Sunday, April 26, 2009

Balls on the river

A wonderful spring day kayaking on the Housatonic. The sky is blue, the hawks circle in the sky eyeing fish below and occasionally diving for their prey then soaring on a draft and dropping the catch near its nest. Beavers can be seen paddling across then slipping into the brush obviously hiding from me.

Being early spring there is only the slightest amount of green and color, foliage that is. What I did notice on this trip was an abundance of balls. Yes balls!

There were soccer balls and softballs, kick balls with the paint and covering flaking off.

There were tennis balls and softballs that had obviously been floating for a while given that the core had expanded and the cover separated. There were balls that were on the shore and tucked into bushes.

All these balls in just a quarter mile stretch of the river surrounded only by meadows and countryside. Who knows how many lay further in either direction.

As I paddled I tried to think of where they might have come from. There is a playground and a school a couple towns away that is close to the river. That would be several miles up river. These balls have obviously traveled a while. Bobbing with the spring currents and snow melt or washing along with the spring floods; some becoming trapped in bushes and on the side as the water level dropped.

In the bends of the river there was a collection of balls along with all sorts of other trash you can imagine. The same rushing water that carried the balls also brought with it bottles and cans none of which were in a place I could pick up, if I happened to have something to carry them with. Some will wash away with the next big rain and some will settle into the mud and perhaps travel again with the next floods. They aren't much for recycling given the PCBs in the mud.

So it isn't just nature that is interesting to see along the river. The image of these balls playfully bobbing along and thinking of how they might have made their way into the river and journey this far makes me smile.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Good People

I was taking a short run late this afternoon on the Cape Cod bike trail [wow a run without hills] listening to the radio on my MP3 player. As I held the player I looked at my phone number written on a label and thought of Mary, someone I have never met and only talked to on the phone once, but who reassured me of the goodness that is out there in many people we do not know.

Several months ago I was using my mp3 in the car, as the radio had died. I was rushing from work to get to a meeting on a volunteer committee a church and tossed the player in my pocket as I juggled papers and cell phone and calendar and keys and as usual I was late.

On my way home I realized I couldn't find my MP3. It wasn't in my pocket or in the car, it was no where to be found. I was bummed as without this my daily commute was now without music or radio. I had turned my phone off for the meeting but when I turned it on there was a message from home. Someone had just called and said that she Had found something personal [wouldn't say what] and asked if she could identify it. My wife had forgotten that I was in town for a meeting and could not figure out what it could be but took the person's name and number down. Of course when I heard the message I knew immediately what it was and knew it was the sticker on the side that gave her the number to call though I was suddenly suspicious if why she didn't just say what it was. What was the deal.

The next morning I called Mary and told her I understood she may have found my mp3 and described it in every detail. She confirmed she had found it where I thought I had lost it and apologized for being so cryptic. She explained that she thought it was a phone or pda with personal information and wasn't sure if the label was my phone number or one I had just written that was someone else and didn't want to give it away without being sure. I was suspecting something sinister and she was watching out form me, someone she didn't even know. I arranged for my wife to pick it up from her later that day. She didn't want any reward she just wanted to make sure it got back to the right person. There are so many very decent people out there just doing the right thing the kind thing and it is just the way they are.

We are bombarded in the news by all that is wrong and all the dishonest and unscruplulos people there are out there and then there is my story of Mary to remind that it are the many many people who don't make the news who are the people that have the most impact.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Running again!!!

On this wonderful spring day I took off for a 2 mile run [walking up the hills at the suggestion of the PT] and made the entire route with no heel pain. YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

The hour of stretching in the morning and the gel heels and the periodic stretching when I slowed to walk the hill must have done the trick. First time over 4 months I can say that. I am psyched!!!

Happy Easter to all! The rabbit is loading his eggs with treats for the annual hunt and getting ready to start the baked french toast for tomorrow breakfast.

Also near the end of the college selection.

Life is good

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I am wiped

Thanks for checking in. Yes this April fools spoof is fun and usually catches some off guard and always makes the local papers. Good advertising.

Yes the camera is back or at least its replacement is. I must have dropped my backpack with the other one in because it stopped taking pictures and the little screen has this wavy pink. So back to ebay. I just don't have time to learn it.

Finding the time and focus for writing has been very tough of late. Spring is always an accelerated volunteering schedule with school and this year greater than past and there is all the college stuff I am writing about and then a cold hits and work seems like building track ahead of a speeding locomotive......I am wiped

The season around easter is actually one which I look forward to all year around. I have had some meditative rituals that seem to recharge the soul. This year my head is too much of a blur and the schedule too tight that making room for them seems to just make things worse. Squeezing in hour long PT vists for this injured heel seems to swallow the spare time in the day.

So I seem to be just complaining. Yea probably or just giving perspective here and as much rationalizing to me as to why I feel wiped, why the cold hit me the way it did and why I am exhausted.

Vacation in a couple of weeks but so far the family has been traveling in so many directions, we haven't settled on a plan.

The roller coaster continues. This time its a slow upward grade with full force winds. But the top will come soon and then the coasting ride. Looking forward to that.

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Fool's Spoof

One of the signs of spring in the Berkshires and especially on April 1st is the annual spoof of Red Lion Inn. The Red Lion is an institution, and has been for many year, in Stockbridge on Main Street.

Driving past at 7:00 in the morning for a school drop off is this huge banner reading Welcome AIG Executive Retreat. There is the the usual double take until it click what the date is. I remember the first year we were doing the school run, there was another banner announcing that the inn was being converted to condos. I have to admit that it suckered me in good.