Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Case of the Errant Blogger

Well, hello, blog. Despite wonderful family members all telling me how much they enjoy this, I manage to neglect it quite badly, quite often. That is as close to an apology as I think I'm capable.

Onto the content:
It's been a loud week 'round these parts. Besides the obvious fact (obvious to us in the Midwest) that any self-respecting zealot in the region should be inclined to build an ark posthaste, I must note that it has been a WET spring.

I've been nurturing my inner gardener, and lemme tell you, it was really depressing for the first month. I planted beans 3 times. 3 times!!? Man, I've been growing beans since elementary school, and the one thing I know about them is that they practically take care of themselves. Not so here. The first 2 times they rotted in the cold, wet earth. The third time was the charm--they sprouted within 3 days. Crazy!

Birds from all walks of life have discovered the feeder, and so I take a daily delight in identifying and observing them while they feed. Dingo the wonder-cat likes it too, although he still doesn't seem to understand that he cannot get through the window to the feasting birdies. All told, much entertainment is to be found in the spectacle.

The half-burned out house next door was demolished yesterday, along with the other terrible house next door to it. This should do wonders to improve my property value. Yesterday I walked around the corner to watch the thing being torn down--it is very dramatic and exciting (or maybe my life is just painfully boring) to watch the machinery of destruction at work.

The experience yielded this completely surreal moment:

Setting: the sidewalk across the street from house being demolished. My neighbor "Buck" and the child that some deadbeat mom/renter leaves him in charge of is in tow. Their mangy dog, Hank, is also present.

ME: well, it's about time
BUCK: I tell you what, the whole neighborhood is going down
ME: *snapping photos*
CHILD: Cheese! Cheese!
HUGE CRASHING BOOM NOISE AS HOUSE BEGINS TO FOLD. A raccoon comes out from a dormer, looking confused
BUCK: Aw, hell. that's my raccoon up there! Heidi! Heiiiiiiiiiiiidiiiiiii! Come on out here, girl!
CHILD: Heidi? Heidi! C'mere Heidi!
ME: Your raccoon?
BUCK: I think that's her
ME: Your pet raccoon?
BUCK: Well, she crawled up into the attic, so I ain't seen her since last winter. But I feed her everyday.
ME: But, you're sure that's her?
BUCK: Well, it looks like her.
ME: Yeah, but don't raccoons usually look pretty similar?
BUCK: Hmmm. Maybe.

Aaaaargh. Welcome to white trash land. I live in a neighborhood I like to call "the white-trash hatchery of America". It's not much of an exaggeration, really.

Nothing much to tell besides the tale of this Saturday morning, when the Jehova's Witnesses came a-calling, and Chip did what any good man would do...hid in the corner of the living room, out of sight, forcing me to answer the door in disgraceful athletic attire. I softened the blow of "I am an atheist" by substituting the word "secular," but despite my repeated attempts to tell them that they were not going to convert me, they still insisted on making a future date to visit us.

We will be more prepared this next time. Oh, Chip was kind enough to set up recording equipment so that we could save the whole encounter for posterity. He's a good man that way.

So there! A blog. Hope you are all well. All my love, ~F

Saturday, June 7, 2008


It's been a victorious week, in many ways, for many people.

But today, above all else, there is this:

That's Josh Perkins and me. He's been my best friend here at school. He's a country boy, first in his family to go to college, while I'm a city girl, following in a long tradition of education. But none of that matters, in spirit, we are very much the same.

We were together in Asia, and our collective motto was, "Climb every mountain," which we did a pretty great job of. When we got back to town, we'd both gotten out of shape, and it was his bright idea that we should do a triathlon together.

Over the past month, I have run, biked, and swum (what a terrible-looking word that is!) around 180 miles. It's the most physical discipline I've had since I moved here in 2004.

Today, with lightning doing a treacherous dance in the roiling, angry sky--we completed our first triathlon. It was exhausting, but wonderful. It rained heavily the whole time, but we did it. .25 mile swim, 13 mile bike ride, 3.1 mile run. It took an hour and 34 minutes, but I did it.

I don't own a scale, and if I knew what I weighed today it wouldn't matter, anyway--I have nothing to compare it to. I just don't really use scales. My pants always tell me when I need to get it together. I trust them innately.

I also trust the way I feel. Right now, I feel like an old lady. But I did something today I could not have done a month ago. And next month, I plan on doing it again. Because I feel strong, and vital and alive.

We only get one body in this life. It is my belief that bodies were made to be used, heavily.

Can I get an "Amen?"