• sisters on a mission.

  • Three sisters. One in Virginia. One in London. One in New York. None of whom wear shorts. Ever.

  • the mission?

    Running.
    Taking delight.
    Learning Italian.
    Getting to Italy.
    Wearing shorts.
    In Italy.
    June 2011.

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When boys aren’t gross…it’s love, actually

6:45 am.  I’m just back from my very first 30 minute run (hooray) and am met at the front door by my son who is holding up a drawing he just did.  “Guess what I’m calling this picture?”, he asks.  I had no idea. Some brown flowers, clouds, a few blue slashes.  It starts with the letter T, he says.  Still no clue, although I see he has scribbled something at the bottom. Not giving me much time to guess, he tells me that he has called it Tears which he spelled “tirs” on the picture.  That’s a relief because I thought it said “tits”.  I asked him if it was a sad picture and he replied “all in life is not happy” and off he went.

Back again with The Art Book for Children.  He can’t decide what to draw next and shows me his two choices.  Waterlily Pond  by Monet or Spring by Botticelli.  I’m not sure what has inspired this early morning burst of creativity from my son who is usually more interested in old war movies and re-enacting every scene.  Anyway, I suggest the Monet as it looks far more simple to recreate and we had to leave for school in about 45 minutes and he is still in his pj’s.  Although drawing for him is all about speed, not perfection.  He tells me he knows what to do and off again he goes to his art station.  This is what he came up with – a combination of the two paintings.  Simply titled, “Love”.  And spelled correctly.

skating into the hearts of America

I have a confession.  I collect books on organizing and decluttering.   I know.  It’s defeating the purpose.  They are lined up side-by-side on my overloaded shelves taunting me.   It’s not that I’m a pack-rat.  I just have difficulty letting go of certain objects.  Like books, artwork and crafts I have made, project materials, awards.   You know, the stuff with meaning.

But lately I’ve been feeling weighted down and scattered.  That’s a good indicator that I need to start shedding the excess.  So, a few months ago, I started a thorough assessment and purging of every drawer, shelf, closet, box – container of any sort – in an effort to lighted my load.  I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things.    A lot.

A couple of days ago, I rescued my ice skates from their hiding place in the basement.  A thin layer of green fuzz had started to overtake the once pristine leather soles.  A damp index card marked Freestyle 2 was impaled on a toe pick.  A hint of rust marred the shine on the blades.  It was a mess.   How could I have let this happen?  I loved my skates.

They came into my life 15 years ago when I was 31 and newly wed.  I had moved to Tacoma Washington from Portland Oregon.  Sold my house, got a new job and settled into my husband’s house.  Our house now although neither one of us spent much time there due to our hectic travel schedules.   I would not have bonded with Tacoma at all had it not been for the Sprinker Ice Arena.

I passed by the nondescript building on my way to and from the airport every week.  Each time I drove by, I wondered what it would be like to glide and spin and jump on ice.  I had spent my formative years in coastal Virginia  rattling my teeth as I raced down concrete sidewalks with 4-wheeled metal boot skates strapped to my feet.   The feeling of the wind in my hair still felt fresh.

I don’t know what possessed me but one day, about a year after taking up residency, I pulled into the parking lot.  Before I could rationalize my way out of it, I had signed up for classes and purchased my own figure skates.  I was committed.

The first day of lessons, our ragtag group of adults clung to the wall as we inched our way onto the ice.   We were all shapes and sizes, male and female, married and single, young and old.   It was both thrilling and terrifying to let go and scoot stiff-legged across the slick surface, arms extended, praying to make it to the other side without falling on our asses.  I’ll never forget that moment.  I was skating!  It was like that scene in “What About Bob” where Bill Murray, strapped to the mast, grins and belts out “I’m sailing!”

For the next year I took classes non-stop and progressed up to Freestyle and Patch classes.   I was hooked on the feeling of speeding across the ice, going backwards as fast as I could around and around the rink.  I still wasn’t much of a jumper and was just getting the hang of spinning when we found out we were moving to Naples Italy.    Ice skating came to an abrupt end in favor of traveling and eating pasta.  The skates never came out again.

Until this week.  I carefully scraped off the mold, rubbed everything down with a little clorox, hung them outside in the sun and crossed my fingers.   A few hours of baking and they are good as new, with the exception of the rusty blades which I still need to tackle.

My intent was to  get them cleaned up enough to sell.  After all, they’ve been neglected by me for over a decade.  It’s time to let go.  But just holding them again has me nostalgic.  There’s an ice rink near my office.  I could take them for a spin, see what I remember if anything.  See if they even fit any more.   Pray that I don’t break anything.  Am I crazy?

Maybe I should wear a helmet just in case.

Summered.

Can this count as my Versatility III post?

Oh Goody.

Tanning – I found this at Target today. Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil. I bought it. It smells like teen-beach-summer. I love the beach. I love the ocean. I love California. I lived in Florida. I hated Florida but I loved the white beaches. I used to tan like crazy when I was in high school. And I used this rare blend of nature’s rich tanning oils to tan/burn turn into tan. As a result of excessive teen tanning, I have a really nice brown spot on the side of my face. Got it checked after my son was born. Doctor said no worries, it’s just an age spot. Age spot. Ten years later, my spot is still with me. My friend recently told me she liked it. I’m using the Hawaiian Tropic as my after shower moisturizer. It’s heavenly. And it brings me back to Virginia Beach and steamy Poquoson, VA backyards.

Exodus from the Field – This has to do with running. And nature. 6 weeks into our C25K program and I still don’t feel like much of a runner. Yesterday, for example. I was set to head out into the field for Day 2 of Week 6. I waited until like 9:30am. I headed toward the field, 5 steps out of my door, and a fox came running out the field. A fox! So awesome, the Fox is back! Shoot…A fox, damn, hope he didn’t eat the baby turkeys. We have 8 baby turkeys and a mom in the field. I decided to take the path not taken by the fox. But as I stepped into the sun and the field, I caved. It was hot, steamy, the field grass had gotten so high, there were bugs everywhere, large flying black bugs, and a bullfrog belching in the ditch. Nature was turning me off. I didn’t run. I went inside and did Tracy Anderson instead. I’ll run tonight. I didn’t run that night. I’m out of the field for the summer. Did I mention ticks?

Running – I did, however, get up and run at 6:40 am down my tree-lined lane. Back and forth. But when my (somewhat) creepy neighbor showed up on the lane during my run, I detoured to my driveway. Cheating on my 10 minute continuous run while I waited him to clear from my private track. I want to be a runner! I’m not, however. New plan: Run more than the C25K. I think I need to run more frequently. And get up earlier. 6am. And, have a solid goal to run towards. Ed, my husband (and ultramarathon runner) and I are signing up for this race in October: Down and Dirty Mud Run. He will have just finished a 100 mile race the week before and said a 5K would be a good way to ease back in.

Teaching – I feel like I spend a lot of my time looking for a full-time job. I have 3 master’s degrees. I’m over-degreed. I’m an adjunct professor of Theater at SUNY Westchester Community College. I’ve taught in all kinds of places, small private colleges, big state universities, private high schools, professional theaters. But I’d never taught at Community college. It was a different ball game. My first semester I couldn’t wait to be done and never come back. I didn’t get these students. I couldn’t relate. Why didn’t they do their homework and why do they talk like that? Then I remembered what a  great teacher told me, “Teach the students you have, not the students you wish you had.” I started looking at them in a new way. They have jobs. Some are supporting their family. Just getting to class on the County bus can take hours. They didn’t learn academic discipline in high school. For many, they are first generation college students. They are naive and unworldly. And they need a teacher to respect them. I went back for Spring semester, enlightened. How can I make meaningful learning experiences for these students? It was a great semester. Full of learning and mutual respect. I’m going back in the fall, (barring a full time better paying gig), to my eager, appreciative students who have showed me that naiveté can be a blessing.

Theater – Theater is what I do. I don’t want to get artsy touchy blah blah and say it’s what I am.  But it’s what I love. It’s what I love to teach. It’s a world I understand and am endlessly fascinated by. This summer I’m luring some actor friends up to Cold Spring for a Retreat. For a few days, we’ll start exploring a new project to do. I’m promoting a Grass Roots/Local/Rural Theater movement. I think it’s the new wave, the new hip theater trend. Go Local, get out of the City. Here’s a blog of a company I started that’s now on permanent hiatus. But we did some cool work on Macbeth for a while. Shakespeare’s my guy. http://sprezzaturamacbeth.wordpress.com/.

My Kids!, Family, twins, food, academia, wine, travel, silly silliness, people humans i love humans, Photography, I hate clutter, Clean laundry is the best smell in the world, if I could do it over again I’d be a musician or a dancer, Music!, vulnerability, romance, people doing things that they don’t realize they can do and then they surprise themselves and everyone else because it’s Good.

That’s enough. This is unedited pure versatility.