“Climbing through a hemlock and spruce forest, the trail emerges above treeline on tundra and flowered meadows accented by stands of weathered, gnarled hemlocks. The area was at one time heavily glaciated; now brilliant blue lakes fill every depression, reflecting the snow covered summits of surrounding mountains.”
~ from 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska, describing Lost Lake Trail
The annual Lost Lake Half Marathon is a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis, and much of it seems impossible. The scenery is impossible to photograph, the generosity is impossible to calculate, and my aching muscles are impossible to ignore.
But apparently it is possible for an ordinary person like me to finish the race!
Back-to-school season has arrived, which explains both my decreased posts and increased moodiness. Target’s back-to-school ads in July make me plain irritable, but by August I am ecstatic to purchase supplies for my own children. What gives? The same goes for clothing: buying new pants in a bigger size on an annual basis is exciting for the kids, but not so much for me. And then there are lunchboxes, which are so fun to purchase but miserable to pack. The list goes on and on.
After all these years in education, I should be used to this by now. The end of summer is this odd tapestry of dread and anticipation, but once I’m two feet back into school the pendulum always shifts and the excitement outweighs everything else. August brings about a bonus round of New Year’s resolutions for educators, when we can reflect on our ideals and renew our commitment to children. It’s amazing how much positive energy comes with a charged battery.
Growing up, I would often hear women refer to themselves as “football widows.” It never resonated with me, since college football was more of a lifestyle than a hobby in my family. My mother and grandmothers and aunts were very much alive and present on game days, cursing and screaming throughout every play. In fact, when I look back, the whole world seemed a few ticks away from a heart attack, regardless of gender. So what about widowers? They seemed just as likely.
The women I knew simply did not fit into the punchline of the sports widow jokes, therefore I never expected to either.
And I haven’t. Almost.
This week, I became a “Camaro Widow.”
To be honest, I don’t mind. Instead of losing a husband, I feel like I’ve gained a co-wife. She is so happy to be rubbed down with wax while Clark blares ’80s music in the garage, leaving me free to write or read or even mop if goddammit that’s what I want to do upstairs. (NOTE: mopping is not what I ever want to do upstairs.)