Summer Cicadas and Winter Blues

I dream of those days occasionally. Whether I’m poking at the picnic table inscribed with Led Zeplin or flying over the shed covered in cicada shells, it’s always summer.

I’ll dream about riding uncle David’s oversized tricycle and one of the neighborhood kids stealing my Eskimo doll, pedaling furiously after them. ‘Eskimo’ even though it was as ebony as I was ivory except for my red, red, skinned knees from climbing trees.

I will never forget playing up in the tree. It seemed to stretch up and over for counties, and we shared so many secrets in that tree after inching up board by board to the widest branches that sheltered us from the summer sun.

Sam would behead my barbies and bury them never to be found again. OR we world play with the old cap guns watching reruns of Westerns and put together puzzles with grandma Boots.

You were out of the house long before I came along, but you would show me heavy metal magazines and let me play Rock Em Sock Em Robots during the day as the sun slanted in the windows.

At night there would be shenanigans. Pictures would be taken of my Eskimo doll with Steve after he passed out. Or the cap guns and a milk man’s hat.

You’d be out by the keg next to that inscribed picnic tabl. Or by the shed and car covered in 17 year cicadas. Rarely I’d be allowed to stay up late and you’d laugh about me wearing socks over footie pajamas or someone would give me a drunken piggy back ride that was both exhilarating and terrifying.

Eventually you went away, and then went to a halfway house.

Grandma Boots was in hospice, watching her Westerns. Mom tried to move the tissue box from the hospital bed table so grandma could see. She just laughed and said she had them all memorized. She was playing her Indian on a Hill trick and willed herself to slip away that Fall.

You were slipping through our fingers in the slanting late Fall sunlight as well.

It was winter when we lost uncle David. He played the same trick and slipped away sitting on his bed in the cold, cold winter after refusing to buy gas for heat. I can’t help but picture him with a feather in his hair. Or maybe it was a cap gun and a milkman hat with a smile. Either way, he was with grandma.

Matt eventually began remodeling the house and sent photos. The fence in the back was gone. The tree with boards was now a pile of wood cut in the Spring to be burned in the Winter and no longer stretched counties. No more secrets to be told there.

This cold winter, I was wrapped up in five or six blankets, maybe insulating from the cold that took uncle David when I found out you’d slipped away from this world like feeble beams of sunlight on grandma’s dusty ferns way back when.

I hope you’re with grandma and uncle David now. I hope it’s late summer again and you’re throwing a kegger with all of your friends. Ignore the 17 year cicadas on the cars and shed. They’re a part of summer that only happens a few times in a life if you’re lucky, just like you.

I pray I’ll dream of flying over the shed again, just to be with you for a few moments before I wake.

Disclaimer

This is a personal blog about my experiences with running.  Occasionally I will mention work, relationships, or my mother’s health problems because those affect my mental health a great deal.  Coincidentally, I took up running for that mental health.  I do understand that there are MUCH worse problems out there and many outlets are covering these issues.  I don’t believe that this is a place to cover those issues, and I DO believe that many other people have worded my beliefs much better than I ever could. 

If world issues are on your mind, please seek out resources that align with your beliefs and needs.  Spend the time and effort to be the change you wish to see in the world.

This however, is, and will always be my personal blog about running, mental health, and occasionally delicious food.  Fueling your body is very important to running and general well-being.   Baking happens to be one of my favorite hobbies.

Oh dairy, why do you hate me so? (Weekly Recap)

The best laid plans of mice and men ironically go wrong when dairy is introduced. We all know what happens with mouse traps, but dairy has also knocked me off track this past week as well. My intention was to start posting a recap of my week on Mondays and a second general post on Thursdays.

Last week I did spin Monday, arms and core (weights) Tuesday, ran after work Wednesday, had a hard time fitting in workouts Thursday/Friday trying to make up time at work for a mammogram and then getting to said mammogram. My water intake followed that same pattern, crushed it Monday- Wednesday, started dropping off Thursday/ Friday, and then the cheese truck hit me.

My lactose intolerance is one of those things I’ll never understand. Not because I love it more than any other food on Earth, but because there are times I can eat it and be totally fine and other times I’ll be doubled over with cramps.

Giving up dairy was going to be one of my heavier goals for the year. I thought I would start out with some easier ones. Water intake, step count, more vegetables, exercise, then once I was feeling like I was making good progress, I’d tackle my phone habit and dairy problem.

Nate has guys come over for Poker every other Saturday, and enjoys making food for them. This weekend he decided to keep it lowkey with sloppy joes, cocktail weenies in barbecue, veggies and chips with dip. The texture of sloppy joes is weird for me. I had some cocktail weenies and cheese cubes. Later I had veggies and dip.

I’ve been a wreck since then. I’m scared to stray too far from the bathroom, I’m super bloated, my body feels weak, and my guts sound like chupacabra is in them and they ache. Needless to say, I’ve not been drinking enough water, or running the last couple days.

I feel like I should tackle my dairy problem earlier than intended but I’m not sure that I’m up for this challenge yet. I am going to continue my water goal, and add a step goal in. I will work towards hitting my Garmin suggested goal every day. I’m not going to lie- it’s currently closer to 7,000 than 10,000 steps, but it was nearly 5,000 last month due to inactivity on my part. I’ve been reading articles about how 10,000 steps is arbitrary and chosen because the Chinese character for 10,000 resembled the brand logo for the original pedometer. (I’m not trying to v discourage anyone from that goal, just saying it may not be appropriate or necessary for everyone.)

December, where has the year gone?

It’s been a few months since I posted properly. 

What can I say? Things have been crazy.  Mom is doing well (enough) and I’m really hoping we can make it through the holidays with everyone at home and no hospital visits.

I had 3 interviews, each one worse than the last, and managed to land a new role.  Since September, I’ve been trying to do double duty- learning my new position while continuing to do my old role.   These days things are starting to come off of my plate and I feel like I have a general idea of what I’m doing, or at least good enough notes to make my way through most things.  I can’t begin to explain how frustrating it is to go from being a subject matter expert to a complete novice.  And yet, I keep doing it.  This is my 4th role in 5 years. 

And running has taken a back burner.  Hell, I think it fell off the stove.  I caught a lingering cold after the Big Bad Wolfe in September.  It stuck with me, sapping my energy and I did not run a single step in October.  I ran twice in November for 2 miles.  December still stands a chance.  I’m starting to get back to the gym and do weight lifting.

I’ve been baking a lot though which is nice. 

I’ve also been crafting a ton. I made ornaments for my coworkers, and they surprisingly went over well.

Breathing Room

After a few days, a few kinds of anesthesia, a few attempts to have mom breathe on her own, her lungs are finally clear enough for her to manage. They take out all of the tubes and bring her back to consciousness.

Her throat hurts which is understandable and to be expected. Her voice sounds stronger than it has in ages. It sounds like she has some of her pep back. The antibiotics and fluid removal is working. The swelling in her legs is down and her lungs are clear. After seeing her under anesthesia with breathing tubes, this seems like a miracle.

I tell her that my niece, C, and I will be up Saturday to visit her in the hospital. I know it cheers her up to see us and it’s always nice to see her. We’re not able to do this often because of the bedbugs at her house. Honestly, I miss her and wish I could spend more time with her and help out more than I can from Columbus.

I am very relieved that she’s doing well enough to be moved out of ICU, and expect she’ll be back home Monday.

I’m forcing myself to get workouts in at work. Spin once, strength training a few days, and one short run in. I keep telling myself I need to keep myself healthy too. I also know it helps my stress levels and mental health. I feel guilty for not running more, but I’m pulling overtime when I can at work.