Archive for August, 2010

August 25, 2010

Miles to go before we Walk

With seven weeks to go before the walk, a big focus in my life is training. With Ellie back from her three weeks in Wyoming backpacking and rock-climbing, our team is intact and we’re working on getting in shape. Walking twenty miles, as I have often opined, requires a lot of time. I walk at a steady pace of about two and a half miles per hour. I guess I should be walking faster, but that is where it averages out. Do the math and it is clear that walking twenty miles takes a lot of time.

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August 20, 2010

Back! No seriously!

Hey, everyone, this time there is no psych-out I am honestly back, having returned late Thursday night. Sorry to have taken a few days to begin blogging again, but being reunited with civilization has been a bit crazy. I keep waking up confused as to why I’m not in my sleeping bag in a tent or, whenever mom announces we need to run errands, I almost run to grab a backpack and hiking boots.

Besides clearly driving me a little insane, my trip was a lot of fun and I definitely learned a lot. While most of my fellow campers had all camped, backpacked, and rock climbed, I had done little of any of these and seemed to be prepared with only a smile when they asked about my previous experiences in these areas.  Honestly, the first week was incredibly difficult. Suddenly with 60 pounds on your back and rapidly increasing elevation, the simple 8 miles you’ve practiced with your mom all the time becomes much harder. But after the first days of hardship, your pains become habits and your exhaustion becomes simple routine. Past this I was able to learn how to camp while leaving no traces and to rock climb, even embarking on a multi pitch climb one day. I was also able to enjoy the Wind River Mountain Range part of the Rockies, hiking to the Continental Divide and learning the names of numerous wild flowers.

Now I’ve returned home and have already continued my training with mom, doing a 16.2 mile walk yesterday (and yes I was amazed at the amount of waving she did). Today we have a rest day with the rain up here at the country house but tomorrow we should again walk probably about 4 miles. I hope to post some pics of my trip soon, but until then wish me luck on getting used to normal life again…especially getting used to mom’s constant waving….

August 12, 2010

How Green Is My Garden

One of my greatest pleasures this summer has been my vegetable garden. Of course, it helps tremendously that we are having one of the best growing seasons in history. But it is nonetheless true that I have wanted a vegetable garden for years. It is a source of great happiness and hours and hours of contented puttering not to mention a bumper crop of gorgeous tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and herbs.

Way back, b.c. (before children), I grew tomatos and was both happy and successful, but the joys of gardening went by the wayside with the rigors of childrearing. For the past years I have made plaintive gardening noises each winter and was met with Jim’s complete and utter unhappiness and disinterest. He didn’t want to have a garden stuck in the middle of the lawn. He thought it was too much work or, more likely, that he would be stuck with the work. There were many objections all adding up to “no.”

But this past winter the winds blew in another direction. In March we suffered the great wind–a huge spring storm which uprooted many trees, took out all our fences and destroyed the enormous flame bush which dominated our side yard. The flame bush seemed to be the key. We had to have the bush removed and the stump dug up leaving a very large circular spot smack in the middle of the side yard. We had to do something with the big open area and Jim felt ready for it to become a garden. Okay, then, let’s go!!

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August 2, 2010

The Graduate

The past month has been tumultuous with both good and bad things taking place. More on some of that later.  I can’t believe it has been longer than a month since I last posted. Well, let’s look at something very good then to get things moving forward.

June 21st was our son, Peter’s graduation from the F. L. Chamberlain School. High school graduation is a milestone in everyone’s life. Graduation is the demarkation between childhood and adulthood. Upon graduation most people are either moving on to college or beginning a career. Certainly the future is filled with a level of independence and responsibility not before experienced.

Graduation is a joyous time in most lives and a celebration for both the graduate and his or her family. That was certainly the case for Peter.

Peter is 19 and for the past three years, he has not lived at home, but away at school. This was not really a chosen course, but one made necessary by the challenges that Peter has faced in his life. For a long time Peter suffered from undiagnosed problems which included significant depression, social isolation, failing grades in school and the inability to cope with daily life. Happily, Peter was diagnosed about a year ago with Aspergers. Having a diagnosis doesn’t change reality, but it helps to put a handle on things.

Peter has made tremendous progress and we are all tremendously proud of his achievement in graduating high school. This summer Peter is taking a class at Westchester Community College. His idea of a fun summer class is pre-Calculus. Peter is also learning to drive–something he is now ready to do. The plan is for more classes at WCC this school year and then (fingers crossed) on to a four year school.

Peter is exceptionally bright. He has a fantastic sense of humor and a most winning smile. It is a joy to have him home and to see him starting on his path to adulthood. We are all looking forward to watching him in the coming years.

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