Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I have made a vow to exercise this summer. I walked every day last summer with some success, then, during the school year, I fell into my old bad habits, one of which was eating school lunch. I like the school lunches. We have a lunch lady who makes homemade hot rolls that are excellent. Homemade desserts, like cookies and apple crisp are also on the menu. So, during the school year I quit walking and ate school lunch, and snacked too much in the evening and gained back the weight I had lost.

This summer, I decided to get back in shape. I have embarked on a varied exercise regimen. I walk, ride a recumbent exercise bike, do yoga for flexibility. Yesterday, I even did a “Dancing with the Stars” video, even though those skinny girls in the video who slink around like a cat when they walk made me feel a little inferior. I cha-chaed and rumbaed and even jazzed danced a little. Today I got out the stability ball and exercised with Denise Austin. ‘This is fun!’ I thought as I rotated back and forth on the ball. ‘Why haven’t I been doing this every day?'

Then I went a little too far to the left, and the darn thing bucked me off! I fell to the floor and couldn’t even stop myself! My hip and my pride were both a little bruised, but I was taught to get back on the horse, so I did. Tomorrow I am going to baby sit the three youngest grandchildren. I think for my weightlifting, I will lift little Megan up out of her bed; my core abdominal work will be to rock her in the rocking chair. For aerobics, I might push Jaron off on his bike as he is learning to ride, and run a few steps beside him. I will use my leg muscles to push the swing back and forth in the yard as Madison and I read a book. It sounds like an excellent workout to me!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Take Time to Play

Grandchildren give me permission to play. When Lance and Logan were younger, we went exploring along the creek or in the woods. Logan said, “Ma, you are the only grown up I know who likes to explore.” I took that as a high compliment. Although I have never been very good at sports, I play “Around the World” shooting the basketball with Matthew and Lance. Occasionally, I even win. We often go fishing with Grandpa.

Last summer Taylor came over, and we canned green beans and made dill pickles. Maybe you wouldn’t think canning is playing, but with a buddy, it can be. She said, “I didn’t know cucumbers turned into pickles,” as she carefully cut the slices and spears. It was fun to teach her a disappearing skill, and she said, “Mom and Blaine are going to be so proud of me for making all of this food!”

One of my favorite playtime activities is to blow bubbles, so there is a supply waiting for those days when the grandkids come over. While I would prefer the beautiful multi-colored bubbles float as high and far as possible, Madison wants to ride through them on her bike, and Jaron wants to whack them with his bubble-wand sword. I just smile and let them have fun. At least they are letting me blow the bubbles. We go for walks; we go to the playground and pretend to be princesses and princes in the tower. We have tea parties on the front porch. We play with Barbies. We ride bikes. They swim in the hot tub, even though I tell them it is for relaxing, not swimming.
With little Megan, the only playing I do so far is to coo at her and rock her. Then I claim someone else must have spoiled her, because she likes to be talked to and rocked so much.
At the end of the day, I am worn out. Playing is more exhausting at my age than it used to be…but it is still fun. I challenge you to play today with a child, or if you do not have one handy, buy some bubbles, blow them into the wind and watch them float away. I learned from my own children that is how quickly childhood floats away. Take the time to play with them while you can.