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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Flying in the storm

I have been glued to my television watching the ripple effects from  the Charlottesville, VA incident. I really want to say murder because a beautiful young woman was killed. and yes, she is not the first beautiful young person killed in the battle between oppression and independence. Sadly, she is not and probably will not be the last.

When does it end? When do we recognize each other as equals? When does it go beyond skin color, religion, and gender? Or does it ever? Will there always be someone who is superior just because of some act of nature?

This is exhausting. It is exhausting for those of us who are not idly sitting on our hands keeping score. It is exhausting for those of us who choose to answer the tough questions when we are asked or strive to create a dialogue to end this renewed level of blatant hatred. I, myself do not like everyone. I will always respect that person because all humans deserve respect. That does not mean that I want to go shopping with you. (And for the record, the reason I do not like certain people has nothing to do with their skin color, religion, or gender. I just don't like their work ethics, behavior, or something like that).

Everyone please check your privilege. Your privilege to look away, to be silent, to remain uniformed, to do whatever it is that you can do without being questioned. We all don't have that luxury. Living our authentic selves is a right. No one should be forced to submit to a life of servitude to an almighty race. Life is hard enough as it is.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Flying with the ark

I don't know about you, but I really did not think too hard about Noah and the ark. I mean, I have heard the story a million times. I may not get all of the details right, but get the gist. I am not sure I ever considered it to be an actual story or just a fable to prove a point. I really did not think about it much.

Until my mother decided that she wanted to go see the Ark Encounter. I had no idea what that was and I was calling it the Ark Explosion because I, well I just could not remember the actual name. So one Friday my sister, my mom, and I trekked to a tiny town in Kentucky to see the ark.

I had no idea what was in store for us even though almost everyone we spoke to said it was an awesome experience. We were told that we could spend the entire day there. And I just could not wrap my mind around that. I mean the ark was just a boat load of animals, right?

That thing is huge. The measurements were taken directly out of the bible (something that I missed in my years of Sunday school). And Noah and his family lived on it for about a year. Yes, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights but they had to wait for the water to subside before that could actually live on the land.

Inside the ark there are detailed explanations about how the animals were fed, how waste was removed, how fresh water was obtained, and how the food was grown. It was a complete bio-system (or whatever it is called, self contained ecosystem).

One of the best parts for me was that there are scientific explanations on how things may have happened and not the because God said so defense. The creationist view was placed beside the evolutionist view which invited the reader to draw independent conclusions.

There were many different religious sects there. I am no authority , but I saw people who could be Mormon, Amish, Mennonite, Pennsylvania Dutch, and whatever other brand there is. (I say that because of their appearance-bonnets, long dresses with aprons, suspenders, hats, and other traditional type clothing). I am sure there were many others that do not differentiate themselves by clothing.

It was an experience worth having. Just the magnificence of the ark and all of the people who flocked to see it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Flying back in the saddle

I did it. I finally got back on my bike. I have not been on my bike in about four or five years. It was during my last triathlon. Now that I am not running, I had to figure something else out. so I reached out to my hair stylist (when I can afford her), and elite cyclist friend for advice. Yes, I had completed three triathlons, but truth be told I really did not know how to ride my bike.

That changed a bit on Sunday. My hair stylist elite cyclist friend took me under her wing. First I took my bike to her and her husband's shop. There it got new tires (a few of the spokes in the previous ones broke), new handbrake configuration, new computer, new tape on the handle bars with gel, and a reflector light in the back. I also now own a helmet that did not come from a low end department store. Next are new pedals, shoes, and a cassette (apparently mine was damaged and I am blaming that on the move).

Now I have an totally upgraded bike that I was terrified to ride. I was terrified for a few reasons. One, I had not been on my bike in ages. Two, I was not sure how fast/far I could go. Three, I was not sure I could remember how to clip/unclip (and I wasn't that good before). Four, it was a no drop group ride and I did not want to be holding everyone else up.

I almost bailed on the ride for all of those reasons. Then I realized that I had to start (again) somewhere and the first time back on the bike would be the first time no matter when I did it. So I did it. Only my hair stylist elite cyclist friend showed up so I got one-on-one lessons on how to ride. I learned the correct hand placement on the handle bars, how to move my body to release the muscle soreness, and when to start unclipping before a stop.

I still have a lot to learn, but I successfully rode 27 and change miles. It was slow, but for a first ride it was amazing. I now fully believe that a century ride is doable and another sprint triathlon is definitely in the plans for next year.

I am even more impressed that I can walk. Full disclosure: I did got to restorative yoga Sunday night instead of my usual intense deep slow flow. I needed gentle hip flexor hamstring love.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Flying while winning

same names
I won this month. I won a lot. First I won the Savannah Yoga Center June check in. The prize for that was the mat that I had been stalking for a few months. I also won some essential oils, the very oils that I was running out of. Then I won more oils in another challenge.

However the best prize was meeting another same name. Yes, I finally met another Doretha. I have about 30 of them as Facebook friends but I had never ever in my life met one. I have spoken to one on the phone, but I finally met one! The meeting was not planned. It probably should have been, but it wasn't. It was probably sweeter because it wasn't. It was certainly more of a surprise. And I like surprises most of the time.

I was up, dressed and headed to yoga when she called. And of course meeting a same name took precedence. So I changed clothes and off I went. We met at Denny's because I love the pancakes there and I cannot make pancakes in spite of my many attempts. Funny, I have made beautiful airy soufflés, but never one decent pancake.

Anyway, it turns out that we have a lot in common. We are both Army veterans. We both lived in Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. We both have knee issues. We were both driving Jeeps (hers was a rental). We both want to feed hungry children. She has an organization that does that and I tried to pay off student lunch accounts.

We could have talked all day but she had a flight to catch. So we are planning a Doretha convention. Because that is the logical next step, right? It will be in the DC area because that is where she lives now and there is so much to do and eat there.

I'm excited. Growing up I never met anyone with my name. Now I have many opportunities. Isn't that what life is all about?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Flying with the least resistance

There are times when the path of least resistance is the route to choose. I do not take it often especially when I know that with a little more effort I can have a healthier/better outcome. But some days that little extra effort just isn't there. I had that kind of a day yesterday. I was already dragging because it was Monday and I was meeting a friend at 5:30am to walk six miles. I half prayed for rain. Half prayed because rain would have sent us to the gym and the last time I was at the gym it took eight miles to bet 10,000 steps on the elliptical. So not fun. Anyway it did not rain. So around the lake we went. Of course I always feel great after the fact. It is just the waking up and getting out of bed that is difficult.

Then I realized that my car registration had expired. I will never understand that why since I bought my car in February my tag expires in June. Yes, I realize that in Georgia your tag expires on your birthday. Not your birth month, your actual birth day. So mine expired on June 25th which was a Sunday. So I had a tag that was good from March until June. Why not make it expire June 25th of next year? And the kicker was that the tag I paid for in March was the same price of the tag I bought yesterday for an entire year.

Yes, it is my fault that I waited until the very last minute to get my tag. In my defense I was waiting to get the renewal form in the mail. And then I promptly forgot about it. Then I tried to do it online and there were just too many questions to answer that in my opinion had nothing to do with renewing my tag. So I went to the Chatham County Citizens Service Center. Nice complex.

I did not mention that I had many other things to do yesterday so heading out of the office was not a luxury I could afford. But I guess it was a luxury since I did it and did not get penalized and did not have to drive far and the line was not out of the door and it only cost $20 which I had and there are probably many other things about this that I should be thankful for. But yesterday just a jam packed stressful day.

So after leaving the Chatham County Citizens Service Center at around 3pm. I went to McDonald's. Yes, I did and I am not ashamed of it. I had a gift card. I bought it when I was heading to Alabama. Road trips are generally the only time I eat fast food due to the convenience. I needed convenience yesterday and I also could not make up my mind what I wanted to eat. and it was raining. And I was dragging from being up at 4:30am to walk six miles at 5:30am. And I had tons of work on my desk.

So I took the path of least resistance. Isn't that what it is there for? To allow us to have a break every now and then? To allow us to appreciate the times when we push forward with full force? The answer really doesn't matter. Not in the scheme of things in my life. I ate at McDonald's and that does not make my world come to an end.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Flying between the spaces

It has been a crazy month and it is almost over. In a few days it will be six months before Christmas. I know that because that day is my birthday: June 25th. It is hard to believe that I have not written here most of the month. I had no idea until I logged on today. I promise to do better.

Boris Smokrovic
I am still processing the fact that I have osteoarthritis in my right knee and I have been told to stop running. I have complied so far, not willingly though. I cried. I got mad. I got scared. And then I got busy. I increased my yoga practice. I am now walking with a co-worker, and I have gotten back in the pool. Next will be getting back on my bicycle. No, I am not training for a triathlon. I have done three already. I am just exploring different fitness options for my life. I cannot just sit still. I have nightmares about gaining so much weight that I am on the show My 600 pound life. Dramatic? Maybe just a tad, but real on some level in my mind right now.

Maybe I will discover that I have a talent for another sport. Maybe I will love something else as much as I love running. I am beginning to look forward to the journey of exploration. I hope I will find my tribe here so I can stop running back to Charleston. I know it is a process. I have moved from one place to another my entire life. But it is the in the meantime that is difficult.

Life is a process of things. I am learning to embrace the journey.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Flying with Brenda's new book

Brenda Smith who writes Thursday's Word has turned her blog into a devotional book!
When meeting Brenda C. Smith, for the first time, you will
soon discover this overjoyed, full of life Christian woman
“walks her talk.” Now, she “writes her talk” in her first
Christian devotional book, Thursday’s Word. This book
is a collection of Biblical devotionals and poetry from her
popular weekly blog, Thursday’s Word. Some book topics
are: “The Struggle is Real,” “Victory in the Cross,” “To Cut
with Scissors or Shears,” “It’s Time We Got Disturbed,” and
“Press Beyond the Crowd.” As you absorb Brenda Smith’s
devotionals and poetry, she will inspire you to “WALK
YOUR TALK” in your daily Christian life.

In case you didn't know
Brenda C. Smith attended Lipscomb University in Nashville Tennessee, majoring in Business Administration and Biblical Ethics. She was awarded a Bachelor of Religious Education degree from Tennessee Bible College, Cookeville, Tennessee. Brenda writes articles for several Christian publications. “My God, my family and my work have provided a vast array of subject matter for my writing,” remarks Brenda. She also conducts a ministry on Facebook called B.A.L.M. (Bereavement and Loss Ministry), helping others through the grieving process. Brenda’s Thursday’s Word blog is emailed weekly as an outreach to encourage people who are having struggles in life. Brenda resides in historic Franklin, Tennessee.