Beloved sled dog musher Lance Mackey died this week. He was flinty, funny, courageous, and valiant but if you saw him you’d think he’d missed his shift changing oil at the drive-through oil change place on the way out of town. Not that changing oil is anything to be ashamed of, but Lance Mackey had that through and through rough, oil-stained, holes in the pants aura that made people love him. And he talked to his sled dogs one by one, knelt down beside them and talked to them. It’s an enduring image for me.
Those of you concerned about Punchy’s backside can rest easy. After a harrowing week that involved steroids and an unpredictable but quite messy reaction to same, his rear end seems to be on the mend. Of course, getting a look is very challenging since he is a dog who travels at all times with his tail down, not between his legs, just down, like he doesn’t want to call attention to himself or his issues.
We are back from the great north, crammed back into the city. The claustrophobia hit me at the city limits, the houses so close together that neighbors can shake hands without leaving their kitchens. Today, our neighbor on the other side of our driveway broke a glass jar that sent shards flying all over our shared pavement. We had to yell at him to clean it up. It’s okay because he’s quirky and chatty and we have no gripe with his overflowing garden or the popcorn he planted in his front yard but I can see his broom from here and that’s too close.
My office has become a horror chamber of papers, books, lists, boxes, albums, CDs, picture frames, and electrical cords. I asked myself today: why has my office always been so difficult and risk-laden? Why do other people have offices with clear desks and gleaming tables? Flat surfaces without stacks of old essays, bowls of paper clips, or bills paid during the past two years. “You control your environment,” my husband said. So, I started in on it today by moving the cat carrier to the hallway and throwing out a garbage bag full of bylaws, agendas, and reports. I still feel like a captive though so more needs to be done.
I’m on a mission to regain my thunder thighs. Unbeknownst to me but known to most people it seems, older people lose a lot of muscle mass as they age. This was explained to me yesterday by a personal trainer (from whom I was getting a free visit) using a very disturbing graphic comparing the cross-section of a 35-year old’s leg to that of a 65-year old. I asked a friend what to do about this: protein and squats. It’s crazy that it’s come to this. Honestly, my legs have just disappeared right out from under me. I’m not having it though. I’m doing squats with a fistful of meat in each hand.