Running and Spring Peepers

It’s barely spring here in eastern Nova Scotia. Nary a flower has bloomed except for the occasional colt’s foot that peeks its yellow head out of the early green grass. It’s the first part of May, and the trees are only just now getting buds. A month from now we will be cursing the heat and black flies, though, so I’ll take the chill of the air and the slow blooming. We have yet to add to my fairy tree, bring out the watering hoses, and even till the garden from last fall. A sure and wonderful sign of spring is the sweet chorus of peepers that bloat out their vocal sac to perform a mating call. Their sound ripples out from the nearby lake, haunting but beautifying the night with echoes and song. We’ve been hearing them since March, when we were still frozen. The little frogs are quite hearty. I love stepping into the cool, misty air at night and listening to them. If there was ever a tiny thing that made life more wonderful, it would be the spring peeper.

Well, I started running again. Last time I blogged, I was doing a walking challenge with many teams at work. I walked the second most steps on our team, the 43rd most out of all 360+ people, and managed just over 207,000 steps in two weeks. It was a great challenge and I realized my foot was no longer hurting like it was, so shortly after the challenge ended, and I gave my legs a few days to rest, I began the C25K program again. This time it’s so much easier than ever before, maybe because of new muscles from the walking challenge. Today was week 5, day 3, which anyone who has done the program before knows is the hardest part if you’re just getting started with running or haven’t run in ages: it’s a 20-minute run without stopping. I just kept going for 30 minutes, though, which is the goal for the 5K starter program. But I’ll keep doing the challenge until the end and then see what’s next. I’m just happy to exercise more and run again. I truly like to run, but also the weather around here is harder to run in: winter is too icy and summer is too humid and hot. I’ll just adapt to what I can. I run three times a week now. I don’t think I’ll turn this into a running blog again. When I first started running after an ablation, I had to reteach my body to run, which was something I did often until my young adult years when supraventricular tachycardia caused multiple emergency room visits to get my heart regular again. I no longer have that issue, thankfully. The cardiologists back in the Vancouver area were awesome and fixed that problem I’d had since fourth grade. Running again, circa 2012 or so, was really special. Now I’m just happy to still be able to do it but do not entertain myself as a real runner, just an older jogger. Still, the idea of training for a marathon never left my mind.

There’s a lot happening in the coming couple months. My mother-in-law is visiting for two weeks, starting mid-May. It’s so much fun when she’s around. She feels like an older sister to me, and it is so nice to have family visit. Then the day after she leaves, we are leaving for a four-day weekend to visit my mom and others. I can’t wait. We’re renting a house near Turkey Run, near a creek, and will have a house full of people. I wish we could stay longer. Then in mid-June, Morgan’s dad is visiting us for a week. They’ve not yet been here, so I hope it’s special. Later on this year, we may visit the Vancouver area, and if so will head out to Kamloops and see relatives again for a few days. I’d love to take a trip to Nevada later this year or early next, but I’m still waiting on when the best time to go will be.

I started watching the Waltons a few months ago and got to the 7th season, but I think I’ll stop here. By this time, Will Geer (who played the grandpa) died, Ellen Corby (the grandma) had a stroke, and Richard Thomas (John Boy) left his country roots to go to the big NYC and become a writer, and that coincided with the actual John Boy having only a guest appearance in the season, and then I think he got replaced in seasons 8 and 9. I don’t plan to watch that far. This is a show our family used to watch reruns of when I was young. It was nice. We’d watch once a week, with a big bowl of popcorn, in our den in the brick bungalow in Western Springs, Illinois. I’m pretty sure that show shaped me in many ways. One, I had a crush on John Boy, but not for his looks as much as the fact he was a writer and I loved his words. He wrote by an open window at night on the second floor of the old house in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains, whippoorwill and crickets singing outside and a soft breeze gently blowing the simple white lace curtains above his desk. I always said that I wanted a writing desk by a window like that. Moving to this house three years ago made that dream a reality. And I’m getting ready to replace some blinds with simple lace curtains. I hope the peepers are still out when I can open the windows, and even if they aren’t, I’ll soon enough hear crickets. I really like the values on the Waltons, though the going to church part not so much. However, as a young girl and even now, I identified with John Walton, the dad, who figured if there was a god, it’d be outside in the mountains—or with Will Geer, one of my favorites, who knew all about the animals and plants on the mountain ( just like my own pappaw), and who had a twinkle in his eyes and liked the sisters’ recipe. The thing is, that family is the closest I have come to a big family like my own, who was always loving and good to others. The Waltons, like my own family, went outside their white conservative surroundings to accept people of all walks of life, no matter who they were, what they believed, or where they came from. We were also incredibly goofy and loved to roast one another. It was a different way of life, so much so that I often felt kind of like an outsider to people I’d meet throughout life.

These days are a lot different. Not too many of the older relatives are left. Everyone’s spread out geographically. But when we get together, we still manage to revive the old spirit of laughter and love.

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