Tuesday, November 20, 2012


This time of year leaves are everywhere. They blow into gutters, and yards, and are generally seen as nuisances. Yesterday, I looked them in a whole new way. I had never really seen a child play in a pile of leaves. The excitement, and shrieks of delight were audible from nearly everywhere. This little girl, perhaps 3 years of age, was having the time if her life with her newfound toy. She would bury herself in the red, orange, and gold leaves and then pop suddenly up in an attempt to surprise all of her enthralled onlookers. She would pick up an armful, and then throw them as she spun around, laughing as they flew towards us in the wind. It was such pure, simple, unadulterated fun. And I had been missing it. I was more concerned with the clutter leaves caused than the beauty they created.

It seems as though this is something I should learn from. This year especially, it seems much harder to give thanks, and honestly mean it. It's so much easier to be caught up in the mindless trudging and coping that takes over our lives, instead if the simple pleasures that slip by daily. This year, I've decided to look for the beauty, and count all the blessing that I can find. This year I've decided to play in the leaves.

Monday, November 12, 2012

White Space

Bus stops are all about small talk.
"How's the weather?"
"What is your dogs name?"
"How old is Suzy?"
It's all fluff, meaningless chatter to fill the noise. Silence is scary, because of the unknown. But what's unknown about it? What makes the unknown scary?
To me, silence is possibility. While it is fun to fill silence with noise, or sound, it's more fun to sit quietly. Silence is space to dream, to let thoughts expand and grow free from the pressures of noise.

Silence is the white wall of the world. Some people detest white walls in their homes- everything must be color, to make the space feel more "welcome." White walls are beautiful in their own right, full of possibility and promise.

Silence is dream space, and promise, and imagination, and maybe THAT'S what people are truly scared of.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Misadventures of Boy Scout Camp

Warning: this is a long forgotten post from June...

So I've started this crazy, awesome, insane, scary project this summer. There is a quotation said by Eleanor Roosevelt, and I think it's my motto for this summer. It says, "Do one thing every day that scares you."

I decided to staff a Boy Scout summer camp this summer, and I think that's the scariest thing I could possibly ever of do.

It's been beautiful and amazing too.

We started the week with paddleboards, early morning swims in wet suits because the lake was so cold, and general shenanigans. We've sailed, swam, and gotten sunburned. We've come up with parodies to songs, chilled out in large piles of bubble wrap, and gone deep into Hokie territory to retreive icecream. We started as a group of total strangers, and we've become friends, family, and cohorts.

It's funny, for a chicken like me, this is a whole new world. It's scary, it's exciting, and it's wonderful.

I'm so excited for this next week, and who knows- my plan for tomorrow might be to shove myself in a dark hole in the ground-- for fun....

"Softly falls the rain today
As our campsite floats away,
Silently each Scout should ask,
Have I brought my scuba mask?
Have I tied my tent flaps down,
Learned to swim so I don't drown,
Have I done and will I try,
Everything to keep me dry?"

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fifty 50's on :50

Fifty 50's on :50

Go on, say it five times fast. Or maybe fifty. You know you want to..... But you definitely don't want to swim them.

That's right folks, 50x 50 on :50 is 2,500 meters (or yards- depending on the pool) in 41 minutes (or thereabouts) I don't really think it's so much of a test of speed as it is a test of will, but swimming it once in your life is really enough. Tonight I almost had to swim it twice.... but lucky me, I'd already been swimming/playing water polo for just about an hour and a half, so I made it two hours and got out early. That's what happens when you're late to one practice and stay into another one (sorry coaches!!)

But what I really wanted to write about was water polo!!

It must be a very fun game, if you're ten feet tall and don't mind getting hit with the ball. I tend to squeek when things start flying, so it was interesting from the start. And then I played goalie. I knew (going into it) that goalie would be a slightly more hazardous position, but it was either that or get run over by tree people two times my size, weight, and muscle mass. So I opted to get hit with fast-moving balls. I hadn't been goalie for two minutes before I was deflecting balls with my whole body, arms flailing, looking like a drowning fish. Have you ver seen a fish drown? It's not pretty.

Over all I had a wonderful time, and I have decided that my goal for the future is to play water polo and not look like I was drowing.... or something like that.

The life lessons here are:

1. If you want your swimmers to love you, let them play water polo
2. If you want your swimmes to run away (yes, actually run) in fear, give them the 50x 50 on :50 set
3. If you love to swim, even swimming with dead rats (just don't ask- we didn't see it until we had gotten out) won't seem all that horrible.

Swimming in lakes though? That's a totally different story.......

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"If you are a dreamer, come in"

Invitation by Shel Silverstein

"If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!"

I spent the afternoon today playing games with the girl I am lucky enough to babysit. In reality, watching her is like a playdate with a younger version of myself, only cooler. She makes me smile and laugh and says the most ridiculous things imaginable about tornadoes and monkeys and.... Well, everything.

Today we played the "guess the poem's name" game. We took turns reading a poem (from "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein, of course) aloud and then quizzing each other on their names. It was wonderfully fun, and some of our guesses were so bizarre (mine mostly) that it was lucky we were sitting on yoga mats-- we were rolling on the floor laughing in a matter of minutes. It was such pure, simple fun that I began to wonder how people watch TV or play video games- the outdoor world is so amazing, and a book can take you anywhere in the universe.

People as a society don't dream nearly enough, and we certainly don't look with curiosity to find where the sidewalk ends.

So dream. Explore. Discover. Find the name of the poem, or make one up of your own!

"If you are a dreamer, come in"

Monday, April 23, 2012

"If you want to have fun, play Candyland."

This one's for you, Popsicle!

"If you want to have fun, play Candyland."

Last week I learned the value of being a heartless real-estate tycoon. The values are as follows:

  1. All the money you want
  2. Property in exotic locations
  3. The ability to make people do anything you want

All this really means is that we played Monopoly, I was bankrupt, and I have yet to figure out how to purchase the little house thingys.

So I was miserable. And the above quotation was my Popsicle's response to me.

On a totally different note- last week I also discovered the amazing potential of snack machines.

I had never actually used one until last week, and then I caved to my hungry, stressed (it is finals week after all!!) teenage body and bought a cinnamon roll. I was horrified to find that the change from the $5 bill I put in was returned to me in quarters. Who needs 16 quarters rolling around in a pocket? If you put them in a pants pocket, it'll sag your jeans so low and jingle so loudly that you'll look and sound like a rapper. And really, who needs that? So then, mainly to help eliminate my quaters, I bought something else.

And then I realized I had fallen into the trap of the snack machines.

It is literally the perfect scheme!!

I felt so guilty about my noisy walking that I felt the need to spend more money, buy another unhealthy snack, and generally ruin my plans for healthy living. They're out to sabotage my good intentions!!

The main lesson from last week? Although snack machines may look friendly, they are in fact devilish monsters who spit quarters at you.

Beware good people, beware.........

Monday, April 16, 2012

Today I Ate A Four Leaf Clover...

I just knew this blogging thing would be exciting! However, I didn't really think my life would be interesting enough to post about. Long story incredibly short- I couldn't imagine doing anything remotely cool enough to write about..... Boy was I wrong!!

"Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height...."

Today "The Fam" and I went to a local city park and flew kites in the beautiful spring day. As one would expect, there was a tad of competition for airspace. Between jets, seagulls, well controlled kites, and run-aways, the sky was almost overrun. But I want to focus on the topic of run-away kites.

The wind was rather brisk, and some of the smaller kite owners were struggling a bit for control of their flying masterpieces.... And then a string snapped.


Actually I mean that quite literally, as we were on top of a mountain (or a flat-lander's version of one at least) and the kite went flying down the side of said mountainous structure. Much to my chagrin, I felt responsible enough for this minor calamity to run down the mountain, across a jogger's path, (which is a rather hazardous past-time) through a parking lot, and finally waded through a stand of rather tall (and very spiky!!) reeds. And then, and only then, I spotted the object of my obesssion: The Pink Princess Box Kite!!!

After extracting said kite from said reeds, I found a four leaf clover.

The four leaf clover was merely a byproduct of standing too close to a clover patch, and my almost magnetic attraction to any four leafed clover nearby.....

Typically I press the clovers I find in a nearby book, but I was at the park, and books were not readily available. After my run back through the parking lot, back across the jogging path (less hazardously this time) and finally back up the mountain, I wanted to press my clover. I didn't want to carry it, and I most certainly knew it wouldn't last until we made it home.

So I did the only thing I could think of.....

I ate it.

I immediately regretted my decision, and began to rethink it. I figured (apparently in error) that if horses ate clover and loved it that I would also. Horses will seek out a clover patch (not unlike me) and plant themselves firmly over it. Then they will eat clover until their spit foams up, and they roll in the patch in a contented haze. I didn't like it all all!! It tastes sort of like salad greens, but more bitter and less civalized..... And it turns out I'm not a horse, who knew?

My warning of the day pertains to anyone curious enough to eat clover. Just don't do it.....

Unless you're a horse.