Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Enough With The Walking

I walk almost daily. My goal is 6 days a week, but if I hit 5, I'm actually pretty pleased with myself. I always walk in the mornings, first thing. I don't like to get sweaty, so it's better to do that early and take a shower and be all refreshed for my day.

My departure time varies, depending on if I hit the snooze button, but I try to leave the house around6:40. This is so much nicer in the summer time when it's light out! I've been walking the same route, generally in the same time, for years. I had to quit the big hills because my runner's knee was killing me. I'd rather skip the little bit extra workout, and be able to walk every day. Those hills were making me take every other day off to ice my knee.

It's still pretty much the same walk as always.

Let's review. I walk the same way, at the same time, and have done so for years.

Why, now, all of a sudden, are there walkers on my walking route? Is there some sort of get healthy kick sweeping our community?

The other day I started off my walk following two people. It took me a few minutes to realize there were two more people behind me. Urgh!! When walking a sniffing Beagle, one does not need the pressure of keeping the right pace to stay ahead, but not to pass, other walkers. Plus, a Beagle has to do what a Beagle has to do.....And I do not need an audience when I have to bag a deposit.

Every day since, I have seen the same two people. They are usually on my route, walking at a brisk pace, catching up with me, or popping out through alleys and making me look all around for where they went.

It's enough to make me scream!

So, please, ladies and gentlemen, enough with the walking already! I was here first!

Plus, it's going to get crazy when I start walking both Beagles.....for the love of cripes, find a different route!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Zucchini: Friend To No Kid Or Beagle

Ah, yes, it's starting to be that time of year again, when you see free signs sitting next to lovely green piles of zucchini at the edges of people's yards. When I was a kid, I hated zucchini. Call it summer squash, try a little patty pan, and it was still my worst nightmare of a dinner, and the one thing we knew our garden would produce over abundantly.

As an adult, I've been known to sneak a couple free zucchinis home with me. I find they aren't so bad. Dice them up, throw them in a stir fry, and the kids usually don't notice them. The key is a nice Asian style sauce, but that's besides the point. We are eating a veggie here!

Emma and I were taking our usual walk the other morning, and we were almost done, passing one of the most beautiful gardens in our town. I always admire the rich dark earth, the big pumpkins, the vines of beans curling up the stakes, not to mention the gorgeous dahlias. This garden always looks perfectly groomed. I admit to being preoccupied with the height of the corn, and was taken by complete surprise when we came to the end of the garden fence, and Emma skittered and jumped about a foot away from the fence. I dropped my gaze to her, and she had all her back fur up and was clearly frightened by something.

I follow her stare, and saw two ginormous zucchini's propped against the fence. They glistened in the early morning sun and I wondered if they were free for the taking...they'd make a great addition to a Thai curry dish we were having for dinner.

I told Emma it was okay, but she remained unconvinced. She moved closer, slowly, and finally stretched her head out to try to sniff those weird things without getting a step closer. She jumped back again, completely unhappy.

I knew, even if they were free to me, I could not carry one home while walking Emma. She truly believed there was something seriously wrong with those green things.

Further proof that Beagles are super smart dogs. Zucchini is to be feared. Especially end of the season, unnaturally large, ready to be hidden in a dish for some unsuspecting family zucchini.

The kids should give Emma an extra treat tonight in thanks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember, Remember

7 years ago today, right about now, I think I was packing a bag for the kids and myself to take to my mom's house. I had sat on the living room floor that morning, watching the TV show all the horror that September 11th is, and I cried. I sent my son to school, and went to the store with my daughter. Our small town, so far away from the East Coast and all that was happening, was dead quiet. I was only one of a handful of people out. It was like we were all holding our breath waiting for the next shoe to drop.

For me it happened later that morning, when a call came from my husbands unit. Was he at work? Yes. Was this his cell phone number? Yes. I knew what that meant. I waited just a few minutes until the phone rang again.

It was my husband, asking me if I could get some of his gear together. Throw his spit kit and some civilian clothes into a bag. He was on his way home, his unit was being deployed. I called my mom, who picked our son up from school. Our pastor came over and prayed with us before he left.

But what I remember the most from that day is my husband and I standing in our bedroom, holding each other, knowing that could be the last moment we ever saw each other. We laughed a little at some joke that only we would think is funny, our tears could not be helped, and we talked about how much we loved each other, how each day with each other had been the best, how if this was it, we had packed more love and happiness into 9 years than we thought possible....and how grateful we were to have this one more moment, where so many others in the country were not so lucky.

That night I went to my parent's home. I could not stand to be alone in our house, with our young kids, when I had no idea where my husband was. For all we knew, he was on a plane headed to war.

He was gone for three months, but thankfully, it was not to war. He was stationed nearby, so he could come home on weekends. And every time he came home, I was reminded of how lucky I was. For the hardships we were having, it was nothing compared to thousands of other families trying to cope with the immense tragedy of loss.

Every year since, on September 11th, I stop and remember. I pray for the families, I pray for the soldiers, I pray for the police and fire fighters, and I also give thanks for what I have. I hope everyone does.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Day Of School Picture

Ah, the first day of school. I feel jittery and nervous, just like I did as a kid. Being the mom has never changed how I feel about school. I dread it! For the first time ever, I did not walk any kids to school. I stood at the back door and watched my son and his friends walk with my daughter to middle school. I resisted the urge to stand in the back corner of our yard and watch them walk all the way....we live so close I can almost see them all the way into the building. But I did not go farther than the back door. The kids would not have approved of me in my pj's, standing in our yard, watching them!

I had gotten up at 6:30, ready to make them eggs or something for breakfast, but they were sitting at the table, completely dressed and ready to go, eating granola bars and talking about school. Instead, I poured myself a cup of coffee, sat down at the table and used a permanent marker to write my daughters name on her calculator and school bag while I listened to them laugh and talk.

I have never taken a first day of school picture. Never. Not sure why, just didn't do it. I was sorely tempted to do so today. The first and last year they will both be at middle school...and I wanted to take a picture. Probably so I could add it to this blog! But when I mentioned it to my kids, my son told me he had always been proud that I wasn't weird like that. Okay. No picture!

No picture of those kids at least. Instead, I took my camera into my room and took a picture of my other two kids. Today is a day of firsts for them too: Sarah snuggled down under the covers this morning, without trying to play, and I had to wake both of the girls up. Sarah tried to burrow back under the covers, while Emma was resigned to the fact that if I've pulled the covers off of her, it's time to get up.Besides, I am a mother who believes in fairness always. I weaned them both at the same age, make sure they have an equal number of twix and dove chocolates in their Christmas stocking, and have never taken a picture of D on the first day of school. To take one of L on her first day of middle school, when I never did for D, would not be fair.

It's a good thing Sarah and Emma can't talk. I'm sure they would have said no thanks to a picture of their back legs in bed and that they have always been proud that I never took embarrassing photo's of them and posted them on the web!

It's a very good thing they can't talk!