Happy. Healthy. Heathen.

Traveling, training, thinking, talking, typing


November 2010

Post-party reflection




What a party.  Here it is Monday morning, and I’m still bathed in DHEA and HGH and oxytocin and all the other good hormones that your body sends out to bring the party.

To everyone who came to the party, called me, texted me, Facebooked me, snail-mailed me — thank you so much!  Your expression of love and congratulations meant so much to me – more than even an amateur wordsmith like me can express!

It’s been all over Facebook, but I think I have a couple of readers who aren’t on FB, so the story begins Friday night, when my youngsters colluded to surprise me with their very presence!  I had one of the four confirmed to be here – #2, Sam, is home from his year in New Zealand.  Amy and Glenda said they were committed to a women’s backpacking trip in Knoxville, and Ben in Colorado was tied up with school and work.  Whatever they did to make it happen, there they all were, sitting at a table in Marina’s on Friday night!

Deleriously happy
loudest table in Marina's

I can’t remember when we were last all together at home – we were together at Ragbrai, but Ben never made it to TN, and before that we were in Colorado at Ben’s home (less Sam).

Saturday dawned party day – in went the BBQ roasts and on went the coffee.  My parents and brother headed up from Georgia, and my aunties headed down from Gallatin as the kids took the decorating into their own hands.  Soon we had the bus and jeep in the back yard, streamers on the porch, balloons, slack line drawn from the bus to the jeep, bonfire assembled, kegs icing, and signs put up out at the road.

instant party

stringing lights from house to bus
supervisory crew

We finished getting ready about sunset and then our guests started arriving.

Gammy and Aden
inside view
cousin Jen's handiwork

LED and fire hoop show
Aden and Alden
my aunt Annie

I am now officially 50, and an Ironmanwoman.  The gift of everyone’s presence will last a lifetime in my memory, and the tangible gifts fell into about 3 categories:  wine, coffee, and silver jewelry.  My friends and family know me well.  I love them all and have them laid out on the table so I can see them as I pass by (the gifts, not the friends).

You can’t quite see it, but pinned to my top is a tiny little pair of Navy wings.  I was born the day my dad graduated from Naval pilot training, and instead of my mother pinning his wings on him as planned, he came to the hospital and pinned that miniature set on my diaper.  Dad and I celebrated that moment 50 years later by him passing on a little birthday green, if you know what I mean.  Thanks, Mom and Dad, for choosing me above all the other millions of sperm and egg siblings you could have picked….

Brother Eric reciprocated the birthday theme from the 50 candy bars (there’s a story) I gave him last year for his 50th by giving me 50 cups of coffee from Starbucks.  So if you see me spazzing around town – no, I’ll try not to drink them all at once.

I know I owe a 50 things update, which I’ll do soon – epic fail on trying to get them done in one year, but they roll right onto the permanent bucket list, so now it just becomes the Bucket List.

At the party we asked everyone to sign a poster and finish the sentence:  I’ll do an Ironman ________.  We got some great responses, including:

When Pigs Fly.  –Jesse

Been There.  Done That.  –Eric

Never.  I’m not that dumb.  –Dad

In my next life.  –Mom

If it got my British boyfriend a US work visa.  –Glenda

If you couldn’t make the party, and want your comment added to the sign, chime in below and I’ll put it down.

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I am so grateful for my circle of friends and family; I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  As I reflect, as we all do on milestone days, I think I learn from everyone I call a friend, and if I haven’t let you know that, bad on me.  In my opinion, that’s one of the highest praises I can give – that you’ve helped me grow and learn.  You make my life fuller and richer and so much fun.

Back to training, then Thanksgiving, then finals for the kids, then on and on and on.

Thanks for reading and for helping me be 50!


See what not having a camera does?

For an Iron triathlete, I’m a real slacker.  In the three weeks since the race I have been sitting around on the couch eating bon-bons (whatever they are) and watching television.  Ok, maybe not the last two things, but I have sooooo enjoyed my down time.

I truly did nothing in the way of working out for two weeks, and last week returned to working out half-time.  This week marks the return to full training for the next big race, Taupo in March.  I’ve also lost my camera so I’m depending on Jesse for his photos.

Last weekend we travelled to east Tennessee for a couple of reasons:  to see the Green River Race and to see daughter Glenda compete in the finals for the UT’s Got Talent show.

The race was phenomenal.  The drive and hike to the river were an adventure unto themselves, and then to get to see that river and those racers – one of which was our own Curtis England.  He was a joy to watch, even if it was a whiteknuckler for us spectators.  We got to see Sam run a portion of it too.  We’ll try to make this an annual event!

my girls and me
Krispy Kreme indulgence stop
our viewing zone for the race
Jesse and Curtis
Sam and La
Ames and Mom
the girls, post-race

On to the talent show.  Glenda was up against a magician, two talented break dancers, and one of the best musicians I’ve ever heard.  She performed with her LED hoop, followed by her fire hoop and did a great job.  The judges thought so too – of the 26,000 students at the University of Tennessee, she’s the man!  Or woman!  Or hooper!  Whatever, she won the competition!  She doesn’t really like the focus on the competition part, but she’s terribly grateful for the prize:  a professional video to be made of her performances to be used as an audition video to clubs across the country!

The winner in her modified Leeloo costume
oops - another trip to the KK

This weekend we were able to go back to Knoxville for another performance at the homecoming rally, Smoky’s Howl (kind of a pre-homecoming pep rally).  She did another great job.  On Saturday, we (Jesse, me, Amy, Glenda, Sam, Laura) went to Max Patch with the Mosses and some of the staff of UTOP for an afternoon of remembrance for Robert.  He and Amy had gone there a few times and it is truly a beautiful place.  We shared some wonderful memories of our precious boy and enjoyed the view and the company.

atop Max Patch
Amy and the Mosses

Later that night we drove into Johnson City, TN, for a campus visit at ETSU.  It was a night visit, so we just drove through in the car, but we loved what we saw.  They have Amy’s degree, so if all goes well with her acceptance/transfer, she’ll be seeing those mountains every day beginning in January!  The buccaneer mascot is a little scary/creepy, but we like things edgy.

scary? or scariest?

Back home again and now getting ready for the big 5-0 birthday/post-iron party.  In the mail when I got home was my very weird award for winning my division – a ceramic coffee mug that has race logo and details and division winner on it….mkay.  Where’s my cheap-ass plastic trophy?!

Thanks for reading – see everyone Saturday!!

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