Tag Archives: summer

at the end of the day you’re another day older

Ryan:
Do you remember the 6 o’clock sun?  Just after dinner.  A drum pushing down on my shoulders and against my full stomach.  We were running sets for the 8th hour that day.  That sun was like a knife–piercing as it set, going to bed for the night.  Me.  Longing to go to bed with it.  But when there was light there was drill.  And drumming.  And you standing there, always ready to catch me if I fell…or needed a hand up after an additional ten pushups.

I was thinking about it today as I watched the sun set over the soccer field–the men out there without their shirts enjoying the last few days of warmth.  I couldn’t help but wonder if they felt the piercing too.

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Poland, place of rest

I’ve been asked to comment on my travels abroad. So here it is. Sorry for the delay Mr. Parkinson.

First of all, why Poland?
Well, my friend Elizabeth had been suggesting I come visit her in Paris for a number of months. But as the year went on time and money began to dwindle and I’d brushed it off. Unfortunately, after sitting around with my parents and a bottle of wine (a bottle? make that 2) sometime back in the spring I started to get the travel bug. Liz said, “pick the place. I’ll meet you there.” Poland: relatively inexpensive, holy, and wouldn’t be mobbed by beach-crazed Americans. Poland it was.

I arrived a few hours late and was met at the airport by my friend Jake, who I’d met a few months earlier in Pennsylvania at the Theology of the Body course. He was a bit confused as to where my luggage was–as was I. Amsterdam, supposedly. My layover there had been interesting, it was the one place in the world where my limited Dutch skillz came in handy. Everything was also in English as well, so really, Dutch continues to be a useless language. Lekker!

I met the travel-weary Elizabeth at the hostel and we spent the evening eating perogies in Old Town Warsaw.

After our visit with the very helpful reference librarian, we took a few moments to show our apreciation.

Day 2 we ventured to the library to attempt to find out where Liz would go to do family research. The reference librarian was VERY helpful, despite the old school computer catalogs and our lack of Polish.

Still not quite sure what this cake actually was...we dedcided coconut and goodness.

The afternoons (this one being no exception) were often spent going to mass and having a cappuccino. Jake drove us to Krakow via Częstochowa–in which lies the Black Madonna and Polish National Shrine. This place is a big deal, but I felt completely stupid as I 1) don’t speak Polish and 2) don’t really know anything about the Black Madonna. But, I was able to stand about 20 feet from her for mass–which I presume has some sort of special graces attached to it.

Day 3 was spent milling around the Old Town of Krakow. Eating the usual picnic lunch (large pretzel looking things, cheese, fruit), shopping and mass. On this particular day I made friends with the cute security guard at the Cathedral, who snuck me into the sanctuary for free to pray before mass. It is a good thing he didn’t ask for my number because my grandma made it very clear I was not to fall in love with a Polish boy and get married. Whew. Close call.

Day 5. Sunday. Papal Tour.
Jake had told us to catch a train to Wadowice, birth place of Karol Wojtyla, and on the route back we’d also be able to stop at the convent of St. Faustina. So Liz and I ventured to the train station about 40 minutes before the scheduled departure (the train station was across the street). Despite our best efforts at Polish and pointing at the printed email from Jake, the ticket ladies kept telling us to go “Hall” “down there” “left!” After about 5 tries to buy tickets we were eventually brought to a tiny office where we bought official PAPAL TRAIN tickets. And once on the platform this disneyworld ride pulled up:

more to come..

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What’s got 2 thumbs and rocks mile 12?

This girl.

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Watch: “watch out”. Warning: “one has been spotted”.

A little known fact about this girl: when I was little I was deathly afraid of storms. I remember spending a lot of time hiding out with mom and dad and Chris in our unfinished basement and I’m still unsure if it was because it stormed a lot when we were young, or because it was the only thing that could keep me sane during rain.

Yesterday, during a Scrubsfest, the sirens began to sound to alert our little town that tornadoes were eminent. Now, I’m an adult and all, and I’m over that whole deathly-afraid -of-storms thing, but there is still this eeriness that looms. It makes my heart beat fast and my breathing become short. Normally I’d stand outside and watch as the clouds made their way toward us, but being in a new place and having heard that sightings had occurred in towns within 10 miles we decided to descend to the basement. Sandy could tell I was nervous.

Knowing that the rain was to hit us a few minutes after 8pm we shut the windows, and JUST as it started to downpour we made our way to the laundry room…a super creepy place in the underbelly of our building. Halfway down the stairs I worried about the possibility of the lights going out–which would leave us in the creepy basement in the dark. “Should we get a flashlight?” “No,” Sandy said. “Keep going!”

So, we spent the next half-hour chatting with friends from the washing machines. Luckily the power didn’t go out…because then we also would have been without a wireless signal. This was the result.

Hiding from the storms!
Luckily, we are still alive.

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“I have both those things!”

I had a miserable day yesterday due to an error (that was wholly mine) that I made at work.  I was frustrated and embarrassed and knowing that Jake and I had plans for the evening, I sent him a message: “Bad day.  I need you and tiny cakes.”

At 5pm the city was lively and warm and we talked some three miles for cupcakes and ice cold skim milk.  There was also a beer stop somewhere in the walk too.  Amid the joy of it all the knot in my stomach untangled and things were back to good.  We’re so city.

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still quaking

I made the executive decision to sleep with the window open last night and I distinctly remember waking up a number of times in a state of bliss at the feel of the breeze and the sound to the outdoors in my bedroom.

At one point, somewhere around 4:45 am I woke up to the feeling of my bed shaking. My immediate thought was that the wind had pushed the bed, which juts out into the center of the room. As I became more lucid I realized what a ridiculous idea this was. Perhaps someone had pushed the bed…wait…I’m the only one who sleeps in my bed. Was someone working on the house? Was there a need to use a jackhammer at 4am? That too was a dumb idea. Perhaps it was an earthquake? I eventually fell back asleep and didn’t think about it again until a few minutes ago, when one of my coworkers mentioned “This Morning’s Earthquake.”

An earthquake in Illinois, eh? I’m not crazy. I actually find it quite exciting.
I have to admit that I’m glad I hadn’t decided to sleep on the couch. The whole world might have imploded.

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road trip faux pas

Karen and I were driving to Madison to meet Stephanie for a girls weekend hidden away in a bed&breakfast.  We’d left late morning after packing the car in the pouring rain.  I had gotten up early to get my long-run out of the way before the weekend and, as a result, asked Karen to drive so that I might catch up on sleep.  We’d driven all of a mile on the highway when the wiper in front of Karen started malfunctioning.  Rather than making a swipe straight across the windshield, the blade itself turned 90 degrees and reluctantly scooted against the surface. This was bad, considering all the rain, but acceptable.  We made grand plans of exiting at the next ramp to try to fix it.

Pulling off the highway, we coasting to keep everything intact–and what are the chances?–were followed by a semi.  It was then that the wiper went from broken to gone.  It flew off suddenly causing both of us to shriek for a moment.  Being rational, I knew it couldn’t be too far away and jumped out of the car once it came to a stop on the shoulder.  I spotted something a good 50 yards behind and began running toward it.  It must have appeared I was also running straight at the now-parked semi.  I’m sure the driver was wondering what the deal was with the crazy girls running at him in the pouring rain….

What I had thought was my wiper blade actually wasn’t.  So we continued to run around like headless chickens and eventually found it–completely fine except for the fact that it wasn’t connected to my car.  The wiper didn’t seem to have any intention of snapping back on.  Bad news.  I then remembered the red electrical tape in my glove box.   Trying to keep the area dry with paper towels I’d stolen from the dorm, we jimmy-rigged the wiper back on and said a prayer hoping it would stay through the abuse of the rain.  We have a lot of good ideas.

The red tape held and we laughed about it as soon as we returned to the car.  The rain stopped within an hour or so, giving the wet electrical tape the opportunity to stay intact.  I drove.  The rest of the way.

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