Over the River and Through the Woods: A Post by Buddy

I think that title is very clever of me because…I am at Grandmother’s house! It is Chanukah, so we are visiting dad’s mom, who is my Nanny Bobbe.

Where Nanny Bobbe lives is very different from where I live with mom and dad. It’s a place called New Jersey. In New Jersey, there’s millions of people and cars. We stop and go, stop and go, and I look at the other people in the cars next to us with my most appealing expression to brighten their day, but most of the time the other people in the cars are looking at a box in their hands and moving their fingers on it and they don’t see me at all. Which  is too bad, because I think seeing adorable me would make them happier than a box in their hands. But maybe looking at the box is a rule here. Also, I’ve noticed that there is almost always one person per car and that the bigger the car is, the smaller the person who is in it. That might be another rule. I’ll have to observe more because I like to think of myself as a worldly Maltese and so I like to know how things work.

When we get to Nanny Bobbe’s, I go in my bag, and we go into the building and then when we’re in Nanny Bobbe’s house, I go out of my bag and look cute and everyone tells me how cute and well-behaved I am. Then mom gets me some water, and I lay down and look adorable and everyone says how adorable I look. So what’s not to like about New Jersey?

This year I became acquainted with the “Chanukah gelt” tradition. Mom and dad think it’s wonderful, but for me it’s just ho-hum. Being the well-bred dog I am, though, I’d never let on that I’d rather have a toy that has a bit more squishiness to it.

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The Dark Delightful Days

Not much daylight these days. Not only that, but the unsettled weather of December keeps things pretty cloudy. The natural world is hibernating—going inward, conserving strength, assimilating experiences.

So much less stimulation outdoors allows me to notice the over-looked parts. On my walk, I saw the shocking green of the moss, and the equally bright red of the fire berries. I become absorbed in the world of the bird feeder. Just yesterday, I identified the American Tree Sparrow, a bird so common I wouldn’t have given it a second glance at another time. But perched on the feeder amongst the chickadees, tufted titmice and goldfinches, it became a rare and precious sighting. Splitting wood is a pleasure; the frozen wood lets go with a satisfying kunk. The slightly insane call of the Pileated woodpecker makes me shake my head, then smile.

Indoors, by the cheery woodstove, I plan out my winter projects. All those things that demand close indoors attention—weaving, writing, revising, computer work, (I will learn some Photoshop this winter) are anticipated with pleasure. My mind will be stimulated and I will garner a sense of accomplishment.

Winter, by its sensory deprivation, is the perfect time to let the imagination expand, creating worlds and dreams.

To everything there is a season.

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Last Dance of the Season

This weekend, the NBX Grand Prix of Cyclocross, is the last cyclocross race of the regular season for Richie and me.

The kids—that’s what I call them (probably not to their joy) have worked hard, achieving proud results. Dan C. got a UCI fifth place and was on the podium numerous times in local races. Dan T. has won himself many second places in hard-fought UCI races. He’s bummed that he hasn’t stood on the top podium this season (yet) but that’s only because he’s a competitor with a capital C. The rest of us are in awe. BrittLee has regularly finished in the top ten of her elite women’s races, often scrambling to best a place or two just before the end.

Richie and I like to put team memories and sponsor loyalty above race results, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want the kids to kick ass. I once read an interview with the founder of Bikram yoga (a controversial person to be sure, but I appreciated this sentiment) and he said that he loves watching the students push themselves beyond what they think they can do, because then he sees it—that moment when they fall in love with themselves.

A person should not try to take away someone’s right to fail, and when its converse, the right to succeed, is initiated, well…you suffer, your body wants to stop, your mind doesn’t let it, and at the end of the race, you have done better than you ever thought possible. How is it that I can be so strong, you ask yourself? How is it that I can suffer so much to achieve my goal? I must be wonderful.

And you are.


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