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2015.04.20

April 20, 2015

Last Wednesday was Alistair’s school’s Art and Music night.  The art teacher works with each grade to create original pieces which are then displayed around the school, and the music teacher works with the third grade to put on a recorder concert.  Although he is in third grade, and did a great job in the concert, Alistair has asked me not to post the video.  So here are the photos :)

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On Saturday I ran another 5k – this one put on by the BAA, and right through the heart of Boston.  We started and finished on the road between the Boston Common and the Public Gardens, and we crossed the Marathon finish line at the 2.5 mile mark.

With 10,000 entrants, it was by far the largest race I’ve participated in.  By, oh, about 9,000.  Holy moley it was crowded.  But the BAA knows what they’re doing, it was superbly well organized.  They even arranged for beautiful 60-degree sunshine.

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They set us off in waves based on your average mile time, so needless to say I was at the back.  In fact the lead group was finishing as I approached the start line – I can’t even wrap my head around a 13 minute 5k.  So that was a chill factor.

The next chill factor was this hairpin turn; it was the only place on the route where you saw runners in both directions.  Everyone was giving each other high-fives over the Jersey barriers.  Awesome.

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If you don’t think you’d get a thrill over crossing the Marathon finish line, I beg to disagree.

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The tee shirt and the medal are great, too, but nothing compares to the experience.

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2015.04.15

April 15, 2015

Took the boys to the Aquarium on Saturday.

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We spent a LOT of time at the touch tank.

I ran a 5k on Sunday – I’m trying to do one a month this year, although I skipped January entirely, so let’s say 12 this year – and then we mostly puttered around the house.

But speaking of running.

Today is the anniversary of the Marathon bombing, and Boston has declared it OneBoston Day; essentially a day of kindness, a day of paying things forward.  This is a day I have a hard time with.  It is hard to explain to non-Bostonians what the Marathon means to us, much less the bombing.  I will try…

The marathon is a few weeks into official spring, but it’s often at the very beginning of actual spring – that is, the weather is just starting to turn.  People are outside for the first time in months.  It occurs on Patriots Day, which is a Boston-only holiday and many businesses are closed.  It’s always during school vacation week, so the Marathon route is always loaded with kids.  Spectating is of course free.  Bars in town open early, and no matter how cold it is, if a restaurant has outdoor seating they are packed all day long.  Plenty of people are tipsy, but nobody is a mean drunk on Marathon day. It is one of those things when, if you are out and about along the route, you will bump into people you know all day long – people you used to work with, people you went to elementary school with, people you see in your regular coffee shop but you don’t actually know, you name it.

All of which is to say, the Marathon is a community event of the highest order.  And yet the purpose of it all, is to watch 60,000+ people kick their own asses.  On purpose.  And cheer them along the way.  It is a day of stories big and small, and memories of all sorts.  For everyone.

Those two tried to rob us of all that.  They tried to change it from a day of camaraderie and general goodwill, to a day of fear and horror.  They tried to make people afraid of being out in public.  They tried to make a beautiful thing, ugly.

It worked.  For a couple of hours, it worked.

But even in the midst of chaos, Boston stepped up.  People helped in every way imaginable.  You’ve likely heard the bigger stories, but there are countless small ones too.  People opened their homes so that displaced runners had somewhere to stay.  People walked through the crowds, past the ambulances, straight to the hospital to donate blood.  First responders reported for duty on their days off.  People help.

I’ve heard Boston described as a large, loud, disfunctional family.  It’s true; we don’t all always agree or get along, often there is bitterness and hurt feelings.  And grudges, lots of grudges.  But like any family, we band together in a crisis.  I’ve never been so proud to live here.

All of the madness leading up to the chase and capture happened in a triangle made up of my mother-in-law’s house, my husband’s office building, and my office building.  One false move by any number of people I know and love, and they could have easily been caught in the literal crossfire.

And on the shelter in place day, when all of greater Boston area screeched to a halt, not one person had any negative comment.  Not one.  We all watched, and waited, and hoped.  Hoped.  Hoped.  When he was apprehended, and the police were wrapping things up in Watertown and slowly disbanding, people came out of their homes to line the streets and cheer them on.  Watching that on television, you know what it was like?

It was like the Marathon.

I will never forget that week.

I ran four miles this morning, one mile each for each of the four people killed.  Krystle Campbell.  Sean Collins.  Lu Lingzi.  Martin Richard.

2015.04.09

April 9, 2015

April Fool’s Day prank:  grilled cheese for dessert

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Alistair had his ninth birthday party on Saturday.  It was a Pokemon party…

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He happened to be sick as a dog, but rallied for the party.

The next day was Easter Sunday…

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We went to Five Guys for burgers on his actual birthday, and we’re going on a birthday field trip to the Aquarium this coming weekend.  We really stretch out the birthday celebrations around here…

2015.03.31

March 31, 2015

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, they say.

Here we are in the afternoon of the last day of March.  It was sunny and nearly 50 today, definitely lamb weather.

However, it snowed yesterday and it was only about 30 on Sunday…that’s fairly lionish.  Leonine?

And yet… there are definite signs of spring if you care to look for them.

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Of course, they’re overshadowed by the lingering signs of winter.

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There are still snow mounds on many corners, and my backyard still has a good 8-12 inches of snow on it.  These photos were taken in my front yard – the sunny side of which is completely bare of snow, and the side above still has a goodly sized snow pile.  Such a snow pile that my trash barrels are still ensconced on the sidewalk, because the path to and the gate behind which they reside are still inaccessible.

This IS New England, after all; frankly, I’m not convinced we’ve seen the end of winter weather just yet.

But I think it will be late summer before you hear anyone around here complaining about the summer heat!

2015.03.24

March 24, 2015

Last week was St Patricks’ Day, which is a big party of a day to many (if not most) Bostonians.  Since it is also Evacuation Day, schools within Suffolk County are closed, as are many businesses.  We live a stone’s throw into the next county, so we didn’t have the day off.  And in point of fact my partying days are mostly over.

Nonetheless the boys like theme days of any sort.  They wore green shirts to school, and we had Shamrock Shakes for dessert.

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I *may* have had a Guinness.  Or two.

In the knitting department, we have some babies joining our family circle in the summer (boy-girl twins! Woohoo!).  I ordered and have received a big box of yarn.  Knitting will begin shortly, but in the meantime I started what will ultimately be a long term project.

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It’s a variation on the very contagious mitered-square blanket.  I have this thing where I can’t organize colors randomly, so I’m working the squares in a log-cabin configuration, changing yarns at each corner.

Each square is taking about 45 minutes.  I’m working this exclusively on the weekends, and giving weeknights over to the baby knitting.  I have just realized that I will run out of yarn scraps long before the blanket is big enough to be a usable piece, and am now trying to figure out what that means.  Do I buy sock yarn earmarked for this?  And if I do, do they all need to be identical, or coordinating, or can they be completely random?

Delicious ambiguity.  I love it.

2015.03.17

March 17, 2015

March has been pretty eventful for us so far.

There was a citywide third grade art exhibit held at the mall, complete with Alistair’s work.  His school’s theme was ‘spring flowers’, and they used tissue paper, pastels and pencils.

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Pretty awesome.

This past weekend was the annual Running of the Leprechauns 5k.  We participated for the first time – Larry and Alistair mostly walked, but I ran it.

 

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Before we started I told Alistair, “You can go at your own pace the whole time.  It doesn’t matter how fast you go or how long it takes you to finish, it’s most important that you finish.  Oh, and no matter how tired you are, you have to run over the finish line.”

Fifty-six minutes later they came around the corner, and sure enough, as soon as he saw the banner he booked it.

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He is super proud of himself.  And I’m super-proud of him.

2015.03.03

March 3, 2015

For the past month or so the third grade at Alistair’s school has been working on a great project.  They called it the Wax Museum.  Each student selected a historical or famous person from a list, and spent time researching the person – not just what made them noteworthy, but also their early childhood, things they were interested in, and what we can learn from them today.  Then they had to pull together a costume, complete with a prop, and be ready for the big presentation.

Alistair got Paul Revere.

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I don’t think I’m bragging when I say he looks pretty darned authentic.  Considering the only thing we bought was the felt to make the hat, I’m pretty impressed with our resourcefulness.

On the day of the Wax Museum, each child had to present the facts about their person on demand – depending on which ‘button’ a visitor selected, each child had to present the fact about their person.  Some classes read their facts from index cards, others had the cards nearby for inspiration, but Alistair’s class did it all from memory.

Here’s my boy:

 

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