Coffee Run!

Meditations in Motion

It’s coffee talk time again (Every time I write the words “coffee talk” I am reminded of the Mike Myers character from Saturday Night Live.) I am linking up with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner for their Ultimate Coffee Date. Pull up a comfortable chair, pour yourself a cup, and let’s chat about all topics – running and otherwise.

Meditations in Motion

If we were having coffee, I would tell you all about our trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to help our grandson Atti celebrate his fourth birthday. I would be sure to bore you with plenty of “Grandma” pictures and stories about this bright and imaginative little boy. It’s my duty as a grandma.

Of course, I happily take second place to the Hubs with this grandson. I have lots of videos of Atti and his Abo (short for Abuelo) playing monster, riding horseback (Abo is the horse), and building magnet blocks. They are inseparable for the duration of our visit.

When there are 2,000 miles separating you from people you love, you must make the most of every moment. At the time this post is published, we will have only one more day in Steamboat. I usually cry most of the way back to the airport.

Meditations in Motion

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that running in Steamboat Springs is a mixed bag. Bill and I usually get up early and run before my son and daughter-in-law go to work in the morning.

The first day we ran, the temperature was a perfect-for-running 42 degrees, with very low humidity.

You may not be able to tell from this photo, but I wore a tank top and shorts. Brrr!!! It was chilly! Even though I knew it would be cooler here in the mornings, I could not wrap my head around packing running capris and long-sleeved shirts when it was 100 degrees with 90% humidity at home.

After we got warmed up, I was fine in the summer running attire, except for my hands. They stayed cold for the entire run.

The oxygen content of the air I sucked into my lungs with huge gasps, however, left a lot to be desired. I am used to running at 200 feet of elevation, not 7,000 feet. Just about the time I start to become accustomed to the lack of oxygen, it is time for us to leave.

As a result, I walk up small hills I would be embarrassed to walk at home.

bear sign.pngThe major difference between running in Colorado and in Lititz, Pennsylvania, I would have to say, is the bears. This sign was posted at the entrance to the neighborhood where my son and his family live. Three black bears were spotted nearby.

My son gave me bear spray to use for safety during my early morning runs. I have never had to run with bear protection before. I don’t know how proficient I would be at actually spraying a bear, but it did give me a sense of security to put the bear spray in my pocket.

Meditations in Motion

My photograph definitely does not do it justice, but we saw the most beautiful, vivid double rainbow I have ever seen from the deck of my son’s house in Steamboat.

The end of the smaller inner rainbow looked like it came down in his neighbor’s yard, less than 100 meters away.  Atti and I searched hard for a leprechaun. It looked as if we could walk down the street and stand in the middle of the colored light.

It was definitely one of those “Pennies from Heaven” moments, illustrating once again that beauty is all around, we just have to put ourselves out there to give ourselves a chance to witness it.

Meditations in Motion

Finally, if we were having coffee, I would show you this picture my sister sent to me after our last visit with her on Cape Cod.

That is me, ready to smash my palm into the icing of my first birthday cake. My sister is holding the cake in front of me.

This was taken in the living room of the house we grew up in. Look at my swing in the background and the snazzy new TV. Wow, how times have changed.

If only I still had that blond hair!

Thanks for sharing a coffee and conversation with me. Let’s do it again next month.

 

 

 

 

87 comments

  1. The first comment escaped before I was through. I am amazed that you even contemplated running in rarified air. We drove to CO and UT this summer, so I thought we’d adjust with no problem. John was fine, and so was I in Denver. When we went to 10,000 feet in Leadville, my head rebelled. We didn’t stay long enough for me to get used to the altitude. We managed to be everywhere we needed to be and enjoyed the wedding festivities, but it was a relief to leave.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We know, our grandsons are always the most beautiful kids in the world! Aren’t they?
    What a wonderful temperature to run!
    Here in Italy there is a “war” because most of us don’t want that in Trentino a bear will be killed: he left his prison and now enjoys his new life in the woods.

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  3. Yes you do have to soak in all of the grandkid time that you can! The altitude is a killer out there isn’t it? I also had to walk up hills that I would never walk up. Even going up stairs gets you out of breath. Now I know why all the athletes train out there!

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  4. LOVE all the pictures! Atti is too cute for words, and I love that picture of you and Mom! I have a picture of a double rainbow from when we were in St Martin – did you notice the top rainbow’s colors are reversed? (Apparently that’s always true for double rainbows because the light is bouncing twice.)

    Glad you didn’t get eaten by a bear! 😉

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    • I didn’t know that about rainbows, but I will check it out next time I see one. Can’t wait for you to see Atti at Thanksgiving in Phoenix! The age difference between your mom and I is about the same as between you and Steve! 🙂

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  5. Thankfully I’ve never seen a bear anywhere close to me here, but they are spotted around the area sometimes. Lately apparently it was a herd of bison on the loose (but out away from suburbia).

    Running at elevation is definitely tough! As is living so far away from loved ones. Glad you got to enjoy this time with them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bears here arrive mostly at night. They come to dig in unsecured trash cans. One year, when we were visiting, we heard a tremendous racket right outside our bedroom window. When Bill got up to check it out, he saw a bear tipping over the trash can. There were locks on it, so the bear moseyed on to the next house. My son has outside lights that are on a motion sensor, so we got a good look at it.

      A herd of bison would be something to see on a run!

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  6. What a cute little guy! I don’t know that I’d be too good at spraying a bear, heck when I carry pepper spray because of dogs I worry that I wouldn’t get one of them sprayed correctly and I’d be attacked. At least the temperatures were a welcome change and the scenery of the rainbow was nice. They can keep that lack of oxygen out there though!

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    • Thank you, Tracy. I think he is cute too, but I am definitely prejudiced. I have no confidence at all in my capability to spray a bear if he would be close. The bears here come mostly at night to raid the trash cans. I have never seen one on a run. The runs are tough because of the “thin” air. I don’t want to leave, but I am looking forward to running at a lower elevation again!

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    • When I first published the post, I had “Dana Carvey”, rather than Mike Myers. My son saw the mistake and I corrected it! 🙂 Colorado is a beautiful place. We went on a hike at 10,000 feet this morning (the whole family) and I got some amazing photos, but even the best pictures don’t do the scenery justice.

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  7. Sounds like a wonderful visit to Steamboat Springs! What a nice time with your grandson and son and DIL 🙂 Very different running experience! But now you have bear stories to tell, plus I bet running at Lititz elevation seems super easy now 🙂

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  8. Colorado seems to be wonderful this time of year, I would love to go back and see the sights and go for a run. I’m glad you’re having a great time with your family. Your grandson is adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Only one of my boys lives close to me. the other two live 2,000 and 3,000 miles away. I don’t like it, but at least it gives me some good locations to visit! 🙂

      Like

  9. Atti is a real cutie – and is now a whopping four years old. I thought it was interesting about the bear spray – I did not know there was such a spray until last year when I was chatting with someone on the walk home – their little dog (a sweet Yorkie puppy) was barking at me “ferociously” as I walked by. I was telling them I was scared of their neighbor’s two mean dogs (one is a pit bull and the other a large mixed breed – they snarl and bare their teeth when I walk by). I said I have pepper gel; she suggested bear spray for all women to carry for two-legged or four-legged predators. Apparently bear spray sprayed on a human perp cannot be washed off – they must go to the hospital to have it removed. Interesting to see bears in the ‘hood – you have to be fully awake when you venture out in the a.m.!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I considered getting pepper spray after I was bitten by b dog while on a run, but I thought it would be inconvenient to carry. This spray had a little clip, so I could clip it to the waistband of my shorts. it was very convenient. I may get some when we get home – not for bears, for dogs.

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      • Good idea Laurie and they have bear spray on Amazon. I have pepper spray and gel – after I bought the spray, people discussed using pepper spray in the crime forum and said it could blow back in your face, so gel was better.

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      • Well I had just bought a new canister of pepper spray which I had on a lanyard on my neck, then while perusing our neighborhood crime forum on Facebook, people were discussing how pepper gel was superior because it was easier to control and there is less change of missing and getting the pepper spray on yourself. So I got some pepper gel. Unlike the pepper spray, it is in a holster and I can put it right onto my fanny pack at the side.

        We have an army surplus store in Michigan and I just ordered it from them and Sabre is the best brand as I understand it.

        Amazon carries it too: https://www.amazon.com/SABRE-RED-Pepper-Gel-Strength/dp/B004NKSPR8

        Here is the advantage I found when Googling and you being a former science teacher will understand:
        Because pepper gel is a thicker formula, the gel sticks together instead of spreading out, firing in a targeted ballistic stream pattern. Pepper gel has a sticky viscosity that allows it to travel further than pepper spray droplets.

        Remember Mike Posner, the walker who is traveling across the U.S. on foot? He was bitten by a baby rattler yesterday and had to be air-lifted to a hospital for anti-venom. He is okay, but has to stay in the hospital a few days and is out of commission as to walking a few weeks. He was walking in Colorado – yikes!

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      • Oh my goodness. Poor Mike! I feel so bad for him. There are not rattlers where my son lives, but there are rattlers fairly close to him. I hope Mike can still make it the rest of the way across the country!

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      • I feel bad for him too Laurie – that’s a long time to be laid up as he was late getting started on this journey as he had trouble with his foot. He was worried as it was about getting through the snowy areas which will be difficult, if not treacherous, walking due to his late start. Hope he can make it too – 1,600 miles already – my goal pales in comparison. You all stay clear of those rattlers while running and mention it to your family as well in case they go on any treks out of their area.
        Mike’s ordeal is mentioned a couple of posts down: https://twitter.com/MikePosner

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      • Yes, especially if they trek out of their jurisdiction. Mike Posner mentioned what gear he uses for his walk awhile back, and I noticed that he wears hiking boots that come to his ankles so I wonder if he had his bare feet? He has shown pics of himself taking a break and his shoes and socks are off. You visited at Easter and had worries about driving to the airport, so October to April snow – you’d have to like Winter conditions to live there. I’m a Winter weeny about driving in it as I always took the bus to downtown Detroit and just walked up to the main street for the bus, just a handful of houses away.

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      • I’d better not move there, as pretty as it sounds. 🙂 Yesterday Mike Posner posted a picture of himself at the hospital with a nurse or physical therapist … he was walking on a rolling walker. He said he went from 24 miles a day to using a walker. He said the other day he is out of commission two weeks – I think it will be longer given the short and what looked to be painful steps he was taking. I feel badly if he does not make his goal – I am struggling to get my goal made and sorry people egged me on to make it an even 2,000 kilometers which is 80 miles more than the goal I actually set for myself for 2019. If the weather is bad and I don’t make that goal, I will just say that I have always made it my goal to do just one mile more than the previous year’s miles walk and call it done but a few Canadians said to make it an even 2000 kilometers … so I jollied along with it. The weather, not to mention the constant things that have broken at work, or at home, and my brutal work schedule this Summer have hindered my progress. I wish I could always walk 8 miles like I did yesterday, but that’s not doable – I will try to do at least 6 miles each weekend if at all possible and 5 miles in the a.m., though soon the sun will be getting up so late it’s not doable and night time doesn’t work for me as well. I am headed out now while it is still cool – another coolish morning, then we have a few days of rainy (torrential rain in fact) and stormy weather.

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      • Linda, do you count all of your miles? Do you count the miles you walk around the house, etc. or do you just count the miles when you are on an official walk? Bill recently began using the step counter on his Garmin and we were amazed at the number of steps (and miles) he walks in a day without even counting the runs we do. miles is a really long way to walk in one day, especially if you have other things to do (like blogging!). We are going to Spain in September to hike on el Camino de Santiago. I will certainly post about our trip at some point. Anyway, we hike from village to village and have booked a tour company to transport our luggage so we don’t have to backpack it. I think our average walking miles are somewhere around 13 per day for a little over a week. Even though we are runners, walking such a long distance every day is somewhat daunting. I hope Mike can get back on track. It seems like if he can get out of the Rockies, the weather may be OK for him for quite a while. Winters here in Oregon are mild but wet. My son said they get snow only about every other year or so and it usually all melts before noon. We leave to come home on Tuesday. Just in time to get the rainy weather!

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      • I don’t usually count my in-house steps Laurie, but I think I am going to do it as I want to make that goal I always wear my pedometer when I go grocery shopping and I park the cart in the middle of the store and run down the aisles and get items to give me more steps and schlepp in one bag at a time. And today I did housework when I returned from walking and I’m sure I walked another two miles, even though it is a small house. Good idea!

        Your trip sounds wonderful – that will be rigorous and good thing you don’t have haul anything on your back. I had a fellow blogger that lives near me and she’s kind of dropped off the map after her trip but she went out West earlier this year and each person in their party had a 40+ pound pack on their back which was supplies and a personal tent. Thirteen miles per day – that is a lot of walking. I was tired last night after my 8-mile walk and I believe that is the most I’ve every walked in one day. So, will you have to get ready for the walk, but walking, instead of running, and building up your endurance for 13 miles a day? I had a neighbor who walked in the Susan Komen 3-Day Walk and it is 60 miles (20 miles per day before they rest for the night). She did not have a walking regimen beforehand and only began training by walking five miles every evening after work – she did not make it to noon on the first day and, for all my walking, I’m not sure I could make it to 20 miles each day either.

        Mike had an issue with his foot in February and he pushed his start day later and was concerned about going through the mountains … I wonder if he feels he can’t make it, if he could pause the walk and resume next year at the same location – this was unexpected and he is walking for himself, his own goal, not raising funds.

        Friends of our family asked me to go to Spain with them in 1974 and I spent three weeks in August traveling with them. She was Spanish, grew up in Spain and her husband was German. It was great as there was no language barrier. We went into lots of small towns as we drove up the coast and I liked getting a flavor for this country by going into small places to eat and listened to their music – I tried lots of new things. Do you or Bill speak Spanish?

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      • Your trip to Spain sounds wonderful! Do you ever want to go back? Bill speaks only his high school Spanish and I have been taking Spanish lessons on Duolingo, but neither one of us are really proficient. We just know a few phrases.

        Walking 20 miles per day is pretty strenuous. I am not surprised your neighbor did not make it if she didn’t train. Bill and I have covered the distance running plenty of times, but not walking. I think different muscles are used. Maybe we should practice walking for distance, but I don’t know when we will have time.

        I hope adding in your inside steps gets you closer to your yearly goal!

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      • I don’t think I would return to Spain because I have some other venues I’d like to travel to if at all possible (namely France, Italy, Alaska) first. It was a wonderful trip Laurie and I was lucky to take it with someone who spoke the language fluently and I got along well with this couple who were my parents’ age. We stayed with Alfonsa’s family in Madrid for four days and did our sightseeing around Madrid, then set out for the Coast and spent the last few days in Madrid as well. Alfonsa and Werner went over before me and stayed afterward, so I traveled there alone to meet them. Werner worked with my father at a German tool-and-die company, The company was looking to expand in Puerto Rico, and because Alfonsa spoke Spanish, they thought he’d be a good candidate. They liked that opportunity, so they sold their house and moved to Puerto Rico for two years to get the company up and running. I went to visit them at Easter time my senior year, instead of the senior trip to the Bahamas as I had been to the Bahamas on a short cruise with my parents the year before. So I spent 10 days with them and again … it was great, a built-in tour guide and translator. When their gig was up in P.R., they decided to take off a year to travel. They went to South America for three months, then spent about six months in Spain. Alfonsa had bought a small apartment building for a song years and years before and they decided to just retire there. I think there were only four apartments and a tenant moved, so it presented the opportunity. She has since passed away after a series of strokes and I’ve lost contact with Werner.

        I contributed to my neighbor’s walking venture since it was/is a good cause, but I never thought she’d make it to the finish, as she has always been overweight and she never even took her dogs for a walk. But I am sure I couldn’t do it either, even at the end of the Summer/early Fall when I’ve been getting at least five miles per day walked, a little more on weekends which would be the norm for me. I think you will have to give up running and train for this walk because September is not that long off. The reason I say this is because in the past, I’ve overdone it a few times on a beautiful day and walked more miles than usual. I got shin splints – I did not this time thankfully after Saturday’s 8-mile jaunt. You would not want to get shin splints and mess up your trip. Maybe you can split up each day because, as I’ve been following Mike Posner, he said he was up to 24 miles at the time of the snake bite, however he walks the majority of his miles in the morning (5:30 or so) when cooler and then takes a break until later in the day.

        I checked out my pedometer and I’ve put in a half mile since I came home … there are some days that I am more active than today – I had a few documents to churn out and we were expecting storms late afternoon, so I hunkered down just to get them done.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Alaska is on my list of places I would like to visit too, Linda. Puerto Rico is a place I have not been before either. I would like to visit. So many places, so little time (and money!)

        You are right, Linda. I can’t give up running since I am committed to some long races, but I am going to suggest to Bill that we take some long walks. I think splitting up the day is a great idea too. Stopping for lunch and a cold drink during the hottest part of the day sounds like a plan.

        I think your half miles here and there will add up by the end of the year!

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      • An Alaska cruise with land tours in the area would be my first choice after retirement and sooner rather than later due to climate change. I hope to make that trip. Puerto Rico is very beautiful – we toured all around it during the time I was there. You would like it very much: historical Old San Juan, the Rain Forest and tropical part of island, and even the modern Condado beach and big hotel/casino district. I don’t know how much in disrepair PR is from the hurricanes – have you heard?

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      • I hope you get to take that Alaska cruise soon, Linda! I think you are right – we had better go see the glaciers NOW if we want to see them. I don’t know how much damage PR has sustained due to the hurricane. We have a family friend from PR who goes home frequently to visit her mom. I should ask her.

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      • Yup, Alaska and Greenland are already having problems, and Greenland is in dire straits. I would think two years after the hurricanes it would be okay for tourism and since your family friend is visiting loved ones, it would not necessarily matter how it still looks there for her as she’d go anyway. It would be interesting to know the real scoop though.

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      • I was having a drink with a friend yesterday who honeymooned in Alaska almost 40 years ago. She went back this summer and visited the same glacier she visited 40 years ago. The bush pilot who ferried her in (who was the same one as on her honeymoon!) told her that the height of the glacier has dropped over 100 feet since she last visited.

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      • Wow, it sure is hard to “like” this comment Laurie. That story demonstrates that all this climate change has been happening under our noses all along, but we weren’t really aware of it until a few years ago. We snubbed Al Gore’s global warming theories as nonsense … not nonsense at all!

        In fact, I just was commenting to another blogger, the exact same age as us, that yes it rained at Woodstock and those music goers endured it, sitting in the pouring rain for hours on end and as soggy as it was, they still enjoyed themselves. I told Joni that I can remember going to concerts every Summer in the mid-70s-with friends – we had series tickets for the same six groups every Summer at Pine Knob, an open-air concert venue and we only had lawn seats, never pavilion seats (too extravagant in those days) … I never once remember sitting in the rain for those concerts. I know we went to other outside concerts, tickets purchased long before the event date and never once getting rained on. Did it not rain as much? Were we just lucky? Hmm. Right now, we are in day #3 of 6 days of heat, humidity and volatile weather, especially tomorrow there is talk of severe weather, and we just came off the hottest July on record worldwide.

        P.S. Pretty amazing visiting the same glacier and having the same bush pilot too. I have a friend who has gotten together with fishing friends for two fishing expeditions per year for decades. Now they are all retired. One of their favorite trips is Alaska where they are dropped off in some remote lodge and picked up one week later.
        They fish to their heart’s content, throwing each salmon back into the water after taking a picture with their best catch of the day.

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      • Yes, I can’t understand how we ignore science just because it is something we do not want to hear. We can remember our lawn getting dried out and not having to mow during July and August. That doesn’t happen anymore. The rising air temperatures allow more water vapor to be in the air. My friend loves Alaska. I thought at one time she would retire there, but now I think she may go to Itlay when she retires.

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      • I remember the grass being like a Brillo pad and hearing it crackle when you walked on it too Laurie. The humidity, heat and stormy weather have taken a hike and it was refreshing this morning. I hated to come in. I followed a blogger (Keenan Powell) (https://mysteristas.wordpress.com/author/keenanpowell/)
        who is an attorney in Alaska. She moved there the day after graduation/passing the bar exam. She wrote some funny posts about living in Alaska. I think I might take Italy over Alaska if I had my druthers.

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      • We were greeted upon our return to PA with some nice cool, low humidity weather too. What a pleasure! We took our grandsons to an airshow today. It was the perfect day to be outside.

        I think I would take Italy over Alaska too. I want to see Alaska, but it is moving down my list of top places to visit.

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      • We had the same weather this weekend Laurie – it sure was a treat after enduring heat and high humidity for about ten days. I had a long walk both days – we have some heat and humidity coming back but it won’t last all week thankfully. Well Alaska is beautiful for the scenery, much of what you’ll see from the boat, but Italy is so rich in history, the culture and people make it a draw. My grandmother lived in a neighborhood where she was the only person who was not Italian. All her neighbors were fun-loving, great over-the-fence neighbors who were quick to send over a pot of pasta when they made it or invite her to their family gatherings. All that nice food – you and Bill would run it off – hopefully it is on your strict diet. I vote to move it up the list too.

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      • We have some heat and humidity coming back too. We went to Italy last September, so I probably wouldn’t go back there so soon. Bill’s mom was Italian. She was such a warm person and a great cook too!

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  10. Oh my goodness, you must have had so much fun visiting your family! Your grandson is adorable!

    I had to keep an eye out for bears while visiting my mom. I carried pepper spray that I got on Amazon, but I suspect a bear would laugh at how under-prepared I was with such a small canister. I need to up my game if they’re going to be a continuing concern when I visit the farm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Debbie. We had a great time. Now we are visiting another son in Oregon! I think I would have been completely unprepared to actually spray a bear if I encountered it on a run. The bear spray was mostly to make me feel better!

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  11. Hi Laurie, family is precious and there’s nothing like a few hundred miles to bring that home. My sister and her family are coming over this week for a couple of weeks and we will meet up as much as we can… I pulled the running shoes back on this summer and it feels good. My biggest problem is loose dogs, I can’t imagine what it must be like running with the risk of bumping into a bear!

    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope you have a wonderful visit with your sister and her family, Deb. You are so right – family is so important! Glad to read that you are running again. Good luck! I was bitten once by a dog while on a run. I am now very wary of dogs, even if they are on a leash. Be careful!

      Like

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