For Karen Bradford, celebrating a birthday with just a cake is too ordinary.

Bradford, of Murfreesboro, celebrated turning 70 skydiving with her son and her granddaughter at the Tullahoma Regional Airport on Saturday, June1.

“We are tandem skydiving,” Bradford said before the jump.

This was Bradford’s third jump. It was the first skydiving experience for Bradford’s son, Arron Wright, 50, and her granddaughter, Alyssa Wright, 21.

“We decided to do a family jump to celebrate some milestone birthdays,” Bradford said. “Arron and I are from Maine. Alyssa was born and raised in Tennessee. We live in Murfreesboro. I just retired.”

Bradford said the shared experience of cutting through the air and seeing Tullahoma from the sky was unforgettable.

“It was great jumping with my son and granddaughter,” Bradford said. “They liked it very much. It was something we will cherish.

“I love it. The free fall is scary, but once the parachute opens, you just glide and see the world. Up there, it’s quiet. And when the sun hits your face and the warm breeze caresses, you it’s like no other feeling in the world.”

Bradford said the jump brought her joy.

“I wanted to share an adventure with those I love,” she said. “Family is special, especially with shared experiences.”

Looking back at the time Bradford was the age of her son and her granddaughter, she shared her experiences of that period and added some words of wisdom for the younger generations.

When Bradford was Allyssa’s age, she had no time for adventure, she said. Her advice for Allyssa is to “do what you love and makes you happy, and do it well.”

When Bradford was 50, she enjoyed spending time with her first grandchild. She advised those who are 50 not to delay things.

“Do them now, Carpe Diem (seize the day),” she said.

In her 70s, Bradford enjoys her retirement. She is looking forward to the future. She plans to travel.

“My future travel plans are to go to Sicily this year,” Bradford said. “In the next coming years, I’d like to visit England and Wales, Northern Italy. I’d like to visit the Scandinavia countries and see all historic sights. I will take my granddaughter to Tucson, Arizona, next year when she graduates college. Alyssa is a student at MTSU.”

Elena Cawley may be reached via email at