Sunday, October 26, 2008

MN B2B "on the cheap" Deadline approaches

The Minnesota Border to Border's entry fee goes up fifty dollars on 10/30/08 , so it's time to count my pennies and sign up! Any of you out there thinking of putting a team could be a good time to put it on your '09 schedule here soon as well. We'd certainly look forward to having you out there with us. Us being TriSherpaDi, TacBoy, Trimama, and Iron Jenny. Blink will be there to pace as well, and perhaps we'll have Jumper 2.0 starting up a team as well. What about you other northerners?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Um...IMFL is not next weekend, but the weekend after. My bad. Hope I didn't cause panic in the likes of Excel Man, Ryan or Lana - no stress, you still have two weeks!

Pulling Hair

Arrg! Just got back from a 22-hour driving ordeal to and from Greensboro, NC to participate in my Gram's service. Tons of family there, lots of great tasting food and beer - if it weren't for all the daggum Democrats in my family, it would have been the perfect weekend! Who knew? Just kidding, was a great weekend - even the service. Gram wasn't so much mourned as remembered - and I believe that is what the purpose was this weekend.

I've got a stack of business, generated from my personal money printer - my fax machine - waiting to be called and serviced. I've got installs scheduled for every day, and I have to still cut grass every day this week. I HAVE to get it all done by Friday, since TriSherpaDi and I are heading to Panama City Beach to cheer for all the IMFL participants this coming weekend. Another mad-dash weekend on the road to look forward to.

If all goes well, I WILL sign up for a couple of races here before the end of the month, and get busy training again on the 1st. Next month I start cutting every other week, slicing my work load in half, giving more of an opportunity to run, bike, swim, and now canoe to my hearts content. I certainly need it. And miss it.

Friday, October 10, 2008


When I was a kid - maybe 8 or 9 years old, Gram and I used to drink tea together. It may have only been a few times, but I remember boiling up the water and putting some bread in the toaster. One night, sitting in her kitchen, one of the roller shades just flew open, as roller shades were prone to do back then, and scared the you-know-what out of us! After a few seconds, we both broke into laughter, humored by the silliness of the moment.

Gram took us all in after my folks separated. I think back to the small upstairs house that was no bigger than most of the apartments I've lived in as an adult, and understand what it must have been like for Gram - taking in family. As big a pain in the butt it is, that's what family does. I even had my own room. It barely could take a bed in it, but it had a closet and a window and it was mine.

I remember her perfect yard. The barn converted to a garage, with places that were off limits, making them even creepier to a young kid. My great-grandfather's black caddie always covered in blankets, only occasionally being driven into town and then quickly tucked away and re-covered. I even drove in that car once or twice, I think.

Her basement was full of hidden treasures for a kid. It flooded nearly every year - and for kids, floods are cool. I climbed the trees in her yard. I got in fights there. Went to summer camp in the park down the street. Got into loads of trouble. All while living there with Gram.

Gram never remarried, and was single for as long as I can remember. She smoked like the day is long, and I constantly harassed her for it. I worked, for a very short time, at a pharmacy in town (Stanton's Drugs - the things you all of a sudden remember...), and in came Gram while I was behind the counter. She was pretty upset with me for not selling her cigarettes that day - as was the manager. I lost that job not too long after that incident. 20years later, she quit smoking....but she often reminded me of that day.

She sold that great house while I was in College and moved to a retirement area near the Jersey Shore. A much smaller place with no yard that she could manage by herself. One day a buddy of mine, Eric and I, plus two passengers (one of which was my sister, Leslie), visited Gram on our two new motorcycles. Oh what a day that was. They still speak of the day those two loud motorcycles came roaring up the road to visit Madeline. Towards the end, Gram didn't remember much, but she reminded me of that day.

Edit: I thought up some more stuff today. Her favorite cocktail was the Manhattan. I'll never forget - gosh, it was yesterday, my Uncle Mel (her brother) and me sneaking her Manhattans to my Mom's chagrin. Being born in the Netherlands, Gram would really turn on the Dutch when she was mad. Good thing we couldn't understand her! She used to sing to us in Dutch as well. That was much more pleasant. Dust pan and broom - that's the "Faagud and Blinky" - at least, according to Gram.

As I hasten to put some memories to paper, it's alarming that there's not more. When I got the news that she had passed, it had come as no surprise. Her health had been failing for quite some time, and the last time we visited her I was pretty sure it would be the last time I'd see her. I'm thankful now for that last visit, hopeful that she recognized and remembered being surrounded by loved ones on that beautiful summer day.