elders in their 80s and 90s, that we’re not going to try it any time soon.