Archive | November 2013

Next time, I’ll stay on the road…



If I haven’t mentioned before, I run.  I have misgivings about calling myself a “runner” at this point, because I have a definition in my head of what a real runner is, and I’m not quite there yet.  But that is a blog for a different day.

Yesterday I went running in a park near my home.  It was a beautiful day, a little chilly, which I really like.  Only planning on 3.5 miles, I was running a simple out and back.  My last segment before I turned around involved running on the street, facing traffic.  The road had a shoulder and the speed limit is 25, so it was relatively safe.

As I neared my turn around point, a man on a bicycle was headed toward me.  I figured he had the right of way, so I hopped off the pavement and into the dirt to give him the road.

As I moved into the dirt, I must have clipped a branch because my feet got tangled and I began falling to the ground like a human domino.  I landed flat on my knees and stomach in wet dirt and leaves.  And the man on the bike just zipped past me.

I was on hands and knees, level with his spokes and he zoomed right by without so much as a pause.  Nothing.  Not like I was expecting him to stop and give me a ride to my car on his handlebars like two aged members of the Von Trapp family, but a drive by, really???

I think it would have been easier for me to understand if he was dressed head to toe in biking gear.  Then, I could have told myself that he was training for some important event and couldn’t afford the distraction.  But this guy was wearing khakis and a fleece jacket, not quite a performance bike uniform.

Shocked, yet still capable of a little snarkiness, I blurted out “Just trying to make it easier for you, Sir.”  I’m not even sure where that came from, calling him sir as I picked myself up off the ground.  No reaction, again, nothing…

I stood up and assessed the damage, some dirt, and another minor dent to my ego.

“You’re okay,” I said out loud as I began to run again.  I felt fine and I wasn’t hurt, so I continued.  It was then that I noticed a strong and very yucky smell.

“OMG, did I fall in dog poop?!?!?”

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***Apparently it was a false alarm, I kept running and the smell of dog poop went away.

The Battle of Crayola

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A few weeks ago, I decided to take my children to the Crayola Experience as an afternoon activity.  I thought it was the Crayola Factory, but Experience was probably more accurate, because I’m pretty sure they’re not making the crayons at this location.  And, for me, it was definitely an experience.

We were a party of four, one adult to each child and my aunt and I took advantage of the opportunity to leave the stroller in the car.  Typically my life is two against one, and the stroller is a must.  But with two adults, man to man defense is possible, most times.

It was a great afternoon, super cute crayons and markers were made.   We learned about the Crayola version of Play Doh, “a superior product,” according to the staff person, and much fun was had.  The children behaved like rock stars, going from room to room without so much as a peep of resistance.  They even seemed to take the news of our visit’s end in stride.

Then, in a super generous gesture to convert my daily passes into season passes, my aunt, the other grown up, needed to have her hands free to pay and could not continue to carry my son.

Charlie bolted like a boy with a plan.  Like lightening, his two year old little feet hit the polished concrete floor running.  He jetted straight under the roped dividers.  And no, he didn’t run parallel inside the ropes, like civilized people at Disney.  He cut his own path, straight under the dividers, missing the ropes by inches.  I trailed a few feet behind him, doing what must have looked like a drunken limbo as I tried to keep up.

In the course of pursuing Charlie, I had to set Giuliana down.  Now, both of my children were darting around the room.  From the ticket line through the coat room and to the water fountains my little lovelies were running laps and laughing their little heads off as I pursued them.

To exacerbate my shame, Charlie let out a cough that sounded directly out of a TB ward.  The last lingering symptom from a cold he had weeks before, it was a cough that he typically had once a day.  And I guess this was the moment.  So, as I ran around like a woman on the edge, I added the task of uttering “he’s not sick,” to everyone and no one in particular.

At some point, I was able to grab one child, and then eventually the other.  It was a blur who surrendered first.  I staggered to the register, a thirty pound child on each hip.  I had won the battle, but I was defeated.  I was a mortified, sweaty, exhausted mess, whose hair was more all over the place than usual.

I stood at the counter, hoping that the staff person had satisfied her information gathering needs and and I could be released from this embarrassing experience.  I had given birthdates, addresses and more. I know it is not true, but it felt like forever.  I wanted it to be over.  I wanted the clerk to take pity, hurry up and let us get out of there.

As I stood with burning biceps, holding my two wiggling children, the clerk twisted the knife.  “Okay,” she said, “look right over here and smile, Jill.  I’m going to take your picture.”

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