Saturday, February 21, 2009

Feeling Nostalgic Today

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today. It's the big 41 :o)
I had a good morning - headed down to the waterfront for an 8am run with the group - and we've got a decent sized group this year - 97 people, I think. After some dynamic warm-ups, the coaches did some talking and then my mentor Jeb got up to make an announcement and the next thing I knew, everyone was singing Happy Birthday and presenting me with a most yummilicious cupcake, flaming candle and all. What a great way to start the run! We ran for 65 minutes and when we were done, Kat (from last year's team) arrived to let me try out her bike she is trying to sell. First she and Michelle and I went to Besaw's for breakfast. Did I use the word yummilicious already? Hm... I have to use it again. I had a double egg over easy sandwich with prosciutto and avacado and red peppers on a spectacular bun...what a way to replenish after a run!!

Kat and I headed over to the Athlete's Lounge to see if someone could take a look at the me on the bike and let me know if it was a decent fit and IT WAS! I might just have a new bike! I'm going to ride a couple more bikes this week and then probably take a ride out to Sauvie Island on her bike to see if I like her. She's a 2006 Fugi Team Pro Carbon Fiber road bike named Cadence. Can you rename a bike? I'm not sure. I wouldn't rename a two year old dog if I adopted one. Hmmm.

So, 41. For some reason it has hit me harder than 40. I'm feeling rather teary today. I thought I was just being foolish but I think I'm just being a bit nostalgic. I pulled out a very old (as in 26 years old) photo album of the summer I spent in Belize on a missions trip. We helped build a clinic in a very poor section of Belize. A much needed medical facility - as I remember the only hospital even remotely close by was a British Army hospital that I don't believe the general masses had access to.

We spent several weeks in Florida in "boot camp" first...getting used to the heat, the work, learning the skills we would need.
In this last picture I am on my way to bathe - in the lake - I look like I'm telling one of my many far fetched stories that I became known for that Summer - this one was probably me telling the photographer about how far down I had to dive to touch the alligator's nose before wrestling it during my last bath.
Seriously...there definitely were gators in there...but I didn't really touch one ;o)
My hair is the exact same cut right now...color, too. I think I feel exactly like I did that summer. I'm still 15 inside.

Let's go back up to the top: The first pic brings back such feelings of belonging and love and fun we would have after a very long day of tough tough labor. We were so happy - dirty and tired and happy.

I was definitely a rebel in the group. In picture 4, I had gathered the girls in a moment of solidarity against The Man (meaning our mid-20 "adults" that were in charge of us kids). In a desperate act of defiance against the rule of only 4 squares of TP per person per latrine outing, we took a day's worth of toilet paper and gave ourselves playboy bunny neckties.

In picture 6 you can see me on KP duty. I was either cooking dinner or boiling the crotchrot out of someone's underwear. Notice the convenience of the latrine to the kitchen facililities -ick!
One of the hardest things for me about that Summer was not being able to share our leftover food with the hungry locals. Heartbreaking.

In picture 12 you see my favorite pasttime - eating in the river. I mean...really...never has a pineapple or a mango tasted so incredible as when you are eating it straight from the source, in the river, with the juices running down your body and into the water. The best part of this picture, though, is Lise shaving her legs right next to us as we ate!!!

I've got much more to say about this trip down memory lane, but will have to save it for tomorrow, because we are off for more celebration of my oldness ;o)


Kelly Olexa said...

Honey PUHLEEEZZ you are just getting started!!! 41- pshaw!! You are a true spice girl and looking SMOKIN!!! ;-)

Julie said...

Thanks Kelly :O)

Anonymous said...

Wow Julie what an experience!!! I feel so sheltered....I never got off the farm :(

thanks for sharing that and Kelly is right...41 is nuthin'!!!! Especially when you don't look OR act your age - THAT is the key!!!!

And being the sweet, sweet age of 12, I know what I'm talking about!!


Anna with Revolution said...

Happy BIrthday Special Friend!!! I will be thinking of you and sending wishes for all your dreams to come true for 41~ YOU DA BOMB MOM IF I EVER KNEW ONE!!

Shellene said...

Happy Birthday to you! I hope you had a great celebration!