Sharing Four August Somethings

Is it really the end of August already? This strange summer has flown by.

I am never ready to let go of summer and this year is no exception. I love the heat, the light, and the ease of this season. I love the abundant fresh fruits and vegetables, wearing sundresses, and “glowing” so much I am dripping after a run. Sigh!

Let me catch you up on what’s been happening since July.

Something Loved

Meditations in Motion

When I wrote my post for July, our trip to Colorado was my “Something Ahead“.

We had never taken a car trip of that magnitude before, but with our grandson’s fifth birthday approaching and our trepidation about flying in close quarters with hundreds of strangers increasing, we canceled our flights and decided to hit the road.

Our state has quarantine rules concerning several other states, so we mapped our route carefully. I’m so glad we went.

Not only was driving much better than expected, we got to celebrate this guy’s special day with him. So much better than Zoom!

In this photo, he is displaying a butterfly he rescued from his pool. I thought the butterfly was a goner, but he insisted we could save her and gently dipped his hand into the water to scoop her out.

Sure enough, the butterfly soon began to wiggle her antennae, then her legs. Before too long, the Colorado sunshine had dried her wings enough for her to flap them and she fluttered to the shelter of a nearby lilac bush.

It reminded me of the story of the boy throwing starfish back into the ocean. He really made a difference to that one butterfly.

Something Read

The long drive and several overnight stays gave me plenty of time to read, so I read quite a few books this month. I will discuss three of them.

The most highly anticipated (by me) was also the most disappointing, Save Me the Plums, by Ruth Reichl. I give this book 3 stars.

Ms. Reichl was the editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Gourmet magazine. While I was never a regular reader, I do love food, travel, beautiful photography, and good writing, all of which Gourmet was known for, and I did read issues occasionally.

The book contains well-written stories about scrumptious food and luxurious travel but the focus on the office politics of the magazine’s movers and shakers made me shrug.

I got lost trying to keep track of the major players. Who was Larry? Tony? Richard? I would have to go back and remind myself. By the end of the book, I no longer cared. Maybe regular readers of the magazine would like this book better than I did.

The second book, Human(kind), by Ashlee Eiland, I give 4 stars. Maybe 4.5.

In this book, the author tells 27 vignettes about her life as a Black woman living in the U.S. Each short story is accompanied by the thoughts these episodes engendered. A story titled “Camping While Black“, for example, is accompanied by the subtitle “Adventure“.

Ms. Eiland is an engaging storyteller. Her thoughts on life are illuminating. This book is an easy-to-read lesson in humility and grace, a peek behind the curtain of a perspective different than mine. Any book that helps to generate empathy is worthy of praise and respect and this one is an excellent read.

The third book, Ten Marathons by Doug Schneider, a slim volume by a regular guy who happened to run long races, had the most impact on me. I give it 5 stars with a caveat: it was the right book for me to read at the right time; it may not have the same effect on everyone.

Mr. Schneider writes about marathons the way I remember them. They are grueling. While other (younger?) authors may wax eloquent about digging deep at mile 22, finding their inner strength and picking up the pace to the finish line, Doug (I think he would not mind me calling him Doug) and I slogged it in one miserable step at a time.

He writes the way I felt.

Here is one passage that spoke to me: ” (W)hat we can control is whether we stay interested in the world. We can make the effort to get back up when life knocks us down. And if you keep getting up and stay interested, anything is possible. There are always more hills to climb, and your reward for getting over the last one will be the chance to climb another.

Like Doug, running helps me to get back up when life knocks me down. Also like Doug, my plan is to run as much as I can for as far and as fast as I can without thinking about it too much.

Something Treasured

Meditations in MOtion

I don’t want to say this too loudly, but I will whisper it to you, dear readers: “I think I got my running mojo back.

It hasn’t been very long, but my runs have been happy occasions lately, quite different than the fraught affairs of the spring and early summer.

A lot of credit goes to Doug Schneider and Ten Marathons for helping me change my outlook. I will keep you posted.

Something Ahead

Meditations in Motion

Last year, my husband and I ran the Hellbender Half Marathon near Danville, PA with a friend.

The race was tiny, run on a rail trail, and supported stream conservation, a cause near and dear to my heart (a hellbender is a large salamander that can only live in pristine streams).

This weekend Hubby and I are running the our first in-person race since January’s eight-mile trail race in Florida, The Hellbender 5K with our youngest son – his first race ever.

To say I am filled with joyous anticipation is a vast understatement.

I hope to give you a full report of the event very soon.

 

 

I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her β€œFour Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics.

You can find the places I link up here.

 

 

 

 

 

74 comments

  1. You got your running mojo back, Laurie! Wonderful!
    Now I have to get hold of Doug’s book. I love motivating running books.

    I remember you saying that you had an in-person race this summer and I was wondering whether I had missed it.
    It is still ahead! How exciting to run it with your grandson! Looking forward to your report!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Running has been feeling really good lately. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the good feeling sticks around. I am actually running the race with my youngest son, although I hope to be able to run with my grandsons at some point! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another wonderful summation of your month. I’ve seen the Ruth Reichl book for sale. I love the title BUT I used to get Gourmet magazine [a gift from a friend] and wondered if I really needed to read more from her. You’ve answered my question, so I’ll happily give the book a pass.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Laurie, I’m so happy to hear you got your running mojo back!! I’m curious if your ‘travel running’ might have had something to do with the renewal, in addition to _Ten Marathons_? I always find new experiences to fuel me…so I might be projecting that one πŸ™‚ I had to laugh when I read your response to Save Me the Plums–because I am such a fan of the book! And I was laughing good-naturedly–about how we all respond SO differently to what we read, sometimes based on our own histories/backgrounds/careers–that it’s SUCH a subjective experience–what turned you off (the pub world politics) entertained me. I will share Schneider’s book with–who LOVES the socks you recommended. THANK YOU!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe the travel running helped to get my mojo back, but I really think it was mostly the book! Glad your hubby loved the socks. They are my go-to present when I need one for a runner.

      Like

  4. I’m so glad you got your running mojo back, Laurie. And that you get to run an actual race soon, and also with your son! As for me, after we took my running coach/daughter to college, I ran outside by myself once and now I am sidelined while a bad flareup of bursitis in my hip settles down. I’ve decided this is just a little setback, not the beginning of me falling apart. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Looking forward to running our first race with our youngest son. He has had a rough year so far but he is committed to fitness. He was never a runner until he lost 70 pounds and started lifting weights.

      So sorry to hear about your bursitis, Lois! I hope it settles down quickly. It is definitely not the beginning of you falling apart – you are much too young!

      Like

  5. Ten Marathons is going on my TBR list! Books by Regular People for Regular People about running are exactly what I’m looking for. Congrats on getting your running mojo back! We all lose it from time to time. I have to say that apart from the ol’ corona that August has been a solid month. Best month of 2020 so far!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think anyone who has struggled during a long run could identify. This will sound weird, but I don’t usually identify with memoirs written by men but this one was good. Your running is going great! I hope your good streak continues.

      Like

  6. I’m so happy to read about your mojo!!! That’s so so major. Push through it until you want to. You did that…. he is absolutely gorgeous and I appreciated the paragraph you copied. Hello sunshine…
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Exciting goings-on! Your trip out West was marvelous, and now you enjoy running again. I’m looking forward to reading about the Hellbender 5K with your son. We have Hellbenders in our mountain streams. I haven’t seen one, but son John $ has.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Yay! Glad to hear you may have your running mojo back. Maybe that trip seeing your sweeties created a turning point for you. Thanks for sharing about what you liked and didn’t like about the books. It always helps me to hear both likes and dislikes.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. So much goodness in this post, Laurie! I love that your grandson rescued a butterfly. He has a good heart. The books sound interesting.

    And yay for you running mojo! Good luck on your race.

    Neither me nor my husband like to drive. And the dogs, alas, are not great travelers. Chester was so good . . . I don’t anticipate any road trips anytime soon. So day trips it is!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is a very positive post Laurie. You had lots of reasons to be joyous this month – that big trip and the prize at the end of spending time with your grandson. I love the look he has on his face while gazing at the butterfly that he has saved. He is already a nature lover like you. Glad you have your running mojo back as we enter the last few weeks of Summer mode … I feel Summer mode switches off at Labor Day, even if it still hot. I will look forward to reading about the Hellbender with your son. Exciting that it’s a real, not virtual race!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Linda. I do need to count my blessings.

      My grandson IS a nature lover. He has lots of opportunities to observe nature where he lives. I was ready to give up on the butterfly, but not Atti!

      Hellbender is tomorrow. I better get to bed early! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good for Atti – that love of nature will stay with him forever. Hope you do well tomorrow. I got here late tonight and have to get to bed as I walked six miles and it was very hot and I’m getting heavy eyes. I am ready for bed as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s great Laurie – hope it was a good experience for your son as well. I did get a good night’s sleep, but I was out in the heat a good part of the day and have been nodding off a little I left earlier than usual.
        Had to get up and have some coffee. πŸ™‚ We have a week of very hot weather starting today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glowing and glistening as you’re a female. πŸ™‚ We have this hothouse weather all week – only going to 75 overnight. Glad your son enjoyed the experience. You’ll be a threesome more often now!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. SO glad you are feeling better about running again! I know it has given you so much joy, so how wonderful that you are feeling it again! Thanks for the book reviews πŸ™‚ I liked Gourmet too, but really did just read it for the articles and wouldn’t know the players. So it’s good to know I can skip that one!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m glad you got to see your grandson. He looks so adorable and it’s really sweet and caring what he did for the butterfly. Glad you got your running mojo back:)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So glad you got to go for your grandson’s birthday! Love the story of the butterfly. Human(kind) sounds good. I’ve read several historical books by Black authors, but not many contemporary Black voices. This sounds like a good one to rectify that with.

    I hope your weekend race goes well an is a lot of fun! Sounds like a neat opportunity! I’m glad the joy of running is coming back for you. I was just telling someone else about hearing or reading someone talking about the stages of grief, ending with acceptance, and realizing that I *think* I am there with the pandemic. I hope it goes away ASAP and we can return to some semblance of normal–but I am not as strained and weighed down as I was at the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I liked Human(kind) a lot. I didn’t put this in my review but the author and her husband are both pastors.

      Your thoughts on grief make complete sense. We do have to grieve what the pandemic has taken from us. Maybe that’s what is going on with me too. I hope I am coming to the point of acceptance.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. We were away early this week, from Monday until Thursday, and it has been a whirlwind of catch up since then, so just getting to this post. The means the race has already happened. I hope it went well. Love the picture of your grandson and the butterfly and very happy, that your runs have been going well.

    Liked by 1 person

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