Carpe Aestas: Seize the Summer. From June 21 to September 21, 2013, I am going to do my best to try to suck the marrow out of this season. Too many summers have gone by the wayside, wasted on work and mindless living. My goal this summer is to catalog these days and ensure that I don’t lose focus on enJOYment as the drearydoms of normal life set in (as they often do).
The start of the fifth week of summer marked my 48th birthday. I took the day off work, but still managed to roll out of bed about 5:15am. After some coffee and some fluids, I took off for a celebratory run. It was a cool overcast morning, perfect for a long slow run. Everything was golden until….
right about Mile 5 when I turned a corner and came face to face with a lady walking her two little Chihuahuas beasts. We were all startled and I tripped and skinned both my knees. I was on my back looking up at two little hell-hounds yapping at me. The lady asked if I was OK. I was, so I got up and kept on running with blood running down my legs. Happy Birthday.
About Mile 7, I received a call from a company I do business with. They were putting together a bid and wanted to chat with me. I explained that it was my day off and I was in the middle of a run and that it was my birthday. They sang happy birthday and started to talk about their proposal. Clearly I wasn’t blunt enough with them, but I kept running while they talked.
I made it home and found that Laura had picked up the cake that I ordered a few weeks back. It was a two-layer chocolate cake with gananche frosting and a thick layer of gananche in the middle. A piece was precut from the cake covered in gananche. The hole where the piece was cut from was also covered in gananche.
You may notice that although this was my 48th birthday celebration, the cake says Happy 50th. I have decided that as some people choose to call themselves 48 when they are 50, I am going to go the other way and embrace the coming 50th birthday and make it feel as welcome as possible.
The piece on the left was cut in two and frozen. It will be my reward when I complete the Santa Barbara Marathon in November.
After showering and stretching, the family drove to Whittier where we had lunch with Cassie’s Godmother at Amachi’s, a little Japanese place that was there in 1983 when I went to college. The food is still good. From there we went to another hangout in Whittier that make the most amazing milk shakes. If you were there in 1987, you know that Whittier knows shakes (earthquake humor).
The evening of my birthday found me playing four sets of tennis. It was exhausting on legs that had 11 miles on them from the morning, but hey, it was my birthday.
Saturday morning was spent in the good care of the American Red Cross. I made my annual birthday platelet donation, after which I came home and took my customary post-donation nap. No exercise on donation day lead to a peaceful and simple Saturday night.
Sunday morning was another up and at ’em morning as I rode my bicycle down to Huntington Beach and caught up to my daughter at the Vans US Open Surf Competition. She let me pay for her lunch and then she was off with her friends. I think she came down to the open 4 times during the 2 weekends the event was on. Each trip she came home with new cool giveaways. I guess these are the rituals of her summer vacations.
As I was waiting for my daughter to find me among the crowds in Huntington Beach, I came across an anti-war(s) protest. One of the protesters was nice enough to let me borrow his sign.
The rest of the week, we didn’t get much celebration of summer in. Work and training suck up the available hours. I had one meeting that went from 5pm to 6:30 on Monday and I have visitors from Europe who I met for dinner at 8:30pm another night.
It’s hard to celebrate summer in a consistent manner week in and week out. That’s how summers have gotten away from me in recent years. This one is down to its last 58 days.
I will say it was an awesome birthday weekend, filled with good friends, warm family, well-wishes from many. I was also pleased that I was able to get 11 miles run, 4 sets of tennis played, 40+ miles ridden on a bike and life-sustaining fluids donated to strangers. And there was gananche. Lots and lots of gananche.
So, how’s your summer going?