Hello world! Small town parades and back spasms…what do they have in common?

Hello World!  That phrases sums up my first post.  Now that I’ve officially acknowledged you, let me acknowledge myself.  I’m Jenna, the 40+ year old who’s starting her first blog ever.  So far I’ve impressed myself!  I’ve figured out how to use the editor, admittedly in a very basic way.

My back went out last night at precisely 10:17pm.  I’m now sitting in my reclining chair, fighting the sleepy effect of the muscle relaxer my physician has prescribed.  Let’s hear it for drugs!  Better living thru better chemistry!  (That’s the drugs talking)  Yes, welcome to 40 my dear.

I’m not doom and gloom about turning 40 (I prefer the number to the word forty).   On the contrary, I feel great!  My weight is satisfactory to me, I think I look half decent and I can honestly say at this point in my life, I’ve lived it on my own terms.  I’m proud of that!

My gripes in life are when I don’t get to participate in the fun and highly anticipated events I’ve planned!!  For instance, this is my long-awaited 4th of July weekend in small town America.  On Friday night I was busy packing camping gear, boat gear, clothing, food, etcetera as I’d planned to leave today for a week-long boating and camping holiday with my family.  I was in the laundry hamper searching desperately for that cute black swim skirt, the one with the flippy edge that makes me youthful while trimming my stomach and thighs at the same time, when I raised up and ZAP!  The back spasm hit and my butt felt like it was being unscrewed from my spine and would fall to the ground at any minute!!  Damn!

As I carefully shuffled to the nearest chair to sit down, all my carefully laid plans began to flash before my eyes.  Friday night packing, hooking the sailboat to the pick-up truck, getting up early Saturday morning to make blueberry pancakes before heading out to our small town 4th of July parade at 9am, back to the house to load our supplies and driving 1.5 hrs to Lake Jocassee, unloading the boat, putting up the mast, setting the tent, sailing into the afternoon, watching the sunset while lighting a campfire and grilling the best damn hamburgers in the South! 

Can you tell I’m a project manager in my profession?  That’s what I do, I plan.  I plan in detail.  I plan according to time schedules.  I make each task fun and successful.  I infuse events with personal touches, like packing Grandmother’s cotton printed tablecloths to use on the State Park picnic tables.  And now my carefully laid plans were coming to a screeching halt!  I was not a happy camper!!  (no pun intended!)

So here I am on Saturday afternoon, lamenting the fact that my plans are now 5 hours behind schedule and my spasming back muscles don’t seem to care! 

My family enjoyed the parade and they brought me tales and trinkets from their experience.  A small bag of candy, a red bandana, water bottles and tales of seeing friends, antique cars, tractors, politicians, beauty queens and of course…HORSES!  Yes, all small town parades in the South have a posse of horses who are the final entry.  Having never lived North of the Ohio River, I have no idea if it’s only a Southern thang, but they are, and have always been, my favorite part of the parade.  Kind of like Santa Clause’s arrival at the end of Christmas Parades.  Only with horses, all your senses are aroused!  The sight of majestic prancing creatures, the sound of their shod hooves clip-clopping on the pavement, the aroma of leather, manure and “horse” swirl in the air.  If I’m lucky, I’ll get to pet one in the staging area after the parade ends.  That is just the 11yo girl in me talking!!

Another interesting entry our small town parades the local septic tank brigade, complete with overflowing toilets, goat and water slide into a hot tub!!  You can’t make this stuff up folks!!  This is all true!  Each year the local septic pump trucks enter as “floats” in the parade.  One enterprising man always builds the most elaborate “set” on a flatbed trailer pulled behind his septic truck.  Some years he has an outhouse, some years a swimming pool, but always an overflowing toilet and a goat!!  You gotta love a guy with  sense of humor!

Cross your fingers that the drugs work and tomorrow we can leave for our highly anticipated escape to a mountain lake.  If not, well, you’ll be hearing from me!!

Signing off from…. My 40+ Life

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