Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This is Our Marathon

This will be the 6th year in a row that I watch the Marathon unfold at Heartbreak Hill.  On a couple of occasions, I have arrived there early enough to watch the elite runners zip by.  It is impressive.  Their pace is other-worldly.  They appear to be sprinting.  Uphill.  At mile 20.

More impressive, though, is a couple of hours later, when the rest of the field crests the Hill.  These are the runners you know.  They are your neighbors, co-workers and friends.  They are college kids, moms, senior citizens.   Maybe they are longtime running nuts whose other marathon times qualified them for a coveted Boston bib number.  Likely, they are weekend warriors who are running to support charities close to their hearts.

I have even seen Bill Rogers and Joan Benoit Samuelson, both Marathon winners and local favorites, in this throng.  Neither competes for the wreath anymore, but they come.  Team Hoyt is always there.  Soldiers, Army reservists stationed nearby, march along the route, in full gear.

They come up the Hill in all kinds of ways.  Running, limping, walking, waving, smiling, grimacing. In unseasonable heat, or early spring chill, in the rain.  In wheelchairs.  Barefoot.  In Chewbacca costumes.  Dressed in hamburger suits, or as bananas, or Uncle Sam, or...

And the crowd pushes them all up the Hill.  The cheering doesn't stop.  There are signs held aloft.  Cowbells ring.  Spectators clap, and reassure the runners that "It's all down hill from here!"  Friends who have waited and watched for their runner will jump in and run with them, to the top.  Or maybe all the way to the finish line.

Much has already been said and written about the Boston Marathon this year.  Sometimes, I think, too much.

We are grateful for the courage of the first responders of a year ago.  We mourn with the victims and the families who lost so much.  We hold our loved ones a little closer, while we try to reject the fear cowards would impose on us.   We are moving on.

I hope, as we move on this year, the Marathon will not have lost its festive quality.  With heightened security along the route, will it feel as intimate?  There will be no costumes, I'm told.   Is it all still too raw?  Will it be somber?  Has the task of running again been made into too much?

I hope these runners, these middle-to-back of the packers, find a party along the course.  They are the ones who could not finish last year, or who finished just before or just as terror engulfed the finish line.  The charity runners, especially... they run to combat the ordinary horrors and everyday tragedies that all of us face.  Like cancer, or ALS, or Alzheimer's, to name only a few.  Of course they are strong.

There are any number of terrors that await us, there always have been. The Marathon is a triumph.  We should celebrate.

And if you want to support one of those runners... might I suggest you give it up for my brother Bill?
He runs, as he has for the past 5 marathons, for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Just go here, you'll see what to do.

Really, you'll want to contribute to his cause (Chubby Nation)  if for no other reason than to be a recipient of his famously entertaining (and, truthfully, long-winded!)  emails.  Plus, he made t-shirts this year.

Yes, I said Chubby Nation.  It's a long story... that starts with a Chubby Guy, chasing Kenyans.  For cancer.

You're intrigued, aren't you?  More info here on the twitter.

Many thanks!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cone of Happiness - All Done!

Look, Ma!  No Cone!

With his stitches removed, and being well along on the road to recovery, Wally now has clearance to resume his cone-free lifestyle.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cone of Happiness - Tropical Daydreams

They say that no dog is an island...
But a guy can dream, can't he?

Like the rest of us, Wally is wishing for summer to get here soon.  Until then, he'll be  planted in the sunny spot by the window, lounging under his private palm, imagining his paws in the sand, and the waves lapping at his... On second thought, he's afraid of waves, so nevermind  that part...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cone of Happiness - Captain Wally

Most of us know him as a mild-mannered shaggy doodle, who enjoys long walks and frequent naps.
But were you aware that the right cone has the power to unleash his alter ego ...?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cone of Happiness - Wallyocentrism

Guys, it's a solar system!  And Wally is at the center!  Exactly where he thinks he should be.

Apologies to Copernicus, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. We were a little loose with the orbits and other details.  At one point, Earth totally fell off its axis and had to be re-attached to the Universe.  

Not everyone can get away with having this kind of world view, but I think he's got the confidence to pull it off.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cone of Happiness - Two Thumbs Up!

In his free time, Wally enjoys hanging out with his friends, and going to the movies.  They all share a large popcorn, extra butter.

Cone of Happiness - Wally's Blue Heaven

Blue skies are here again!
What if changing your outlook was as easy as changing your view...?  

Cone of Happiness - Wall(y)Flower

Because he can't operate scissors, Wally has enlisted my girls to help execute his creative visions.

Cone of Happiness

Poor Wally.  

Our best furry friend had a procedure last week.  Nothing scary, just the sort of thing that older dogs (he's 11!) have to deal with every now and then.  The vet calls them lipomas, you and I know them as lumps of fat.  Usually, they don't require intervention, but when you have them where Wally had them, well, they need to be dealt with before they cause other issues.  Like hygiene issues....

OK, I'll just say it.  He had surgery on his bum.  

Which, obviously, is bad enough.  But, it gets worse. 

He must wear the Cone of Shame.  Might as well let the whole world know that he cannot be trusted to not interfere with his sensitive post-operative areas.

It's almost too much for one dog, especially one as sensitive as our Walter,  to take.  

Thankfully, you can't keep a good dog down for long.  He's putting on a brave face, even if it is in a cone, and battling the awful stigma that he and others must confront. And what better way to resurrect this long-forgotten blog?  What better conflict to explore through the methods of Crap Management?

And so, dear internet, we give you...

The Cone of Happiness!

Stay tuned as Wally finds new ways to turn his frown upside down...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Once Upon a Time, I began this blog as a daily photo project, with this:
What do you call your field of expertise, if you don't care for the term "homemaker", or "stay-at-home mother", or "domestic engineer"...? During a particularly bleak moment, I christened it Crap Management. At the entry level, this moniker is a fairly literal job description. The responsibilities expand, though, until the Manager is left holding a bag large enough to obscure all but traces of her former self. I'd like to redefine Crap Management. Let's consider it an effort to keep the crap at bay, to move on to what inspires...and leave the junk behind. With that in mind, I offer these photos. I hope to improve as a photographer. I hope I can capture ordinary moments that reveal joy, or tiny triumphs. I hope it doesn't get too boring. I hope you like them.
Over the course of two years, I reacquainted myself with an interest and art I had left behind in the all-consuming process of tending to a young family. Eventually, the daily-ness of blogging changed to sporadic, then random, and then quiet... I have moved on to new things, but I still have a warm spot for these imperfect images and words. Each photo takes me back to a moment, a clear memory of an event, an interaction, an expression, a feeling, that might have been lost to me without the visual bookmark. So, as I consider what is next for CM, I think I'll leave them right here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Surf's Up?

I thought this would be a nice counterpoint to my last post... We may be itching to move on to winter activities, but some are still clinging to their fair-weather sports. Against all logic and reason, I might add...

As we stood a safe distance from the churning surf, the winds buffeted us from all directions, whipping our jackets and hair, and rattling our cameras. One mis-step, and we would have been like tumbleweeds, rolling through the parking lot, casting about for a "No Parking" sign to cling to...

OK, maybe that's a little over-dramatic. But, it was cold. And windy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

On Ice

After an unseasonably warm December, January brought our first real cold snap. Others may have complained about the frosty chill, but we were ready. Finally, the time had come!

Some of us wait all year for this. Planning, building, scheming...

Let the record show: The first skate of 2012 occurred at 8:45am on Thursday... just after the kids went off to school.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Dog

Can you think of a better way to start off 2012 than with a brand-new puppy at your house? How about a twelve week-old, 25 pound, labrador-mastiff-giant schnauzer puppy? (We call that a Schnauzadorff, btw.) Wouldn't you love to have a pup who is mellow, and calm, and eager to please, and already housetrained? Especially if your home already contains three active little boys, toddler-size & up, wouldn't that be the best thing ever???

I think so.

My sister sure got lucky with this one!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Sure Sign of Winter

Behold the Urban Park Squirrel! The boldest, quickest, most un-discerning eater running wild through your city. Tucking away some snacks for winter's depths is one thing, but he is making the most of any and all opportunities to pack away the calories right now. And it shows! He's not shy, that's for sure, and if he suspects you have entered his domain toting some tasty treats, he will scamper right up to you with a look that says:

"You gonna eat that?"