Monthly Archives: December 2015

Newark airport is a pit

imageI can’t say that was obvious immediately. Actually, at first, there was a misleading charm (the worst kind of charm, I think) with regards to the scale of things. We walked right up to the mini checkin counter without delay. We were rid of our baggage and in possession of our boarding passes in less than 15 minutes. Great.

We made our way through the initial security screening noticeably more slowly. This was unfortunate because the shabbiness of the terminal became more apparent with each passing minute. The carpet was worn, the abundance of grey both inside and out was uncompromising. The prospective passengers were not interested in impressing in either appearance or good manners. It felt like the Penn Station of airports – dirty, rundown and filled with people who only wanted to get someplace else. It was not pleasant.

Once we made it through security the reward was minimal. Limited choices for food, less than friendly help at the gate… It seems that travel is no longer an exciting event to be anticipated – it’s more a dehumanizing ordeal to be withstood. Is it any wonder we willing go down those ramps and climb into planes being flown by unknown pilots? It’s as much to get away from where we are as it is to get to where we want to be.  Next stop Nashville.

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Filed under travel, Uncategorized, vacation

Christmas (being) present

imageI didn’t make the homemade cinnamon rolls like I did last Christmas. This year I banged open a can instead and, honestly, I think the boys enjoyed them almost as much. It was a fair compromise and followed our simple ham dinner from the eve before perfectly. We were all relaxed and able to enjoy our time together.

After the boys left to join their dad and extended family, I took care of some chores, finished packing and decided to take care of dropping my car off at the garage for a maintenance appointment I scheduled for next week. I drove towards Voorheesville along Whitehall Road, or, as I call it, the Wild West. For the second time in two days, I was passed by another car driven by a person who apparently needed to be somewhere else. I felt irritated by the frivolous law breaking, but decided to let the negative action of someone else inspire me to be positive. I began to feel excited by the thought of my long run home.

The route I was taking was challenging with some intense hills. I’ve never run it before, but I’ve cycled it and I feel pretty familiar with its path. The first mile, complete with short but steep hill, flew by and I got into my zone. I started thinking about the holiday, the pressures of being somewhere and performing and simply being present. Do people really believe that some sort of wrapped package can give them peace and joy?

Bolstered by my belief that I could do it, I ran up hills that had initially seemed intimidating. I considered how fortunate I was to be able to spend an hour and a half feeling the sun on my back and the air on my skin. Like this morning’s dining room dance with my youngest son to an Elvis soundtrack, I was there, in the moment, alive.

I felt sorry for the two drivers who were in such haste that they were willing to break the law to get ahead of me on a residential road. I feel sad when I think of people who spend their time projecting ahead or looking backwards, instead of being where they are right now. If that is your situation, maybe you should consider how to change it. This precious day that we’ve been presented only comes once. Make it your best present ever.

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Filed under Boys, breakfast, Christmas, Dinner, Exercise, family, holidays, musings, Observations, running, Uncategorized

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

This is my last day of work until New Year’s Eve, a fact which I’m kind of excited about. When you factor in that I’ll be away with a couple of my best girlfriends exploring bourbon a new city, I get almost a little giddy. Good times are ahead and I’m ready for them!

Last Saturday, for either the 5th or 6th consecutive year, I ran Albany’s Last Run. This event is absolutely my favorite run of the year – the course is terrific with a wonderful downhill finish and I just think Albany shines in a particularly bright fashion on this night. This year’s weather was perfect, it finally felt like winter for the night yet there was no precipitation or slippery stuff on the ground.

I have to admit that I nailed it, in terms of prep, parking my car near the restaurant in the early afternoon before they closed the streets, and leaving a change of clothes so I could shower at the Morgan State House, where friends were staying for the night. I ran to the course from the DelSo, arriving at the starting line warmed up and ready for the 5K and, without even really trying, finished with a decent enough time in a sometimes crowded race.

One of the best things about this time of the year, what really makes it wonderful, are the visits from friends who no longer live in the area. I absolutely love the way Lark + Lily has become almost an extension of my home as familiar faces stop in for a drink, a hug and even a bite to eat. It’s an unexpected and very welcome perk of this new life of mine.

At my real home, the cookies are nearly all baked, the stockings are hung and the ham is in the refrigerator waiting for its star turn on my dining room table on Christmas Eve. The next two days will be a balance between traditions (bagels and smoked salmon for breakfast, the holiday linens and Elvis) and winging it in a year with bizarrely warm temperatures and my resolve to simply enjoy the time with the guys I love.

My heart will be glowing.

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Filed under Albany, Christmas, Events, Exercise, family, friends, holidays, Lark Street, Local, travel

Some thoughts I’ve been thinking

imageI’m kind of a blunt girl at times. I can cushion a blow when necessary, but I tend to speak pretty plainly. I don’t like being misunderstood. That being said, I don’t appreciate coarseness in anything other than ground pepper.

During the past few years, I’ve grown increasingly repulsed by the contrast between public generosity and private miserliness. I like consistency, I guess. I understand that companies are not people, but I am offended by corporations who donate awesome amounts of money benevolently, yet fail to reward their employees. To me, that’s beyond vulgar.

I suppose you might find what I’m about to say next rude, but please accept it as a little present from me to you – don’t ever give me an appliance as a gift. Appliances are not presents, they’re obligations. We pretty much all need an oven, a refrigerator and a washing machine in our society, right? They’re practically utilities damn it.

Speaking of gifts, in the last few months I’ve twice found a pot of flowers on my front porch. Most recently there was a beautiful, nicely wrapped poinsettia, earlier in the fall there was a tremendous white mum. I’m curious about who might be anonymously leaving me flowers, but, I guess if they wanted me to know who they were from, they’d leave a card. So, could you leave a card next time, please?!?

I love flowers and graciously accept them. I would also gratefully receive new running headphones. I don’t know what the deal is, but seeking the perfect pair of headphones seems to be my life’s quest. The funny thing is the sound quality is maybe my third priority – I’m much more concerned with fit and reliability. Recommendations?

I’ve been watching Transparent on Amazon. I really like the show, but must admit that the fluid sexuality of the characters makes me feel like complete and utter white bread. I’m observing, not criticizing. Judgment free.

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Filed under DelSo, Flowers, musings, Observations, Random, running, television, Uncategorized

I need (to have) a dog

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different dog, same boy.

Two years ago, we let our 12 year-old lab, Cassidy, go. She made it clear that day when she laid down on the cold, snowy sidewalk and refused to get up, that it was time and she was ready. To this day, I so appreciate that she clearly communicated her need to be done to me. Just like the decision of when to have a baby, the right time to say goodbye to her probably would never have arrived for me. I still miss her and sometimes find myself calling our “new” lab by her name despite the fact that she was a she, and black, and Jeter is all boy and nearly white.

Jeter will be two next week. We celebrate his birthday on Christmas Day although we’re not 100% certain if he was actually born on the 24th or the 25th. His mom delivered 16 puppies and having a litter of that size was a bit chaotic and exhausting for all involved. Regardless of which day he was born, he was a true gift to our family and we love him dearly.IMG_6615

Those couple of months between losing Cassidy and bringing Jeter home, were uncomfortably quiet around here. On the days, and especially the nights, when the boys were at their dad’s house, my house echoed with their absence. I didn’t like it and can’t imagine the day when my house will feel like home without the presence of my children and a dog. Since the plan is for my boys to eventually move on and out, it looks like I’ll always need to have a dog. I hope I get to keep the one I have now for a good long time.

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Filed under aging, Boys, DelSo, family, favorites, house, love, musings, Uncategorized

My dead body

I’ve long known that when I die, I want to be cremated. It doesn’t make sense to me to take up space in the ground of our already crowded Earth. As a matter of fact, I’d rather not have my remains contained to an urn, either. I’ve already asked my three sons to divide my ashes into 3 vessels (Ziploc, Tupperware, whatever) which they are to use to transport me to my favorite places – Greenwood Lake, the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Wellfleet, MA. Upon arrival, and probably under cloak of darkness, they are to scatter my physical remains. I hope my sons do it together and make a road trip out of it – maybe with a special play list.

The other night, as I was dozing off, I decided that post-organ donation and prior to cremation, I’d like to donate my body to science. That sounds kind dramatic, doesn’t it? That’s not my intention, what I mean is that I’d like to give medical students the opportunity to dissect and study my body. Not because I’m some phenomenal physical specimen, but because I think I’d like for my body to be appreciated and respected for all the wonderful and challenging experiences it has had during my years of living.

Don’t you think it’s fascinating how much can be gleaned about a person’s life by their body? The scars we each bear are evidence of traumas we have faced and survived, some minor and others graver. The condition of our muscles speaks of their strength, a woman’s pelvic cartilage may reveal the number of children she birthed, and our teeth provide evidence of our overall health and diet. I just find it all so much more interesting than any graveside service could possibly be!

No rush, though. I’ve got a few more scars to collect before I’m ready to go.

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Filed under aging, Boys, Cape Cod, musings

3 things 3 years later

I smiled today because I got to wake up and spend time with my 10 year-old son. Since his dad and I divorced almost five years ago, this hasn’t been the case every single day. On the mornings he isn’t at my house, I miss starting the day with a hug from him, but I also appreciate the quiet of my alone mornings. It’s ok.

Today I thought about all of the families in Newtown, CT who have woken up now for 3 years without the presence of their children. My eyes fill with tears when I imagine the losses with which they have had to learn to live. They will never again start the day hugging their child.  That’s not ok in any way.

I don’t care what gun owners believe to be their “God given right” when it comes to purchasing and owning weapons. It will never trump the right of a parent to send their child to school with the expectation that they will return home again on a bus, not in a coffin. There’s nothing ok about that.

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