Saturday, August 6, 2011

Beach Vacation

Bill's first pyramid of the week
We've been vacationing on the outer banks for the past week.  We've done this for the past 20 odd years give or take a few missed summers.  Some years we have stayed in different houses but we have a few favorites.  This year we went back to an old favorite which was available again after having lost our dibs on it years ago.  We were afraid we would be disappointed, but we were pretty happy.  The one exception was that there was no internet.

Now we can remember years ago when we would say we could solve everything with a computer but that had seemed ludicrous because computers were cumbersome anchored things.   Then the first year I had a laptop I brought it along and I've always vacationed with my computer ever since, and internet access was a given.

So now a week without internet.  Some nights I could sit on different corners of the deck with the wind whipping my hair in front of my eyes and pick up some access.  My son would drive down to the wi-fi coffee shop, but I didn't care enough to do that.  It's kind of like a vacation without TV; it's really a blessing.  Really I was able to pick up a signal on my smart phone so I could read m e-mail and that's about all I needed.  I read a lot, sketched, had awesome patterned coloring sheets I got most of us hooked on, biked, swam, ran and played some bannanagrams.  It was great.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Zen of Swimming

I have been going to the pool and swimming laps several days a week.  As with most exercise the first 5 to 10 minutes is the worst.  But after that, you could just go on and on.  When I get in the water  I set a goal.  It is almost always 30 minutes, but once I get there, I usually stretch it to 40 or 45 minutes.  Counting laps seems pointless as it is too easy to loose count.  All of a sudden I'm saying 17, 18, 19 but I'm not sure if I ever counted 14, 15 and 16, so looking at the clock is much simpler.  The other cool thing is that there are not many distractions in the pool; you go down the lane, up the lane.  I can really only do two different strokes, freestyle and backstroke.  I figure alternating is probably better for my shoulders.  There is not much to think about while swimming, the repetition of the act leads to repetition of thought.  So one song may play over and over in my head, or a conversation.  this can also be used to an advantage to work out a problem by going through it again and again.  If I think too much I don't swim as strongly, so then I'll focus on the way I kick or the strength of my arms at some point in the stroke.  I'm not a great swimmer;  I never had lessons.  Growing up by the water, we were just expected to figure out swimming on our own. When I was two, I fell in the creek while filling up a bottle.  My mother, seven months pregnant, dove in after me.  She said I was doing the dog paddle, but with my face in the water.  To this day my biggest problem swimming is keeping my face down in the water.  While I spend a lot of time working on my breathing and turning my head for air, I know that I can't do it as well as the people that look like they swam for their school swim teams.  But I tell myself, at least I'm not one of those ladies who swim with  their heads and necks out of the water to avoid  getting their hair wet.  I always think of them as swans.