Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Four Sherpas

A few Sundays back, Deborah and I laid on the floor watching TV and generally trying not to move. It was our chance to be ONE together.

Of course there's always an occasional, "Stop it right now!," mixed in and directed at the kids.

Anyway, we watch 5 episodes of "Everest - Beyond the Limit" and one episode of "Disaster on K2" or something like that. It started a whole mountaineering fascination around our house.

First and foremost, we both agreed that if we see Everest and/or K2 at 28 or 29,000 feet, we will be in an airplane. Call us wimps, but "dying to get there" is only an expression in this household.

Reading about high-altitude mountaineering on the other hand is absolutely allowed. So I read Into Thin Air, No Way Down, and One Mountain Thousand Summits. Deborah had already read Into Thin Air, but she did buy and read Touching The Void and Regions of the Heart. Deborah is a prolific reader. At any one time, she is reading 4 or 5 works of nonfiction, and our house is a regular stop for UPS to deliver books from But I digress...

Today, Deborah's watching a show about a couple that managed to get off a trail and lost in the wilderness for 4 days before being rescued, and we started talking about our goal of climbing a 14er. I assured Deborah that we won't get lost on the trail and we will be safe.

She said, "Damn right we won't. We're going to have 4 sherpas carrying maps, cell phones, gps devices, homing beacons, gallons of water, food, medicine, cameras, and Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Princess, work?

An interesting start to 2011...

I was supposed to do a post about my running and climbing plans in 2011 since this is the year that I turn 50...

But as we welcomed the new year, I became sick. After about a week of fever in January, I decided that I needed to get up and move around to get better. The next day, I was in the hospital with an atypical pneumonia. I've never been that sick in my life. I've considered myself a runner for years now, and not being able to breathe was a new and frightening feeling. It took awhile, but by February I was getting better, and in mid-February, I was able to begin easy, like 10 minute, cardio workouts. In March, I was able to begin running slowly on a treadmill. I still haven't ventured out onto the roads or trails, but I am slowly ramping up the running and I will be running at least a couple of "races" this year.

Deborah had also been sick basically since the wedding--one sinus infection after another. Multiple doctors had looked at her, and multiple doctors had prescribed multiple antibiotics. January through February she didn't really get better. Just when we thought she was getting better in March, Deborah had another relapse. We're going to yet another doctor to see if we can learn what's going on. Deborah and I have a number of activities planned in 2011--working out, climbing, sex, etc.--so we both need our health.

Through all of the adult illness, the kids were rock solid. Never a cough, hiccup, broken limb, or anything. For that, Deborah and I are extremely thankful. Extremely!

During 2010, we decided that Deborah needed a new car. The old 2000 Neon with 104,000 miles, and breathtakingly attractive hail damage, was nearing the end of its useful days. Every time I got in the car, the Neon would groan. At the end of February, it was time to car shop, and Deborah picked a 2011 Ford Escape.

Deborah's been so sick that I bet she hasn't put 100 miles on her "escape" since we bought it. It does look good in the garage though, and she has been able to talk to it a few times. The car has the SYNC system, so most of the features are voice activated. Unlike kids, it's fun to talk to a car and have it respond. I talk till I'm blue to the kids, but the response is never quite what I intended. Does that change at some point?

After we had purchased Deborah's "escape" from the dealer, I picked up Lexie, Justin, and Jarrod, and we drove home in the "old" Expedition while mom cruised in her escape. One of the boys asked how much the car cost, and I explained that it was expensive, so now I had to go back to work to earn money for their college education.

Lexie said, "But I don't want to go to college."

I replied, "Lexie, you mean that you don't want to go to college to become a doctor like Dr. G on TV." (Note: Dr. G is a medical examiner with a reality show that explains autopsies and the search for a cause of death. It might seem kind of a weird show to watch, but it is very interesting and Lexie likes it.)

Lexie thought about it for a minute and said, "Where does a princess go to learn how not to work?"