I Get What I Need


It has been a busy and full holiday weekend.

Friday was the last day my son was a first grader. Onward and upward. It has been a long school year. Mounds of paper came home. Projects, art work, homework, knick knacks and doo dads and pipe cleaner, construction paper and googly eyes and magnifying glasses and photos. We went through all of it. A good bit of it has to go, there’s just no room or reason to keep every single paper. But some is quite beautiful, entertaining and illustrative, and I will have to make room. One cannot throw away their son’s journal that includes details about a fun Thanksgiving, a weekend where the child went to the playground and recounted it fondly, and especially, that alien attack at the school in March. Must have missed the note home about that incident.

Saturday was jam-packed. The kid didn’t pass another swim class and will be forced to take it with peers at camp this summer. Hoping this will make a big difference, he really needs to learn and just isn’t getting it, and it’s been a long time to pay for classes. It’s not the instructor’s fault. I watch. He’s trying. He’s just not there yet. That’s ok.

We went to the first big Greek festival of the season with my Mom, which was enjoyable. I miss going to festivals at night and the dancing and revelry, but Mom and the little kid aren’t much up for late-night revelry. Rocky River’s festival is next, in June. Then the Broadview Heights one, which really has the best food. We never seem to make it over to the East side’s festival anymore. The lines are always so long, and so is the drive, and it’s not enjoyable. I remember going as a family to the huge festival in Columbus every year. There is a famous story about how, one day, we were there so long, back in the days when I was young and ran track and had a fantastic metabolism that kept me under 100 pounds, where I ate six quarter-chicken dinners throughout the day. That would be ill-advised in many respects these days.

I spent yesterday with friends, which is always a great way to spend a gorgeous, leisurely day, in the company of people with whom you can say or do just about anything and they like you anyway.

In the evening, I started to break in my new running shoes, with a 4-mile interval deal, mostly walking but jogging about a mile and a half. It was more contemplative than exercise.

Oh yeah – after almost a full year of daily, excruciating pain, I have managed, in about a 48-hour period, to almost completely cure my plantar fasciitis. This is basically a miracle, a gift, and all the other words you could use to describe something awesome. I am in terrible, terrible cardio shape, as I have only been able to run about once a month all winter due to foot pain, and have not yet (re-)adjusted to running in hot, humid weather, and there is a race next weekend. So my time will be terrible, but I DO NOT CARE, BECAUSE I CAN WALK ALMOST COMPLETELY WITHOUT PAIN. I will be doing these particular exercises that cured this problem virtually overnight basically every fucking day from now on, thank you. I’m hoping to spend June getting into better running shape the remainder of the races I plan to do, including a long race that ends with beer, and the Put-In-Bay 5K, which I like to do every year.

Today I went to my home town of Mansfield to say goodbye to my favorite cousin. We’re close in age and she was more like a sister growing up than a cousin, but we didn’t spend as much time together as we could – or perhaps should have. We’ve gotten very close over the last several years and I feel bad I didn’t know she was just as awesome as she actually is until we were both the age we are now, and now she is leaving, moving to another state very far away. I don’t see my own, real sister more than once or twice a year; that’s what moving to another state typically means in a family without a lot of money for travel. But hopefully she will be back here on occasion, or I will find a way to be out there, because she is lovely and I will miss her.

She was the last place I had to stay when coming to town. Now if I come in for events like funerals or reunions, I will have to get a hotel. Which is fine. The city is so changed from when I lived there. The small parts are smaller with many more vacant houses. The run-down areas are more run-down. The commercialized areas are so generic as to be an unrecognizable Anytown, with no soul or meaning.

I hardly recognized the field on which I used to march every Friday as part of the band, screaming my lungs out at football games, my Mom waiting outside to pick me up right outside the stadium so we could rush me home in time for us to watch Miami Vice.

I sat in the sun and read a book today after I got home, and watched the cicadas flying around. It’s all so weird. I cooked some rice in a pot that belonged to my cousin.

Things change slowly. But they are changing.


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