Monday, November 28, 2011

dear old man on union street,

thank you for so generously offering that hefty round of applause as i limped past you on my morning jog. when i first turned the corner from perkins street onto union street, i saw you making your way down the driveway...shuffling in your slippers, bathrobe tied gently around your waist, trash can following your left hand's guidance.  i was envious.  why did i exchange my cozy slippers and warm pajamas for running shoes and achy legs?  you started shuffling your way back to the house, with a bit more ginger now that the trash can had been dropped off.  out of the corner of your eye you saw me coming.  and you stopped.  you watched me, and you lifted your hands and started clapping.  "you're doing great," you said, "it's a beautiful day for a run...keep up the good work!"  maybe you saw the twinges of pain in my face.  exercising with a bum hip is no fun.  perhaps you can understand?  maybe you're just a genuinely nice old man who would say that no matter who was running or walking by.  i don't really know.  but i do know that i needed a cheerleader on my jog today and i'm thankful that you chose to take out your trash and stop at the end of your driveway.

Monday, November 14, 2011

november's resolutions

this post is either coming really early or way too late, you decide. i've recently been feeling the urge to change things up a bit. as you may know from my last post, life has gone from about 95mph to a more steady pace these days. while i'm grateful that the absolute chaos of wedding planning is over, i'm starting to feel the itch to take on some new challenges. so, rather than new year's resolutions i am making november's resolutions. the motivation is here now, so better to take advantage and start before hibernation-mode sets in than wait until the dead of winter to try and re-muster the motivation. so here we go with a few resolutions...

be more faithful in doing yoga.

write at least once a week (and do a better job maintaining my blog, hence the makeover today).

create margins of time to just be.

fully embrace the seasons rather than complain my way to summer.


be intentional about investing in the here and now, take advantage of moments to talk with complete strangers, and be a part of where we live.

the last resolution stems from an experience josh and i had going out for ice cream last week. we were in line trying to decide which of the plethora of flavors would satisfy our sweet tooth for the night. this takes concentration, right? hard ice cream vs. soft serve, healthier low fat version vs. indulgence, cone vs. cup, and other such weighty decisions. engulfed by the concentration required for these choices, i didn't even realize that the woman behind us had started up a conversation.

"oh, this is new! do you know if they keep this up all winter?"


her pondering look broke my concentration and i realized the question was addressed to me.

"oh, i'm sorry. what was that?"

repeat the question. "this is new! do you know if they keep this up all winter?"

"uhhmm...i'm not really sure."

turn back to the ice cream list. before i can even re-focus on my selection process, she asks another question.

"so, tell me about the low fat option over there. do you think it's good? does it taste like the real thing, or can you tell it's watered down? have you ever had this one?"

whoa. calm down with the questions. this is only my second time at this place and i have no idea whether the low fat version tastes watered down. we were motioned up to the window to place our order before i could respond to her trail of questions. as we finished, i quickly responded "i've never had that kind before" as she moved over to the second window to place her order. we grabbed our cones and headed to the car to blast the heat while we eat (after all, ice cream in november in new england doesn't make much sense). once in the car, we both said, "she must not be from around here." how sadly adjusted to new england culture are we that we can't reciprocate a conversation started by a stranger in the ice cream line? we get suspicious about questions, skeptical about eye contact, and turned off by smiles. the whole thing sounds pathetic, right? like guys, c'mon, is it really a big deal to talk to the lady in the ice cream line? but seriously, this IS counter-cultural in new england. and in all honesty, i don't think she was from around here. regardless, the encounter was a wake up call to how sadly adjusted we had become in just a few short years of living here. embarrassed by our reactions to the woman, we started talking about how great it would be to live in a place where it was normal to greet strangers and strike up conversation. life would be more joyful and less cold (in reference to emotions and the weather). well then, we resolved, if we can't relocate to that type of place right now, let's be more intentional about living that way right here, right now. and thus began the november's resolutions.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

playing catch up

138 is a reasonable number when talking about the number of miles to drive to see a good friend, photos to take on a particularly glorious day or momentous occasion, total cheerios in a box, and dollars for a slamming outfit (or twenty, if you like a bargain).

138, however, is not a good number when talking about the number of days that have passed since my last post. so here is my attempt at making up lost time.

138 things that happened in the past 138 days:

1. i got married (see for that post)
2. i acquired a new last name (we're both still getting used to that one)
3. my grandma had a birthday
4. my little sister had a birthday
5. i got a promotion
6. han and sy got married (we were both brides and bridesmaids within a two week span)
7. we went to mexico and wished we'd never came back
8. i sort of went twice, if tucson counts
9. hurricane irene came
10. we got stuck in cleveland during hurricane irene
11. we drove 13 hours from cleveland in torrential downpours
12. josh had a mexico
13. i had a the rental car
14. snow came in october
15. seventy degrees and chirping birds came back in november
16. i skipped numbers 17 through 127 because you don't care that much and life has been too much of a blur to remember everything
128. we rented a cottage in new hampshire and escaped for a weekend
129. the dawsons came for a quick visit
130. i went to colorado
131. i bought tickets to go back in january
132. i saw a good friend in colorado
133. she up and left her job to make more creative space, and i got inspired
134. we painted our apartment (the wife has arrived and it is no longer a bachelor pad)
135. our church decided to buy land for a building
136. josh got tattoo #2
137. we created a pretty tasty new pizza recipe
138. life quickly went from about 5mph to 95mph back down to 5mph within four months, and now we're smoothly sailing at an even 35. let's hope it stays this way, at least for a little while.