26 December 2007

Running at Altitude

I went running today the first time since I arrived. I find so difficult to remember that I have been living at sea level for some time now and must give myself time to adjust to the altitude before pulling on my running shoes. I think the fact that my sea shore was surrounded by mountains fooled me into thinking I'm at a higher altitude. But now I'm at least 6,000 feet above sea level and I find that even pulling my niece and nephew up the parental driveway after crazy sled rides left me short of breath (that's my nephew in the picture below).

I am delighted to find myself alone with the animals tonight after days of chaos; lovely chaos but I am fond of my solitude. We've had three birthdays to celebrate in among the holiday celebrations and the house has been full and overflowing with people of all ages and volume. Tonight everyone has plans but me. I went running and am now cuddling with the Disreputable cat to the right of my lap, the Parental cat to left and the Disreputable Dog and Parental Dog at my feet snoring slightly. The Parental Dog is a bit worried that the mainstay of her pack is gone. I am finally in my own space well enough to be ready to visit with other old friends who have flocked to the area to visit family over the holidays. Sadly, I am a bit late for some of them but try as I may I am never ready for these reunions when I first arrive, always needing a few days to acclimatize and adjust to being in this space and making it work for me. Not that I haven't been seeing people every day but they've mostly been due to the planning of others, not the ones I must self initiate. I haven't even pulled on my skis yet since every time I plan to do so I seem to get roped into some other task.

I am finding it somewhat disconcerting how everyone else seems to have plans for what I am going to do next. It usually involves moving closer to them. My sister wants me to be close enough to babysit but not close enough to drop in unexpectedly. Another friend hopes I'll be here until April. My Alaska friends are all convinced I will be back shortly and have even started sending me rental notices for Fairbanks and Anchorage and my lower 48 friends are convinced this means I'm leaving the state while my out of country friends are cajoling me to move near them. Only my out of country friends seem to understand that I could end up ANYWHERE. Really, I could. It was breaking news up and down the extended family telephone wires over the week and I know there will be much gossip about it. I am only glad that they have found something else to discuss other then what they see as my old maid-ism. I am generally the black sheep of the family, the person who lives the exciting life that everyone else enjoys talking about but are secretly relieved they don't live.

I have been spending extended time with my niece and nephew. My niece's fondest desire was to have the Disreputable Cat sit on her lap and she finally got her wish. The cat barely fit but she was game and my niece has never sat stiller for anything in her entire life.


  1. Oh, this sounds like a great time. I have missed you lately! and I really liked what you wrote about people's expectations of you. Interesting. Hang in there!

  2. i may be an in country girl, but i firmly know you CAN end up anywhere, and that delicious knowledge must be so entirely freeing. i cannot wait to see where you land next.

  3. oh that cat in the lap is adorable.

    i think all families are a bit like yours - wanting to make decisions for all their members.

    you will do what you need to do next. and it will be good.

  4. what can we say? you're a hot commodity and we all want you near us!!

  5. So glad to hear you had a safe journey and that the move went smoothly. I hope you'll enjoy the chaotic fun of spending time with family and also find time for yourself to relax and recharge. Happy Holidays!

  6. Close enough to babysit but not close enough to drop in unexpectedly???

    That doesn't sound like much incentive to move anywhere.

    Pretty kitty.

  7. It feels good to share the joy of the little-child-borrow. Yours look like a lot of fun. I remember siting also sitting for hours to get a cat on my lap and how proud I felt once it did.

    The puppies were alright. Florian taught me to run straight at an attacking dog screaming and throwing stuff. Scary but it works. I get so angry that some mongrel is trying to hurt my pups I think my hair stands on edge. The kick created the space to get the dogs in the car before the pitt bulls could get too close.

    I also have a plan for you. Follow your heart until it stretches and yawns and sits down on your lap.

  8. I am generally the black sheep of the family, the person who lives the exciting life that everyone else enjoys talking about but are secretly relieved they don't live.

    Oh, how I hear you on this one...I think the fact that ANYTHING is possible for you right now is like being in the catbird seat, really. They just don't see it that way.

  9. I find myself nodding with understanding as regards your appreciation of solitude. It's great to be around other people but always good to be able to retreat to your own space to reflect, rest, potter about or just to be.

    Always good to see new photos of the Disreputable Cat too :)

  10. liv, thanks! I missed you guys too and hopefully will be getting back on track here soon.

    jen, that's one of the things I love about you.

    maypole, you are probably right. Luckily although I am a great solicitor of advice I am good at making my own decsions.

    froghair, awwww!! thanks!

    mad hatter, thanks!

    meno, yeah, I kind of felt the same way about that comment.

    hel, oh good, so glad to hear the puppies were alright! You know, that screaming being big thing works against a lot of animals. And I like your plan. I will follow it :)

    qt, I suppose if they saw it that way they wouldn't be family would they?

    trousers, indeed, a balance of those things in life is mighty important. Glad you liked the photo!

  11. Okay, I know it's rude, but I must ask....how muck does Disreputable Cat weigh? She looks like a lap full.

    I too adore time to acclimate, and when the welcome visitors depart, decompression is another lovely perk.

  12. ms chica, you must remember that is a four year old lap. The Disreputable Cat is actually quite small - 6lbs.


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