Few things can be more frustrating when we have decided to get in shape, that to have the gym we joined closed down. These days, in the light of the Coronavirus, and it’s many closures, most people find themselves members of a closed gym…not because the gym went bankrupt, although that could happen if this goes on very long, but rather the gyms are closed for “social distancing” for an undetermined time, leaving most dedicated exercise enthusiasts in the lurch. My niece, Amanda Reed is one of those exercise enthusiasts, who joined the gym a while back, determined to get in shape, only to find herself in limbo.
Thankfully the gym is not the only way that Amanda likes to get her workout in. She has always been an outdoor girl, and even decided to hike up to the mountains where she, her family, and friends have spent many a winter day snowmobiling in the snow. The mountain; like the lake where Amanda and Sean have a mobile home so they can spend summer weekends there; is a place that draws Amanda. For years, she might not have been in the physical shape needed to hike the mountain, but now, that has changed, and she successfully made it to the top with her faithful dog. What a thrill that must have been. The snow was deep in some places, but she didn’t let that keep her from the prize she had set for herself. That is the kind of determination an athlete knows well…no matter how long they have waited to become an athlete. Nevertheless, someone who has worked out to prepare, and then hiked up a mountain, no matter how high or not high it is, has truly become an athlete, and can be proud of the accomplishment.
Amanda and her family are planning a trip to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It may be part of the reason she joined a gym, but then we all need a reason to get started, don’t we? Amanda works at the bank in Rawlins, and like many of us “social distancing” has her working from home part-time. I truly is a different world these days. Amanda…true to her lake-loving self, chose to spend her birthday at their place at the lake cleaning. Spring fever is upon her, and she is feeling the draw of the lake. She just loves it out there. Her partner, Sean is going to take her on a Razor ride over to Miracle Mile while they are out there. Sounds like a great way to spend her birthday weekend. Today is Amanda’s birthday. Happy birthday Amanda!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When I think about the time that our grandparents lived in, my thoughts go back to a more slow paced world. Yes, the people worked hard and long hours, but they didn’t rush off to the gym, the movies, constant sporting events, and many of the other things that we do today. I know of a number of people who have something going on every night. There is so little of what I would consider family time that we have gotten to the point where we don’t even realize we are missing it. We have mistakenly counted sporting events, concerts, plays, and other school activities as family time, when in reality, our child is out on the court or on stage, and not with us at all, so it’s not exactly family time.
It used to be that families ate dinner around the table, and talked about their day. I think that makes for being able to know each other better. These days, if people do eat together, they do it in front of the television set…just as often as not. Instead of spending time together, they are just sitting together. I find that I am guilty of this one quite a bit, and while my kids are grown and on their own, spending time actually talking with my husband would be good. We do like to take walks in the evening, so we talk then, and I guess that makes up for some of the time in front of the television set during dinner.
Still, not too many years ago, people did things much differently. Instead of driving a car to town alone, they walked in groups. That allowed for time to enjoy each other’s company. Instead of going to movies with friends, people took walks with their friends. Maybe it was just that their options were more limited, and maybe they felt like it was a boring time, but I suspect that they didn’t, because they didn’t know any different.
Of course, there were also the different times people got together to do things like quilting, sewing, and socials, often held on the front porch of the house, so maybe people of times past had just as many events that took them away from family. I guess it’s possible that we just think that things were so much different in times past, but I don’t think so. Even just as far back as my childhood, dinner was eaten aroung the table. I don’t know what ever happened to that, but I think it’s just a little bit sad for sure.
It’s strange to think about the amount of things you don’t know about your dad, or anyone else for that matter, but when I think about my parents, I expect that I should know most things about them. I guess there are stories that were never told, or little things that just didn’t seem important, and so were passed over. Such is the case with my dad’s time in World War II. I’m not talking about the major things that Dad couldn’t talk about in his letters home, but some of the smaller things. Today I was reading his letter dated August 1, 1944, in which he talks about having a little down time from flying missions. He and a friend went to the gym. In his letter, my dad mentioned punching a bag for a while, among other unnamed exercises.
I never knew that my dad had any interest in boxing, although I vividly remember playing a little boxing game with him every once in a while in the hallway at home. Of course, he never hit me, it was a game. Dad was very quick, and no matter how much I tried to defend my face, he always managed to get a tap in. Looking back, I think my dad taught me a lot about self defense in those little sparring matches, but it never occurred to me that he had any real interest in boxing. I just thought it was a natural ability he had.
Dad had a great time with those sparring matches, and I guess I must have been a bit of a Tomboy, because I did too. I managed to get in a few good taps during those years, but I promise you, it was very few. Talk about feeling uncoordinated!! Nevertheless, if I got one in, I knew it was real and it was an accomplishment, because he didn’t just let me get one in…which is something I was always grateful for. Letting a little kid win at a game once in a while is fine, but if you do it too often, they don’t learn to play well, nor do they learn sportsmanship. Dad’s laughing, fun way of teaching me self defense was something I will always remember fondly about him, and now I know a little bit more about what he was like back then.
As we get closer and closer to the Christmas break in school, I am reminded of the many Christmas Programs of the past. So many schools don’t do those any more, and I find that very sad, but as most of you know there might be someone who is offended by such activities. Again, I find that sad. I am reminded of the program where I started out in the choir, and then was elected to be an angel. I didn’t need wings for that one, because I was so excited that I was floating all on my own…well, it felt like it to me anyway. That was the most exciting Christmas program ever for me, and it was probably a good thing I was an angel then, because I don’t think acting for really for me, or at least, I had no interest in it later on.
I remember the one where the choir was performing, and one of the boys got too hot, or nervous, or had locked his legs, and suddenly he passed out right in front of the whole crowd. The music teacher was horrified, and really didn’t know what to do. She was leading the choir, and the show must go on, you know, so she tried in vain to get him to just get up, but to no avail. He couldn’t after all, because he was out cold. Finally a couple of teachers came up and carried him out of the gym. He was fine, but very embarrassed. I don’t recall if he came back in for the rest of the program, but I don’t think I would have wanted to.
The programs my girls and my grandchildren were in have special meaning to me. Though they varied in theme and some were after you couldn’t make a Christmas program be about the true meaning of Christmas, they were all precious in my heart. Little tiny voices singing loudly, and often off key. Forgotten words, and the teacher reminding the child of their lines. Those dreaded costume failures, that thankfully weren’t as bad as some of the celebrities failures. The jitters and tears over parts forgotten, or even that the child worried would be forgotten. It all added up to the Christmas program, and it didn’t matter if it was a total flop or done to perfection, when it was your kid out there, it was the best program you had ever seen…and you truly meant that.