27 February 2011
22 February 2011
21 February 2011
This year, the one nemesis in the event was the wind– a steady and invisible hand pushing across the whole of New England at 30 miles an hour. As a tailwind, it was pretty sweet. As a headwind, it was brutal. And although dueling with the same air whose maritime pungency I savored robbed me of some good finishing speed late in the race, I was happiest when sharing the swiftness and the toil of a blustery and blistering pace with a number of other runners, alternately blocking the wind for each other, one mile at a time. As my legs tired, I saw Martha's less as a race and more as a communal celebration of running, the caprices of a New England winter, and the desire to train bodies, strengthen minds, and gladden souls. When I reached the finish, weary and fatigued, two seconds faster than last year, I was grateful as much for the company I kept along the course as the time in which I navigated it. And once again, the signature item at the postrace spread– a retired Coast Guard officer's homemade clam chowder– was the best bowl of the stuff I've had all winter!
15 February 2011
12 February 2011
08 February 2011
06 February 2011
02 February 2011
- Shoveling out a 7-foot diameter crater around our community's bird feeder; the snow had gotten so high that the squirrels could just climb up onto the dome-shaped guard and pillage the feed intended for the many juncos and cardinals that patronize our seedy little establishment. (Points if you found the pun!)
- Driving a brother Jesuit to and from an appointment during the storm, driving in second gear and doing L-shaped fishtail turns on city streets that one eloquent reporter described as "driving on Crisco." Vegetable oil may be an alternative fuel, but it's not an alternative driving surface.
- Helping to rearrange the furniture in our living room– an act as momentous as changing the balance of power in Congress– in order to facilitate an impromptu gathering of the brethren around the fireplace to share a little refreshment and a lot of stories.
- Hanging out with the guys from the grounds crew who plow our little enclave in the parking lot, and talking about fleet maintenance for everything from Chevy Impalas (great snow cars!) to 18-point plow bolt mechanisms on front-end loaders.
- Taking more pictures around campus, marveling at the mounting drifts, and wondering when the 12-foot high piles in the parking lots will finally vanish.