Independent, But United

 Tracy, my partner for life

In 1998, at this very date and time, I was married to Harold Tracy Parish III (Tracy). Some might laugh at the date we selected to say our vows. After all, July 4 is a holiday celebrated in recognition of our country becoming an independent nation. We take time to think about the many freedoms we enjoy.

I don’t know about Tracy. But, I do not view our marriage as a loss of freedom or independence. We are united in most beliefs and ideologies. But, both of us remain free to think, decide, speak, act, and listen. I feel secure in the support we give one another as well as the space to make new friends, learn, pursue talents and careers, make mistakes and make successes.

It is frustrating at times when Tracy and I disagree. There are issues we battle that leaves one or both fuming. But, our unity is stronger than the temporary inner turmoil we find ourselves in. We agree to disagree. It is unrealistic to expect 100-percent agreement on how to solve each problem we meet.

Independent, but united is how I prefer to define our marriage. I am Kate; and — without a doubt — he is Tracy.

Drink It: Vinosesso De Angelis Cantina del Vino 2010

Can you tell I like reds? Photo credit: Joel Goldberg, Ann Arbor Chronicle, Oct. 2010

I am partial to anything vinted or brewed in Michigan. The Mitten produces extraordinary wine and beer. With that said, I recommend Vinosesso De Angelis Cantina del Vino 2010. This combination red is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Franc.

One Word Wednesday: June 26

Vibrant

A misty trail at Huron County Nature Center Arboretum in late May 2012. Photo credit: kateschannel

Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday — School’s Out

My timing is way off. Plus, I owe you an apology for not writing my Bonus Post in honor of Lyric Status Friday last week. But, the lyrics playing in my head tonight are synonymous with all the young minds that are now free from the confines of school for a couple months. I can identify no matter how old I am and how distant those days seem to be.

No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks

Well we got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces

Alice Cooper

BTW, you really should see Rock of Ages this weekend. If you came of age in the ’80s or were paying attention to what a tremendous decade it was, treat yourself to some fun with Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand.

Previous bonus posts from Lyric Status Friday …

Be Good to Yourself — Journey

It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me — Billy Joel

We Are Young — Fun

Beautiful Day — U2

Outshined — Soundgarden

Crazy Train — Ozzy Osbourne 

Times Like These — Foo Fighters

Back Health Issues

One would think the back pain issues I have been experiencing resulted from the 3.1 miles of trails, I ran Saturday in my first 5k since August 2011. My friend, Sue and the Mathes Team challenged us runner to dig deep; and to run a course consisting mostly of hills and switchbacks.  The two 5ks I ran previously were a combination of street and trail. Plus, my training runs are usually through my neighborhood because that’s what my schedule allows.

Amusingly enough, the 5k is not what caused the snap in my lower back …

It was a peaceful Sunday morning. If I remember, correctly, it was a little after 8. I  finished taking Buddy, my Pekingese for a walk; and felt healthy and ready to take another longer walk through my neighborhood. But, I needed relief. You know what I mean? Too much coffee.

As I finished, I sang Pink’s So What in my mind. It was next in my cue on the MP3, which was waiting patiently for me on the ledge in my garage. Then …

All of a sudden, I couldn’t move. Would I finish my time like that other lady who was stuck to her toilet for two years? All of a sudden the scene playing in my mind had me starring as Miranda Hobbes from Sex in the City. Remember the episode where she fears she’ll die alone in her apartment and be half-eaten by her cat? A panic attack was imminent.

I reminded myself I was way too short and had the wrong hair color to play her. So, I remained calm and managed to complete the most basic of tasks. Then, hunched over, I  waddled like a duck to the kitchen for my next coffee.

This image of myself did not bode well. I kept saying the quote I shared with you the other day — Forward is a pace — as I envisioned myself being ran over with a cart during my next trip to the grocery store.

I admitted the possibility of having to adapt to slower mobility. After all, I had graduated to a new age category (40-49) for 5k races. Perhaps I would have to adjust my pace down a notch rather than up. But, what kind of thinking is that?

Shah! I survived playing with my children, driving my daughter to Critter Camp at our local nature center, mowing the lawn, and cooking dinner two nights in a row. There is hope. Walking behind the mower actually seemed to help. I am now able to move around more rapidly.

This Sunday — on June 24 — I am at it again. I am racing a 5k in the 2012 Heart of Detroit Run/Walk.  My cousin, Joe, and a longtime college friend, Lisa — both avid runners — have agreed to run these 3.1 miles with me. Collectively, we are all running as Kate’s A-Team and are running to support Kids on the Go (KOTG), a non-profit pediatric program I advocate for. KOTG provides speech, physical and occupational therapies — tuition-free — to children with special needs in metro Detroit.

Related previous posts …

Get Moving! Forward is a Pace …

Life Replays: Those Sailing Scenes on the Great Lakes

Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
My love is rotten to the core
Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
Just like I told you before, yeah before

Alex Van Halen, Edward Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth

Some songs trigger replays or even fantasies. Van Halen‘s Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love is one that places me on any number of Michigan’s infamous beaches; playing in the sand and surf while drinking Bell’s Oberon on a hot, sunny, beautiful, summer day.

With the approach of summer and vacation from school I thought it appropriate to announce a temporary departure from my College Life Replay Mini-Series. Instead, I will share glimpses at summertime childhood memories.

My Dad is a Sailor

Sailing the Georgian Bay at 10 months. kateschannel

Before marriage and children, my dad purchased Veliero, a 32-foot Galaxy. He raced and cruised Veliero from Bayview Yacht Club until 2009 when he sold it at age 80. His love for spending breezy, sunny afternoons sailing the waters of the Great Lakes took hold of me before I learned to walk and talk. I was only 10 months old when he secured me to stern in my baby walker for a sailing trip to the Georgian Bay.

As my sister and I matured, my dad took us on countless day trips as well as some lengthy cruises to escape the summer heat and humidity. He only expected minimal help from us. So, we learned the benefits of being pampered passengers rather than expert crew. Our job was to feel the splash from the waves while riding on the bow, take a snooze while sunbathing, read a book, eat all the snacks, or to entertain guests who had been invited to join us. When I look back through my collection of childhood memories, those sailing scenes on the Great Lakes rank at the top. Here are some of my faves.

Getting hosed in the buff in Grand Traverse Bay. My mom, dad, sister and I were into week one of a three-week cruise of Lake Huron and upper Lake Michigan during the summer of 1978. On this given day we had just dropped anchor off the Grand Traverse shoreline near Charlevoix and we were going to have some play time on the beach. I was eight, my sister was five. While getting our dingy ready to row ashore, my dad says mom is preparing a big surprise for us. My sister and I exchange glances; and then start trying to guess the surprise. Screw going to the beach. We want the big surprise. That’s all we can think about.

We should have known better. First, our Dad likes the beach. But, not when it’s crowded with other children. He prefers quiet walks on the beach at sunrise or sunset while looking for Petosky stones. Second, my dad’s preferences for spending quality time with his daughters included teaching us how to row the dingy around a peaceful inlet or looking for fudge shops while we were in port.

After spending a half-hour at the beach with us, my dad gives into our eagerness and rows us both back to the boat. There my mom ambushes us on the stern. She orders us to strip. Then, douses us with a few buckets  of ice-cold lake water and soap while my dad uses a couple towels to give us cover from eyes of fellow boaters.

David Lee Roth centerfold in Tiger Beat magazine. My sister and I were settling in for the night. It had been another fun-filled day on our three-week cruise during the summer of 1978. She was thumbing through her Tiger Beat magazine — our intro to tabloid celebrities — checking out John Schneider (Bo Duke), Scott Baio, Ralph Macchio, Ricky Shroder and some of the guys from Menudo. Whatever I was reading seemed to dull as I watched her flip the pages. Finally, she let me have a turn. There, in the centerfold  was David Lee Roth; all blond and hairy in a hot pink, rainbow-striped body suit. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.

Using the head during a severe thunderstorm on Lake Huron. Going to bathroom while battling rough waters requires above-average balance. On this particular day, our time at sea started calmly but with overcast skies. No big deal. But, soon enough, we were in the midst of a heavy downpour along with thunder, lightening and strong winds. No port was in sight. My mom had just cautioned us not to touch any metal when duty called. The mast went right through the head. Usually, this provided extra balance support. But, grabbing onto to it would have been like a death sentence. Somehow, I managed. It’s interesting. When you’re 8, 9 or 10 there is little fear about anything. I knew all would be okay. Dad was at the helm; and he was a very competent sailor.

Drip castle mania in Lexington. When in port, my sister and I spent many afternoons on the beaches building drip castles. To make these one must have the utmost patience, some sense of design, imagination, focus, and the ability defend against creetons seeking to destroy.

One overcast afternoon we found ourselves in Lexington, which is north of Port Huron. We ended up at the beach and began creating. Three boys entered our domain. Their interest appeared to be friendly and non-threatening. We splashed in the lake with them for some time; and then showed them how to create drip castles. What transpired was a masterpiece. Too bad I don’t have pictures.

Then, in minutes, the three turned into monsters. They and some other beach creatures combined forces of evil, picked up their big hairy feet, and ran full-force into our beautiful, carefully-constructed drip city. Our great hall of justice, imperial palace and spa were smashed to oblivion. Drip city streets lay in ruin. Needless to say. My sister and I were pissed. After some choice words and gestures, we told these fools to scram or else. They scrammed.

Get Moving! Forward is a Pace …

Two of the 5ks I am running this summer are quickly approaching. While my training runs have been a bit sporadic, my mental game is on, consistent and positive. I consider any preparation (biking, walking the dog, chasing children, etc.) to be a step forward.

My first run is the Mathes 5k/1 Mile Fun Walk, which happens Saturday, June 16 at Stony Creek Metro Park (West Branch Picnic Area “C”). Sue Mathes, one of my amazingly strong and smart girlfriends, organized the event, which is in its 2nd year, to raise awareness and support for the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA). Her husband, Thom, was diagnosed with three brain tumors in January 2011.

To read more about the Mathes’ story, make a donation to Team Mathes or register to run, click here.

To keep me motivated to continue training as well as signing up races, a longtime college friend and Western Herald alum  — Lisa Brady — shared a couple of quotes with me this morning. The first she read on a sign during one of her races last year. It said …

 Forward is a pace

Lisa signed up to run a 5k with me at the 2012 Heart of Detroit Run/Walk on June 24 at Comerica Park. She will join me as well as my cousins Joe Duris (another runner who inspires me) and Jennifer Lott (a strong, positive, forward moving young lady), my Aunt Kate (I was named after her), and a longtime high school friend, Kelly Pelt (we were tennis partners). All of us are running as Kate’s A-Team; and we are one of 10 teams running to raise awareness and support for Kids on the Go (KOTG), a non-profit pediatrics program I advocate for.

KOTG, an affiliate of St. John Providence Health, provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to Detroit-area children with special needs during the summer months at no cost to the families. Both of my children receive services through this pediatric program.

Through participation in the 2012 Heart of Detroit Run/Walk, KOTG and I, are looking to raise $5,000. To support our efforts

1. Donate via check. This is the preferred way to donate because KOTG receives 100-percent of your donation, which is tax deductible. The company organizing the race collects a processing fee for all donations made online.

To donate by check, make it payable to Kids on the Go and mail it to:

Kids on the Go

C/O Kristy Schena

21229 River Road

Grosse Pointe Woods, MI  48236

2. Link to the following fundraising page for KOTG and Make a Donation Now.

In closing, I need to share the second quote Lisa sent me this morning, which I love …

DFL > DNF > DNS

The translation …

Dead F-ing Last is greater than Did Not Finish, which is greater than Did Not Start

Related previous posts …

College Life Replays: Print Journalism Lesson #1 — Go For It

Fit Trail Interval Training

Running For a Purpose

5 in 30

 

Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday — Be Good to Yourself

When you can’t give no more
They want it all but you gotta say no
I’m turnin’ off the noise that makes me crazy
Lookin’ back with no regrets
To forgive is to forget
I want a little piece of mind to turn to

Be good to yourself when, nobody else will
Oh be good to yourself
You’re walkin’ a high wire, caught in a cross fire
Oh be good to yourself

Be good to yourself when, nobody else will

— By Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain, Neal Shon, Journey

What can I say? My Journey Greatest Hits CD is always at the ready whenever I drive anywhere. All of their songs put me in a better place when I listen. Be Good to Yourself felt like a great selection for today’s post because of the countless young people celebrating various milestones in their academic journeys; and because of the countdown to summer vacation with my two cutie-pies.

Previous Bonus Posts …

It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me  (kateschannel.wordpress.com)

We Are Young (kateschannel.wordpress.com)

Feeling the End-of-School Vibe

Despite my rantings on here, I am a bit stoked to admit there are only four point five days until my children break loose from school for summer vacation. I am not immune to feeling the end-of-school vibe, which started beating through the entire neighborhood at the beginning of May.

What about you? I can’t help but feel a bit of nostalgia. First, I watched a live production of Xanadu last Saturday, which took me back to the early years of the K-12 education. Then, Rock of Ages trailers have been playing on television all week. The soundtrack to this film contains many fave hits from my junior high and high school days. Finally, our neighbors — who live two houses down — have a son graduating from high school this week. There are quite a few of his friends celebrating their accomplishment with him this evening. Hearing all the shouts, laughter, and cars zooming around brings back a gazillion memories of the same from 23 years ago.

16 Days ‘Til Summer Vacation

This weekend served up a preview of what awaits when summer vacation begins in 16 days. My children and I were treated to 80-degree-plus days, outdoor fun, and a firework display from some overzealous neighbors.

Unlike last summer, I am expecting this one to be busy. In addition to swim lessons, vacations, and a mega family reunion bash, both children will see a tutor once a week. Plus, we’re going to make visits to see my sister in Ann Arbor, take some nature center classes, visit the zoo, watch the stars, and go camping.

What are your plans for maintaining summertime sanity? Mine include running some 5ks, scheduling regular outs with girlfriends and my hubby, and keeping the fridge stocked with adult beverages for late-night breaks on the back patio.