Friday Column: Home

I should start calling this the Friday Evening Column. It is still Friday.

I went to the mall today with Mom. It is December 23. Not good planning.

Home again. Really, really nice to be here. I got in late Sunday night (or early Monday morning depending on your perspective). It is chilly here now, but not cold, certainly not cold enough for December, but it feels better than the tropical Caribbean sun. 

I cycled for an hour and a half on Monday afternoon, down to Robesonia and back, nearly burning my lungs in the process in the cooler air that I am not quite used to yet. The hill behind the house on the back roads that go round Blue Marsh Lake is big and steep and difficult when you have not ridden a bicycle in several weeks. By the top of it I was panting hard and the cold air in my lungs was not feeling good. I had the hiccups because of this later in the day, for over an hour.

On Tuesday I went running with Oatie. I am not sure who enjoyed it more, me or her. We took the new trail over by the lake, where I can let her run. It was just getting dark, and I was ridiculously dressed. I had white long underwear tights beneath bright red board shorts, a red rain jacket to match and a bright yellow reflective vest from ICA in Sweden that Mia gave me. I wore a black beanie and a headlamp and my five finger shoes, which are now about to fall apart. I need to glue the rubber sole back on. The toes flap around when I run.

We ran up and down the hill right by the driveway (we live on Hilltop Rd. Imagine that). It was raining, but given the context, it was actually slightly enjoyable. The fresh temperature was invigorating, and I am sure Oatmeal felt it too. She has not run in over two months. Her hair is long now because Dad refuses to cut it and Mom does not have much of a say since she does not drive them anymore to the clipper. Lewis is shiny and black too. Dad calls them 'real dogs' now. I agree. I have to lead Oatmeal down through the basement and quietly get dressed so Lewis does not hear us. He gets jealous. He loves to run, but is horrible on a leash. For the first half of the run he pulls as hard as he can (last time round with both of them I actually hooked him to Oatie. She runs slower and steadier and was able to slow him down a little so there was less tugging on my end of the leash). But by the second half he is so winded he needs to be dragged along behind. A few times he has thrown up near the end of a run, likely due to his effort in the beginning. So I do not take him along, normally. Sometimes he sees us leaving and puts on such sad face and a lonesome whine that I cannot bear to leave him behind. I always regret it, and I think he does too.

So we went out the basement, and Lewie did not follow or complain. Oatmeal, very unlike Lewie, trots right alongside me, the leash slack the entire time. She looks back at me smiling, I swear. When we get to the trail I leave her off the leash. She usually stops to pee, than darts ahead into the bushes sniffing for something and disappears for a while. When she realizes I have not stopped but am now a few hundred yards down the trail, she looks up, searches for me, finds me and runs as fast as she can to catch me. Once she is confident I have not disappeared, the process repeats itself. She has never run away (though I think she would if Lewie were along). 

I parked in the grass today at the mall because there were no more parking spaces left and I was in the Jeep.

Blake and I have been back in the 'garage' with Dane twice this week. Back for me, first go for Blake. Today, two days after the first session, it is still difficult to walk. I bought 42 eggs from him, a gallon of raw milk and a whole chicken which we will eat for dinner tonight.

I cannot understand why people go to Starbucks, order there coffee to have in the store, and then drink it out of a paper cup with a plastic lid. I do not believe Starbucks even offers real cups. I ordered a single espresso one time and they gave it to me in a small paper cup like you might get at a water cooler (!). I went into to order Mom her chai latte today and smiled at the scenario. People are insane.