How to Grow Old

Today is my grandpa’s 91st birthday.  91 years old.  That is amazing.  And he’s in relatively good health too.  He’s still fairly active, has no major health issues, and has a pretty great life.  Of course, we joke that he has “Old Man Disease,” which is what happens when you decide that you no longer care what others think and just say whatever is on your mind, but hey, when you live that long, it’s allowed.   He’s definitely not a cranky old guy – he’s usually in a great mood.  He just doesn’t care to sugar coat things anymore.  Fair enough.

I look at him and I wonder how I can stay healthy enough to live that long.  Some of it is just good genetics, of course.  And I can only hope that those have transferred to me.  He has siblings with severe diabetes issues related to their weight and I’m sure seeing that helps him stay on track.  He’s kept reasonably trim his whole life, though I can’t say that he’s the sort to deprive himself.  He’s got incredible portion control.  There are always cookies in their house, and he goes to the freezer to get one or two in the afternoon.  I would be constantly filled with cookies if that were my house.

He’s also managed to stay fairly active and until my grandmother was injured in a drunk driving accident (the other driver, not her), the two of them would go on long walks together.  Now he usually goes alone, but it’s not as often. Either way though, the activity was definitely a way that he kept healthy.  He grew up on a farm and has always loved to be outdoors.

Sometimes, longevity is just luck, especially when you hear about all of these centenarians who have made it as long as they have while smoking a pack a day.  But it’s worthwhile to find people who have lived many, many decades and find out what they did to get there.

Holiday Fun

So all in all, this holiday week was a lot of fun.  The promised snow storm never materialized, which was a bit of a bummer, but probably for the best, considering all of the people who had to travel.

As always, we all went overboard with the gifting.  Adorably, my father themed my mother’s gifts towards her walking – the two of them walked three half marathons this year and are planning to go for runDisney’s Coast to Coast AND Dumbo Double Dare.  Dad’s significantly taller than Mom, so he strolls along while she power walks.  It’s kind of unfair, but definitely good for both of them.

I got a lot of fun new gear.  I got a new Sparkle Skirt from my sister, a tri outfit (yikes!) and a jacket from my Mom and a new Garmin 610 from my Dad!  I had to promise him to not be upset if I didn’t use it for the marathon.  It looks cool, but I won’t have a chance to really get used to it before the race, and we all know the rules – nothing new on race day.  But!  As soon as I’m done with the race, I’ll start getting used to it.  I’m currently using the 305, and the 610 is much more streamlined.  And he got me one in pretty colors too.  I’ll have a review of it coming up in a couple of weeks, I’m sure.

Unfortunately, we’ve also been sharing around some illness this holiday.  Mom’s had a sinus infection and Dad’s got a pretty bad virus.  As of this writing, I’m healthy so far, but figure that the odds are good I’ll get it too.   I figure as long as I’m healthy for the race, that’s all that matters.  But I spent the weekend washing my hands as much as possible.

It was great to see everyone.  My grandparents are in their late 80’s and early 90’s, and my aunt has terminal cancer, so the odds are good that this was our last Christmas all together.  I’m glad we made it a great one.

Santa Paws

Holidailies Prompt: Pets and the holidays – share your stories

I think anyone who has pets will understand this statement.  When I go back to my hometown at Christmas, one of the things I most look forward to is hanging out with the dogs.  I don’t have dogs right now, due to cost and lifestyle (and the fact that the cats would then murder me in my sleep), but I love them dearly and miss having them around.  So getting to spend a week at my parents’ house with three giant fur beasts is amazing.  I’m pretty sure only one of them recognizes me, as the other two didn’t come into the family until I moved 13 hours away, but they’re all still fun to hang out with.

And of course, I get to visit with my nephew dog and my brand new niece dog.  FIVE DOGS.  It’s the best party ever.

I’m not sure what my cats think of Christmas.  They definitely like sleeping on the nice soft tree skirt underneath the tree.  I don’t think Cadu has climbed the tree yet this year – at least I haven’t noticed any fallen ornaments.  My poor tree is nearly ten years old and is being replaced after this year because one of the branches is hanging on very precariously.  One year, Cadu decided that he was going to sleep in the tree on that branch.  I don’t understand how this was comfortable for him in any way, but he seemed to enjoy it.

And to those of you who say “I can’t believe you let your cat do that,” clearly you don’t have cats.  They do pretty much what they want to do when they want to do it.  Unless I put a floor to ceiling barrier around the tree, the cats will get to it.  And honestly, they could probably figure out how to thwart the barrier too.  They’re crafty little buggers.


Vacation almost over. Sad.

So today is my last full day of Christmas vacation.  Tomorrow I fly home.  Or at least, I’m planning to.  I’m a bit apprehensive with the new travel restrictions (though I’m flying in the U.S. only, so it might not be bad) and the fact that the airport was partially flooded due to a water main break.  Not a good thing.

But overall, the trip has been a lot of fun.  I’m pretty sure I’ve gained five pounds, and I barely got any running in at all.  I’m hoping that doesn’t hurt my half marathon training.  I’ve still got about 10 weeks though, so as long as I stick to it, I should be fine.  And hopefully the running helps me take off those five pounds (or more – I’m choosing to not look).

Presents I gave were a success, I think, and I got some pretty fun gifts as well – including a Notre Dame Snuggie.  My mom knows what I like.  I will have to find some time to use it.  I wonder what my coworkers would think if I brought it into the office.  It is pretty cold in there after all.

09-09-09! Celebrate

This morning, a co-worker ran through the office yelling “It’s 9:09 on 9/9/09!”  Clearly, she was overcaffeinated.  Or crazy.  One or the other.  She was also not amused when a fellow co-worker responded, “No it’s not.  It’s 9:10.”

I’m having trouble grasping the fact that it’s September.  (And that I’ve lived here for two years – yikes.)  I’m not sure where the summer went.  Especially August. 

Oh wait.  August was the month of crazy.  My sister came to visit, and we went to museums and IKEA and ate more food than two girls should eat.  The following weekend was the celebrated Merellowicz wedding, which was probably the cutest wedding I’ve ever been to.  Sorry, other brides.  Amy’s happy bouncing during the service trumps all.  A few days after that, my parents arrived for touristing, restauranting, and football watching (Go Irish!).

And that brings us to now.  September should hopefully be a quiet month.  A lazy month.  A month of detoxing from the eating that occurred in the preceeding month.  I’m running the Army Ten Miler the first weekend of October, so I guess September will be a month of much running.  Thankfully, the weather is finally cooling off.  I don’t know how people in tropical climates manage to become runners.  They must be crazy.  Or maybe they run with portable air conditioners.  The added weight increases the benefits of the workout, after all.