Hello and welcome to the September edition of The Ultimate Coffee Date with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner, where we dish over coffee (or tea, if that is your preference) about all things running (and some non-running topics too).
Once again, I have a very sad story to tell you over our coffee cups.
I have not been writing blog posts this week due to the recent death of my father-in-law.
It was sudden, unexpected, and on his 89th birthday.
He and my mother-in-law, who still lived in their own house, cut their own grass, and had to be scolded recently for getting up on a ladder, were fiercely independent. Before the virus hit, their favorite pastime was to go out dancing.
They had been very cautious during the pandemic, as might be expected by a couple well into their ninth decade of life. I had not seen them since March. Before COVID, it was our habit to get together often.
They had planned to come to our house for dinner that night for a careful outdoor birthday celebration with my sister-and-brother-in-law.
The celebration never happened and we spent his birthday in quite a different way than we expected.
It was a brutal reminder (as if we needed another one these days) to tell those you hold dear “I love you” today.
If we were having coffee on our deck, I would show you the fennel plant a good friend gave me earlier this summer.
She told me the leaves are wonderful to use to flavor fish and other dishes, but I just liked the wispy, fern-y, asparagus look of the plant and the wonderful licorice smell it released whenever I brushed against it.
Several weeks ago, we saw a black swallowtail butterfly hovering around the fennel flowers and I wondered if she was laying eggs.
Sure enough, two weeks ago, the plant was covered in caterpillars that a Google search revealed to be of the black swallowtail variety.
I must do some research about the black swallowtail life cycle. I am not sure if they overwinter as pupae or if I can expect to watch them emerge as adults before fall. Either way, it’s like a nature show right outside the patio door.
My grandson is entranced.
Finally, if we were having coffee, I would show you this photo from 42 years ago of a young couple on their wedding day.
If they had known about all the joys and hardships ahead of them, I wonder if their smiles would have been as bright.
The couple, of course, is Bill and me.
After raising three children, welcoming three grandchildren, encountering thousands of bumps in the road along the way, and sharing many glorious adventures, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
And I think Bill could still rock the mint-green suit with wide lapels he wore on our wedding day.
Hey, it was the 70s.
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