Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dear Diary

Nearly every summer for my entire life, I've spent time at my dad's family cottage on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. The memories over the years have bled together into one long, happy, sun-drenched vacation, mostly spent in a bathing suit.

In 2009, I bought this blank book at a fundraiser for the local garden club and decided to use it just for recording Lake Geneva memories. I bring it back with me every year.

Let the 2013 entries commence!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Feat #6: Double Header

Yesterday morning I got in the car at 6 am and drove to Salt Lake City to run in the Color Me Rad 5k, held in support of the Utah Arts Festival.

Joining me on the course were my cousin Sarah and her daughter Sofia, both avid runners who graciously let me set the pace. It made all the difference to share the experience with them. So fun!

Here we are before:

And after:

What was the double header?

I accomplished one of my 50 physical feats AND used it to justify tossing out (1) an already stained t-shirt, (2) a pair of favorite old running shoes that really were too far gone to use anymore, and (3) a pair of shorts I bought at the Limited more than 25 years ago. The 1980s would be very proud of the circumstances under which they met their demise.

Friday, June 21, 2013


This is a picture of one of the cool bookmarks we used to sell at our bookstore. They were made by a teenage girl who had been in an ATV accident and was struggling with a serious brain injury. Working the wire and stringing the beads helped her develop her fine motor skills. Selling the bookmarks helped her contribute to her medical bills.

As I am always in the middle of literally dozens of books, this bookmark is reserved for the one that I am reading--usually slowly savoring--in order to be uplifted.

The charm at the top reads "laugh," and that's the exact reason I chose to buy this particular one.

Today is a good day to be reminded of that. Our Jeep has now come back from the shop for the third time, and the problem with the gas line still isn't fixed, rendering it useless. It's a pain. Really inconvenient. And now we're going to have to take it somewhere else and pay hundreds of dollars more to try again.

Thinking about the girl who picked the charm that reads "laugh" and put it on my favorite bookmark helps me regain proper perspective.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

In My Mind I'm Going to Carolina

I miss blogging more regularly than I have been, and I'm also having trouble focusing on my goal to go through our house really thoroughly this summer--purging and organizing, slashing and burning as I go.

So, I've concocted a new writing project: documenting the stories behind some of the things I come across and seeing what the stories reveal about my life, family and friends, our community, our culture, our world.

Things I treasure. Things I know I need to get rid of even if it's hard. Things I can't wait to get rid of. Things I may offer as free giveaways (so stay tuned!).

And things I need to use up.

Like these travel-size bath products I've picked up on various adventures.

I always think I'll use them when I go on new adventures, but really I just shove them in a bin under the bathroom sink and forget about them.

Now I've got them lined up on a shelf in the shower. As I use them up, I will pretend that I'm off on an adventure somewhere. Like maybe Carolina. Can't you see the sunshine?

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Feat #5: Up and Down

Roger and Jack flew into Boston to join me last week. Every time I get Jack to my childhood home, I pick one of my favorite memories to recreate. Swimming in Walden Pond, marching with the minutemen to Concord on Patriot's Day, and, this time, climbing Mt. Monadnock in southern New Hampshire. The last time I climbed it was before Jack was born.

We had planned to do the hike on Monday morning--the day before flying home--but we woke up to pouring rain. I'm pretty sure Roger and Jack thought I was crazy for being so determined to get us all up the mountain, which is more than an hour away from my parents' house. They were good sports anyway. We set our alarm for 6 a.m. and set out on Tuesday morning, with a strict early afternoon deadline to get back home in time to shower and pack and get to the airport. The risk paid off: we couldn't have had more perfect weather, and we made our flight with ease.

The round-trip hike is less than five miles, so it may not sound like a big deal. And the trail starts out deceptively easy.

Quickly, though, it becomes a relentless scramble up a rocky trail.

Up and up and up and up the rocky trail.

The reward, though, and what I most wanted to share with Jack, was the hard-earned and amazing view.


Of course, then we had to climb back down all the rocks we'd climbed up . . .

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Feat #4: Falling Water

I flew to Pittsburgh a few weeks ago to attend my sister Maryann's graduation from Chatham University, then stayed on an extra day for some adventures. 

First we toured Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, about an hour and a half outside of Pittsburgh. It was amazing to see it in person and to get a real sense of the relationship between the house and the river. 

When I got back to the car, I discovered this image on my phone:

Roger, who was in Utah, had been checking the web cam at the famous Falling Water viewpoint and snapped a shot of his computer screen, then texted it to me. I'm on the far right in pink, and Maryann is in the middle.

After lunch, we headed a bit further south to Ohiopyle State Park, rented a couple of bikes and rode for twenty miles along the Youghiogheny River on the rail trail.

When we were done with our ride, we were a bit (okay, a lot) hot, so we decided to take a chilly, chilly dip under Cucumber Falls.

A delicious end to a perfectly delicious day! Do you think anyone would mind if I built a house there?