February 15, 2014

Running in the House


My heart rate got up this afternoon. I haven’t exercised at all since last October. When I am up at the cancer center with Daddy and I need to go to another floor for some reason, I take the stairs. Three floors and I feel it. I am out of shape.

Last week marked the end of the fourth decade of my life. The AARP sent me “the letter” a few weeks back. I didn’t open it, but I assumed it was my welcome to the “old people’s club” letter. They wanted to be the first to lay out the welcome mat. I didn’t ask to join so I know they have been creeping on me.

My grandma played with me and my sister, my brother and cousins. I don’t think she had much of choice in the matter. We were always having her pull out blankets to make huge multi-room tents. We threw them over yard furniture out in the shade of the sycamore.

Other days, when the St. Augustine was thick and green, she’d be out the in the old milk barn finding “toad sacks” (burlap feed bags) for us to race in. We were into competition, running heats before we knew what they were, battling it out by twos until there was an eventual top sack racer.

She crawled in our tents and in the tow sacks and she played with us.

A race broke out in the kitchen and dining room this afternoon. It involved squeals and hiding and going round and round. The dog joined in nipping at my jeans and acting like a pup.

Maggie is thirteen but she acts younger when the grandgirls come over. Just like me, she can’t resist a good squealing game of chase.


About ten minutes in, I peeled out of my sweater and ran in my t-shirt for the rest of the chase. The girls, they padded barefooted on the sisal rug and the wood floors. I slid around the counters in my wool socks.


Finally, the little one was worn out and she reached for Dandy (my grandmother name). We didn’t make it long once I was toting a twenty-five pound weight.

Stopping to fill sippy cups with apple juice, we pushed our hair out of our eyes and caught our breath.

Naomi wanted to know if the juice had sugar in it. I told her maybe there was a little. (I didn’t get the memo that she was grounded from sugar. Oh, well…)

I made the remark, directed to no one in particular, really just thinking out loud, that we had gotten our exercise. Naomi was listening.

“No, Dandy,” she said as a matter of fact, “we were playing.”

Playing was on the afternoon agenda and the chase was the finale after reading books and jumping “one, two, three” and singing and dancing.

I once thought my grandmother was humoring us when she was playing with us but she was playing because she loved it and she loved us.

The old house rule, “No Running in the House” doesn’t apply around here.

We aren’t waiting until spring for a good game of chase. Life is too short not work in some play. This might including wrestling with my friends ----an activity I rarely did in my forties but am thinking about taking up again when I get back in shape.

(The above is a warning to my friends…and if they are reading they know to watch their backs. Surprise is my only advantage at my weight class.)

Thanks for all the birthday wishes this week. Turning fifty was fun for so many reasons---number one being I didn’t do it alone but with my twin sister, Leanne, who came into “old people’s club” eight minutes behind me.

Play this week. Run in the house. Wrestle. Life is too short not to play.

Linking with Laura at The Wellspring: Playdates with God

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