My baby turns 16 today. I started off his day with the well-known, “Sweet 16 and never been kissed.” Cooly, he replied, “Yeah, let’s just go with that.” How can it be that the tiny baby so long ago has turned into a nearly grown man?! And just who did he kiss?! Anyhow, this is a big year for him and Emily and I are so excited to see what comes next!
Some pics with his friends from his Winter Concert last night:
We have been busy with lots of stuff as I mentioned before and most of what we have been doing revolved around my coaching soccer again, the kids doing stuff in band, and work related obligations.
One thing, though, that I have been doing is a little different from that. Back in April, my company sponsored a 5K to benefit the local chamber of commerce’s scholarship fund. I ran a lot in high school as a member of the soccer team, but after that, I really didn’t run again. I decided to give running another try so I could train with Abigail who is on the middle school cross country team and so we could both run the 5K.
As I posted before, we ran the 5K which was pretty fun. What surprised me, though, is that I really enjoyed running. My first race nearly killed me as I pushed probably too hard, especially for the shape I was in. The thrill of racing and actually not embarrassing myself made me want to do it again though. My time in that first race was 27:30…not a bad time and it piqued my interest. I wondered if that was my max or if I could get better. I know I am not old yet, but I am not young either.
Since then, I have continued running and have come to really enjoy it. I tried running with music but it drives me crazy. I prefer to listen to my breathing and to the birds and the squirrels. I like to look up at the sky at the clouds or keep count of just how many people pick their noses when they drive. Someone asked me what I think about when I run (assuming I must get bored). Sometimes I think about this or that, but most times, I literally think about nothing. I sort of zone out and occasionally take in a sound or a sight, but I don’t really ponder life’s deeper meanings or worry about stressors. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.
I sort of like running after dark through neighborhoods. I quietly cruise by homes and hear people talking or watching tv. I can smell a steak cooking a mile away and people make a lot of popcorn in the evenings. I run 2-3 nights during the week and most times it is after dark. It’s quiet then and even easier to zone out and the stars are pretty amazing when I take the time to look up.
I try to do a longer run on Saturday mornings. Emily and the kids sleep in most weekends. I have always been an early riser so it sort of works out perfectly. I may run 8 or 10 miles on Saturdays before they wake. When I start to smell bacon cooking on my trail, I know people are waking up and it’s about time to head home.
I really like racing and my best 5K time from a few weeks ago was 22:10. It’s a little harder to zone out on race day as I get pretty wound up waiting for the starting gun. During the race, it’s all about keeping myself from running too fast the first mile and then having nothing left for the next 2 miles.
I do not think my goal in running is only to race, but it’s a nice side benefit. What’s better, though, is that I have met some pretty cool people and stand amazed at what people can do, physically. I ran my most recent race with a 60 year old man, a new friend of mine. We talked about our plan for the race as we stood in the starting chute, but we both had doubts about whether we could pull off what we had discussed. We ran a pretty fast race and he and I stayed together throughout and we ran just under the pace we had decided on. Before running, I never dreamed a 60 year old man could run a race, let alone a pretty fast pace. Older men then he ran even faster than we did though and did it with apparent ease. Of course, they were not new to running, but age didn’t hold them back one bit.
This is a meandering post, but I think it sort of mimics my thoughts on running. My mind wanders about how I will age and what I think about (and what I don’t think about). I like to be exposed to new people and especially people who don’t fit my stereotypes. I also like an occasional shot of adrenaline that comes on race day rather than during rush hour!
As with all things we do, our project to install our woodstove at the executive deer stand has gone slowly. About a year ago, some friends helped me cut a hole in our perfectly good roof and feed a stovepipe through it. Emily thinks we stalled like that for a year, but I prefer to think of that year as all-season, extreme weather testing. Finally, in the last few weeks, we found a little room to breathe in our schedule and finished actually attaching the stove to the well-tested stovepipe!
The funny thing is that we actually bought the stove about 4 years ago. Four years ago we were optimistic on how long it would take us to build the cabin…”oh, about 6 months, right?” Yeah…right…
Anyhow, we fired up the stove with the first fire and it was glorious! Although it was an unseasonable 70 degrees, it will still absolutely wonderful to enjoy its heat. I was a little ridiculous, but I bet I ran back and forth outside ten times watching for smoke in the chimney…I just wanted to see it work! Of course, it was a good fire so didn’t produce much smoke which was good and bad I guess.
And what will we burn in this stove you ask? We just happened to have to cut down a few trees at our house. The lumberjacks left the tree cut up in sections, but unsplit on the ground where it dropped. All together, I think we had wood from 4 or 5 trees. We burned a bunch in the firepit but still have a really good pile of wood….or actually, several really good piles.
At first, I wanted to buy a woodsplitter but decided to rent one instead…right decision. We knocked out splitting a lot of wood in a weekend and hauled it to our woodshed at the deer stand over the course of a few weeks…
So, now we can let it snow and blow. Assuming we can get near the cabin, we can be plenty warm!
I know I have said it before, but I will say it again…I really hate winter. It’s dark early, it’s not just pleasantly cool but really cold. Winter means snow which means slush and muck everywhere. It means waiting on the car windshield to defrost. As a lifelong cheapskate, it also means higher gas bills to prevent Jack Frost’s nipping too hard at our noses.
But one cool thing that happens in the Winter because of both the heat and dryness of Winter is my bath towel dries out quickly. I typically use my towel for several days before laundering it. Of course, that means I hang it to dry between uses like most people. In the summer, though, it doesn’t always dry out between my shower and when I wash my face or whatever. I don’t know why, but using an already wet towel is a real drag. That’s never a problem in the Winter though! I can wash my dry, cracked and chapped hands as often as I want and never have to worry about using an already-wet towel! Ah, glorious Winter…sort of…
It’s been quite awhile (almost 3 months) since I have written anything and I am sort of bummed about that. This space has always been sort of my diary, albeit a public one. But it’s how I hope to keep track of stuff we have been doing, share pics with friends, and make new friends. It’s just that things have gotten so busy that writing has just sort of fallen by the wayside.
Basically, we have been very involved with band, sports, and life…some of the very things I like to write about. But this time around, it seems like those things are all we do and I cannot possibly write about the same three or four things over and over.
Anyhow, things have slowed down a lot and I am going to try to catch up. I am not sure who I am addressing and I hate those random vague thoughts sent out to the Internet that people seem to do far too often on facebook, but I needed a chance to just log in again and write something. Maybe I am just writing to myself as a sort of kick in the pants to get back into writing…