I didn't realize it had been that long until I wrote that sentence.
For one year out of three it has been hard.
We have two cars now, but one of them isn't working. It hasn't worked since December. The battery died. Then it snowed and snowed and snowed and nothing melted until March. Then it snowed again. And by that point it just wasn't an issue anymore. The car is never needed by more than one person at the same time.
But now, very often the car is sitting up on a hill at the hospital and we are down here without it. But it still has only been a problem once. When our friends were going up to the 'splash pad' at a local RV park and we couldn't make it that far.
Until I realized that my next goal, after running a half marathon, was to run 600 miles this year. I'm only 44% done. I haven't reached 300 miles yet.
So, while running with the stroller and two 30 lbs. children is a beast, I am now becoming the strongest I have ever been.
We run to the grocery store, to the bank, and to the post office. 4 miles. Check.
We run to the bank, to the farmer's market, to the 10,000 villages climber's festival sale. 3.7 miles. Check.
We run to the hospital, to get the car, load the stroller and the posse, and head to South Pass City.
We drive to the hospital, unload the posse and the stroller and run home. 4.3 miles (roundtrip). Check.
I walk into every errand with sweat dripping down my face. And it's ok. No one looks at me strangely. And if they did I would just say 'I have to stay sane somehow and also have you seen my leg and ab muscles?'
I live in an active small town. Everybody is biking everywhere. I've just decided to run instead of bike. Although, if I had a bike trailer I would totally do that. But it would not help me reach my 600 mile goal.
I feel good. It's feels good to feel so strong.
But what is better are the effects on my posse.
Sis wanted to run with me yesterday. She wore her running shoes and a dress (of course) and started out, swinging her arms in a wacky uncoordinated rhythm that matched her uncoordinated legs. She ran 'fast like a cheetah!'. And she is 'winning the race momma!' I'm jogging beside her, sometimes in front of her encouraging her on, sometimes behind her telling her how fast she is 'You running so slow momma! You can't catch me! I'm so fast!' She ran a good quarter of a mile, with a smile on her face, giving it everything she had. And then she got in the stroller. 'You run now momma.' And a little while later 'I want to run fast momma!' So she hopped out and ran again. This time a little slower and much more uncoordinated. But she gave it her all for three blocks until her run became a trot, became a stroll. And back in the stroller she goes.
We ran to the hospital again this morning, because actual grocery shopping, for the week, takes a bigger vehicle than a double running stroller. And we will run home again and Sis is totally prepared to run again. It slows me down, but I am all for being slowed down by my preschooler who wants to join in.
And I think what I love most, is that to her, this lifestyle is normal. It is normal to run to do errands, or walk even! (because honestly, sometimes I don't want to run four times in a day. Sometimes a nice stroll, where the posse can hang out on the sidewalk while we walk down to the coffee shop for a smoothie is just what everyone needs) It is normal to look up and see the mountains, normal to drive up them, normal that I ride my bike anywhere that the posse isn't following (if only I had that bike trailer!!! Anyone want to buy one for me? They are only like $400 ha!) It's normal that we are more active than inactive.
And it's also normal that everyday we stand in awe of something else in nature. Today Bubs and I were inside for a quick minute. Sis stayed outside and when we rejoined her she was standing still staring at the sky, awe and wonder on her face. I asked what she was doing. 'Watching the birds momma!!!' I looked up. 30 beautiful white birds with brown wing tips swirling around and around in circles around one another. Going higher and higher until they looked like little white airplanes dancing together in the sky. It was an ordered chaos of beauty. I have no idea what they were doing or what kind of birds they were (but would like to find out) but it made up stop what we were doing. It made us pause. It made us forget the laundry and the hurry to get to the store and the sidewalk chalk and toys strewn across the yard. It made us remember something bigger is always going on here. There is always a bigger story than just our own being told.
(Bubs is also into running and the birds. His attention span is not quite so long and he is, at the moment, much more interested in things that have wheels. He got a Tow Mater truck in the mail this week. It's glued to his hand. He puts on the ground, gets on all fours and says 'Voom Voom Momma!' And while running any branch, stick, flower, fence, truck, car, dog, cat, squirrel, cloud, and ESPECIALLY rocks will stop him in his tracks...curiosity abounds in this one.)