Monday, April 27, 2009

Give and Take

Paco cam to live with us the day my mother was buried. Colleen and I had been looking for a farm Collie and found one in West Virginia with the same name as her stuffed dog that she has been carrying around since before she was one. When we saw him online with the name "Paco", we knew it was divine inspiration. 

We were planning how we were going to get to WV to get him and at the same time make a visit to Pittsburgh to see my mom who was not doing very well. Suddenly, there was no longer a reason to  visit my mom, but instead a funeral. I am so sad that I did not get there to see her before she died, but God alone knows why we didn't. I am able to suggest many reasons, but none of it matters now. I miss her and wish I had one more time to visit with her. I am sure she would have some suggestions about how to get the "stink" out of a farm dog.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Two Hikes (Uphill) in Two days

What was I thinking? I thought the Blueberry Hike at Wesley Woods would be a nice stroll in the park. I should have a lovely time enjoying nature with Kevin and Colleen on a homeschool field trip.                                                                                                                                                                               Surely we would know if was challenging by the
 description in the brochure!  Well it was straight up a mountainside. Granted there were "switchbacks" so we didn't go straight up, but I was wondering how I was going to speed-dial my cardiologist when we were in the "no service" area. As the blood started to shunt to my vital organs, I was wondering why my children were able to leap up the hill as though it were nothing to ascend 1200 feet in 15 minutes. Then, it dawned on me. They exercise all week long. They swim twice a week, do karate, gymnastics, and horseback riding while my exercise consists of pushing a pedal and turning a wheel. It just doesn't seem right.

Once we arrived at the summit one would think it "is all down hill from here". Well it was...over a couple of water falls. This was really kind of fun but I think the guide was thinking "what am I going to do if this fat lady falls"! When we returned to camp I am pretty sure the counselors had a grand time at lunch sharing their stories of  the "mothers" who accompanied the kids. I feel confident that they are not used to assisting such old joints climbing down off the waterfalls.

Hike number two was today at Spruce Flat Falls. The guide book says "don't let the steepness of the trail in the beginning scare you". Well I was not sufficiently scared and I am now reaping the rewards of the effort. The mere act of sitting takes 14 times longer than usual and is fraught with reminders of the "steepness". Once we arrived at the falls however it seemed worth it (at the moment). It was beautiful! The kids had a blast taking off their shoes and wading in the water on one of the first warm days of spring. I just don't understand their insatiable need to be barefoot, but I am trying to be more flexible.