During my run the other night, it occurred to me that I was 2/3 of the way through my 46th year. The realization prompted a few thoughts…
I find myself with increasing frequency wondering if an article of clothing is “too young” or “too short.” This is not a bid for compliments, just the reality of my desire to grow older with grace. Does one just know when to put away those short shorts or that skirt that could reasonably be defined as “mini?”
My runs feel challenging, almost every single time. If I remind myself to run from the strength of my core, I forget how much my hips and glutes hurt. And another thing – why must people drive so fast in residential areas? This is Albany. Where are they rushing to be?
My children can be wildly inappropriate. Case in point: #2 was concerned about his older brother traveling to NYC unaccompanied. He suggested a t-shirt with a handwritten message, something offensively defensive, like, “Ask me about my raging case of syphilis.” That is funny as hell, to me.
I love a thunderstorm! Being in bed, feeling the wind blow and watching the sky light up, is an awesome sedative. I just wish Cassidy, my 12 y/o black lab, had a bit more tolerance for the thunder – maybe doggy ears make the claps too intense?
I am getting so excited for summer and the promise of adventures and travel! The only thing reining in my enthusiasm is my awareness that two summer holidays make the 10-week break go crazy fast. Before the mockingly sympathetic comments come in, yes, I do know how fortunate I am to have such an extended summer vacation. What I can’t understand is how people live a full life with only a couple of weeks of vacation a year.
No matter how high the number goes, I still feel the same as I did when I was half my present age – open for adventure, enthusiastic about the future and blessed by the presence of people I love and who love me in return. It’s just a number.
Filed under aging, Albany, birthdays, Boys, Exercise, musings, Observations, Random, running, Spring, Summer, travel, vacation
Maybe I’m simple or I have a low threshold for happiness. I’m not really sure, but what I do know is I had a fantastically, perfect weekend. As the weekend progressed, I mentally inventoried each special little thing that cumulatively gave me one of my favorite birthday celebrations ever. Noting 46 of these items was an easy feat to achieve.
- Early morning surprise drive-by with birthday wishes
- A Happy Birthday text from my son. (He was upstairs when he sent it to me.)
- Birthday cards at work
- Facebook birthday messages, especially when they contained the word “inspiring.”
- A pedicure and manicure to begin my weekend
- The tuna roll I inhaled
- A gigantic salted caramel mocha sipped pond-side in the sunshine
- Thoughtfully selected, thoughtfully wrapped presents.
- Reading a funny book aloud with a friend
- Receiving a handcrafted card from Quinn
- Listening to Quinn explain the handcrafted card he gave me. It involves superpowers, popcorn falling from the sky and the sentiment that he “lives” me.
- That run that I took as the sky began to darken and the sliver of moon that led me back home.
- Finding the perfect thing to wear for my birthday dinner.
- Reading a special card.
- That parking space on the corner of State and Lark.
- A tasty sparkling rose from New Mexico, Gruet.
I wish you could smell this pasta!!!
- The pasta that was worth every moment of self-denial, house made tagliatelle with a cinghiale Bolognese at the bar at the Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark.
- The tasty glass of Spanish granache that accompanied my pasta and the beautifully rare hangar steak that I enjoyed as my main course.
- The creme brûlée
- The glass of tawny port I sipped with desert
- The enjoyable conversation I shared at the bar with friends
- Neil Young playing during my meal
- Getting a good night’s sleep
- A beautiful morning on the first day of fall
- The soccer game beginning early
- Getting every single chore out of the way prior to my friend’s arrival
- Driving my friend’s stick shift Beetle. I’ve still got it!
Note the crown.
- The sunshine topping off my apricot glow, poolside under a mostly blue sky.
- That dive into the pool which simultaneously took my breath away and confirmed that I was alive.
- Laughing with Will about the disparity between how men and women perceive 4 inches
Crown still in place – lots of candles!
- Being presented with the sickest cake I have ever tasted – Civitello’s Italian rum cake.
- The hot tub!
- Joining the Decades Party.
- Popping that bottle of Prosecco knowing we wouldn’t be driving any place.
- Watching that rain storm creep in.
- My boy making popcorn for movie night.
- Walking a couple of laps in the misty rain.
- A friend stopping by for a night-cap.
- That cake…
- Sleeping soundly in a cozy bed with the windows open.
- Breakfast from All Good Bakers.
- Seeing the faintly yellow reflection of the leaves out my window.
- Another piece of that cake…
- A nap as the sun shined onto my first-flannels-of-the-season made bed.
- A walk through the Honest Weight Harvest Fest in Washington Park
- My run, all 5.66 miles of it, and the best hot shower I could imagine.
Now, when your special day comes around again – be sure to celebrate it. Indulge yourself. Feel special. And, if you need any ideas for having a memorable time, feel free to borrow any of mine. I’ve been blessed with plenty to share.
Filed under aging, birthdays, DelSo, drinking, Eating, favorites, Food, friends, ideas, Lark Street, love, Random, Recommendations, running, Summer, upstate New York, Wine
I don’t know about you, but there comes a point in life when I crave routine. July and August are luxuriously lacking in structure for me and the boys. Meals come at odd times and both nights and mornings are much later than usual. We seem to use a lot of gas – for the grill and the family wagon, and I feel like I am constantly watering the flowers, which are beginning to mirror the boys own legginess after a summer of sunshine.
Things have definitely grown, including me. For the past few weeks I’ve been feeling like an overripe fruit from too much wine and ice cream. I miss my gym schedule. Running has been challenging in recent weeks because of a persistent discomfort in my glute/tailbone that just won’t quit and I am hoping that a combination of decreasing my mileage and a change in the humidity level, may help get me back on my game.
The change in the seasons is an inevitable part of life, but this particular transition is the one I find most difficult. Two months of essentially being lazy is about to come to an abrupt end as we ratchet it up for what I consider to be the most hectic time of the year. My family of four will be spending their days in a total of 5 different school buildings where we will each need to adjust to new schedules and school year activities. If I think too much about it, I honestly hyperventilate a little bit, but I try to remind myself that we’ll figure it out because we always do. We’ll be fine.
Life is all about beginnings and endings. Sometimes these chapters are easily defined by the calendar, at other times one must rely upon an internal gauge of when the time has come to make personal changes. While I am sorry to see summer end, fall in upstate New York can certainly be pretty spectacular, right? Apples, riotous foliage, and birthdays are all part of autumn that I love to celebrate. I’ve also learned that the years go by far faster than I ever imagined which means Summer ’13 is practically around the corner.
I think one more trip to Tastee Freeze will make more of a difference to my mental state than to my waistline, so it’s one last ice cream for dinner night for me. Hot fudge and butterscotch.
Filed under musings, Summer
A summer well lived can be defined as one in which the overnight bag gets unpacked, but not put away
The sweet spot of summer, for me, is when the days all seem to feel like Sundays
I understand there will be a lack of sympathy from those who don’t teach, but please believe me when I say there is never enough time to see all the friends I wish to spend time with – even with 2 months off.
The fruits and vegetables of summer are glorious but there comes a time when I begin to long for things that must be stirred and roasted – risotto! Short ribs! Root vegetables!
And, for the record, the weather this summer was spectacular! In every way that last winter never arrived, summer showed up in spades. Yes, it was hot and more rain would have certainly helped the farmers, but it was undeniably the real deal.
This week promises to be a flurry of activity with some unavoidable shopping (stop growing, fabulous Lilly boys!), a trip to the NYS Fair, a get together with my best old friends and an overnight visit to my favorite city. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing, but I’ll do my best to take those interested along for the ride.
Someone needs to explain to my children that spending two weeks at the beach every summer is a luxury
, not something to be taken for granted. It’s always been important to me that the boys have traditions in their lives, certain experiences that provide a constant thread throughout their childhoods. Cape Cod vacations have been a part of their summers literally for their entire lives. While there, we always eat at the Lobster Pot, we listen to the same song as we cross the bridge in Bourne, there is ice cream nearly every day. It’s what we do.
But, something seems to have backfired. Their attitude is in danger of morphing into entitlement – is this how that happens? Somehow they’ve gotten the impression that everyone spends two weeks frolicking in the Atlantic each and every year. All of the preparations, the shopping and stocking up on
tequila chips and granola bars, the packing of the linens, the beach toys, the clothing…the arrangements for the house and our dog while we’re away…the bikes…they’ve gotten the impression that everything will managed. By me, apparently. And, of course, I will take care of them and all the necessary details involved with making us all comfortable for two weeks in a place or two not our home. It’s what I do.
I work two jobs to be able to afford a two week vacation in Cape Cod. This is a luxury. Which brings me to healthcare…I am firmly of the belief that every one in this country should be able to have access to medical care. Getting sick and requiring medical attention is a completely different set of circumstances. It is a necessity. I’ve been without health insurance and it is a bad place to be, certainly about as unlike a vacation at the beach as I can imagine.
I understand that we all have issues with how our taxes are spent – I personally wish we spent as much money on education and the well being of our citizens as we do on war, but shouldn’t everyone be able to bring their sick children to a doctor? If I lost my job, a possibility in these economic times when districts are eliminating positions left and right, my biggest fear would be healthcare. As someone who has already had cancer twice, as well as weird heart issues (obviously, a precise medical term), I can’t imagine health insurers would be willingly lining up to give me coverage. What do you think? I don’t know as much about Obamacare as I probably should, but it seems like a starting point as our country considers the health and well being of our citizens. To me, it seems a positive indication that someone cares about a basic and essential need in a civilized society. I think I might spend some time at the beach talking to the boys about how lucky we are to have two weeks at the beach. And health insurance every day.
|image: Bob Kopac
Last Saturday, on what may have been the most beautiful morning of June, a couple of friends and I ran the 4th edition of the Treetops to Rooftops 5K
in the lower Hudson Valley. Or, to be more precise, over
the Hudson River via the Walkway over the Hudson. In 2011, this race was my first 5K since I had fallen in love with running, and revisiting the course a year later, gave me an experience beyond that inaugural race – and a time 2 minutes faster
If you’re looking for a stunningly beautiful, essentially flat run, this course is for you. It begins on the west side of the Hudson in Highland. Runners line up according to anticipated mile speed and traverse up a small incline and then onto the walkway. If you haven’t taken the time to visit this state park
– what are you waiting for? On a clear day, the views are unparalleled and on this particular morning, I swear visibility was crazy clear. The east side of the river (Poughkeepsie) is lovely and wooded and the turn around to head west comes remarkably fast. There was a single water station on the Poughkeepsie side, which seemed appropriate for the time of the race (8:00 a.m.).
I don’t know if you can tell from the photo, but I was absolutely joyful to be running this race. At one point, maybe a mile or so in, I had to refrain from releasing a big ‘ol “Yippee!!!” as I looked south along the river at the sheer beauty as far as the eye could see. Magnificent! There were 420 finishers this year and I was 11th out of 51 in my age group, 162nd overall. Not bad, but there’s always opportunity for improvement.
This race is held mid-June each year, so keep your eyes open for the registration and plan to be there next year. You won’t regret it.
That title sounds pretentious, doesn’t it? Apologies. I’ve consumed a movie and a cd recently and, while I had distinctly different opinions of the two experiences there were similarities in the strength of my response to each of them, And the fact that the two primary artists involved, Johnny Depp and John Mayer, are beginning to morph into the same shaggy sexy looking guy. Purely beyond the film, in Mr. Depp’s case.
The best thing about the movie I saw a couple of weeks ago, was the popcorn. And I broke a filling on a kernel. It is probably more a statement about me than the film, but I just don’t get this Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter love affair. It’s over and they need to take a five-year time out from each other before I’ll pay to see another of their collaborations. ”Dark Shadows
” was ridiculous, camp without humor, horror without suspense. It was so bad it made me uncomfortable. But, that’s just me.
Now, I don’t know what you know about John Mayer’s new album, Born and Raised
, but I’m kind of embarrassed about how much I love it. Not like Jessica Simpson was when he described her as “sexual napalm
,” (And can you explain what made that such a criticism? I think I would have been flattered) but still kind of sheepishly blushing. I think the lyrics (call me Word Girl
) are earnest and meaningful, the message is optimistically positive and the music is thoughtfully sincere. Despite his having obviously stolen an idea from me
in the song “Love is a Verb,” I can’t help but be head over heels in love with the record. I feel like it’s one of those albums which will come to define a time period in my life. Which is way better than wishing I had the 113 minutes back that I wasted watching that wretched movie.
So – there you have it, some topical, not necessarily sage, cultural advice. You got something to share, too? What movies have you seen? Maybe some new music recommendations?