Where are you, Spring?

There aren’t many words to describe what was happening outside my classroom today. All I can really do is shrug.

snow

Maine, you are making me wait for Spring. My tulips look strong as they stand mightily next to the fallen daffodils. Kale and arugula, I hope you’re ok!

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Marathon Monday

Every year I watch the Boston Marathon and yesterday was no exception. It is such a strange day in Boston. Almost the entire city shuts down and 30,000 runners and 500,000 spectators flood the city streets. It’s as if no one knows it’s actually Monday.

I drove down to Boston Sunday night and stayed with my sister who lives in Cambridge. At 10:00 we casually got brunch and walked toward Beacon Street to get to our spot to see the elite runners that usually make it to mile 24 ½ a little before noon. We find a space along the orange gate, this time on the opposite side of the street as normal. It all feels the same even though I haven’t lived in Boston for 9 months. As the first police cruisers come down the street, followed by the truck with the large pace clock indicating the first woman, my eyes get watery.

Why is it that every marathon I have ever watched or ran in brings forth the same reaction? My eyes are wet and tears roll down my cheeks. My sunglasses can’t even hide it. My heart is heavy with the memory of the bombing 2 years ago, but that’s not what is making these tears. This happens when I am the runner and the spectator.

It’s partly seeing the strain in the eyes of the runners as they only have 1.5 miles to go. It is the glimpse of hope as the runners see the CITGO sign towering ahead. It is the fact that thousands of people are standing around me cheering on strangers. It is a runner pushing a disabled man. When he raises his arms to the crowd, everyone erupts in applause and cheers. It is the fact that this is a true manifestation of the human spirit, strangers coming together to support such tenacity.

marathon 1

Who is the Patient?

Yesterday my husband had a minor medical procedure with anesthesia so he needed me to drive him to and from the doctor. No big deal. I brought a book I can’t put down and before I knew it, my name was called to go to the recovery room.

I followed the nurse down the hallway. Curtains separated beds and there were loud beeps, wheelie chairs, and squeaky shoes. It was a completely different atmosphere than the calm waiting room. The nurse pulled the curtains back and there he was, definitely unconscious still. The nurse chuckled and tried to wake him up gently.

“He was just awake talking to me.” She remarked. She kept shaking his shoulder, a little more aggressively now.

The beeping next to him was steady, but I didn’t like seeing him unresponsive. The nurse kept looking out into the hallway. To me it seemed like she was searching for an answer.

Suddenly she said, “Why don’t you try waking him?”

Me? I thought. I’m not a nurse! I know he’s fine, but why isn’t he waking up?

Just then he opened his eyes and the doctor came in and told him that the procedure went well and he is totally fine. The doctor then turned to me and that’s when I noticed I was SO hot. I couldn’t focus on what he was saying. Then the ringing in my ears started and the doctor’s voice sounded echo-like and far away. Uh oh I thought. Just breathe, it will pass. I continued to nod at the doctor and then the room seemed extremely bright, then blurry. No. No No.

“I AM GOING TO PASS OUT!” I interrupted. I sat down, put my head in between my legs, and waited for my body to surrender. My shirt grew wet with sweat and I felt horrible. Please don’t vomit I thought. I heard the nurses chuckle to each other before they brought me my own Ginger Ale.

An hour later, my husband said, “Wow I didn’t expect my post-op would take longer than the procedure.”

“Um, I actually think they were waiting to make sure I was ok,” I said slowly.

“What do you mean? What happened?”

“Oh nothing.” I replied. For a moment I thought, maybe I’ll just leave out these details and it will just disappear. On the other hand, it is a great story.

Bagels!

It’s Saturday morning and I’m on my way to my favorite bakery. It has the most amazing fresh bagels that sell out, so it is important to arrive early. It takes about 25 minutes to drive to the bakery, but it is a beautiful drive, so I don’t mind. I only took one wrong turn, mostly so I could get a good glimpse of the ocean this morning.

I parked easily and walked up to the door. I pulled open the door enthusiastically; almost the way Kramer enters a room in Seinfeld. I just freeze. To my right there is an empty table except for words on a card that say plain, everything, Maine sea salt 

“Is this the line for bagels?” I asked the man closest to the door.

“Yup” he replied.

“They’re not sold out yet?”

“Nope”

PHEW! I made it! I followed the line as it snaked through the tiny bakery. Luckily the end was next to the barista so I could order a latte while I waited in this 25-person line. At this point I became a bit frustrated that my husband simply stayed in bed because he didn’t feel like going out, but still wanting a fresh bagel to eat. I pulled out my phone to send a snarky text, when I stopped and put it away.

Since I’ve arrived in Maine, I’ve waited in a lot of lines that have been great. Everyone in this line believes that what he or she is waiting for is worth it. Mainers are also easy-going and friendly and it’s natural to bond with your line-mates as you wait. This line was no different. A woman in front of me was carrying an infant and we exchanged memories of eating these delicious bagels, comparing them to other states we lived in, and basically rationalizing why we would wait in this line.

10 minutes later, the baker emerged from the back carrying an enormous tray over his head, full of hot bagels. Immediately following him was another man with another tray above his head. The energy in the line became audible as everyone got excited. Paper bags opened and the line began to move. People came around the corner with bags, creating a new line to pay.

Oh no, people in front of me are getting the 13 bagel limit; their bags are filled to the top.  

5 people in front of me

1 person in front of me, NOOOO!

No more bagels! Someone let the woman with the infant get the last one and my new friend left the line, smiling. There was only 1 thing I could do: wait for the next batch.

15 minutes later I had 4 piping hot bagels and headed home. It was worth it!