Western meadowlark song

The song of the western meadowlark was one of the most striking features of my hike on Friday.  If I close my eyes, I’m taken back to Eastern Alberta, the summer of 1990.

Pretending to be Canadian.  I didn’t like the way I was treated as an American, so I hid my car with Colorado plates in an unused hangar and cultivated a perfect Canadian accent.  The only time I was caught was when I spelled something and used the Americanized letter “zee” instead of “zed.”  I was dumbfounded when the person said immediately “You’re American!”  I had no idea what had happened until a young friend told me.  

The LeeGreenwood  song “I’m proud to be an American” kept running through my head, because clearly I was not.  Although I would have told you I was.  I caved.  I couldn’t take the pressure.   

When I was younger I wondered how my old mind would make sense of random memories. I thought I’d remember the things I don’t.  I remember the song of the western meadowlark, the smell of the airplane fuel, and the feeling of being jealous of a 17 year old boy.  The boy my soon-to-be-husband was paying so much attention to.  I had no idea.  

I wonder if everyone’s memories are tinged with so much sadness.  

It makes it easy to be grateful to be a 64 year old woman who lives alone, having divorced that confusing man decades ago.  It makes it positively glorious to go out on a sunlit Colorado afternoon and hear the birdsong full of such memories, and know that I am safe now.

God is so good.

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Resting Meadow

I wish you could hear the creek roaring just beyond this field of dandy lions.  We’ve had a very wet spring and all of the bodies of water are full.  I love that bike riding forces me out doors because often times I would just as soon stay indoors.  It’s a bad default.  I am always happy once I’m in the sunshine, smelling flowers, grass, creeks, and even roads!

Training is coming along.  I was worried for a while, but my confidence is building with each work out.  This morning I got up at 4 and was on the treadmill by 5.  I spent a half hour on the treadmill followed by a half hour of yoga.  It’s not much, but I’m only training for a sprint distance.  It’s entirely do-able.  

Writing on my phone is not the easiest thing to do, so adios!  Vaya con Dios!

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Spring flowers

Three weeks ago everything here was buried under several feet of snow.  The lilac bush was flattened under the weight of the snow and was laying on the ground.  Mother Nature is capable of incredible recovery!  This is amazing to me.

With spring each year comes a great lightening of my mood.  What a relief!  I have some hope in my heart and some energy.  

I am grateful.

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This is my swimming data from yesterday.  It’s pretty bad.  I used to swim 750 meters in less than 25 minutes without even trying.  Thank God I still like swimming because that will make it easier to put in the training to get better.

Tonight I will run for a half hour after I get home from work.  I feel like I am on track and that’s a good thing.  

Taking public transportation to work has also been a Godsend.  It is infinitely better than driving.  I have one stretch on light rail, one in commuter rail, and one 3 mile stretch on a local bus that takes longer than the other two that get me 25 miles across town.  I don’t like the bus portion.  And I will just say that the fact that I am usually the only white person on it does contribute to that.  Go ahead and judge me if you must.  

Spring is finally here.  I slept with the window open a crack last night and that is my idea of good times.  I really feel so much better from May through October.  

It’s a good day to be alive & sober.  Thank you God.

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Training notes

The photo is from a morning last week, waiting for the light rail to take me to the train to take me to the bus that takes me to work.  How wonderful not to drive!

I have decided to write about my tri training here.  I do better when I am accountable to a plan, a journal, a log, a friend, a blog.  I am in the worst shape, I need to use any trick I can.

This morning I got up at 4:45 and went swimming.  It was phenomenal.  My time wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad either.  I feel really good about it.  I was going to ride my bike after work today, but I’m not sure when I’ll get out of here.  I don’t want to hurt myself either šŸš“.

I just went through and re-read the past year of blog entries and it confirms what I thought – I reallllly realllly want to be retired.  And I will be in eight short months.  I cannot wait!  

Happy to be training again.  Happy to see the sunrise this morning – and it took all the self-restraint I had not to stop and take a photo.  I kinda wish I had though.

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First Monday in May

Just starting my training for an August Triathlon.  I am severely out of shape.  Did my first brick workout last weekend.  5 miles on the bike followed immediately by a one mile run.  Cuz those distances are actually challenging to me now.  I have a lot of work to do in the next 3 months.  

My mountain bike is my friend.  It is so much less scary than a road bike.  It feels stable and secure.  Last year I could not ride at all because I was recovering from a broken arm.  Now I can ride again.  

When I went for the first ride, I felt elation, serious elation.  It wasn’t just that I was doing something I love and have missed.  It felt like I was tapping back into my identity.  My real self.  The self I really really enjoy being.  Not the old worker who is tired all of the time, but the happy woman in the sunshine.  

I don’t care how hard I’m breathing, I am breathing, and I’m doing something and being someone I love.  

I think I decided yesterday to retire in December regardless of where I am with paying off debt.  I spoke with an acquaintance after mass yesterday and she looked stricken when I told her I am not enjoying my new job.  She looked at me and sincerely asked why I don’t quit if I don’t like it.  Good question.  I think I have fallen back into the trap of living a life I don’t enjoy.  Which translates, to me, As “I don’t trust God, I must provide for myself.”  

I am truly grateful that the snow will end soon and there will be sunshine and flowers in my life again.  And I have lots of activities to get back in the sunshine for.  

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Utah, USA


That tiny dot in the middle of Delicate Arch is me.  It took an Act of God and the kindness of strangers to get me there as I am terrified of heights, and getting there required a walk on a rock ledge with a cliff to one side.  And walking across all that steeply sloping rock was disconcerting.  
Sober girl at our first turn-out.  She was so happy to be with all those rocks!

Me & daughter at Mesa Arch.  
Island in the Sky at Canyonlands National Park.

 Daughter in front of a nameless arch at Arches National Park.

We had a great time, just too short.  Found a great hotel at about half the price of the chain hotel I usually book.  Daughter and I SO needed the time in the quiet open sunny dry air.  

It was almost magical.

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