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Archive for December, 2014

Winter in Southern California

I thought that I would give all of you a little tease of what we are experiencing as Winter in Southern California through pictures.  We are having a wonderful time here with our family and friends, as well as this beautiful and warm weather.

Wishing all of our friends, relatives and readers around the world a Holiday Season filled with Health, Happiness, Love, Joy and Peace.

Maxine and the Tomashefsky Family

Surfing in Hermosa Beach

Surfing in Hermosa Beach

A Bird on the Pier

A Bird on the Pier

Patriotic Main Street, Hermosa Beach

Patriotic Main Street, Hermosa Beach

Winter Sunbathing

Winter Sunbathing

Thanksgiving in Southern California

Thanksgiving in Southern California

Will Walk to the End of the Pier for Food

Will Walk to the End of the Pier for Food

Blue Skies – Flying High

Blue Skies – Flying High

Happy Bird on the Beach

Happy Bird on the Beach

Slight Wind at Huntington Beach

Slight Wind at Huntington Beach

Sunset at Huntington Beach

Sunset at Huntington Beach

Summer Clothes During Winter

Summer Clothes During Winter

The Desert – Palm Springs

The Desert – Palm Springs

Best Time to Visit the Desert

Best Time to Visit the Desert

View from Our Room in Newport Beach

View from Our Room in Newport Beach

Sunset at Our Marriott Timeshare Newport Beach

Sunset at Our Marriott Timeshare Newport Beach

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WOW! I DID IT! I am an official Skydiver –  I jumped out of an airplane at 12,500 feet!

I know that many of you are wondering how did this idea of me wanting to jump out of a plane came about. The truth of the matter is that I have wanted to do this for a long time, however it has been the past three years that I have seriously wanted to do it. The big push was when my son Joshua decided that he was going skydiving with his friend. We were here in Southern California and he asked us to come and watch them. While we were there watching them get ready for their experience, I got caught up in the excitement of it all, and said that I would like to do it too.

However I felt that it wasn’t the right time for me as I was dealing with two very ill parents and was distracted with all that that entailed. I told them that I wanted a clear head in order to really enjoy the experience. My other son Jonathan and my daughter-in-law Liz also went skydiving at another time, but Steve and are were then back in England so did not get to watch them. They all raved about the incredible experience that they had but totally understood that I needed to wait for another visit to do it. The next two visits were even harder for me as my parents’ conditions deteriorated and then they both passed away.

Fast forward nine months and we were now back in Southern California for our holiday visit with our family and friends. A lot has happened in that nine months and I was finally feeling ready to skydive. I called Joshua to tell him that I was ready to skydive.

The Excitement Before the Jump

The Excitement Before the Jump

He waited until we arrived and I asked him to make plans for my big event. He told me that his girlfriend Lupe had decided that she was also ready to skydive. Joshua called up to make reservations for both of us. Now there was a date – Saturday, December 6th, 2014 – a commitment. This made it feel real as we were that much closer to it really happening.

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Skydivers Maxine and Lupe

We were busy during those few weeks before “The Jump” so there was not much time to think about it. Then a few days before the big day I began to ask myself, “Am I doing the right thing?” The “What-If’s” started to appear. What if It does something to affect my health, what if I land wrong and I hurt my back or ankles, etc. I asked myself, “What would I regret more – not jumping and always wondering what it would have been like OR being upset that I hurt myself or caused damage to my body?” After much deep thought and prayer, the answer came to me that it was the right time in my life to do this. A sense of calmness and peace came over me as I realized that it was going to be an amazingly incredible experience that I would remember for the rest of my life.

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Happy As I Board the Plane

That calm and peaceful feeling stayed with me, as did the healthy adrenaline rush throughout the process. From getting suited up, directions from my instructor, boarding the plane, the plane ride up to 12,500 feet. Then the plastic door opening and my instructor and I moving towards the large opening, standing on the edge ready to jump and finally taking the leap out of the plane into the open sky.

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I Was So Ready for the Jump

I felt No Fear, No Hesitation at all, just pure elation, excitement and awesomeness. I truly “Enjoyed the Ride” and was in the moment. Even after my feet touched the ground, it was a surreal feeling. After it all sank in what I had done – that “I Did It” – I felt a sense of accomplishment. I realized the courage it took and how brave I was and I was proud of myself for “Just Doing It”.

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“The Jump” –  Mouth Open to Breath

I wanted to walk the walk and talk the talk of telling others that they need to live their lives to the fullest and say yes to all of the opportunities that come their way.

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Enjoying the Ride

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An Awesome View From Up Here

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 “High On Life”

I always want to be an inspiration to others and I hope by me taking this big step (12,500 ft in the air) it will inspire others to do the same – whatever that means to them in their lives. It has helped me overcome fears and the what-if’s. There is no holding me back now! I still have a number of things on my “Bucket List” that may put some of you over the edge so stayed tuned.

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Preparing for Landing

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 It Took Awhile for My Feet to Touch the Ground Even After Touchdown

When opportunities come your way, say “Yes”. Try to live outside of your comfort zone at least once in a while. See what it’s like to live on the edge, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how good it feels and the sense of accomplishment you’ll have. Just think about how many people you may inspire to live their dreams along the way. What better gift can you give someone?

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 So Proud of What I Accomplished!!

A big “Thank you” to my wonderful husband Steve, my sons Jonathan and Joshua, my daughter-in-law Liz and Lupe for their support, encouragement, love, being there for me always, and being an inspiration in my life. I love you guys as much as life itself!!

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My Jonathan and Joshua Always There For Me

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The Ice Cream Lady

Joshua and Lupe

Joshua and Lupe

Steve and I went for dinner with Joshua and Lupe.  We went for authentic Mexican food since that is the one food that I miss from Southern California.

This gave Steve and I a chance to have special time with them. We had a great conversation as we had a lot of things to catch up on.

After finishing dinner we talked about getting some ice cream for dessert so we left the restaurant and continued walking down the street when we noticed an ice cream shop. It looked like a new place, and as it turns out it has only been opened for six months. It’s called Baby G’s Ice Cream Cookies and Cakes. The lady standing behind the counter asked us if we had been there before. Since it was new to us she proceeded to describe the different choices and options and tell us that all of the ingredients in the ice cream are natural (except for the blue ice cream). She hand-makes all of the cookies for the ice cream sandwiches and the brownies as well. Even the waffles for the waffle cones are made fresh to order.

Creating My Waffle Cone

Creating My Waffle Cone

Lupe ordered a brownie with a scoop of ice cream on top, and I ordered a waffle cone (I watched her make it) with a scoop of chocolate ice cream that tasted simply amazing.

As it turned out, the person behind the counter was the owner, Georgette. She told us the story of how they started the business It is a family business that she runs with her two sons. I was so excited to hear her business ethos – natural fresh ingredients, family run in a community atmosphere (Hermosa Beach – within walking distance from Joshua’s apartment) that I told her that I would like to write a story in my Blog about her and her business. She was so grateful and thanked me for wanting to help her tell people about the business. We traded business cards, hugged her and said good bye and look forward to seeing her again soon.

Maxine and Georgette at Baby G's

Maxine and Georgette at Baby G’s

Funny how we connect with some people within a few minutes of meeting them and touch their lives in a special way as they do ours. I am such a “People Person” and I love meeting and connecting with new people. I Love People!

Steve and Joshua were sitting at a table watching all of this. As we left, Steve said, “Another one of Max’s Magical Moments.”

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