Working Out for Thanksgiving

Holidays are for fitness.

While we’re in Chicago for Thanksgiving, the kids and I have signed up, along with cousins and aunts and uncles, for a TurkeyDay-5K. A couple of years ago, we ran the Coogan’s Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks Run for another holiday, St. Patrick’s Day.

That was fun. That March morning was freezing, and no one wanted to get out of bed. But we ran any way. I was damned if I was going to go it alone. I was so proud of myself, because I ran (didn’t walk) the whole way. I aimed for a 13-minute mile.

I run slowly enough to snap pictures as I go. On today’s run, this sidewalk art made me smile. Big Bird Lives!

That’s right. I run in the slow lane. Every one passes me, 89-year olds and toddlers alike. I don’t care. As they say, I’m lapping every one who’s still sitting home on the couch.

Besides, I’m fixing to have a big dinner Thanksgiving night, which includes dessert. And I’m going to be eating my meal slowly too.

Family meals and family fitness should be savored.

When I work out the day before, of, or after a holiday, I feel I can eat or drink anything I want. Guilt-free and happy! That’s what I run for.

Another Ghost (Ranch) Story

Ghost Ranch

On the way out of Ghost Ranch, we explored the Agape Center, a bright, meditative room.

In the center of the circular room, memorial symbols of a gentleman who had died were spread around the table. In the center, taped to a candle, was the gent’s quote, something like: “When I die, dry your tears before the sun sets and replace the tears with happy memories for the sunrise.”

My sister-in-law, E., drove us out of Ghost Ranch towards Abibuque on the Old Taos Highway. We talked about my father-in-law, our husbands’ father, Taid, who had died about five years ago. E. said she was glad that Taid, a Welsh name for father, had visited New Mexico from New York years back. She had always been glad to see him, she said.

At that moment, E.’s phone buzzed with an incoming text. “See who it is, please,” she said, handing me her phone.

I flipped open her phone and no one was there — only the image of Taid, my father-in-law.

Turns out my nephew had seen a big oil portrait of his grandfather and texted the picture of Taid, whom we were just talking about, to his mother’s phone.

We felt it was synchronicity — a sign of the importance of family and father, maybe of travel, most definitely, a sign of happy memories and not tears, dried before the sunset.