Friday, December 31, 2021

Worst NYE Ever

It's been a wonderful year. December has been so packed with fun activities that I haven't had time for blogging. I had time in Sacramento with Mom, time in Southern California with Michele and her family, early Christmas celebrations with the kids, and then a fabulous road trip with Scotty to Florida.

Now, I'm, once again, happily tucked away in a cozy room (with private bathroom I might add) in Becky's Sarasota townhome.

However, last night tragedy struck in my lovely hometown of Superior. A fire started from downed power lines and spread quickly with dry conditions and hurricane-level winds.  John called and told me that he didn't think my house would make it.

My heart raced as I thought of all I would lose.. Dad's medal and the jewelry Mom had just passed on to me, the ancient piano passed down from a great aunt, the scrapbooks I'd slaved over, the painting over the fireplace that Chris had painted, the quilts and wall-hangings Mom had made and, of course, my beloved flamingo collection.  (OK, maybe that would be easily replaceable--except the cross-stitch wall-hanging.)

I thought about how under-insured I was and that construction costs have skyrocketed and that not only would I be out of a home, so would my two tenants, including John, the fire chief of Louisville!

I tried to tell myself that it was only 'stuff,' not a life.  But I argued back with myself (I do that a lot in my head.)  True, we're not talking about life here, but my house and all it contains is more than "stuff." It's my home. My beloved safe space to drink sweet coffee and gaze out at my well-kept yard, thanks to John, and feel grateful that I own this little piece of heaven. It's my security. It's full of memories. It's my place of belonging. I love my home and was panicked at the thought of losing it.

Miraculously, my house survived. I'm relieved beyond words. 

Yet still, my heart is so heavy with grief. My beautiful, innocent quaint little town of Superior was up in flames. This utopia, this little dot on the map that no one ever even heard of, made national news as the location of the worst fire in Colorado's history.

I know I'm one of the very lucky ones.  The fire spread beyond Superior into neighboring Louisville. My friend, Cindy, lost her beautiful home and one of her cats in the fire. I think my friend, Tim, may have lost his Spanish Hills home which was the most magnificent home I'd ever seen.

I'd been reading a lot about Betty White in preparation for her 100th birthday on January 17th. A key to her longevity is her optimism. Just as I was reminding myself that I need to stay optimistic about this fire, my sister texted me that Betty White died today! 

Now, I know she had a fabulous life and we all have to die, but Really? On New Year's Eve? 17 days before turning 100?

Well, I always admired Betty White and how she could find humor in any situation. In 2022, I will be more like Betty White. I'll find the humor and the positive in every day and every person. 

But since we just have a few hours until the New Year, I'm just going to take this opportunity to say that I'm super-grateful my house was spared, but the fire and Betty White's death made this the:


Sunday, December 05, 2021

Watching Mary Run Through the Wall

 It's funny how sometimes you plan for a memorable event months in advance and other times, you just stumble upon them serendipitously!

This weekend I flew to Sacramento for Mom's birthday on Thursday and it just so happens, it was the same weekend that my friend, Mary Ferguson, was running in the California International Marathon!

Once I found out that Mary would be there, I thought it would be fun to see her, but I know that often viewing someone in a marathon comes with complications.  Even when you each know where you'll be ahead of time, it's often hard to spot each other in the crowd.

Well, I feel so lucky that Mile 20 (called "The Wall" in marathon-speak) was only about a mile from Mom's house, so I was able to easily walk there.  Also, thanks to the CIM Website, I was able to find out Mary's pace while she was running so I could estimate when she'd be running through "the wall."

Dave, Mary's boyfriend, texted me a picture of her as she ran through the half-way point, so I was able to keep an eye out for her white visor and blue running clothes. 

(For the record, there are a lot of similarly clad runners.  I have two other videos of me cheering on people who I thought were Mary, before I got the right one.)

It was so exciting, not only to see Mary in the crowd of runners, but that she saw me and gave me a hug (sacrificing a few seconds of her race time)! Not to worry, though, she still came in under 4 hours - her personal best!

A sub-4 hour marathon is absolutely incredible at any age, but almost unbelievable at age 65! Of course, Mary looks and acts much younger. No one would ever guess she was 65. The woman just doesn't age!

Dave and his friend, Bill, were able to pick me up and we all met Mary at the finish and enjoyed a celebratory drink.

Having run 3 marathons myself, I have to say, it is so much easier to be a spectator than a participant. I'm in awe of Mary, her energy, drive and ability.  Even in my 40's, my fastest marathon was 4.5 hours and I could barely walk at the end. Mary is such an inspiration!

I feel so lucky that I was able to be here for such a momentous event!  I know the excitement of finishing a marathon after months of training and even though the accomplishment was Mary's and not mine, I was able to live vicariously and feel that excitement for her!