late bloomer

Stories, musings, and pictures… a little bit late.

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Batteries Not Required


Back in November Aaron and I started fostering dogs through Adopt a Golden Knoxville. This guy was our first foster. Franklin and Charlie have very similar coloring. Franklin is just a lot fluffier.

One rainy afternoon my mom stopped by the check on the dogs while we were at work. When she called she told me that noise from the TV had startled her since it made it sound like there was someone in our house.  I didn’t remember leaving the TV on, maybe Aaron did. Which one of us left the house last? Was it me?
I didn’t even think the TV was on to be left on…

When I got home I was greeted by Charlie and Franklin, restless from a day inside. I walked around to assess any damage from a new dog to a new home and sure enough the TV was on.  The remote was on the floor. In pieces.  Oops. I picked up the shards of plastic and a battery. 1 battery.

I searched for the second battery under the couch and in the high pile of the rug to no avail. The google research began.  If a dog has eaten a battery and punctured the casing it is likely there will be burns around their mouth. If a dog has ingested a battery whole chances are it will pass without any complications.  Franklin wasn’t in any pain and his snout was in good condition so that was some relief.

This was quite a reminder that not every dog is as well trained as Charlie. We also got better about our remote storage method (if you can call the floor  a method). The rest of our time with Franklin went swimmingly. We weren’t awful dog foster parents after all.

A few days after Franklin was adopted battery #2 surfaced in the living room.



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Not My Dad on Vacation



Aaron and I, along with our friend Jessica, were walking down to the Santa Monica pier one afternoon long, long ago. Or maybe it was in April. Regardless, I spotted this fellow on a gnarly, sprawling tree trunk in the park and immediately recognized him as my dad. Then of course, almost as immediately, realized it wasn’t. 

Despite being over two thousand miles from home, there are other flags that should have alerted me that this was indeed a stranger. For example, I wouldn’t describe ol’ Gar Bob as an avid reader. Sure, he reads, but its not like books are his go to choice for entertainment. And recliners are more his speed when it comes to kicking back. 

Maybe I should be alarmed that I could be duped into thinking that, even for just a second, that guy was my dad. But, there is just something about associating this man – so clearly relaxed, reading, on a tree – with my dad, that makes me happy.

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You wanna go out?

I am not a huge fan of grocery shopping.  I used to really enjoy it when I was spending my mom’s money, but times have changed.

The closest grocery store to us is 2 miles away. I go there a lot and regret it 98.759% of the time. I never consider myself to be high class, but in there I am definitely upper crust.  The employees of this particular Food City are really nice and they work hard.  I can’t say as much about the clientele. Other things I can’t say: they smell good, dress nice, and have mastered simple grammar.

I have reasoned with myself on the last couple of outings that if I went to a “swankier” supermarket I might not hate it so bad.  The Food City by the mall meets this criteria. Now, this store is probably only 5 miles from our house, but What. A. Difference.


This very closely resembles the store 2 miles away.


And this, the one 5 miles away


A couple of weeks ago, after spending the (usual) outrageous amount of money on consumables, the bag boy asked me if I would like help out to the car. My memory makes me believe it was kind of noisy in there, but either way, I answered him with a question. “Do you wanna go out?”

BB: Do I wanna go out? (Looks me up and down, confused, possibly insulted)
Me: Yeah, I mean, I used to work in a grocery store and I liked getting outside once in a while. So if you do…
BB: (mumbling) go out?
Me: Yes! Help me out to my car! (For Pete’s sake, am I that hideous?)
BB: Oh, ok.

Aside … one of the first times I got groceries in my new car, I popped my trunk from my key chain a few feet away. The kid was impressed and told me something to the effect of me having a “nice ride”.

Me: Ok. It’s this gray one next to the cart return.  (Popping trunk from 10 yards away, trying to save face)
BB: My mom has a car like this.

When it comes to groceries I just can’t win.


A Renewed Love

I’m not sure if I knew I was in love in high school. I sure didn’t feel like it during college. The years in between then and now, well, I’ve had a few affairs. But now, it is certain – I am in love. I am back in love with running.

I started running as a 6th grader with a summer track league. We were new to town so it was a way to meet people. Throughout middle school I ran cross country in the fall to build for track in the spring. Looking back on it, I’m not sure how  long distance running really benefits a high jumper, but that is what my coach said to do. So I did it. 

I followed the same pattern throughout high school. Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track – for 4 years. Track season started to become secondary, a way to stay in shape for cross country. Those seasons hold so many of the best memories I have. We were a strong team; solid runners, smart coach and great girls.

My college experience did not follow suit. I ran for the team 3 out of the 4 years. There was someone to drive the bus, but they were no coach.

Since then I’ve been on again off again, on my own and with training groups. I’ve met some great people and accomplished goals. For some reason though, it just wasn’t enough to keep me going. Each year after my goal race I would inevitably stop and let the lazies take their toll on me for the next 4 – 6 months.

Not this year! I am 10 days away from my goal race, the Tryon Half marathon, and I can’t wait to plan my next races.

They say people do strange things for love and I whole heartedly agree. Here are some examples:

  • I eat a substance referred to as “Gu” on a pretty regular basis. It is starting to taste really good!
  • Some days I pack not only my lunch, but my breakfast. (This is a big deal to me – I hate packing lunch)
  • I have replaced a considerable amount of couch time with foam rolling/stretching.
  • Counter intuitively, I am eating fewer cookies, cakes, pastries etc… They just aren’t very good fuel.
  • Some days, I voluntarily get up before 5 am to go run. I’m not even that grouchy about it anymore.

I found a new coach in September. I signed up almost on a whim. I knew I wanted to be more active, and deep down something told me running was the way to go.

It’s funny. After all this time, and all those pairs of running shoes, I’ve never been more grateful to my mom for signing us up for summer track. And – I’m pretty thankful for this coach too.


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Learning How to Grieve

I always thought it was odd when I would hear people say “they need to learn how to grieve” or “when they figure out how to grieve…” I always just kind of assumed grieving would look like uncontrollable sobbing in the fetal position. Sadly, I now know that is not the only option.

August was a rough month. My husband’s grandfather, known as Pa-paw in these parts, passed away quietly.  The graveside service was beautiful in a heart wrenching way.

I cried for Pa-paw’s wife for losing her husband. I cried for Aaron for losing his granddad. I cried for me that I didn’t get to know him better. I cried for the respect people on the road displayed as we followed the hearse, namely a little girl and her mom that placed their hands over their hearts. I cried when the bugle played. I cried as the doves flew away.

Roughly two weeks after saying bye to Pa-paw, Rainie was overcome with a sudden malady that sent her to the Emergency Vet. I fit in a quick good bye to her as she got into the car for what would be her last ride.  Occasionally the void that she left behind is too much to ignore and I crave being interrupted by an affectionately warm snout, followed by a sleek, fur coated, tripping hazard. 

The morning following Rainie’s trauma I got a call from an ex-coworker friend letting me know that another one of my ex-coworkers had passed the night before. He was probably my closest friend from that job. I knew how much he meant to me and could only imagine how much he meant to his family. At the receiving of friends his wife mentioned hearing about me and how it was nice to meet someone she’d heard him talk about. I almost couldn’t take it.  It was like hearing her say that made our friendship official. We were more than co-workers in his eyes too. I was allowed to be as sad as I needed to be.

Some of the tears I shed for Steve showed up at obvious moments, but mostly I was caught off guard by some memory or thought of his family I wasn’t fully aware of having. It has been 2 months now and I still find myself with catches in my chest when I think I see his car or come across some unimportant email we exchanged.

I’m learning…

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A few weeks ago I was doing some online browsing and came across this skirt:

Immediately my heart began to beat more rapidly and my palms got a little sweaty. All of the sudden I am back in my second grade classroom at Mitchell Elementary. Kids are laughing and pointing. At me. I don’t know why. Stacy Chandry, a well mannered, nicely dressed, usually quiet girl informs me gently that my skirt is caught on the back of my chair. In a hurry I stand up and smooth it under my legs and plop back down.

Brian Bear says tauntingly “I saw your underwear!” Since I am wearing tights I decide to be clever and zing back “No you didn’t – because I am not wearing any!” (Of course I am, they are yellow and bunched awkwardly under the tights).

Today that remark doesn’t seem as smart,  but then I was decidedly content with that retort and vowed never to wear a skirt to school again.  Just in case you’re wondering…no I did not get the skirt.