This morning, I got up and went to swim practice at 5:30 am. It was not easy to get up. Every muscle and joint in my body screamed at me to stay in bed. I spent 9 hours yesterday building the final 7 flights of the Jim LaFortune memorial groover. I then came home to a lawn that desperately needed cutting with rain in the forecast for today. A teenaged boy also needed nutritional food for a track meet that was re-scheduled from a rain out last week. It was well after my usual bedtime that I finally got into the shower, and the alarm seemed to go off the minute my head hit the pillow. It was not easy to get up.

John was here for the weekend. His old dog travels with him, and it is not easy on her. We went for a great early season mountain bike ride on Moscow Mountain, and he gave me my first very patient lesson in boat trailer backing. I loathe backing a boat trailer. It is not intuitive, it is not easy, but I am starting to get the hang of it. I did not want to waste precious time together dealing with boats and trailers…but I could not have done it without his help.  Coordinating 2 separate lives in 2 states, in different time zones isn’t easy. Shared electronic calendars help, but making decisions about how to spend and maximize time together requires good communication. It hurts every Sunday that either he or I drive away. Long distance relationships are never easy.

I knew when the weekend unfolded sunny that we would have ideal weather for the Rastra build on Sunday. I also knew that when the weather turns nice, people get busy with other things. Bringing in enough volunteers on a sunny day as the school year is coming to a close is difficult. Building with Rastra with a skeleton crew is also tough. Each 150# block has to be unloaded from the pallet, cut to size, and then lifted into place. Rebar has to be cut and bent to fit. Foam gets squirted between the layers after everything is assured to be plumb, level and square. Power saws can help with the cutting, but lifting, carrying, placing, and tilting for foam requires 2 people on each block. 4 big strong guys…..and me. I got to use the power tools, but I also had to lift my end of the 150# block to get it to the cutting area. I emerged from the build sweaty, sore, bloody, and tired. It was not easy, nor was coming home to yet more work.

Jasper and I eat really well. This weekend we had rhubarb crisp from the garden, eggs from local chickens, and fresh veggies with homemade humus. Whatever I can’t grow in my yard, I try to buy as local as I can. Last night, beat from a day of working outside, I threw together Hog Heaven sausage, local eggs and fresh veggies for an incredible scramble, and rolled it all up in Virginia’s tortillas. I like knowing the person who makes my sausage, the folks that gather my eggs, and there is nothing like fresh tortillas. It can’t be easy to make sausage or tortillas that tasty, and I appreciate that laying an egg must not be easy either….which is why chickens take a break in the winter months.

I was glad I went swimming this morning, my body is actually less sore than it would have been had I not. My heart keeps telling me I am SOOO lucky to have John in my life, no matter what geographical distance separates us. The groover building looks great, even in its unfinished state. I am thrilled to be allowed, as a small girl, the opportunity to build next to the big guys. Jasper is currently fueled by home cooked fresh food, he should do well in his difficult distance events. In a fit of exhausted “will this ever be done?” fussiness yesterday, I told Tom that life would have been a whole lot easier if Jim just hadn’t died. My life would have been easier…but would it have been this rich? That is one of those “what if” questions that doesn’t have an answer, and is really not worth contemplating.

In parting, folks often say, “Take it easy.” But is living easy really living well? I think human beings are basically lazy. We seek the path of least resistance, which probably goes back to a mammalian need to conserve energy. I’m not sure what motivates us to continue striving for better, for self-improvement, for building of relationship and community. Jim’s favorite song in the latter part of his life was “Better Man” by Keb Mo. That drive keeps cancer patients seeking new treatments, fuels Jasper through his calculus homework, causes organic farmers to do manual pest control, got us through the last 2 flights of Rastra yesterday….and gets me up in the morning. So, in parting, “Don’t take it easy, take it well. Seize the day.”


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