Meatza Or Prepples: What’s Your Favorite Foodword?

Probably I’ve been working too many hours next to an oven this summer, because I’m finding ridiculous amounts of joy in making up foodwords with my colleagues at the bakery. For example…

Prepples = apples prepped for pie

Meatza = obvious

Charden = what everyone’s garden turns into this time of year (unless it’s zucchini, but that doesn’t make a good foodword)

Loafening = making loaves slowly

Strompost = what we call our compost, which is taken home by the family of my colleague, Laura Strom

Plumble = a plum crumble (the best kind!)

Rhuberry Rasbarb Squares

Ready to be turned into plumbles, rhuberry rasbarb squares, and...blue -peach scones...bleach scones? Maybe not. (Photo by Stephanie Smith)

Ready to be turned into plumbles, rhuberry rasbarb squares, and…blue -peach scones…bleach scones? Maybe not. (Photo by Stephanie Smith)

I’m sure there are more, but you get the idea. Your turn now: what foodwords have you or your family invented?

 

Go Al: My Ironwoman Goddaughter Goes For Kona

I don’t usually re-blog myself, but this weekend my impressive goddaughter Allison is racing the triathlon she’s spent the past several years training for: the qualifying race for Kona–a.k.a. THE Ironman. The one in Hawaii. That one.

I thought I’d send her some cyber-love by re-posting her story, which I first blogged two years ago. For those of you who read it then–skim to the end for updates.

My Goddaughter the Triathlete: Why I Can’t Wait For the Fourth of July

Last year I wrote about my “godkid,” Allison Snow. My theme was the word itself, the concept. Today I want to write about Allison herself—or Al, as I call her. I’m busting with pride.

I first met Al when she was a student in my 10th grade Honors English class. She was a competent, but not a terrific writer; a careful, but neither avid nor outstandingly insightful reader. In short, I enjoyed her as a student, but would never have identified her as one of my faves. One snippet did catch my attention, however: she wrote her “Turning Point in my Life” essay about the death of her father when she was twelve. I did the math and realized that she was only fourteen, a full year younger than most of her peers.

The following year, I and five of my braver colleagues started a pilot “school-within-a-school” half-day program called International Business and Global Studies. Project-based, with a fully-integrated curriculum and student-centered learning (are you glazing over yet?), IBGS attracted students who were bored with traditional classrooms. To my surprise, Al signed up and became an IBGS star. I still remember Al’s semester presentation on Greece, which included artifacts from Tacoma’s Greek Festival, which she had attended, on a weekend.

Even more surprising, Al became a cheerleader. That serious young woman, shrieking “Card-inal Pow-er!”— really? Should’ve tipped me off: in her quiet way, Al made her own decisions about what course to pursue, regardless of expectation. Motivated. Purposeful.

Her own family learned this during Al’s senior year. I was on leave in New Zealand (let’s hear it for spouses with paid sabbatical!), and Al announced to her mom that she would like her graduation present early: a plane ticket. Then she got on the school’s office email (not having her own—remember those days?) and asked me for permission to come visit.

“A cheerleader?” my husband asked. “For ten days?” (Not that he was being judgmental or anything.) Little did he know that visit would turn into three weeks.

Al mtn.

Once Al arrived, she realized how ridiculously short her trip was for coming such a distance. In a super-long-distance call, she talked her mom into letting her change her return ticket. She used that time to explore most of the South Island with us, babysitting our young boys. By the time she left, she was family…

…except in one regard. Although fit, Al was never what I’d call an athlete. Yes, I KNOW cheerleaders have to be in good shape, but the mentality is different: they don’t train like competitive athletes do. Although The Mate and I had mostly retired from racing, we still considered our daily workout the same way we considered meals: essential. I don’t remember Al ever offering to go for a jog with me. Motivation and purpose didn’t seem to go there.

Fast-forward ten years: Al, now a young teacher (like me—I know, right?!) decides to try triathlon. The results: one and three-quarter hours. 167th in her age group. Proud of herself.

Aha. Motivated. Purposeful. Here’s what happened next:

In 2007 and ’08, more Triathlons. Her times come down. 2009, three of ‘em. 2010: four.

In 2012, Al becomes an Ironwoman, in a race that took 12 ¾ hours.

And in 2014?  Personal Best by thirty minutes in a half-Ironman. Thirty minutes! And last week: First place female.

Al winning

I’m leaving out a whole huge category of pride here, over Al’s career as a star elementary school teacher. Today I’m celebrating Al the Athlete, entirely self-created.

When I became a semi-elite runner, I had an athletic family pushing me, college coaches, a track club. Al has a coach now, and a team, but only because she went out there and got them, all on her own.

On July 4, I’m going to run our little island’s 5k Fun Run, the only “racing” I do these days. Al’s going to run it with me…and she’s going to kick my butt. And I can’t wait.

So here’s the 2016 update. She did kick my butt two years ago, but not as badly as she’d kick it now were I to try to race with her again. I’ve slowed down, and she’s sped up–a lot. This weekend, she’s going to test her tough, toned body in three sports, her eyes on that Hawaiian prize. I can’t be there to cheer–but I’m doing it right now, as you’re reading this.

Go Al!

Not sure who took this photo, but thanks for it!

Not sure who took this photo, but thanks for it!

Why Almaz Ayana’s World Record Makes Me Cry: You Tell Me

Why does watching a woman set a new world track record make me cry? 

Is it because I’m a woman runner myself, and I can guess how that might feel?

Is it because I’m so impressed by the abilities of my species, or my gender?

Is it because I’m so happy for that one woman, her teammates, her coach, and her family?

All of the above? None? I’m not sure. All I know is, I tried to upload NBC’s video of Almaz Ayana’s world-record finish in the women’s 10k on the first night of Olympic track & field, and all it would give me was this link. Still : watch it. See if it makes you cry. Then see if you can say why.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/almaz-ayana-shatters-10000m-world-record

Damn.

Damn.

Good Pie, Good Pie, Until We Eat Again

What’s better than pie? Pie with a nod to Shakespeare.

I’m traveling now, back east for my annual Girlfriend Get-together. Which means that, before I left, my summer life was even more hectic than usual. This is how I spent Friday, my “day off”:

Good pie, good pie.

Good pie, good pie.

I don’t know the folks whose wedding I baked for, only that they were both men. I baked happily in my own kitchen, putting the extra sweetness of good wishes in with the blackberries and nectarines.

That crazy rush behind me, now I’m sitting in the airport thinking about extra sweetness. It’s easy to find; even easier to increase. In a jostling crowd of strangers (even weirder-feeling when you live on an island with a year-round population of 2,400), I look for the little details that bring me pleasure.

That TSA guy has awesome dreadlocks. (I tell him so; he smiles.) That young red-haired woman is reading To Kill a Mockingbird. (You go, young woman!) That large family appears to be heading to Mexico, maybe on a family visit; I love the way the younger kids seem to be reassuring their elders. That Samoan-looking woman smiles directly at me; maybe she’s doing the same thing I’m doing.

Wherever you are today, whether you’re having a mad-rush kind of day, or humdrum-dull, or peaceful , or sad, may you find some sweetness, or bring some to someone who needs it–or both.

I’ll be back in a week.

 

Picking Your Pattern: On Dishes, Color, And Marriage

This morning’s poem from Poetry Daily got me thinking about small daily pleasures. I’ll share the poem in a minute. But first I want to talk about color, and dishes. And then, maybe, marriage.

For Christmas two years ago I asked my Mate to buy me a set of eight plates made by a wonderful local potter. Of course I wanted to choose them myself, or commission them, rather, and here’s what I asked Lydia the Potter to make: two green, two gold, two blue, and two red plates, all with different designs on the rim. Here’s what she made me:

I KNOW, right?

I KNOW, right?

Why not matching? Because, #1, I LOVE color, so how could I possibly choose? And #2, Lydia, like me, is an I-love-it-all gal, so how could I possibly choose ONE of her patterns?

Right??

Right??

That intense color, those simple-but-varied designs–they make me happy every single day.

My original “dish pattern” makes me happy too, but only when I think of the story behind it. first of all, here’s all that’s left of the set, which my Mate has owned since 1978:

Dictionary definition of "plain."

Dictionary definition of “plain.”

Okay, whoa. My Mate owned these dishes first? Almost 40 years ago? And yet I’m calling it my pattern? There’s a story here, right?

Right. I first met my Mate when I was 16 and he was 31. I was a high school student; he was a young law professor at Carolina who happened to be a good distance runner. He joined my parents’ Sunday morning running group and, being both incredibly magnetic and also very far from his own family, was soon adopted by mine. (I had a huge crush on him, but that’s another story.)

My Mate lived alone in a weird, cavernous house furnished with a hammock and one wicker chair. He owned a single set of dishes. All his possessions easily fit into his Tradesman van. Very convenient for a bachelor; not so much for a bachelor who has befriended a family of five. If we came over to his place for dinner, we had to provide our own dishes.

One day my dad told my sister and me to take his credit card and go to Best to get Ken some dishes. “What kind?” we asked, baffled. “A whole set,” Dad told us. My sister and I looked at each other. “You want us to pick out his dishes? What if he doesn’t want any?” “Oh, just get him something plain,” was Dad’s breezy reply.

So…we did. Good, basic, cheap stoneware, as plain as possible.

Fast-forward a year and a half. This man is now my boyfriend. Fast-forward another eight and a half: now he’s my Mate. And another 29 years later…he still is.

So, those dishes my sister and I bought our family’s friend? Turns out I was picking out my own wedding pattern. Who knew?

Now, back to that poem, by Nina Lindsay:

My Bare Feet

on the floor of our house, early morning 
make me immeasurably happy 
the slight chill counterbalancing the heat

of coffee spreading through the brain. 
Nothing, I think, could make me happier 
except—my bare feet

on the tight-wove wool pile of our faux-antique 
Persian rug, or my hands on this bowl 
or this bowl

or this one, 
or my lips on your lips, soft 
as air rushing out of the oven,

or my fingertips 
across the oven’s white enamel, 
its one nick.

Each morning I review my evidence—
and the floorboards turn imperceptibly darker 
and my hands keep the settling dust alight.

Should I talk about marriage now? Do I need to?

That Wicked, Wonderful Weed: My Blackberry Obsession

They’re ba-ack.

They’re everywhere.

Blackberries.

These days I can’t ride my bike in increments longer than 100 yards without wanting to stop again. “Ooh…look at those clusters! These are definitely plumper than that last batch I just stuffed in my face.” Or: “Hmm, those were a bit sour. Better stop for some sweetening-up.”

Bike gloves and blackberries: made for each other

Bike gloves and blackberries: made for each other

But even more than roadside grazing, blackberries mean one thing to this girl: PIE.

It’s not that I need to be eating blackberry pie, or any kind of pie, on a regular basis.  I work in a BAKERY, OK? But this time of year, the urge to collect berries for my freezer is like a squirrel’s to store nuts: I NEED them. The feeling is strangely desperate. What would happen if the summer passed and I ended up with a freezer free of blackberries?

Ahh....all is well.

Ahh….all is well.

I don’t know. I can’t imagine such desolation.

For 10 1/2 months of the year, blackberries are a noxious infestation of thorny horror. Ask anyone who’s tried to clear them, or hike through them, or pretty much go anywhere near them. But during blackberry season, they suddenly represent bounty: the sweetness of sharing, the safety of plenty in the cold times, the memory of years and years past where I did just the same…reach for the berries, freeze the berries, bake the berries…repeat.

Is there a lesson in there? Probably. But I’m too busy picking and baking to figure it out. Anyone?

When’s A Full Life Too Full? Sorry, Can’t Hear You, My Brain Is Full

My Mate says I have “horizontal space disease.” When I see a flat surface, I want to put something on it. It’s just occurred to me that this malady extends to my calendar as well.

I just got back from a 2-night camping trip. No big deal, except that I went straight to bed from the ferry boat home, got up the next morning @ 3 to work, came home to nap, went to a wedding, went to bed, got up @ 3 again, napped, stayed up till 11 playing music with friends, went to bed…

…and woke up to find that my part of the camping gear is still draped over the couch after THREE DAYS.

Oops. Sorry, babe. I’ll take care of that right away…

…after I catch up on laundry, email, blogging, exercise, harvesting my garden, cooking, and filling up my calendar for the rest of my week.

Worth all the clutter it took to get here.

Worth all the clutter it took to get here.

You may see a problem here. I don’t. I LOVE living this way. Hectic? Yup. I practically got my daily workout this morning just flitting around the house from one task to another. But boring? Never. That hike we took wended us through gardens of wildflowers too numerous to name. Having almost-too-much on my calendar makes me feel like that: ooh, pretty!  Oh, I get to do that too! Ooh, and look what’s coming!

Yes, please!

Yes, please!

I do, of course, crave some peace & quiet in all the forward motion. But that’s what long bike rides are for, or walks, or sitting and singing, or writing in my journal. Long conversations with friends also help ground me. So I make time for all that. That’s why everything else feels so crowded! I want it all; I get it all. And I feel it all.

Oh, and the revisions to Chapter One I was working on before I went camping? Yeah…I’ll get back to those. Tomorrow. Really.

Do I recommend this lifestyle? No; one lives this way by nature, I think, not choice. Do I need to keep balance in mind, and be especially deliberate not to impinge my chaos on my Mate’s quieter, simpler style? Absolutely. I try. That’s why the couch is finally clean of gear.:)

How’s about you guys? Who’s a whirlwinder out there, like me? Who would go nuts living like this? Any words of wisdom to share?

 

Seeing is Bee-lieving: Guest Blog by Wing Son Two

 

The Things We Do for Honey

This spring our beehive arrived, the much anticipated Kickstarted “Flow” hive that allows for low-disturbance (and low-risk) beekeeping and the ability to harvest honey from a tap. It is a beautiful wood design that was easy to set up, but one crucial piece was missing: bees.

Getting a new colony of bees is no simple process. Every colony needs one queen, and only one–a single queen can control a colony of up to 50,000 workers. What’s more, she produces a pheromone that both compels workers to care for her and stymies the development of other queen bees (they are born as female workers, the bees you see pollinating flowers). In nature, when colonies grow too large, the queen pheromone is not strong enough to effect all the drones and they will raise a new queen, and thus creating a new colony.

The queen lays upwards of 1,000 eggs a day!

When you are purchasing bees, what you generally want to get is a nucleus, or “nuc”. This is essentially a small colony: usually five frames (instead of eight or ten) filled with workers, drones, a queen, and brood. This was created by splitting an existing hive–separating a population of the hive from the queen so they allow a new one to grow.

Story time.

We bought a nuc. When I was told that I had to go pick it up, I figured I would be handed a plane ticket to North Korea, but instead was given an address in eastern Mass. It was a three hour drive, and I was told to arrive at 8am, when the bees are not yet active for the day. Okay, sure, no problem. I woke up at 5, jumped in my car and got there exactly at 8. They had a nuc waiting–a simple wooden box containing the five frames, covered with a layer of plastic mesh and a wooden lid. I was told to keep the wooden lid off so the bees would not overheat, but given no other directions. When I asked if I should put it in the trunk or backseat, the lady just shrugged. When I said that I was driving 3 hours she gave a start and frowned but still offered no guidance. There was one lone bee on the outside of the mesh–we both saw it–but since she said nothing I wasn’t going to be the pansy who asked if it was fine to have a bee loose in my car. Besides, it was just one bee.

After about ten minutes in the car, the bee left the mesh and started buzzing around the window. I figured the guy was the adventurous misfit of the hive and granted him his wish of outdoor exploration. Whoosh, out he flew. A few minutes later I glanced in the rearview and saw a bee buzzing at the back window. Hmmm…that first bee definitely was ejected, so this must be a new one. Oh well, he can just hang out back there. I took another look a couple minutes after and saw he had been joined by two other bees.

Three bees are pretty much the same as one bee in my book, nothing to be bothered about. Still, as I raced over the hills of southern New Hampshire, I could not help but keep stealing glances back. Not wanting to tear my eyes off the road for more than a second–getting in a crash with a backseat full of bees definitely would ruin a good day–I am having trouble discerning if there are now four or five bees back there. They keep buzzing around the corners of the window. After another half hour, though, it is undeniable: there are at least a dozen bees loose.

Hmmmmm…….

Well there was not a whole lot I could do about it, so I just drove a bit faster, flinching every time I hit the rumble strip because I was too distracted counting bees in my mirror. Worse yet, my fuel gauge was dangerously low and I could not shake the feeling that the obnoxiously loud low-fuel beep would be at the exact frequency that makes bees go swarming mad. By the time I was forced to pull over to get gas there were at least 40 bees buzzing at an increasingly loud and angry volume. I filled up as quick as I could, brushed off the stray explorers that had ventured up to my seat and got up to speed as quickly as I could, leaving the front windows rolled down to keep a steady blast of air holding them back.

I have no idea how many bees were loose by the time I rolled into the farm (and jumped out of my car). Maybe 60? 70? Too many. Luckily there were still hundreds more in the nuc that my cousin (wearing full bee gear) picked out of my car and deposited in our hive. Even more luckily, I did not get stung…until I was standing by watching the installation process. Then I took one on the ear and the whole side of my face swelled up like a Trump balloon-doll. But that is a small price to pay for increased farm fertility, the promise of future honey, and another chapter in my memoirs.

what do you mean we can’t harvest until next year?

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Are You Smarter Than a Third Grader? A Veggie IQ Test

Do you know what this plant is?

(courtesy geograph.uk.org via Wikimedia)

(courtesy geograph.uk.org via Wikimedia)

If yes, congrats. If no–don’t worry. I bet most Americans don’t. That’s why I was so pleasantly surprised when my third-grader “Little Sister” correctly identified it in my garden the other day. And that’s what gave me the idea of using salad as our weekly afternoon activity.

I’d been thinking we’d go for a walk, maybe climb on on some rocks and play pretend games–good, healthy stuff. But then we stopped to water my garden and I started asking her about plants.

She knew peas, broccoli, lettuce (not all the different kinds, but hey, she’s eight!), and kale. She even recognized carrot plants, though they’re nowhere near big enough to harvest. She recognized potato plants–yup, that’s what that picture’s of. She didn’t know arugula and she didn’t like it one bit either, but again–eight, people. I know I would’ve hated arugula at that age too.

“I know what,” I said, “let’s make a world-record salad!”

“What’s that?” my little friend asked cautiously. She’s used to my hyperbole by now.

“That’s where you make a salad and try to set the world record for how many things to put in it. I think the current world record is, um…fourteen.”

“OK!” She liked the idea, and immediately began helping to gather peas, lettuce and baby kale. But no arugula.

Of course, not having planned this activity in advance, I didn’t have all that much salad-y stuff in my fridge. No tomatoes, no cabbage, no red onions. I did have carrots and an avocado, so in they went. We were  only up to nine.  So we had to get creative. I found an apple, and that led to a new category of salad-toppings.

“Blueberries?”

“Sure!”

“What about this? What is it?” In went a chopped-up apricot. To my disappointment she vetoed anything pickly or cheesy, but she was happy to use nuts, so we toasted some almonds and sunflower seeds. And she kept count.

“Fourteen…does lemon juice count?” We had squirted some on the avocado and apple chunks.

“I don’t think so,” I said. “But you know what would? Arugula.” I swear I wasn’t intentionally playing “gotcha.” But it worked anyway. Arugula brought us to 15 and set a new world (or at least south-end-of-our-little-island-on-a-given-day) salad record.

The reason my young friend is so knowledgeable about plants is that her school has a garden-to-table program, funded by grants and community fundraising. The kids are intimately involved in producing and preparing their own food, and they’re not scared of it. When I pick my Lil’ Sis up from school on Tuesdays during the school year, I frequently learn they ate squash soup or roasted cauliflower for lunch. At an American public school! Makes me proud.

But that wasn’t what I intended to write about. That salad that we made? It was the afternoon activity that kept on giving. When my little friend asked me why avocados were healthy, we googled it. That led to more googling, about the difference between “good fat” and “bad fat.” Then we googled Potassium and started learning about cell membranes. All from a salad!

At the end of our time together, I kept some of the salad for me and sent the rest home with her so she could teach her family about cell membranes. She may or may not remember that, but I know I learned something: fresh food is as good as a trip to the library when it comes to generating learning.

But now it’s your turn to weigh in. Did we aim too low? Should we have gone for 20? What else should we have put in that salad? 

Lava Falls: Gateway Drug to Adrenaline Addiction

I’ve never thought of myself as an adrenaline junkie. Yes, I’ve climbed Mt. Rainier, but only because she is special to me; I’m not a “peak bagger.” Yes, I did once lie on my stomach in the empty streambed of Tuolome Creek and gaze down the 1,500-foot drop of the then-non-flowing Yosemite Falls, but only because I’m an idiot who is apparently missing the gene that warns humans not to go too close to the edges of things. (Ditto with looking into Mt. St. Helens’ crater from a snow ledge on the rim–a huge no-no.) And yes, I’ve been para-sailing, but only up to 400 feet, with a friend. Easy-peasy.

My point is, I did these things because I felt drawn to them, not because I wanted to make my heart pound. I don’t even think my heart DID pound that much (except for exertion–Mt. Rainier is quite a slog).

I used to be a competitive runner. I associated adrenaline rushes with the hours and moments before races–never a good time. Often as not, you want to throw up. So what’s so great about adrenaline?

But since running Lava Falls on the Colorado a couple of weeks ago, I’m afraid I’m beginning to understand.

Lava is the biggest, baddest rapid in Grand Canyon. On the 1-10 rating scale rafters use for that river, it’s a 10, or 10+, depending on the level of the river. Scary as hell. As you might guess, it’s formed by the remnants of a one-time dam of black lava that blocked the river. To the right and left, the river roils and boils with giant waves, but boats can make it through. But in the center is a full-on waterfall, which dumps into a trench the size of a mobile home. You don’t want to go down the center. Here is what can happen, courtesy of Yakbas, who posted this:

(This video must have been taken during the “monsoon season,” when flash flooding in the side canyons turns the river back to its original color–hence “Colorado.” On our trip, it was a nice sage-green.)

Luckily I hadn’t seen this video before going on this trip. I didn’t know that the rapid could spin a raft and all its occupants like laundry in a washing machine. I just knew Lava was bigger than any rapid I’d experienced, and I WANTED it. The way I wanted Mt. Rainier and Yosemite Falls.

So the day came: June 19. It happened to be our son’s 24th birthday, and he happened to be with us, paddling in the same boat. That felt perfect.

We broke camp earlier than usual, about 10 miles upriver. The guides seemed more subdued. Our trip leader took a good 20 minutes to talk us through the rapid, drawing diagrams in the sand. Off we paddled.

After an hour of the usual red canyon walls, the lava made its appearance. Then, in the middle of the river, Vulcan’s Anvil. I was too busy paddling to take a picture, so I’m borrowing this one:

(courtesy ralphandmaida.com)

(courtesy ralphandmaida.com)

Pretty damn ominous, right? Even more so close up. And then we heard the distant roar. All rapids roar, and some small ones are even pretty good at sounding louder than they are, thanks to canyon acoustics. Lava Falls was different. Deeper, louder, throatier. A beast around the bend.

Ten minutes later, we were tying up the boats to scout the rapid from above. I decided not to take a picture. Giant, boat-eating waves never look like much till you’re in them. But I did take a picture of the huge hole in Crystal Rapid, a hundred miles upriver, when we scouted it. So this’ll give you some idea.

BIG water. Lava's bigger.

BIG water. Lava’s bigger.

The guides double-checked everyone’s life jackets, repeating instructions about leaning toward the waves, and about keeping your feet pointed downriver if we did “swim.” As we swung back into the smooth current, my heartbeat started filling my ears. The beast roared louder. And there we were, paddling toward it. Voluntarily. I checked my facial muscles to make sure I was smiling. Yes.

At the cusp of the rapid, where the glassy green tongue of the river glides you straight into whitewater oblivion, I could not risk taking my eyes off the rapid. But had I been able to look down, I’m pretty sure I would have seen my life jacket moving up and down from the pounding of my heart.

We hit the first wave and the four people in the front of the boat disappeared behind a wall of water. When we resurfaced, we were missing the front guy, a large rugby player we’d stationed there on purpose. They say 20 seconds or less is a good run for Lava Falls; any more and you’re in deep trouble. We came through under 20, only adding a few at the end to rescue the rugby player, who was grinning at us from the crazy rapid he’d just “swum.” (I’m glad it wasn’t my son who went in; he would’ve been fine, but parental adrenaline is the WRONG sort.) Once our boat was intact again, in time to run “Son of Lava,” we woo-hooed and smacked paddles in celebration. Then we stopped for lunch and I spent some time thinking about what I’d just felt.

Nothing more exciting, ever, with my clothes on. Wow. Damn. I can see why that stuff’s addictive.

From a limestone edge just below the falls, I took pictures, zoomed in, of what we’d just run. Of course they fell flat. As does this description.

Not even close to capturing it.

Not even close to capturing it.

Understand: I am NOT encouraging this behavior, nor celebrating it as bravery. I’m still not entirely sure I like the way I gave in to that feeling and responded with joy instead of terror, which seems more appropriate. I guess some cliche about “feeling more alive than ever” applies here.

For the record, I can find other ways to feel alive than to make my heart pound like that. But man. I’m glad I know what it feels like. Or am I?  Anyone want to weigh in on this?

 

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