Monday, July 30, 2007

Not having done it in fifteen years didn't make it any easier

It never gets easier. I count myself lucky that I've seldom had to do it. I've been blessed with good people, I've chosen well. But recently (and reluctantly) I had to let someone go.

It was sort of like firing; I had to fire her from being my friend. The chances were out, the strikes, way beyond three. I gave it time, a lot of time. I thought having the bigger heart and waiting it out was the way to go. After all, my friend was going through a hard time, and if I couldn't hold on then, what sort of friend would that make me?

I held on, I let time pass. I let the emotional roller coaster cycle through, time and again. I thought as long as it wasn't my emotional roller coaster, I could let it pass. But then, she discovered this. She realized that somehow, my choice of not letting her decisions affect me meant something was wrong.

We now know this something as drama.

I saw right through it, though it wasn't her plan. She wanted to pour oil on the flames, I had the extinguisher. She was sliding down a steep, slippery spiral, I wouldn't sacrifice to go with her. I couldn't. It wasn't because she was asking too much, it was because she wasn't. She assumed I could be there, without question. Or morals. Or self-preservation.

I did question, though. And chose morals, and self-preservation. I had to.

The entire thing felt very business-like. Sort of similar to when I'd have to give bad feedback reports on volunteers, in my college internship days. I didn't want to ruin anyone's day, I didn't want to be negative, but when it came down to it, I had to be. It was hurting the cause, affecting more than just me.

She wasn't always bad, which is the part that makes it difficult. There were good times, times of hard work and play. But choices were made, and roads were chosen. Priorities changed, in ways I never expected, and very few people surprise me. (Us closet cynics have that sense.) Sooner or later, things like that just bring everything to a halt. A grinding halt.

So I let go. It's not easy, not without a share of guilt. But it's right.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I told her we all have those moments

My sister, always the athletic one, wants to start running again. She asked me to help her, to get her into some training. Maybe motivate her a little. (This is how we know we're grown up. She can ask for help, I can give it, and we both come out alive.)

So today, after my long run, I met up with her and we did a little "trial run." She needs some time to get acclimated, not just to running again but to living at six thousand feet. When you run here and you just start out, you are pretty sure your lungs are going to burst into flames. It takes a couple weeks to adapt to that- the feeling doesn't go away, but you get used to it.

We set out for three miles today, with planned walk breaks. We made it through a half mile, she was still smiling. We walked a bit, and then ran another half mile. I stood there, beaming at her with pride. A new or returning runner is always so exciting, but when it's your sister [and you're me] it's all you can do to not jump up and cheer her on with pom poms.

"You just did something 99% of people cannot do," I told her, as we took another short walk break.

"What?" she asked me, while she gulped her water.

"Most people on this planet cannot run one mile. How do you feel?"

"Dumber than most people on the planet, to tell you the truth."

This is going to be great!


Thanks so much to everyone who commented and emailed regarding my last post. I know that by and large, everyone I ever "know" here or anywhere else on Earth is great and sometimes, there are exceptions. It makes me appreciate you all more, that's for sure.

Between you all and being able to look at this little face everyday, I have no worries. Life is good.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hopefully the only time I'll let myself respond to something so ridiculous

I started this site something like one year and seven months ago. Over that time, aside from the occasional strange comment or mean email, I've had nothing but great experiences reading about people's lives, opinions, questions, jokes and so much more. The fun I've had expressing my own thoughts here has far outweighed anything negative I've ever had to deal with. I just consider myself lucky. I've avoided the controversy/drama/people with their heads in their hiney quite well.

Then, as I mentioned in my last post, someone made a comment to me on another blog that I let hurt my feelings. Fine. Another person on Earth doesn't agree with me. Not exactly shattering information here. I talked about it, I got over it. This other person though, (we'll call her Amanda) did not get over it. In fact, Amanda took it upon herself to follow my link to this site, find my email address and send me an email.

She tried to start out being kind "look, I ain't saying you don't know anything." Okay fine, Amanda. Thanks for that. Then it gets better, much better! "I just think that if you were a good Christian woman you would know what I meant." Okay, so now I'm a bad Christian woman. She goes on to say "maybe if you focused a little less on thinking you knew what you were talking about and a little more on actually learning and developing your life in a good way, you'd recognize where you were lacking." I was unaware I've been underdeveloped so far. "It has been my experience that people without faith have little to offer when it comes to giving others direction."

Amanda, apparently the one person on Earth with a red phone to the Lord, went on for quite a while. I'm not sure if she read all four hundred or so of my posts or none at all, but she sure does believe she knows me. And not all but about 90% of the bones in my body are telling me it doesn't matter what Amanda says. So you got a random email, big deal. But then there's that part of me that's irritated. Because how dare she. How dare Amanda, never having commented on my blog before or since, insult me. How dare she insult my Christianity. My faith.

I know I don't talk about my beliefs much around here. And believe you me, it's not likely headed that way. But regardless of what I've posted or not (I know it is shocking to you, Amanda, that someone's entire life may not be on their blog) I have deep beliefs. Beliefs that I rarely doubt or question and though I am not perfect, I am profoundly offended that someone would use my choice to talk about my faith sparingly as a tool to insult me. To make assumptions about my life. I find it hard to believe, in all her "experience" Amanda hasn't learned the number one rule when making assumptions. (Hint for Amanda: It starts with A-S-S.)

Shallowly, perhaps, I wonder about Amanda. I wonder why she feels the need to judge a stranger. I wonder if, on her blog, she shares these opinions. I wonder if she has readers that think like this. I wonder what I'd say to her, if anything. But after going through all this, writing it all out, I have nothing for Amanda.

However, it does remind me of a Sunday School lesson when we learned that even if we don't care for some people, it still might be a good idea to pray for them.

Then we'll just have to move again

Some friends of mine have been renovating their new home. Mostly, they've been doing the work themselves. In the beginning, I think they were excited. "A real bonding experience," they thought. Now, I think when one of them doesn't throw a belt sander at the other's head, they consider it a good day.

"Jill? JILL!"

"WHAT!" She wasn't asking a question.


"I'M OUT FRONT! Could you please not yell across the house for me... at least not right now."

Sam shows up on the front porch. "What are you talking about?"

"Don't yell across the house for me when I'm bringing trash from the house to the porch."

"Okaaaayyyy..." Sam doesn't know where she's going with this.

"You just can't yell and draw attention to us with all this trash on the porch! Then we'll be known as 'those people with the trashy house who yell all the time.'"

They hope to have all renovations complete by Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This is me, all over the place

I am insane. JACC was right. To counter, apparently, my 4:00 a.m. run from my last post, I decided tonight, an 8:00 p.m. run was in order. I was busy earlier, I told myself. And it was hot, my gosh was it hot. I think it was four hundred degrees as it has been for the last week. So I told myself I'd wait. Or maybe do another early run tomorrow. These were all good excuses, I thought. But as I ran tonight, I just got to thinking I'm so all over the place lately, it's obvious my urge to run is no different.

There are a lot of reasons for it, I suppose. In a lot of ways, it's been evident all around. The following, because I lack creativity at the moment, are good examples of the crazy that has been me here lately:

- I actually woke myself up in the middle of the night by talking. Of course, I've been known to talk in my sleep (I used to scare my sister out of her room when we were younger) but this was just a bit much. I was having a pretty serious conversation.

- I have been relying entirely too much on cold cereal to sustain me. Don't get me wrong, I love cereal but even I know this is not good.

- My sister and nephew arrived yesterday. They're here for the duration, until my brother-in-law comes home. This is not really an example of why I've lost it unless you count that I actually believe deep in my heart that I really can sing just because a one-year-old dances when I do.

- The other day, on someone's blog, another commenter made a [what I consider to be closed-minded] comment to me and it actually hurt my feelings. I inexplicably got pretty offended when I know I shouldn't, because I don't know this person. I think if you make comments on a blog, they're fair "game." I guess everyone does not see it this way. Alright, enough of that.

- I have really been in the mood to mow the lawn. I offered to mow my mother's tonight and she told me no. No. I couldn't believe it.

- I am starting school at the end of the month. Oh, I haven't mentioned this, you say? Yeah, I know. It's because I haven't thought about it. I keep telling myself I'll get into it. Any minute now...

- I bought a lottery ticket. Need I say more?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

There have been times in my life when I haven't even gone to bed by 4:00 a.m.

My run this morning was forced. Not the steps, but rather the time. Because I insist on starting work early (or at least showing up) I'm not a morning runner on weekdays. I figure I'm up at 5:00 a.m. as it is, getting up earlier just seems a little... wrong.

But today was different. Today is already planned, taken up by incoming flights and driving. By early meetings at work followed by rushing out of the office saying "sorry, I have to go." One look at Tuesday on this week's calendar, and you'd see- there's just no room for running.

So I decided it would have to happen early or not at all. Pre-dawn, or not at all. I got myself to bed at a decent hour (requiring a plan in itself), set the alarm for 3:50 a.m. (I know!) and set out my running clothes. To be honest, I gave myself a 50/50 chance of actually getting out of bed.

Somehow, though, I did it. The alarm went off, and I sat up. Wide awake; the kind of awake you are when you know you could lie back down, but you wouldn't sleep. So I got up. I changed my clothes, glanced at myself in the mirror, grabbed my Garmin and was out the door. I pushed 'Start' at 4:01 a.m. It's a little frightening to even think about that. It feels very unreal, even if there are people that do it every day.

It took me about a mile to settle in, to get over the feeling that someone was going to "get" me. I have a fairly constant, sometimes irrational fear of being gotten. Once that feeling passed, and I realized I was probably able to at least out run (if not pepper spray) anyone else out at 4:00 in the morning, I started to enjoy it.

The air was cool and almost crisp. It was lovely to feel more heat generated by me than by the environment around me, as has been the case with every other run this Summer. It was quiet, so peacefully quiet. The only souls I passed were a cat lying in the middle of the street, basking under the light of the streetlamp, and two paper delivery folks. All three stared at me like I was the crazy one. They're probably right.

I didn't feel crazy, though. I felt great. And as I kept track of the time, I kept telling myself it wasn't "wake up time" yet. It was as if I was running before I was actually up. Ironically, once the clock neared 5:00 and I was near home, I did feel more awake. I watched a few minutes of the news, and then went about the morning as if I hadn't just covered more than five miles.

It feels good to have done more before 5:00 a.m. than many people will do all day. I might just have to get into this pre-dawn thing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Life is more like a river than a lake

Yes, there is a possibility that I have just been allowed to have it too good lately. Though I've been working hard enough to come home at the end of the day and tell myself "you've worked hard, you need a break" I also think I've been pretty lucky with the breaks so far.

If nothing else, I've at least been lucky to have spent them with really wonderful people. Although the places and the weather have all been beautiful, I can't help but think the people you spend your time with, if they're really awesome people that you love, would be people you'd be with anywhere.

I found myself thinking that a lot over the weekend. Around the campfire or on the lake shore, I just sat back and took it all in. I'm always in fear a little of bringing up the good. I don't want to brag anyone to death or, heaven forbid, make it all go away by talking about it. At the same time, though, that is what the good is about, isn't it? It's there to enjoy- to celebrate as if this feeling, this moment itself might be what we always use to define good.

Earlier in life, at times when I didn't know what awful really was, I wasn't great at recognizing life's truly good moments. I didn't really know the stark, meaningful contrast between love and hate or peace and fighting. Hate was the girl that purposely kicked sand on me, war was a yellow button I wore on my jacket.

Growing up, growing old, is such a bittersweet contrast in itself. The nostalgia, the lust for those days gone by is only overshadowed by the appreciation that develops over time. Over the weekend, as is often when friends get together, the question came up of would you ever go back in time?
My first instinct is to say yes, knowing what I know now, of course. But then I think about it, and realize nothing I remember would have been remotely as grand had I not had the privilege of innocence. I wouldn't have cared deeply about getting a perm or missing an episode of Beverly Hills 90210. I wouldn't have gotten butterflies at the thought of a boy sitting next to me on the bus or have been surprised by Halloween haunted houses. So no, today I'd say going back would just not work. Mostly, it would prevent moving forward. It would prevent weekends at the lake, to be with friends and reminisce.

And what are good weekends with empty margarita glasses and clear blue skies worth if you can't reminisce about being seventeen again? I certainly wouldn't be able to tell the story of the last time I was at this here lake, when the girls met up with the boys, likely all having stretched the truth with the parents. Where we walked shoulder to shoulder, wondering if he was going to take our hand. The boathouse where the girls would go to tell one another which boy liked them and which was a "loser." The hill where, in the late night hours, you might sneak off and, you know, read.
I don't need to go back to that. Remembering it is part of the magic. And life, in it's sneaky, quiet way just keeps getting better and better.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Endless in my mind

A few days ago, when I asked for opinions about the cities you call home, I was very impressed by all the responses. Sometimes, I think it's easy to forget that home, like many things we love, can both drive us crazy and amaze us.

This weekend, I'm off to the lake with some friends. They are nice to invite me although they all seem to agree there is something wrong with me as I actually enjoy living in the small space of a trailer. Either I'm low maintenance or I'm just overwhelmed by how "cute" everything is. Seriously, a house squeezed into forty feet of sheet metal is cute. Have you seen the oven? Adorable.

Of course, my excitement isn't just about miniature appliances and toilets. I get to hang out with friends, float around on the boat and soak up some sun, too. Sometime in the past few years, when I wasn't paying attention, I became one of those people that says "where has Summer gone?" The difference between me and most people is that the idea of Summer being more than half over sends me into a panic.

I feel a sense of urgency to soak up even more, hold onto it as if it's slipping away. Sure, I've done quite well with enjoying it so far, but I can't help but feel it's being taken away. So I'll head out to the lake, and off into the mountains. I'll have drinks on patios and you know I'll wear the heck out of the flip flops and I'll keep asking you if you're doing the same. We can keep it alive, right?

And if that's not enough, at least I know when the cooler days start to sneak in here, there's also a land of endless summer I have look forward to.

Enjoy it, y'all.

And don't make fun of me for saying "y'all."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

One Must Control One's Ambition

Yesterday, against the odds, I had a fantastic run. As I was out on the roads, chugging away and feeling surprisingly good about it, I found myself almost elated. I kept thinking how I was going to come home and call some of my running friends and tell them "woot! I am back!" How happy they'd be- how tolerant.

I thought of how I'd write a story on my blog that though it was ninety-five degrees and drier than fire, I still managed to keep a good pace and, gasp!, enjoy myself. I thought I'd talk about hills as if they were nothing and how my body felt powerful and strong again.

No matter who I encountered on the run, I wanted to tell them all how great I felt and how happy I was. I felt the need to grab them by the shoulders (yes, even the elderly lady and her poodle) and tell them exactly how fantastic it was and shout DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS TO ME! I was fully charged, like I could have run all night.

Then, I got home, drank a half gallon of water, ate some dinner, watched thirty minutes of some new-fangled* Candid Camera, and went to bed. No need to get ahead of ourselves.


* It is too a word. I don't care what spell check or anyone else says.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why Things Between Siblings Will Always Be Unique

If you have siblings you know that of everyone in the world, they probably know you best. You might not admit it and, heck no do you talk about it but you know. And they know, too.

Along with knowing you so well, siblings have this way of bringing you back to reality. No putting on airs, no going to extremes. No matter what cloud you might be on and regardless of what their intention might be, no one puts your feet on the ground faster.

The following is from an email I recently sent my sister:

... I'm so glad you guys are going to be here soon! I'm looking forward to the time we'll get to spend together, unrushed, unhurried. It'll be like we get to know each other again, and better. And I'll get to be an aunt. A full-time aunt. I'm so happy to do that! It'll be great. It means so much to me that we'll be such a part of one another's life for a while. It's such an important time for that. We'll always remember this..."
And on I went for another paragraph more.
The response from my sister:
"I'm excited, too. Were you drinking when you wrote this?"

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Your Town

At times, I very seriously toss around the idea of moving. Of just picking up life and going somewhere different and new. I long for something new, more diverse, richer. Different.

Mostly for curiosity (but also for that little nagging voice that's always saying "go go go") I look into things like climate, crime, the job market, proximity to mountains/trails/beaches and whether or not the town has a reputable microbrewery nearby. Like I said, mostly for curiosity.

The thing is, I really love my town. I love the hot summers and the cool mountains. I love the lifestyle people embrace here. I love that my family is nearby. I love that there's an airport close that will take me anywhere I could ever think to go. I appreciate the winters (though you know I do not love them) and I look forward to Spring and Fall. I am involved in the community and have good friends here. And SUN! We have so much sun.

But I still wonder.

I think about the Northwest- would I be lost without all those sunny days? I think about the Midwest- is it true what they say about the bugs? I think about the Northeast- could I find good trails? I think about the Gulf- could I take the humidity? I think about it all. Carolina? Texas? New York? Georgia? California?

Honestly, there are some places I would not live. This number, though, is far outweighed by all the places I'm willing to try. Not that "trying out" a new city is realistic for me, but it's good to know.

So how about you? How about your city? What brought you there? Why do you like it? Why do you love it? What drives you crazy about it?

One thing we learn about where we live are those little things that you really don't know until you live there. Here in Colorado, for instance, we often find transplants that don't know much about the basics of Winter driving. An example: Ice is slippery.

Say I'm going to move to your city, what would you want me to know? What wouldn't I "get" until I lived there?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Give it a Minute

For the past couple weeks, running has been the least fun thing I've done. After the wonderful relay experience, I just lost it. It was like the wall of all walls. Every time I've put my shoes on and stepped onto the road I've been nowhere near into it. One day, my knee would hurt, the next day, a shin. I had a nagging tendon for a while and then an angry ankle. It was too hot, then too windy. Worst of all, my head wasn't in it.

I'm always the runner to say "I don't care how fast I'm running, I just don't want to walk." I hardly ever will stop a run to walk, even with pain. Over the last couple weeks, though, I've gotten somewhere around two miles into almost every run and felt the need to stop and walk. So I did. Some days, I'd complete all my miles by walking them. And I never once felt badly about it.

I don't think anyone should feel less-than for walking, of course, but this is just highly unusual for me. It's been frustrating that it's lasted a while. I can't really figure it out. I thought it was just one bad run, but then it turned into two and three and four. It kept happening. I thought the dangerous thoughts like maybe running isn't for me anymore or maybe I'm just a two miler. Nothing wrong with that, I told myself. I just stopped looking forward to it.

I came up with a few plans. Drop the mileage, then build back up. Cross train more. Get more sleep. I tried a lot of plans.

But then, today, forty minutes after I'd worked through lunch and eaten at my desk, I went to the locker room, changed my clothes and headed out. The skies were dark, the kind of clouds that open and pour for hours. I breathed in and waited a minute, but I didn't turn back. I'd just eaten, I could have gotten cramps. I didn't turn back. I just started running, letting the cool air blow my hair back and the noise of traffic fade into the background. I felt good after a mile, and still after two. Into the third mile I knew the rain was coming, so I headed back.

Just a 3.4 mile loop in all, but I felt like it could have been 10. Finally, I thought, a run that means I still know how to run. I'd hoped it was in there somewhere, even after all my end-of-the-world-as-I-know-it talk. And it was.

Of course I don't know how the next run will go. I don't know that it'll be pain free or exhilarating. But I'll go for it anyway and try to remember that running is not only part of life but is just like life. Sometimes it's up, sometimes it's down and sometimes you just need a minute.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Because 'Hi' is for Wussies

"Does his shirt say I heart girls that do curls?"

"Yeah, looks like it."

"What is that? What do you say to a guy that wears a shirt like that?"

"I love you, too?"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It is really for your own protection

I like things on time.

I'm not afraid to admit it. I like when 6:00 means 6:00 and ten minutes actually turns out to be ten minutes. I like meetings to start on time and more so, end on time. It is less because I am uber-important and I have a scientifically orchestrated schedule and more that I just like things to go as planned. (Hello, do we notice a theme this week? Yes, I know. Thank you.)

This is odd because I do consider myself a spontaneous person. Just last night, in fact, I pushed a fully clothed friend into a pool just because I could. How is that for spur of the moment? I am not the person who knows what they're having for dinner a week from tomorrow or how many miles I'll run on Saturday (though please, God, let it be some miles because the running lately has not been stellar- but we will discuss this another day). I'm all for just going with what feels good, within reason, and letting the rest happen.

The thing is, it's dangerous. Something not starting or ending on time equals me, slightly afflicted with all things hyperactive, to be left to my own devices. If I have a block of time that I thought was accounted for, who knows what could happen. There's a long list of things I've done when I had unplanned spare time including clean the oven (good), "invent" my own beer tap (not good), and write a song about thongs (oh trust me, way before any other song about thongs came about- remind me to share it sometime, you'll love it).

I guess what I'm saying is, if anything you have planned ever involves me, please be as on time as possible. If you're going to meet me for a run at 4:00, know that I will be ready at 4:00. I cannot be responsible for any ridiculousness that might occur if you're late.

Exhibit A:

Monday, July 09, 2007


It started almost as soon as we were dancing. We’d talked a little before but the conversation continued on the wood floor. It was a slow dance, as all the sweetest ones are, and the music was low. It allowed for time to talk, to joke and laugh a little. It was just small stuff, but in my mind, things were jumping ahead.

I knew his name, his work, some of his friends. The ball started rolling. I wondered if we liked the same things. Did we share beliefs? Backgrounds? It all started flooding in.

It continued on the drive home. I started the list, the list of the few but important things that mean the difference between interested and not. And then, I freaked out, which had nothing to do with him, or anyone, for that matter. It was just me.

I was not surprised by this, really. You just start to wonder. How will a person fit into my life? How will that work? Can any person fit into my life? Will they be up for all that entails? And how can I fit into their life? It sounds like panic, but I justify it by calling myself a planner. To me, it's smart. Did I need to be doing the planning right then? No. But I'm somewhat glad I think that way anyway. Long gone are the days when I don't need someone to "get it" to be with them. Understanding is more important than I used to think. For lack of better wording, I have things I need to do right now and though I'm not afraid to put it out on the table, I'm also not willing to give up on what, to me, is a very possible dream.

And I know all those things about “the right person, right place, right time.” I know we don’t give up dreams for people or people for dreams. I know there is such thing as happiness and compromise. I know all this. I know we always have a choice. Still, it makes me wonder (and freak out a little). My mind wrestles between the enormity of possibility and the desire to see another chair filled at the dinner table.

The things that seemed ideal a year or two ago are no longer. People don’t seem to get that, how things can change. Or maybe it’s my mind that changed, I don’t know. What I do know is I can’t compromise some things right now. There’s too much riding on what might be, what dreams combined with planning and serious intent could bring. I can’t stop that now.

It’s strange what a dance can do. The thoughts that cross your mind when you move in a circle close to another person, with their hand on your back and their breath on your shoulder. It’s no reason to freak out, though. It’s no reason to worry about giving anything up or changing your life. You can’t think about what you’ll say when the phone rings or how you’ll say it.

I know I don’t need to worry about it. I can’t. I know things work out and life goes on and in spite of momentary breakdowns or lapses of calm, everything is going to be just fine. I don’t need to think about it. It was just a dance, and the dance was pretty good.

Friday, July 06, 2007

In summer, the song sings itself. ~William Carlos Williams

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~Celia Thaxter

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~Sam Keen

A life without love is like a year without summer. ~Swedish Proverb

No price is set on the lavish summer;

June may be had by the poorest comer.

~James Russell Lowell

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon;

to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

~Henry James


And how are you soaking up your summer?


Thursday, July 05, 2007

And then I reached out and gave you all a big hug

It is a little strange getting email from strangers asking questions to which you don’t have answers. Not because you don’t know answers, but because you never thought about it before.

As several who know me as well as my blog-type friends might have figured out by now, I’m seriously bad about getting to the emails. I read them all, I really do. And then, when I don’t have time to respond thoughtfully and completely well, I sometimes don’t come up with anything at all. So I just think I’ll do it later. Like later when I say I’ll update the links or when I say I want to revamp this site but then I never do. Because I run out of time, or don’t know where to go or what to do and am too busy/tired/dense to say HELP ME.

Anyway. Tangent. Oops.

Some things, though, beg a response. And being that I’ve had the question before, I’m even more excited that I now, too, have an answer!

I can’t figure you out. You talk about so many different things and seem to have too many different passions. I just can't figure out what kind of blog this is?

That was the inquisition I read over my caffeine yesterday morning. At first, I wanted to blow it off. “Too many different passions.” What 's that about? Perhaps, though, I know what it means. I do bounce around a lot here. I’ve had people say “I thought ‘Just Run’ would be more about running.” But you know, I never did. I thought, when I started writing here, that running was just a huge part of me, but not entirely me. And over the last year and a half, it’s been apparent that some people don’t want all the rest.

When I talk about running, races, shoes and knee injuries, I do enjoy it. Love it, in fact. If I didn’t have running, it’s tough to tell what kind of shape I’d be in (in every sense). But my emailer is right, there’s a lot more. I can go for weeks without talking about running because I’m hung up on people, the beach, music and a host of other distractions. Equal to running, I don’t know what life would be like without all these other obsessions, either.

Then I got to the part of the email that I found really interesting. The part I know an answer to for sure.

What kind of people do you expect to come here?

In short: Any people.

All of you I’ve found “out there” are who I want to come here. It matters not what you look like, what you wear, where you work or what you drive. It doesn’t occur to me that you might be different than me or that you have lost your hair or that you might write run-on sentences. I don’t think about if we like the same movies, make the same amount of money or have been to the same places. And I am so thankful that is the case.

Our lives and passions all intersect in some way, and somehow, we’ve all intersected here. That, for me, is what it’s about. You come to see me, I come to see you. I comment, or not. You comment, or not. It is what it is. This is all likely to end in much the same fashion it began, fairly uneventfully. But when it does, I’d like to think I opened myself and my words to everyone and always made it clear that you don’t have to be a woman or a runner or single or flip-flop wearer or anything else to relate to me. You just have to be you.

We are what we are. And I can’t thank you enough.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Has a Face

Today, and every day, so many people are being missed.

To my brother-in-law and all the men and women he stands beside every day, we are thinking about you. We know you are in an impossible situation. We know you are real people in a real war.

We think about you all. We pray for you all. We want you home.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Now who wouldn't want to run down this road?

(Look closely, those are balloons. Isn't that cool or am I just too easily amused?)
An open road. Few things entice me more. Even sleep-deprived, in pain and having skipped breakfast, I couldn't wait to run down this.
What sight makes you feel like hitting the road?

Monday, July 02, 2007

My Windshield on the World, Part 7 (maybe)

I have failed in being an obsessive blogger (an obsessive cleaner, apparently, is more my style) and haven't tagged my old posts well. In fact, I haven't tagged them at all. We could be on the sixth, seventh or even eighth 'Windshield' post and yet, I couldn't tell you to save my life. In addition, I am far too lazy to go through and check. So, we'll call this seven because everyone knows that is lucky and lucky is always better than not.

I give you My Windshield on the World, Island Edition.

Driving in the islands is always a guaranteed adventure. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. This, however, pretty much means nothing.

Even if you remember to keep left, honk the horn on the hairpin turns and realize a spontaneous family reunion might happen in the middle of the road, you still cannot be prepared for all you might encounter.

Like goats...

And donkeys...

Just before I took this photo, there was a vehicle in front of me full of very loud children that were trying to feed the donkeys. The donkeys have no problem taking food from you. They also have no problem kicking a dent in your door, which is what he did when the screaming children stopped doling out the food.

I felt badly for the tourists with a dent in their rental car- that is no fun come return day. I gotta say, though, I was sort of on the donkey's side. The kick to the door was the only thing that was going to get that car out of the way and those kids to quit screaming.

Even with all the adventure and challenges island driving brings, one thing is certain:

Nothing beats the view.