Dirt Road Ramblings

Random musings of an aging kid-at-heart who marvels at life's wonders around her

 

So I missed yesterday’s “Friday’s Smile” post.  I’ve been trying to use each Friday’s blog entry to close out the week with a positive, uplifting, heartwarming thought, a routine I’d like to continue, btw.

But the past seven or eight days have been rough:

  • a “bomb cyclone” in the upper midwest caused catastrophic flooding in Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois, destroying lives (4 confirmed dead), towns, home, farms, livestock, and thousands of acres of crops;
  • On the eastern shore of a continent on the other side of the Atlantic, Cyclone Idai wiped out some 400 lives (400 confirmed dead) and countless livelihoods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, displacing hundreds of thousands of people who, for the most part, are already the (often forgotten) poorest of the poor with few resources;
  • On the other side of the world, a lunatic white supremacist attacked two congregations of Muslims in Christchurch (New Zealand), claiming 50 lives and injuring 50 more, including children.
  • Due west from us, on the far side of the Pacific a pesticide plant explosion in eastern China killed dozens of workers (64 confirmed dead, dozens missing) and injured hundreds, the likely cause of which was human negligence at a factory with dozens and dozens of safety violations in recent years.

I could go on, but you get the point: people all over the world have seen much tragedy this week. And with so much sadness, outrage, and helplessness worldwide, it felt heartless, narcissistic, and flippant to post something silly about which I could smile. Yet…

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Have I mentioned lately that canine camaraderie and knitting are mutually exclusive?

Especially at our house. With our Labs.

Last week I posted that I’m trying to complete a 10-for-10 knitting plan: 10 knitting projects in 10 months. That’s all well and good. But here’s what happened when I sat down to try to knit today:

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I hate exercise

Just to be clear, when I say exercise, I mean going to the gym or taking an aerobics class or doing regular repetitive weight routines and keeping track of sets and reps on my scorecard. Think barbells, mats, mirrors, exercise equipment, circuit stations, drippy sweat, sticky seats, empty water bottles, and humid locker rooms.

I hate that kind of exercise.

Oh, it’s not for lack of trying. Over the years I’ve been an active member of Bali Fitness, Club Genesis, Planet Fitness, and the YMCA.

I’d pack up my little duffle bag complete with combination padlock, water bottle, shower stuff, change of clothing and shoes, and ear buds and music source (that’s changed over the years from a cassette players, to CD players, to ipods, etc…), and then I’d drive myself to the exercise joint of the day to do my thing.

The thing was, I felt stupid and out-of-place and fat and unfit (even in my skinny, fit years), sub-standard, and extremely self-conscious in those places. Naturally, I never stuck with it for long.

When the gym didn’t work, I ran.

And I loved running.

To be sure, I dreaded the first mile every single time I went out to run, but once I got that behind me, I felt strong and free. I loved the solitude and the cadence of my feet hitting the pavement, the soothing rhythm of my arm swing and easy, regular breathing. Running made me feel soooooo glad to be alive.

I ran regularly for over 10 years. Then knees and asthma and time and wear-and-tear on my joints made running less joyous. Life got crazy, I started working full time in a sedentary job, gained the mid-life spread, and left running behind. I physically couldn’t do it anymore.

Fast forward fifteen or so years.

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The mantels below are mine (on left) and my DSD’s family’s (on right). If you look closely at DSD’s you can play the old Sesame Street game, “one of these things is not like the other…” (hint look at the stockings). Can you guess?

When I married DH in 1982, his mother knit a Christmas stocking for me to match the one she knit for him in 1956 when he was born (these are the two stockings you see in the left picture on the far left: DH’s is 1st on the left then mine to the right of his). It was her way of welcoming me to their family.

Then as each of our children came along, she knit matching Christmas stockings for them, too (the two stockings hanging on the right side of the mantel in the left picture above are our two son’s stockings, both done by their grandmother, my MIL; our DSD’s stocking hangs in her own home).

My MIL was an incredible needle worker; she did amazing, gorgeous, detailed, sometimes-complicated work (knitting, needlepoint, counted cross-stitch, you name it). She was a true fiber artist. I could never hope to replicate her work, nor did I try.

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