I have now been camping three times and am officially a fan! I still maintain the fundamental need for toilets and running water, but as long as I have some version of that, I’m confident I will survive the excursion.
In keeping with what we hope will become an annual tradition, we embarked on another Labor Day weekend camping trip with our dear friends, Ruthann and Dan – and this time, River tagged along as well. This year, we explored Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth, and Cascade River State Park between Lutsen and Grand Marais on the North Shore.
In the time before River, the COVID-19 pandemic at least provided me with a little extra time to get off my arse and complete some household projects. As I mentioned before, when we bought our home, it had an interesting mix of Southwestern, Native American, and Asian style. Our downstairs bathroom was one such room.
You may have noticed that getting River basically signaled the end of our writing. This is pretty representative of what our summer was like. Essentially, we have been spending all of our free time with the dog and when we do get some time to ourselves it is primarily spent not moving and being thankful for a break.
The summer of 2020 will likely be remembered as one of heartbreak and frustration. The effects of COVID-19 will be felt for years to come and our community exists on a tightrope balancing between caution and cabin fever. This should be a time of patience and kindness, love and compassion. Instead, the senseless and inexcusable murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers shines an undeniable spotlight on the pervasive undercurrent of bigotry in our society.
Logan and I would like to introduce River, the newest member of the Mountains to Midwest family! She is a 7.5-week-old German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP). After my last two female dogs, I reeeeaaaallly wanted a boy, but mother nature had other ideas, I guess. So, River will have some big pawprints to fill in the wake of her departed sisters, McKenna and Madison.
I started my “quest to shape up” at the beginning of February, weighing in at about 188 pounds and standing five feet, seven inches tall (on the tall side for Colorado, on the short side for Minnesota.) The intermittent fasting diet began around the same time. Shortly thereafter, I began a free, online, 30-day yoga program and completed a lesson almost every day. Here’s a brief outline of what has happened since:
Every year on April Fools Day, Britt and I go out to a nice dinner. During the first of these outings, we got a giant tower full of raw oysters, shrimp, and crab legs at a restaurant we’d been eyeballing since it opened, but on which we had yet to let ourselves splurge. Since then, seafood has tended to be our theme mostly out of tradition. The reason we do this every year is to celebrate the day that I didn’t die.
Logan and I fell in love with our house on our first (and only) day of house hunting. We went home after viewing about six homes in total and made an offer that night. We wondered at the time if we were crazy for rushing things. I HATED our temporary apartment and we were so new to the cities, we hadn’t explored enough to commit to a particular neighborhood yet. But, this magical house tucked away on a hidden cul de sac in a close, but small, suburb hit all of our needs as well as many of our desires. Plus, it had a nostalgic quality about it that reminded us both of our grandparents’ homes. It had good juju. It just felt like home.
Today is March 20, 2020 and it is day 5 of quarantine for Britt and me. Yesterday was the Spring Equinox, the day we celebrate Ostara, and the first day of Spring. It was a perfect Spring day to be home. This is a time of chaos in the world, but more than ever I would like to take a moment to focus on the balance that this time of year embodies, take stock in what I am thankful to have, and what exciting things we’ve been preparing for.
Last year my big plans for the running season were dashed by a hernia repair surgery and the drop in motivation I had once that was scheduled. About six weeks after my surgery I started doing some short run/walks with Britt and transitioned those into longer runs of a few miles. I also started a new job around this time, which is conveniently located close to my running store. Right before the holidays I went and bought myself some new running shoes and committed to getting back into enough form to race the Securian Financial Winter Run 10k. (“Race” is here used extremely loosely… I am mostly content as a ‘middle-of-the-pack’ runner.)