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Friday, March 14, 2014

Ladies' Bowling Night

For years, my mother donned her navy blue stretch pants and bowled every Thursday night in a ladies' league at Saint Mary's. Our school had a bowling alley, but I never laid eyes on it.

Apparently, the pin boys played music, because once, she surprised me my knowing "Knock Three Times" by Tony Orlando and Dawn. They played it at the bowling alley, she said, pleased with herself.

That was the extent of her exercise--though I do remember her running with me on a crisp fall day to kindergarten and shoveling the driveway at least once. She didn't overeat, but savored good foods like a hamburger with a slice of her friend Romeo's garden-grown tomato on top. She wasn't overweight.

But she died from colon cancer at 56, and now I'm 53. And when I haul myself around boot camp, lunging and running and planking next to speed bunnies like Eric, Maria, Heidi, Cathy, Meredith, Barb, Ann, John, Helen, Adele, Peggy and Lisa, I feel old. I sometimes think, I'm almost as old as Mom, gee I'm old, she never would or could have done all this. And then I remember Dad in the last part of his life, in rehab at the nursing home, trying hard to take a step--after decades of being the strong man, scaling ladders to clean the gutters, tarring the driveway, changing the car oil.

That defeatist tape doesn't help. Some of my friends are 60 or older and you wouldn't believe their age, yet alone how they kick butt.

I guess what I'm saying is I'd like to stop thinking about the years I'm lugging around. I think it slows me down.

And I cannot finish the Aunt Jemina pancakes and sausage--yes, with butter and syrup--on Punch's breakfast plate before I head to class, as I did today. On top of that, it's time for a new pair of sneakers.

  1. Boot camp in the dome.
  2. Walked Sug around block.
  3. Nap.
  4. Reading On Writing by Stephen King. How could I have missed this? I did read the New Yorker excerpt all those years back, and loved it. This book is captivating and inspiring.
  5. H. and I went to our friend Amy's for happy hour by the fire with a bunch of boot camp pals. John from boot camp had Punch go over for a play date with his kids so we could go.
  6. According to my fitbit flex bracelet, I did almost 11,000 steps today. Seeing the bracelet on my wrist is a helpful reminder to take more steps.


  1. I also read the Stephen King book on writing. It was really good, and interesting, I thought. I was expecting a kind of instruction manual :)

  2. I've been feeling my age, too, with a certain disbelief that my next birthday will be 59. How can that be? No-one who hears that age can think of it as anything but "old". But I've decided Kim's friend Chris is right: younger next year. We can't prevent catastrophic bad things from happening, but we can fight against the slow slide downhill. But it sure is hard to get up every day and think about moving briskly, with a bounce in my step, instead of the plodding that would come naturally. But you are among my heroes that keep me trying.

    I've been thinking about the hard road you are on, parenting such a small young thing. I may email you separately about that.


  3. Hi Lin.....yes, that Stephen King book is so good!!! Nan, I like the idea of planning to move briskly rather than plod along.....that we could actually control the way that goes had not occurred to me....that it's not inevitable to plod....thanks. love alice