Then, in July, my sister Alyx decided to get her first tattoo. She has chickens at her place, and she wanted to incorporate her love for them in a tattoo. She set up an appointment at Slave to the Needle, a reputable place in Seattle. I decided to go with her to see what it was like.
It was interesting! The tattoo artist, Lance, took Alyx's initial design and put it on his iPad. He made a few small modifications. When she approved, he made a stencil of the design. During her session, he applied the stencil to her upper arm. Then he traced the stencil with the ink needles.
Here's Alyx's tattoo:
A few days later, Alyx sent me a sample of a tattoo that was a world map. She said when she saw it, she said, "This is Linda's heart." I've taken 65 trips since I quit work eight years ago, so she was pretty right. We looked at a few designs together, and I made an appointment with Lance for September 11.
I'd hoped Alyx could come with me for my session, but she had to work. So I asked my friend and former business partner, Lillian, if she would come, and she said yes.
As before, Lance sat with me to apply the finishing touches to the design I'd chosen. Instead of an airplane, I wanted a heart in the sky, since I travel for love.
Here are the pictures Lillian took of my session:
It's been nine days since I got my tattoo. People ask if I am going to get any more, and I say no. They ask if I'm going to do anything more to this one. I think I might have the heart/plane colored red, but that's it.
Today I am 70 years old. I am glad I got the tattoo as a birthday gift to myself.
Also for my birthday, I sent a check for a friend so she could travel from Greece to Italy. She will be the support for another friend who is giving a TEDx talk in Italy on October 6. I'm grateful for both of the friends and for the fact that I can afford to buy the ticket.
My day was just perfect. I got about 60 birthday wishes from Facebook friends. I met my friend/niece Colleen at Starbucks in Kenmore for a three-hour catchup conversation. Then I met my friend Vicki at Starbucks in Mountlake Terrace for another long talk. I don't often go to Starbucks except to meet up with friends. Then I had a great phone conversation with my friend Joan in Arizona. When I got home at 5 p.m. my husband Art was fixing dinner. And after dinner, for the first time in absolutely ages, I had a bowl of vanilla Haagen-Dazs ice cream with chocolate fudge syrup on top.
Colleen asked me what my goal in life is now. I said, "To use the gifts that have been given to me as well as I can, for as long as I am able."
It's odd. I've been almost dreading this birthday for six months. It's a pretty big number. But when I woke up this morning, my first thought was, "I have arrived."
How cool is that?