4 March 2014
Just my Thoughts, Religion
Christian observance, church season of Lent, lent, Mardi Gras, pancakes, Shrove Tuesday
Tomorrow starts the church season of Lent. Lent is a season for reflection and repentance. It leads up to the most important Christian observance – Easter. People, especially those who do not associate themselves with a church or with faith, tend to think Christmas is the most important church holiday. No! We are an alleluia people. The resurrection is THE event of Christianity. But today, some pancakes.
Today is Shrove Tuesday. It is Mardi Gras. Both are examples of excess before what has, at least when I was growing up, been 40 days of denial and abstinence, 40 days of reflection, meditation and prayer.
Need some help with all this? Go back and read about Mardi Gras in this post, Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez (my French may be a bit rusty but Let the Good Times Roll).
Want pancakes this morning? Try checking out Healthy Aperture’s 40 pancake recipes.
3 March 2014
book review, Grand Lake, Superior Justice, Tim Hilpert
Years ago, probably more than 16 years, a friend of mine recommended Jan Karon’s novels about an Epsicopalian priest in a small North Carolina town. The setting enamored me and the characters, particularly Father Tim, had me buying the entire series and all those books associated with the series. I think I may have found my own answer to Karon’s novels.
Tim Hilpert’s Superior Justice left me wanted to buy the entire series and find out more about the Lutheran pastor that is the main character. Add to the plots, a touch of preaching and a small Great Lakes town and I could even see myself in the area in which the books are set.
Pastor Jonah is a young widower, his college sweetheart wife having been murdered five years before the book is set. He is a pastor of a Lutheran church in Grand Lake, a small Minnesota town on Lake Superior. He has a family background in law enforcement so tends to get involved in the mysteries of the town. While his normal digging seems to be spot on in this book, he makes one big mistake with one person.
All I can say is pick up the book. Give it a read with an open mind. Particularly, open your mind to the possibility that forgiveness is there for the asking.
27 February 2014
Fitness, Just my Thoughts
April, march, May, races
I think I finally have my schedule – at least my race schedule – figured out for March and April. No, I have yet to make a decision on May yet. There are so many possibilities for May.
March has three races scheduled. The St Pat’s 4 Miler will kick the month off on the second Saturday of the month. This is a local race I’ve run for three years. I’ve consistently taken a little time off my pace each year but am thinking this time it will be good to just hold steady at under 44 minutes.
It’s a nice cool down type of race for me a week prior to my half in Asheville.
While I am not running the full in Asheville, I am looking forward to the trip and the race. I’m going to be helping out at the expo so look for me if you live down there (and Matt and Trish – two friends of mine that live in Asheville – know I will be in touch!). I’m also trying to pick up a freelance assignment while I am there but we’ll see.
Forks XV – which I have run 3 times
Then, after I get back from Asheville, I am helping with bib pick up Friday night before the Forks XV. I’ll run the race on Sunday. Hopefully, and it is truly wishful thinking now, the winter weather will have left us and the race will not be too bad but I have memories of the Forks race being brutal at least one of the years I ran it.
When April rolls around, I will be heading to DC for the first weekend of the month. Instead of staying home and running the Skunk Cabbage – this will be the first year since I started racing I haven’t run the half there – I will be running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 miler. I’ve run two 10 mile races previously – Mountain Goat my first year of racing and the Ithaca 5 & 10 that same fall. I am hoping to set a PR at this distance in DC. I’m also hoping for a great weekend down there.
The end of April I am heading back to Roanoke. I absolutely loved running the Blue Ridge Marathon last year, with the exception of running down Peakwood. Since the race was so nice as to put Peakwood in the half, I am running the half this year. I cannot wait. I am also trying line up a few things for while I am in Roanoke.
After this is all over, I am toying with the Bridge run here the first weekend in May but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.
What races are you running the next couple of months?
26 February 2014
Family, Just my Thoughts
beliefs, changes, faith, maturity, questions
Do you ever question your beliefs? Your faith?
Beliefs are grown and brought about through life. Because life is constantly changing, one would think beliefs would also constantly change. In many cases, people do not see this and wonder why they feel so out of sync with their own lives. My thought process brings me to the feeling that out of sync comes when one’s beliefs do not jive with one’s life.
Faith is a growth medium. Medium, you may ask. Yes, medium. One of the definitions of medium is surrounding objects, conditions or influences. That is definitely what faith is. It surrounds you. It is a condition of your environment. It is an influence on your thoughts and actions. It is a lens through which you live.
Since it is a growth area, that indicates faith changes. Faith may not change as much as life in general or beliefs specifically but it does change.
There can be surface changes to one’s faith. A different denomination of Christianity. A different belief than Christianity.
Then, there are deep-seeded changes to one’s faith. Do you believe in a higher power? When you no longer do, that is a massive movement of your faith. A massive change in your beliefs. Most likely, a massive change in your life.
Do you believe in marriage? Is it a religious institution for you? Is it a civil institution? Is not a necessity as long as family is there? Some people never question institutions like marriage. People presume these will always be around. I can remember, from a young age, thinking marriage was not in my future. Funny thing was I got married at 22. Almost 30 years later, I received my divorce decree. My marriage was in the church but my divorce was from a civil court. How do the two reconcile? I am not sure they do.
25 February 2014
Just my Thoughts, Religion
clients, faith, moving, personal, reading, searching, writing
I’ve been searching a lot lately. Part of that search has included not writing here very much.
What have I been searching for?
I’ve been searching for my direction. I always said as soon as my youngest graduated from high school I was out of here. I never thought I would live my life about 20 miles from where I grew up. It is beautiful here. No doubt about it but it is not where I see myself. I have always been good at visions. I could see each of my children, with one exception, at the colleges they picked. Are these visions always right? No.
I used to always say I was going to move further north. I spent two years living in the Adirondacks in my late teens. I would love to live there again. I am not sure, anymore, if I would want to live there permanently.
I’ve been searching for new clients. I have found one that is a good client but I need more. To that effect, if you know anyone who needs content for a web site or for a print publication, photography for either or any one person or entity, business or non-profit that needs social media help, please pass on my name.
I’ve been searching my faith. This has been slightly easier than you would think. I am Catholic. I was not raised Catholic. I became Catholic 31 years ago – well past the time of Vatican II. I do not know the “old” Catholic Church many speak of. I find the attitude of the new Pope – is he really still considered new? – to be refreshing but to not be transferring to local parishes. I can remember taking a huge stand when I was first married. We had just bought our first house. There was a parish within walking distance of the house. I wanted us to look around for a different parish – which we did and loved – as I could not stand the thought that a boy could serve on the altar but not a girl. I have some feminist questions of my faith.
My children are all adults. The two who are married did not marry in the Church. I do not have a problem with that. I have a problem with the fact the Church has a problem with that. I have some maternal questions of my faith.
I am recently divorced. I was separated from my now ex-husband for longer than we were married. You may think that sounds strange. I know I do. I have some personal questions of my faith.
So, I have spent the new year searching. I have been reading, voraciously. I have been thinking, constantly. I have not been writing, consistently. That is going to change.
What do you search for?
24 February 2014
Just my Thoughts
1980, Lake Placid, memories, olympics
I’ve spent the last two weeks lost in the past while staring at the present. Does that ever happen to you?
The past – basically – two weeks have been the 2014 Winter Olympics. Living where I deal with snow every winter and having lived where the snow can be even more than it is here, winter games always have held a special place for me. Top that with the fact that hockey is a favorite sport of mine and cross country skiing should be a national pastime (talk about an obesity buster) in the US, I cannot not watch the Winter Games.
I remembered, vividly this morning, seeing Jean Claude Killy skiing during the 1968 Winter Games. He took three Alpine skiing golds that year. I had the biggest crush on him. Why would I remember that this morning, you may ask? Because he is an IOC member and handed out the silver and gold medals in men’s ice hockey.
I am still inexplicably drawn to speed skating. I cannot fathom why it is now an indoor sport. I expect every speed skating course to be like the oval in Lake Placid where I worshiped Eric Heiden as he sped around that outdoor oval.
I have vivid memories of my father’s town’s high school band playing at the medal ceremony one evening. The ceremonies were held on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid in 1980.
I remember that first trip to Athlete’s Village to work food service. Even with the village being turned into a minimum security prison post-Olympics, it was a beautiful place.
I remember thinking Lake Placid was like an Alpine village. Streets were closed down. People just wondered through town.
Some day I will get back to a Winter Games. I will be a spectator again. I will not work at these next games I go to but will watch, as many events as I can.
23 February 2014
Just my Thoughts
Friends, friendships, travel
… try to find old friends?
When I went to Richmond to run the marathon in November, I looked up one of my dearest friends from my childhood. The last time we had seen each other was when her father had died. She had come up to get some belongings. She had her daughter with her. I brought my oldest. We helped her move furniture. This time was a bit harder. I was in Richmond with a specific agenda. I did not have a phone number or email address. I took the bus to the race so no car. I managed to get a hold of her through Facebook – though I am certain her children would say she is never really on there. It worked. We didn’t see each other for long. She had a bachelorette weekend for one of her daughters. I had a marathon to contemplate. But we saw each other.
Next month I’m heading to Asheville, North Carolina. I have a friend who I stood up with at her second marriage who now lives with her third husband in Asheville. I’ve already let her know I am coming down. I also know, though I say know in the broad internet sense of the word as we have never met in person even if we were at the same places at the same time previously (I love Wineglass), an author in the area. I am not going to be there long, maybe four or five days. I am not running a full marathon, but a half. There are other things I have to do while there. I will find time to see Trish and her family and, hopefully, Matt and his family.
So today, I went looking for another friend I have in North Carolina. I had tried to look him up before but never had success. I knew that he had moved to a large metropolitan area from the last Christmas card we exchanged. I was unsure where he was now. Today, despite his lack of a photo on LinkedIn, I found him. You may ask how. He’s a pastor. I could tell from his writing on his church’s web site it was him. He is not where I am headed next month. But, if I can manage to connect, I’d love to have coffee and catch up.
So do you ever look for old friends online? Had any success? If you travel – for work, pleasure or racing – do you try to run into people as you go?