Friday, August 02, 2013

#ProTip: How To Run a Marathon Up and Down a Mountain

No special tricks.  Just run.  Keep moving.  Eat some big pasta the night before.  And breathe.

Take in the view at the top

Tread wisely on the ice

Follow strong and disciplined examples

Dont be afraid to get a lot dirty

Keep those who support you whole-heartedly close

And enjoy it!

That may have been my last long distance race (though I don't make any promises) yet somehow the same "how to" seems to apply generally.  

Thursday, August 01, 2013

It Felt Like Fire

*It's August already.  And I'm ready to be here again.  We just got back from a week long stay in the Outer Banks with some dear friends from out West. Our fourth trip this year to 
those beloved Barrier Islands*

The first was in March.  Though Spring in North Carolina is well on its way by March, her ocean is wintery still.

Lucy braved those still cold waters by immersion on March 16, 2013.

Instead of gathering body boards, sand buckets and sunscreen we gathered jackets, ties, and one white towel and of course the ones we love and those that love Lucy.

We paused in prayer in our small room at the Surf Side Hotel in Nag's Head before walking down to the ocean's edge.  It was overcast with a few sprinkles.  And so quiet.  Lucy went down with three wonderful men in her life.  Her father Craig Alan Mangum, his father Carl David Mangum, and my father Kurt W Knudsen.

 With grandfathers grounding themselves against the surf for a witness of Lucile Fae Mangum's commitment to Christ, we watched from soft sand as sea swells swallowed sacred words.  The constant ocean, a perfect place to perform a covenental prayer.

It was the most beautiful baptism I've ever attended.  No paper program or sweet white cake.  No musical number or pictorial montage.  Those these things are good, there was an extraordinary simplicity this March morning that left so much room for thought and faith.

Which was perfect for Lucy.  It is hard for me to put "how she is" in words.  Maybe I'm out of practice.  

There is a marvelous quality in Lucy that I envy.  She doesn't react to life, she absorbs it.  

When I asked her to describe her experience this day she said with a smile, "It was so cold it felt like fire."  She was confirmed and given the vital gift of the Holy Ghost minutes later in a church house up the road.

2 Nephi 31:12  "...He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do."

 Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pride Cycle in Gatsby

I am always one and a half steps behind of late. Probably since....well, Christmas. And there is always something I am forgetting.  My keys.  My composure.  My good sense.  My humility.  Always something.   I just finished reading The Great Gatsby.  That's the book from which my mom got the idea to name me Jordan.  Jordan Baker in the book is a tan tennis player who has a voice like an angel.  I think my mom just liked the name for a girl.  I am not tan nor a tennis player--nor do I have such a voice.

The book is heralded as Fitzgerald's greatest masterpiece.  In short, it is about the disintegration of the American Dream in the 1920s.  Unprecedented prosperity and wealth lead to downfall.  Period.

But, I think it's also about our individual histories.  And also, as F. Scott says,  that we beat on in a boat against the current "borne back ceaselessly into the past."

What?!  Is this true?  I haven't decided yet.  I think it might be.  I think the idea of eternity plays in to this idea.  It sounds depressing but does it have to be so?

I will get back to you.  This post is basically history.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Christmas in February

We were home a lot during the Christmas 2012 season.  A lot.  The papa had the whole week off and we didn't go anywhere further than caroling in Chapel Hill.  Which is actually pretty far.  We brought most of the party to us, as we do.  

It's not Christmas without doling out the task of picking the pomegranate.  Dr. Gooch was the lucky recipient of this reddish chore.

Lamb sliders and Citrus Salad with fried Rosemary and Crispy Olives

Apple Cheddar Beet pastry squares and Crudités of course!

Speculoos Buttons and Crystal both looking pretty.

Heidi and Ami in the Decked Dining Hall

A new treat this year: Italian Soda Bar and Sarah P Tuttle in her Senior prom dress.

The ever-present cheese table, accoutrements accounted for.

Platinmum Chrissy and Prawns.

The tree complete with track and Polly with her plate.

All the lovely ladies didn't show empty-handed: cue all the lovely lads!

I just have to say, that truly, there is no use pining for Spring when February has only just begun.  May as well reflect on Christmas Past in order to pass the time til the tulips bloom.  That's what I say, at least.

Friday, January 04, 2013

A New Year's Letter to You: R&R

Rain and Resolutions.  Those are the words for these first few days of January.  They remind me of the time we ran away for a day or two.

That trip we took to Asheville!  We left our progeny in the capable hands of a few handpicked protectors.  That trip where we drove under the Blue Ridge Bridge past the showoff trees and hot coal-colored leaves of the mighty Southeastern Fall.

In January, 2012, last January, we made a heap of resolutions like we do, you and I.  Among them some went undone.  We still don't have food storage, although I did get the backpacks (6) for a kit that will last 72-hours, also yet to do.  Instead we are now praying for no ice storms.  Let it rain and rain, keep the ice away for we aren't ready!  But, more than all that, we'd rather sun.

But, a few we did do!  Those pesky resolutions that I love and that keep us honest.  You, too.  We swore to getaway together.  Really away, not just away to the parking lot of the preschool .4 miles down from Cicada Cottage.

And we did it!  A resolution resolved!  We drove away.  After some spectacular sun, it rained in Asheville.  We ducked in and out of shops and restaurants sitting, chewing, smiling at one another.  You're the best. I'll not forget 

The run through the woods up those steep hills where I rediscovered my calves and we began our running together which is more like funning.

There was that gross drink you had at the bookstore and the art that we didn't buy in that basement.  Also, remember when we almost bought a guitar for our friend Duane but we couldn't find the one he wanted?  Then that night we watched the presidential election '12.  Yeah, there was that.

Back at the hotel, while you learned how to better relieve the insufferable emergencies that plague the people, I dunked my mother body quickly in ice cold water then quietly back into warmth of steam and lavender and minted scented towels.  I've never felt anything like it.  Thanks for that.

Rest and Relaxation.  I don't ever give you that.  I make you foot bills for holiday parties and pretty pieces of clothing and also food for that pooch on our back porch.  But you give R&R to me everyday just by 

The marvelous man that you are and have become and are becoming still.  Just by letting me be the number one in your arms.

So let it rain and let the resolutions find their repose in this new year.  We made too many again.  It is the only way.

And if you promise to remain I will find it within my heart to give you more


And even a little Relaxation.

Happy New Year!