Todd life

“You need my hands, my exhaustion,
Working love for the rest of the weary”

- from “You Have Come to the Lakeshore”

We sang “You Have Come to the Lakeshore” the Sunday Seth was baptized, and that lyric above jumped off the page. Todd had just finished helping facilitate a series on Horizons of Mission at church. Since then, we both read The Art of Non-Conformity and Crazy Love and Take This Bread and have been spending more time reading the Bible. It seems like everywhere we turn, Todd and I are sensing God telling us: DO SOMETHING. We have been alternating between praying for discernment of what that “something” is, and being paralyzed by choice and/or fear of where to start. Hence, listening to this song on constant repeat:

Stay tuned! I know we are!

showshoe luv

My sister gifted me and Todd a day of snowshoeing for Christmas. This included borrowing her and Mar’s snowshoes, watching Seth, and even a thermos of homemade spiced wine if we needed some warming up on our walk. Awesome!

We went on our adventure this last Saturday, even though Seth was coming down with a cold. Sarah tells us she and Seth got in a lot of snuggles while reading and watching the Muppet Show. Meanwhile, Todd and I drove up to Steven’s Pass, and hiked up toward Skyline Ridge. It was fun, but so much work, too! Granted, Todd tells me that we (I) tend to go fast when hiking on bare ground, and slapping snow shoes and ten feet of snow under us didn’t seem to make me want to adjust my pace. After an hour we reached a dead end, though I don’t know if it was actually the top of the ridge, as there was another, much smaller trail a little way below the dead end. We’ll have to come back in summer and compare notes. Then we turned around and hiked down, and passed lots of folks on their way up with snow-camping gear. Maybe next time… Then after a pizza lunch, we headed back home. Thanks for the great day out, Sarah!

My dream is to have a dining room table that is never empty.

I imagine a Saturday afternoon someday where Seth and his friends are playing games on the table while I’m in the kitchen cooking. The phone rings; maybe the Sands didn’t have plans for that evening, and they are inviting themselves over on short notice. Great! I grab a jar of vegetables I pickled earlier in the summer from the pantry, and use it to stretch out the meal a little bit further.

I hear a knock at the door – Corey and Melinda have brought their daughter over because she wanted to play with Seth, and we get to talking in the kitchen and before we know it, they’ve agreed to stay over for dinner as well.

Heather is so excited by a craft she just made that she brings it and a loaf of bread over to our house, because she knows the door is always open and there’s always an open chair at the table, and Mike joins the rest of the guys for a quick round of video games in the living room while the sauce simmers in the kitchen.

We’re halfway through the meal, and the doorbell rings – my sister’s family was driving up north, and needed to stop somewhere for dinner along the way. No problem – I scrounge in the fridge and pull together a quick salad, and we all sit down around our long table to enjoy a meal.

People filter out slowly after the meal, and the kids go to bed, but there’s still a few of us sitting around, and Aaron stops by to join us for a glass of wine and a movie or hanging out in the backyard and talking.

Or maybe the night involves a long 6-hour campaign of Risk while we eat snacks around the table. Or maybe it’s the setting for a poker night. Or for a soup swap. Or for a big finger-painting party for the kids in the neighborhood.

That’s my big dream. I used to dream about being a musician, or an NBA star, or an astronaut. Now, I dream of having a table full of friends.

As one of my birthday presents back in August, Betsy signed me up to run a half-marathon in the fall. That weekend is coming up soon – it’ll be the Saturday after Thanksgiving, giving me two more weeks of training between now and then. (I’m thankful that I get a full day of digestion between Thanksgiving and the run. I’ll probably have to do at least a short jog on Friday to work some of the mashed potatoes out of my system before running hard the next day.)

I’m a little concerned about the run, as my training program has not been particularly consistent nor rigorous. This is mainly due to the fact that if I want to go jogging on a weekday, the only time that really works for the family is if I go first thing in the morning, before work, which means that I wake up at 4:45am to go running in the dark. So the fact that I go out running once or twice a week is actually pretty good. These end up being about 2 miles or so – long enough to get my pulse rate up, but hardly long enough for training.

The weekends are when I really get time, and I’ve pushed myself pretty far the last couple weeks, running 8-9 mile courses with some intense hills along the way. That’s still 4-5 miles short of what I’ll need to run, but since I’ve had gas left in the tank the last few weeks when I got home, I think the 13.1 miles of the half-marathon should be conquerable.

I found a nice trail near our house yesterday to go running on. It’s a nice 4 mile greenbelt trail along a creek that winds through the eastern side of West Seattle. The trail keeps stopping and dumping out onto the street before starting again a few blocks later, so it’s hardly a haven from city life, but definitely a good space for a run.

One of the factors that got me back into running this year (after another one of my frequent extended breaks from running) was the book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami. Murakami is one of my favorite novelists, and this book is written in his trademark easy, elegant style. The book is roughly 20% memoir of his life, 20% discussion of the creative process, and 60% why he likes to go running (and some of the most memorable runs he’s gone on).

For runners, I’d consider this to be a must-read, as he describes the running process beautifully, and describes some runs which are going to be in the “aspirational” category for quite some time (including a 50-mile super marathon across the Japanese coastline). For non-runners, it’s probably of more interest to people who are already familiar with his books (and I’m happy to provide recommendations on those), but it’s well-written and thoughtful enough to be well worth a read and to help you understand those crazy friends or family of yours who can think of nothing greater to do on a Saturday than running for two hours in the cold and rain.