Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Letter to Mom

Hey Mom,

Sunset at the lake

Sunset at the lake

We’ve been thinking about you as all your kids gather in the house you and Dad built on the lake.  I’m sure you two were here too, laughing over the silly stuff, bobbing out at the end of the dock, your toes pointed to the sky, maybe even jumping from the dock for the traditional family photo, though I know you didn’t like to get water in your eyes.

Hey Mom

Hey Mom

Last night we went out to the big water to watch the sun set.  I know you and Dad liked to do that and the neighbors say he went out alone just about every evening that summer after you died.

Heading home

Heading home

It sure was great out on the warm water with the crescent moon hanging overhead.  The sunset didn’t pan out all that well; we only had one pink cloud, but we had a really nice time anyway.

Of course I’m sure you already know that.

Wish you and Dad were here.

Jump!

Jump!


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Spend a relaxing weekend

On the lake.

On the lake.

Doesn’t it seem like people are stressed more than ever lately?  Frightening sights from all over the world flow into our nightly news every evening.  The economy continues to wallow and we all work harder than ever trying to get by, trying to make a difference, trying our best.

So I appreciate a lovely long weekend filled with nothing but good food and good company.  Here in the United States it’s Labor Day Weekend, when we  celebrate the labor of so many generations before and appreciate those people that worked so hard to build the country we are lucky enough to inhabit today.  It’s a time for family barbecue, camping in the woods, bonfires, boat rides, long walks, and naps.

I’m spending this holiday weekend on a lovely lake in the South where the weather has cooperated and the waters are warm, where the skies fill each afternoon with towering clouds but only a little bit of rain falls.

When I head back to work next week I’ll keep the memories of boat rides and deck sitting and bobbing in warm waters tucked safely away in the back of my mind.  And when that customer demands immediate attention or the coworker calls in sick I’ll pull those memories out and smile again.

We hope all of you are having a lovely weekend as well.  May we all relax and then start again next week with high spirits and wonderful memories.

Imported Photos 00038


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Another weekend, another park

Isn't this a cool place?

Isn’t this a cool place?

Katie here.  You know how I got my Mama to promise to take me on an adventure every weekend?  Well this past weekend it was getting to be Sunday afternoon and still no adventure!  I stomped my perfect little feet and tossed my beautiful curly locks but all she did was put me outside in my pen.

WELL!

I was having none of that!  An afternoon in my pen is not an adventure!  I made myself a general pest and eventually Mama said “OK little one, let’s go walk in the woods.”  It was about time!  But she picked one of my favorite activities so I forgave her for being so tardy.

Which way should we go?

Which way should we go?

We went to the Holly Recreation Area and walked on a path through the woods that we’ve never explored before.  It was awesome.  We need to take Peep exploring on that path sometime soon!  We did have to go up a big hill.

You sure you want to go way up there Mama?

You sure you want to go way up there Mama?

 

But I didn’t have any problem with that.

Well let's get going then!

Well let’s get going then!

 

Mama was very patient and waited for me to check stuff out.

What's in here?

What’s in here?

 

Some of the path was through the woods with big trees.  The mosquitoes weren’t too bad and Mama was wishing she’d come earlier in the day, because we had to turn around before I wanted to since it was getting dark.

Fun times!

Fun times!

 

We’re definitely going back.  And I hope it’s soon!

But I'm still not getting my feet wet.

But I’m still not getting my feet wet.

 


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What’s to miss about running.

Once upon a time a long time ago I use to run.  I was never fast but I got to the finish line.   I used to train for races along with a group of women I’d met online, and then in person at races, and then in person just because they are really cool women.  Then I got busy and I didn’t train as carefully as I should have and I tried to get ready for a half marathon having not run for awhile.  I ran too much too soon and too far and I suffered a hairline fracture in my foot.

The wheelers get ready to start their race.

The wheelers get ready to start their race.

I knew as I was going the longer distances that something was wrong.  I knew the morning of the race as I got up before light and packed the car with all the essentials, warm up clothes, clothes for after, water, food, extra socks, pins, number, that I shouldn’t be running this race.  Still.  I had trained for it.  People were expecting me.  It was an inaugural half marathon through a pretty part of the country.

I wanted to do it.

During the drive to the appointed meeting place I reached over in the dark to the stack of clothing on the other seat.  I didn’t feel my race bib with it’s number, that I KNEW I had put on the top of the pile.  I pulled into an empty parking lot and stopped under a light.  I searched the car.  No bib.  I drove frantically home and searched the house.  No bib.

It was a sign, I decided, that I wasn’t supposed to run this race.  I called my friend and told her I wasn’t coming.  Then I went back to bed.

And I never seriously ran again.  It’s hard to start from scratch.  It takes dedication and time and resolve.  And I can’t seem to get out the door.  It’s been years, the stress fracture is as healed as it’s going to be.  I’ve gone to a foot specialist and purchased custom orthotics.  I could do it.

Anticipation before the race.

Anticipation before the race.

I see runners when I’m driving to and from work, or when we’re on trips.  Portland Maine seemed to be the capital of young athletic fit bodies running half dressed through the streets.  All seem to float effortlessly.  I become enamored again with the concept.

But I don’t float.  I slog and running is not as romantic as I remembered.

 

Here they come!

Here they come!

This weekend I went up to Flint to see the start of the Crim Festival of Races.  Ten thousand plus runners and their supporters were celebrating healthy activity, and the love of running.  I felt the familiar twinge.  No not in my foot; in my heart.  I miss the sense of community running gave me.  I could do that again, I thought to myself.

In order to run you just have to start.

Just start.

Just start.


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WordPress Photo Challenge: Fray

There’s nothing quite like the experience of running in a huge road race.  The preparation.  The nervous anticipation.  Excitement builds.  And then you’re off!

Imported Photos 00494

Into the fray.

 

You can see other interpretations of “Fray” by going to this blog post and looking through all the entries in the comments.  Or you can just check out a few of my favorites here, here, here and here!


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Overheard

Heard from the other side of my cubicle wall:

“I’m so busy, I forgot to mail my bills.  They’re still sitting on my kitchen counter.  I need to find out how to sign up for auto pay.”

Response from an adjacent cubicle where a new mother of twins sits:

“I need to find out how to sign up for auto diaper.”

 


18 Comments

Adventures! And more adventures!

Katie here.  Hey!  Did you know I got to go camping with my mama?  A lot?  I bet you saw it on Facebook.  I swear, she needs to get me my own page, she’s always letting the cat out of the bag on that thing.  And I hate cats!  All cats should stay in the bag,  I’m sure there’s a law about that somewhere.

 

Another of my favorite parks!

Another of my favorite parks!

So anyway, today I got her to take me to a  park, because daddy said she owed me cause she went to work this morning and Saturday’s are supposed to be about me!  I used to go to school and everything and now she says I’m ‘retired’ whatever that means so I don’t get to do anything!    You believe me, right?  That I’m a poor abused ignored dog?  They never feed me and I have to stay at home all the time.  You should probably send help.

Oh.  You don’t believe that?  Well it was worth a shot.

 

Soaking up a little shade on my walk today.

Soaking up a little shade on my walk today.

So today I made my mama feel guilty and she took me to a big park nearby.  We walked down the bike path and I was very good, didn’t bark at any bikes or cars or anything.  OK.  One car that was hauling a noisy trailer…but really who could resist barking at that!

 

Not worried about that bike in back of me.

Not worried about that bike in back of me.

But I bet what you really want to hear about is the camping my mama and I did a couple of weeks ago!  We went to a real park and I got to sleep in my tent for two nights!  There were lots of kids there and mostly I sat in our camp site and watched them go around and around and around the campground on their bikes and scooters.  And I did not bark at any of them!  Not even once!

Watching the kids go by.

Watching the kids go by.

The best part of our camping trip was when my friend Peep came to visit and we went on a long walk through the woods.  Actually Peep and I don’t care particularly if the other one is there, we just like that when our mamas get together we get to go on long walks!

Peep and me.

Peep and me.

Sometimes one or the other of us finds a particularly good smell and then the other one of us will go check it out, but mostly we walk our own walk.  We’re very good together because we pretty much ignore each other.   Mostly Peep went ahead and I brought up the rear.  I like to take really long sniffs of stuff you know.  Plus I have this big heavy coat to drag around.

Anyway, mama and I had a really good time.  She read a bunch of books over the weekend and I got to go on a bunch of walks.  Sometimes we walked on trails in the woods and sometimes we walked around the campground.  Lots of people said I was pretty.    And cute.  And really good.  Cause I am.

We went on lots of trails.

We went on lots of trails.

The mosquitoes weren’t as bad as our last big adventure, but there were still enough that sometimes we retreated to the tent.  That was OK, just meant another nap.  Naps are a very important part of camping.  I take my napping responsibilities very seriously.

zzzzzzz

zzzzzzz

The weekend was perfect!

Then last weekend mama and I camped out three nights in a row in the backyard!  The moon was full and she didn’t put the rain fly up and we got to sleep under it and stars.  It was wonderful!  I only barked once when that mama deer snorted at us.  It was her fault for waking us up anyway.  A dog has to to what a dog has to do.  Right?

What's out there?!

What’s out there?!

So all in all I guess my mama really does love me.  And yes my daddy loves me too, he feeds me right on schedule and sometimes early if I make my sad dog eyes at him.  And I get to go on adventures almost every weekend.  So I guess my life’s not so bad, but don’t tell them I said so, OK?  I like to keep them feeling guilty.

I get more treats that way.

Love,

Katie (The Adventuring Sheltie-girl)

 

This is our little secret!

This is our little secret!

 


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One last hour

If I could have one hour to spend with anyone, living or dead, I’d spend it with my mother.

I woke last night at 1:00 in the morning with that sentence running through my head.  I slowed my thoughts down a bit and explored the concept.  Was I sure it would be my mother?  Out of all the people in the world, back through all eternity?

Yes, if it could only be one, than she was it.

I’d sit across a small table from her, out on a bluff above the ocean on a pretty spring day with seabirds floating on a breeze that made the grasses dance.  I’d ask her questions. How long did it take you to grieve your mother; when did you start to feel better?   When grandma died, so long after grandpa, did you feel like an orphan even though you were an adult?  What’s heaven like anyway?  Is dad there with you every day?  Did you get to see your folks, and your own grandparents?  Your brother?   Can you really see us down here?  All the time?  Or just when we want you to, because sometimes I do stuff I’d rather you didn’t know about.  What’s the secret ingredient in your potato salad?

I’d ask questions, but mostly I’d just sit and listen and look.  I’d memorize her face and her voice, soak in the ‘momness’ of her.  File it away to be taken out and examined later.   And when the hour was gone saying goodbye would be excruciating.    But no more excruciating than these past ten years have been, no more excruciating than the next ten will be.  I’d hug her tight until she disappeared – until she became nothing but a wisp of sweet air.

And then I’d find myself hugging only me.

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