19. If I could live anywhere…

Day 19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

It is that time of year again…the time of year when the old year is coming to an end like the falling of the leaves….and a new year with new opportunities is almost upon us..

It is at this time of year that I reflect…. What do I truly want?

If I could pick any place in the world that I wanted to live, it would be Tahiti. I have images in my mind of forever lounging in the sunshine on a sandy beach.

But, would that be what I truly want??

I have never lived in a warm climate. We get a total of 2 months out of the year that lounging in the sunshine on the beach is really possible. If we are really lucky, we get 3 months of warmth and beach weather.

Would I miss the change of the seasons? Would I get bored spending every single sunny day on the beach? Would I take it for granted?

Summer is my favorite season.

Would I miss cuddling in a warm blanket on a cool fall evening? Would I miss breathing in the crisp cool refreshing autumn air? Would I miss the beauty of the leaves changing color?

Would I miss waking on Christmas morning to fresh fallen snow? Would I miss the excitement of the first big snowfall? Would I miss seeing icicles glisten like crystals on barren trees?  There is something special about the roaring wind that whistles through the cracks in our very foundation that ushers in the winter snow….The appreciation of warmth inside when the house cracks from temperatures of 30 below.

Spring is my least favorite season..Every time there is a glimmer of hope, it seems like we are dragged back into the dark, desolate winter again. But would I miss the expectation of the arrival of summer if it is always summer? Would I get sick of something that I love because I have too much of it? Would it still be as special??

Although I would like to say that I want to live in forever summer, I don’t think that I really want to live anywhere but here…

Would I be happy away from friends and family to live in sunshine and warmth? Maybe for a few months out of the year, but not forever…

Maybe, just maybe, in the darkest loneliest days of winter I will pack my bags and live for a short time in forever summer…That sounds perfect to me!

Truly scary

Sometimes the scariest stories are the true ones. This story happened many years ago when I still lived in my parents house. It happened this time of year. It happened in the middle of a dark night like most scary stories do. I awoke to the flashing lights of police cars. We lived in a rural area outside of an unincorporated town, our closest neighbor a half mile away. I was afraid and woke up my dad. I remember my dad telling me that the last time he saw this many police cars near town that the bank had been robbed. 

Sadly, a bank robbery in the middle of the night would have been preferable to what really happened. What really happened?? A car full of partying teens, young and full of life, had been out drinking recklessly abandoning their seat selts and good sense. The driver thought it would be fun to drive fast, really fast. He hit a patch of black ice, rolled the car multiple times, and flipped the car into a ditch ejecting the passengers. The driver walked away with a few bumps and bruises. Two of the passengers mangled bodies were taken to the morgue that night. The field was a graveyard of broken bodies, broken glass, shattered lives, and a damaged car. It was my uncle’s job to take his wrecker and remove the car remains from the field. 

The next morning it was as if the night before never happened. Well, not exactly. It didn’t turn out like that. My mom was taking a walk near the scene of the accident. She saw something so mortifying that she called the police. She was really shook up on the phone. She exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, someone needs to come out here right now, they forgot the face”. “I took anatomy and physiology in college and I know what a face looks like”. “Please come it’s an emergency!”  “I don’t want children to see the faces that you left behind”. The police came back that morning. My mom showed them the faces that she found half covered in snow. But they were only masks. The accident victims decorated the inside of their car with car accident Halloween masks. Gory, mutilated, mangled masks mocking the shattered lives left behind that night in the cold unforgiving snow. 

Cool, warmth

It has been a warm October. The jack ‘o lanterns that the kids carved at the harvest party earlier this month turned to squash. They rotted and melted like a witch getting doused in water. I am not complaining. It has allowed me to continue with my summer isn’t over delusion a little bit longer. My grandpa would have had his birthday earlier this month. Usually right around my grandpa’s birthday, my grandma would write flurries on her calendar when the first trace of snow swirled. Her calendar was completely empty except for the word flurries. Sometimes it’s the little things that I miss the most.

I haven’t had to change my running schedule at all due to the weather. I haven’t dusted off the treadmill yet either. Running this time of year does have its challenges though. Earlier this week I ran by a farmer harvesting his corn field. He spooked out a huge rabbit and it ran straight towards me. Difficult decisions ensued for that rabbit once he noticed me. There was nowhere for him to run.

Today I had my monthly 18 mile run. The last few miles were painful and hard to endure. Every muscle was screaming at me to stop. I made it though. It took me 2 months to recover from my knee pain from the marathon. I have been running the last 2 weeks relatively pain free. This gives me hope that next spring I can sign up for another marathon and beat the crap out of myself again. Whoo hoo!

Grounded for life, part 2

Sometimes things happen that really aren’t technically our fault, but could be because we didn’t do anything at all to stop them. Guilt by association. Inaction as an action. It is rather embarrassing sometimes to talk about events that happened when I was a child, the age my children are at now. Events that were stupid and childish looking back in middle age adult eyes. 

Today’s story takes place out in a very rural area by Mary’s house. I mentioned Mary previously, she was my friend that had 14 or 15 siblings. I can never remember. Please don’t make me mentally count each one by name. Randy wasn’t an only child either. He had 4 brothers. He shared a father with his oldest brother, each of his younger brothers had a different father. His older brother was along for the ride. Mary’s house was always a zoo, so we decided to take a walk. It was autumn, I remember that because the corn was high and ready for harvesting. Later that evening we were running through the corn fields hiding out. Randy’s brother lifted me up to see if I could see anything over the corn, but it was dusk and the husks were so high I could barely peek over. 

The trouble started when we got to the creek. Randy and his brother found a large sheet of plastic lying on the road near the bridge. It was like bubble wrap plastic. They thought it would be a great idea to burn the plastic. I still remember the sizzling and cracking sound of the burning plastic. To make matters more troublesome, Randy and his brother pulled out the signs for the bridge and threw them in the ditch. Around this time, Mary’s dad drove by on the way home from his third job. Mary told the boys that her dad was going to call the police if he saw the fire and suspicious activity. Not long after that we may have even heard sirens. And that is how I ended up over my head in a corn field at dusk. 

Mary decided she wanted to call her sister to see if their dad said anything. She babysat for the farmer’s kids down the road and said we should walk there so she could call home. I remember walking into her neighbor’s house at night to use their rotary phone. The TV was on and the farmer snored softly in his chair never waking up. I don’t know where the rest of the family was. It seems surreal that night in a stranger’s house as Mary called home. Mary’s dad didn’t see anything, so we walked back to her house. No one got grounded that night. 

Taking the sails out of the wind

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The dark days are now upon us. Night time lights go on at mid day. It is dark when I wake and after supper at night. I feel sleepy and unmotivated. My body and heart yearn for hibernation. My head tells me to work harder, there is nothing outside tearing me away. My body lags.

For Paul, it is a sad day. The day that the sailboat comes out of the water for the season.

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I decided to share some pictures of our days in the sun.

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We had many adventures this year rescuing a stranded boater, unexpected strong storms while sailing overnight for our anniversary, and our goodbyes to some best friends while sailing.

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This year brought a new sport of sail racing. I can’t wait to see what adventures next year will bring.