I Blame Disney!

So I need to rant about the weather. I know, I know, you are probably tired of it too. But in order to avoid the risk of “sucking the life” out of my husband (as he so warmly referred to my “observations” this morning) by ranting to him again about how much I hate winter, I decided to find solace in my blog. So here is your fair warning to switch to read something else. Still there? Great!

So, I do have good news! I have found someone to blame for this never-ending tundra that we have been experiencing this winter in northeast Ohio. Walt Disney. Yes, the man himself. I submit to you that it is not a coincidence that the hit movie, “Frozen” was released just before the onslaught of this snow and cold season was upon us. The movie was released on Nov 27, 2013 and that very same weekend Eastern Ohio and Northeast PA was blanketed by our first snowfall between 3 – 7 inches and up to 17 inches in some areas in PA. Coincidence? I think not!

Allow me to share a description on the IMDb site for the movie, “Frozen” – “Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.”

Maybe it is just me, but does anyone else feel “trapped in eternal winter”?! I mean, does this sound familiar to anyone else? Bueller? And while some may say, “Hey, this is just winter in northeast Ohio – finally a real winter” I would like to say to them: HOGWASH!! As of Feb 5 winter 2013-2014 was deemed one of the snowiest winters in Cleveland with 53 inches and counting.

And another thing…what part of crazy negative 25 below windchill, bone-chilling, colder than Alaska temperatures is a part of “regular winter”?! By Feb 17 of this year Cleveland set a 30-year record with its 10th sub-zero day. That does not sound like a “regular” winter to me. Not one bit.

No. I submit to you that are living out the movie “Frozen” in our real lives. And by the way, I LOVED the movie! I’m actually obsessed with the movie and even more with the soundtrack. Who knew the sweet story with the awesome Scandinavian characters, wonderful pro-woman and pro-sister message would be the scapegoat for our very own never ending snowglobe hell we are now seemingly trapped in! Well, enough is enough I say. Rather than standing in line to slap a snowman to express our winter blues I think we all should look up anyone we can find named Elsa and give her a big smooch so we can finally break this winter spell once and for all! Hey, it is worth a shot, right? Because I don’t want to build a snowman. And maybe for the first time in forever we could see the grass!!! Or maybe, on second thought, I should just “let it go”…

Laps for Laura – Week 2

Week 2 – Done!

What a variety of weather we experienced this week! We went from having another snow day (Hudson schools) on Tuesday to enjoying close to 70 degrees and crazy wind on Thursday in the St. Louis area. I’m glad to have been able to run so much outside this week even though we were in St. Louis for sad circumstances. It felt good to be able to run a long run on the morning of Laura’s memorial service. I was also honored to be able to sing Amazing Grace at the close of the service. Thankfully I was able to get through the song without breaking down only because I had shed tears earlier in the service. I know it meant a lot to Mike’s family so I’m so glad it went okay.

Here is the breakdown of this week’s training:

Mon – Ran 3 miles at noon on treadmill
Tues – Cross train – yoga at noon (kids had another snow day!)
Wed – Cross train – yoga at 6am; Ran 3 miles OUTSIDE in slushy snow at noon!!
Thurs – Rest day – travel day to St. Louis
Fri – Ran 2 miles outside in St. Charles, MO (little chilly, but no snow!!)
Sat – Long run – 5 miles outside in St. Charles, MO – absolutely beautiful – 57 degrees and sunny!
Sun – Rest day

Totals: 13 miles; 2 yoga classes cross training

Laps for Laura – Week 1

After my sister-in-law died on January 1, 2014 I wanted to do something in honor/memory of her. I decided to run the Cleveland half marathon in May and dedicate my spring training and the race to her. I’ve called this training, “Laps for Laura” after her, my husband’s only sibling, Laura Patrick. At only 46 she was way too young, but she fought her battle with breast cancer bravely for almost five years right until the very end. I will never forget her post on my facebook wall when I was ready to run my very first half marathon on my birthday – that was Cleveland, as well – in 2011. She said, “go get ’em, girl”. I did it then, for me. But this May in Cleveland, I’ll be doing it for her.

I’ll blog my weekly progress just in case anybody wants to follow along and also to keep myself accountable. It has been a really cold and snowy winter so far so we will see how I fare with the long runs! Hey, at least this season I have a treadmill at home so no excuses for missing any runs due to weather issues!

Week 1

Mon – Ran 30 min tread at lunch
Tues – Crosstrain – Yoga 2X (6am and noon)
Wed – Ran 35 minutes tread at lunch
Thurs – Crosstrain – Yoga (noon)
Fri – Rest day
Sat – Crosstrain – Yoga – 90 min class
Sun – 4 mile long run on tread

A Humble Witness: Guatemala 2014 Reflection

Thurs, Feb 6

A few days after returning home from Guatemala, I took some time to write a reflection about the experience. It is both an expression of my experience and a gift to the other members in my group. By this evening all of them will have seen it so I feel like I can share it more broadly now.

A Humble Witness

Roosters crow here too
But here their cry lasts longer, more desperate
Like they already know no one is listening.

The air pierced with the stench of dirt
Of decaying food, rubbish, and despair
And what is burning?

Travelers quiet as they breathe it all in
Jovial bus fun quickly evaporates
Like the steam rising up from the burning garbage
And just like hope – poof, it’s gone.

Spectators walk while flies buzz faces
Giving stray canines a break from scratching
No child will scratch his belly

And no child will mourn the cat
Surrendered too soon in the sun
No box buried in the backyard with a love note attached
No tears shed
Except for mine

Visitors enter meager homes
Square footage equal to the rich man’s entry way
But this welcome is more sincere

Six people lay their heads on one mattress
While hotels sell their king sized beds for one
With a suite that would dwarf this dwelling

Children cling while mother sings
Of praises and dreams for them.
Hope drips from her smile as
Light dances in her eyes

Inspiration warms hearts
Beads of sweat dot noses
And tears sting their eyes

Stench overwhelms and birds swarm
Announcing arrival to a place of doom
Nothing is good here

Onlookers watch as people run
Trucks drive in and workers follow
Like children running after the ice cream truck
Pictures snap on smart phones
Quickly becoming a moment in time or a facebook post
But a life sentence to others

A good day means about $3.00
Same as my grande skinny mocha latte – no whip,
in a paper cup
Gives new meaning to “disposable” income

But we need new brushes, rollers, and drop cloths
To do this job properly
Can’t we just make a stop at Lowes?

Painted walls, drippy floors, finished tasks
A lasting legacy.
But just being here
In this place that everyone forgot
In this place where hope hides in the crevices of mother’s hearts and the lessons plans of teachers
That is the gift
The gift of presence

Cause once you’ve seen it you can’t un-see it
What will be your choice now?
How will you share?
This gift of being a humble witness.