Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Waiting for the Coffee to Brew

Quiet morning on West McDonald.  One of the first regular weekday get-aways to the cabin and I’m reminded how quiet it is up here most of the time.   Standing on the dock while waiting for the coffee to brew you can hear cows mooing – and I think they are at least a mile to the north of here.

What’s the best way to start the day to get into the right frame of mind – yoga or writing (or both)?   At home, I’ve begun doing yoga again.  It is part of my effort to de-stress.  Yoga is a great way to wake up, and energizes me for the day ahead.  It also helps start the day with deep breathing – something I then remember to do later in the day when the crap hits the fan. 

But here in the quiet of an early cabin morning, yoga seems too much.  I don’t want to disturb the slumbering guests (all Langager/Crosson women who NEED to sleep).  I have taken to writing, something I do throughout the day in fits and spurts.  Writing also calms me.  I just remembered to take a deep breath in – and let it out (something I forget to do occasionally). 

Great night’s sleep after yesterday’s adventure.  On Monday, Shana and I ventured out for our second day of hiking.   We logged about six (6) miles of hiking in Maplewood State Park.  The park is beautiful, situated where the prairie meets the deciduous forest.  One minute you are walking through prairie, and then you are climbing a big hill in the forest the next.  This park has some real elevation!  At least what passes for elevation in Minnesota, with some hills reaching almost 1600 feet.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Reporting from West McDonald

[Sunday morning updates - posted late]

Wow!  Saturday night was the first night Shana and I spent at cabin without a kid or two since the summer of 1996.  Maria drove home last night so she could have brunch with her friends this morning.  Many leave for college this week.  It’s a happy/sad time as all these wonderful young adults (I almost said, “kids”) leave home for college.  It’s a bit difficult to read the screen as I type this. 

As for the other – well, John is in Costa Rica on a scientific adventure with 15 classmates and two teachers.  Follow along here

Awoke earlier Saturday, second night that I didn’t sleep well.  That is rare at the cabin.  Maybe it was the heat, or maybe my choice of bed-time-snack – something I don’t often do at home – and especially not this particular snack.  So tonight it’s no ice cream right before bed.  Maybe a glass of milk, or nothing at all. 

[Monday morning]

I slept better last night; why?  It’s hard to tell.  Once Helen knew I was having trouble sleeping she jumped into action, attacking my sleeplessness on many fronts.  We used the electronic massage wand (ahh – wonderful!), several doses of magnesium to relax the muscles, several times I used a heating pad.  All likely helped – thanks to H!  For my part, I swam early in the day, and enjoyed a 2+ mile post-dinner walk with Shana – something we do almost every night at home, but had not done at the cabin the last few nights.

Mid-day, Shana and I were out adventuring.  We visited the Bluestem Prairie SNA and spent an hour or so wandering around the natural prairie.  It was very beautiful.  We came back the slow way, through Detroit Lakes for lunch, then took the back roads home to the cabin to avoid the “crowd” at Loony Daze in Vergas.  

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

“Like”? No- like.

I just sent an old friend a Facebook birthday greeting.  Shrug.

This friend and I go way back.  For over 25 years, we sent each other cards every year on our birthdays.  A few years ago that practice stopped.  Who knows why?  Now Facebook reminds me when it’s her birthday and I post a pithy little greeting on her timeline.  Check that activity off my to-do list and move on.

Why don’t I have the guts, interest, or time to send cards anymore?   Facebook doesn’t prevent me from also sending cards, but as the years go by and I send fewer snail-mail cards, I have fallen out of the practice – and I feel bad about it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Other Morning Routine

Yikes another obituary gets my attention today.  Dale Strom – longtime Richfield social studies teacher.  

I say, “Yikes” because they’re dropping like flies.  Yesterday I attended the funeral of an old family friend.  The week before Shana attended the funeral of a father of a close childhood friend; the same friend whose wedding Shana and I met at.

I discovered these three recent deaths by reading the obituaries, a habit I’ve taken up with gusto.  Prior to my mom’s death in January 2013, I relied on her as the source of death news.  She never missed one, and would often call me if she thought I might have an interest a recent death. 

Now the torch has passed to a new generation, and I’m doing my best to keep up the tradition.  I still start each day reading the comics, and I read every last one of them.  But after the comics it’s the obituaries, looking for an interesting story – or more recently a friend or loved one.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Morning Routine

New morning routine:  Park in lot farthest from building, but nearest the walking path, and take a walk BEFORE work.  This is relaxing and at the same time invigorating way to start the day.  It’s a great time to plan my day, get in some exercises – even some stretches and push-ups.  It also assures me a walk if my day “gets away from me” as it often does.  Bonus – some days I get two walks – like yesterday I found I had time for a noon-time walk, after doing my morning walk.  

Let’s see how this holds for the winter.  It will be a nice practice for summer – when the heat and humidity can make the un-shaded walking path unbearable over the noon hour.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Glass Half Full

I hope those who know me well would describe me as a "glass half-full" kind of guy.  I know I do.

On the optimist/pessimist theme:  One person's "cloudy day" is another's partly-sunny day.  Sitting in a meeting this morning, a co-worker looked out the window and said, "I wished those darn clouds would go away."  Well, I almost took that as a direct challenge to make time for my lunch-time walk.

I definitely see today as partly sunny.  It's also a lot less humid than yesterday so I was able to complete my lunch time walk without my pants sticking to my legs - yuck!

Later today - off to the cabin to retrieve John whose been spending time with Shana's parents enjoying the latest cabin toy!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Can You Schedule Romance?

[Today's walk:  Camera/phone on the path.]

Rest easy, this isn't an embarrassing post about how older couples with kids find creative ways to “be alone”.  No, this is about those darn kids! 

At my age I find myself thinking, and even sometimes saying out loud, “Kids nowadays!” 
I've had a chance to observe the latest fad and I don’t approve.  That fad?  The scheduled breakup. 

Isn't life convenient?  Now, we can schedule our break-ups.  All the kids do it; they schedule break-ups before college departures.  The scheduled heartbreak is designed to save them the heartache of a “real” breakup bound to occur later.  It’s very practical – but also very unromantic in my humble opinion.

OK, I admit it – I’m an old romantic.  Back in my day we promised never to part, and hung in there through long-distance relationships, the inevitable meeting of “the other”, and the horrible break-up. 

Was the old way bad?  Of course, many hearts were broken.  Many tears were shed.  However, perhaps those breakups launched a thousand pop songs, and other works of art.

Is the new way better?

Let’s wait and see.