Five Hundred Miles...


This morning, I woke to eight degree temperatures and severe wind chills.  Despite the fact that the furnace seems to have been running non-stop, the house never seems to get warm.  Cold air snakes in around leaky windows and through outlets and beneath the doors.  There is a demanding meow at the front door: Outside Cat asks to be let back into the garage. 

The dryer is running.  Great blasts of steamy air billow and swirl outside beneath the vent.  It’s a good day for soup; steamy soup gently simmering on the stove, small bubbles breaking the surface, filling the kitchen with heat and the aroma of chicken and sausage and ham and spices; soup thick with potatoes and onions and carrots and tomatoes.  The dog sits close at hand, watching hopefully for scraps.  Orange Cat lies in a patch of sunshine on the back of the couch.  He will remain there all day until thirst or hunger call to him.

And yet, I must leave, if only for awhile.   I go to the garage and get my tennis shoes.  Outside Cat tries to slip in between my legs, but I’m too fast for him.  I scoot him back outside and sit at the kitchen table to inspect the inside of my shoes.  Outside Cat has taken to messing in the garage, perhaps in retribution for his banishment from the house.  I suspect someone’s shoes are under attack. 


My shoes sound different in eight degree weather; they sound hollow and heavy and plodding.  The wind whips my face, sends tears streaming down my cheeks.  It is cold and silent and still.

All I can think about is how cold I am. 

I don’t notice the Christmas decorations; the trees at the curb; the birds soaring overhead; the clearness of the day; the bright blue sky; the cleansing quality of the first cold day of winter.
No.  I don’t notice any of this.  I just want to quit. 

But there—that distant speck on the horizon: my sister, five hundred miles in front of me.  And counting.
Last year, she logged twelve hundred miles.  I managed only seven hundred.  This year, I’ve resolved to do more. 

This year, making twelve hundred miles is my first resolution. 

Resolutions are the mirror of the soul.  They offer clues about the person we are and the person we wish to become.  They highlight our beliefs, our concerns, our successes and what we’d like to change about ourselves.  Resolutions reveal dreams and wishes and goals. 

Last year, I failed at all but one of my resolutions.

And yet I will continue to make them.  Because ever so slowly, I’m resolved to become the person I want to be.  My yearly resolutions are the building blocks to change.

I’m surprised to see I’ve logged my three miles.  I come in from the cold.  My face is flushed.  I bring in the scent of winter upon my clothes.   “How was your walk?”

I glance out the window.  The sunset is a brilliant red.  The neighbor has plugged in the Christmas lights.  The soup smells delicious.  The house is toasty.  

“My walk was great.”

I sit down to remove my tennis shoes and when I take them to the garage, the cat sneaks in and runs to the basement.

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Five Hundred Miles...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Five Hundred Miles...


This morning, I woke to eight degree temperatures and severe wind chills.  Despite the fact that the furnace seems to have been running non-stop, the house never seems to get warm.  Cold air snakes in around leaky windows and through outlets and beneath the doors.  There is a demanding meow at the front door: Outside Cat asks to be let back into the garage. 

The dryer is running.  Great blasts of steamy air billow and swirl outside beneath the vent.  It’s a good day for soup; steamy soup gently simmering on the stove, small bubbles breaking the surface, filling the kitchen with heat and the aroma of chicken and sausage and ham and spices; soup thick with potatoes and onions and carrots and tomatoes.  The dog sits close at hand, watching hopefully for scraps.  Orange Cat lies in a patch of sunshine on the back of the couch.  He will remain there all day until thirst or hunger call to him.

And yet, I must leave, if only for awhile.   I go to the garage and get my tennis shoes.  Outside Cat tries to slip in between my legs, but I’m too fast for him.  I scoot him back outside and sit at the kitchen table to inspect the inside of my shoes.  Outside Cat has taken to messing in the garage, perhaps in retribution for his banishment from the house.  I suspect someone’s shoes are under attack. 


My shoes sound different in eight degree weather; they sound hollow and heavy and plodding.  The wind whips my face, sends tears streaming down my cheeks.  It is cold and silent and still.

All I can think about is how cold I am. 

I don’t notice the Christmas decorations; the trees at the curb; the birds soaring overhead; the clearness of the day; the bright blue sky; the cleansing quality of the first cold day of winter.
No.  I don’t notice any of this.  I just want to quit. 

But there—that distant speck on the horizon: my sister, five hundred miles in front of me.  And counting.
Last year, she logged twelve hundred miles.  I managed only seven hundred.  This year, I’ve resolved to do more. 

This year, making twelve hundred miles is my first resolution. 

Resolutions are the mirror of the soul.  They offer clues about the person we are and the person we wish to become.  They highlight our beliefs, our concerns, our successes and what we’d like to change about ourselves.  Resolutions reveal dreams and wishes and goals. 

Last year, I failed at all but one of my resolutions.

And yet I will continue to make them.  Because ever so slowly, I’m resolved to become the person I want to be.  My yearly resolutions are the building blocks to change.

I’m surprised to see I’ve logged my three miles.  I come in from the cold.  My face is flushed.  I bring in the scent of winter upon my clothes.   “How was your walk?”

I glance out the window.  The sunset is a brilliant red.  The neighbor has plugged in the Christmas lights.  The soup smells delicious.  The house is toasty.  

“My walk was great.”

I sit down to remove my tennis shoes and when I take them to the garage, the cat sneaks in and runs to the basement.

Labels: ,

18 Comments:

At January 4, 2012 at 6:35 PM , Anonymous Lance said...

Sounds relaxing and nice. It's also well written.

 
At January 4, 2012 at 6:58 PM , Anonymous The JackB said...

8 degrees? Oy, the thought is killing me.

 
At January 4, 2012 at 7:51 PM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

Like you said, resolutions are the building blocks to change. You go girl!

 
At January 4, 2012 at 7:59 PM , Anonymous Sandrasfiberworks said...

Interesting blog. I'm a writer as well, and find myself fictionalizing my nonfiction, if that makes sense...

 
At January 5, 2012 at 6:59 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading. And, yes, that makes complete sense.

 
At January 5, 2012 at 7:00 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

 
At January 5, 2012 at 7:00 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

A bit better here today. But not much.

 
At January 5, 2012 at 7:01 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Lance. But it's nowhere near what you did. How many races last year?

 
At January 5, 2012 at 9:35 AM , Anonymous Regina McIntyre said...

I guess no one is ever happy with who they are. I kinda like you just as you are.
Regina

 
At January 5, 2012 at 1:45 PM , Anonymous Beverly Diehl said...

Sounds like cold steamy wonderfulness. I hate being cold - but being in the cold when I can come in and warm up afterwards.... okay.

My sympathy's with Outside Cat at 8 degrees. You know he was calling you bad names in cat language.

 
At January 5, 2012 at 3:16 PM , Anonymous Amanda said...

I hate winter, but I like the thought of this.

 
At January 6, 2012 at 3:25 PM , Anonymous Bella said...

Kelly, kudos to you for your perseverance! I'm not one to make resolutions since I have the bad habit of breaking them, but I can respect and admire your persepective. I have to say I like to walk most when it's cold. I find it keeps me alert, renews my senses, and the crispness in the air reminds me of how good it is to be alive. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's times like these that I'm made aware of how fortunate I am to be able to walk, to feel, to hear. I loved how the cat sneaked in! :)

 
At January 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM , Anonymous Lance said...

2 10ks

 
At January 8, 2012 at 5:49 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Oh, Bella. I hate walking in the cold. It seems like so much longer when it's10 degrees outside.

 
At January 8, 2012 at 5:49 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

But winter brings spring. And you can get your seeds in the ground.

 
At January 8, 2012 at 5:50 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Oh, yeah. I'm sure he was calling me some really bad names.

 
At January 8, 2012 at 5:50 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Regina!

 
At January 8, 2012 at 5:51 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I used to run...back before I blew out my knees.

 

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