I wrote in an earlier post about the passing of my father-in-law. He was laid to rest this month at the National Cemetery at Fort Indiantown Gap with full military honors.
The service was brief and beautiful. It included a 21-gun salute, “Taps“, the Coast Guard Anthem, and the presentation of the flag to his widow.
After the solemn ceremony, our family gathered (outdoors) for a meal that included laughter, tears, stories, and a toast with his beverage of choice – vodka and tonic.
Later that night, our family played “Cards Against Humanity” (a game I would not play with children present) and laughed until the tears flowed.
It was the perfect way to remember a fun-loving man.
Did you ever read the perfect book at exactly the right time? I had the great good fortune to read two perfect books this month.
I must admit to being a latecomer to the George Sheehan party but, boy, am I glad I finally arrived.
Sheehan was a cardiologist who wrote about running. He died in 1993, after a seven-year battle with prostate cancer.
Going the Distance, published posthumously, detailed his struggle with the cancer that finally took his life.
Sheehan, who qualified for and ran in many Boston Marathons, was gradually relegated to the role of a back-of-the-pack runner as his disease progressed. The lessons in humility and gratitude he learned and wrote about in this book are timeless and well worth the read.
In The Hidden Lives of Owls, Leigh Calvez tells nine stories about eleven different owl species she had the great good fortune to observe.
Calvez, a naturalist and nature writer, tagged along with scientists studying owls (mostly) in the Pacific Northwest.
The reader gets to participate in her owl-hunting adventures vicariously, without worrying about picking up ticks while tramping through the woods or shivering in the cold early-March rain while waiting for an elusive owl to make his nocturnal appearance.
Critics of Calvez’s books accuse her of anthropomorphizing her subjects, but I like her writing style. She elicits sympathy for her avian subjects and knows how to tell a story. I hated to finish the book.
The recent sudden death of my father-in-law and the social isolation due to the pandemic has made me appreciate even more the precious time I get to spend with the people I love.
My son and daughter-in-law from Oregon drove across the country to attend the funeral service. We had not seen them since Christmas.
Visits with aunts, cousins, and other family members we see infrequently cheered us during this sad time.
We have made a vow to see family members more often and it’s a vow I aim to keep. We will carefully practice social distancing and wear masks to ensure everyone’s safety, or make the visits virtual if needed, but staying in touch with loved ones is important.
My youngest son, husband, and I are running our second in-person race this weekend.
It’s my son’s second race ever.
The Thrill of Victory 5K, sponsored by our local Victory Brewing Company, is a small, socially distanced race that starts and ends at the brewery.
Even though the race begins at 10:00 a.m., one of the perks is that runners get a free Victory brew afterward.
A Victory beer sounds appealing, but if I drink a beer at 10:30 in the morning, I will certainly be napping by afternoon. I am not sure if I will partake or not.
Race report to follow.
I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her “Four Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving us the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics.
You can find the places I link up here.