Tag Archives: Beach

Okay, So I Didn’t Lose the Weight

Image by Julita from Pixabay.

My summer dieting resolutions have proved as successful as last January’s, despite my good intentions.

Daylight saving time is more conducive to exercise, I said. I’d shed winter weight like a parka.

Summer gardens produce tons of fresh veggies. Fruit, a nutritious food that actually tastes good, abounds. Easier to eat skinny, right?

I implemented self-scare tactics: Beaches would sound a bloat-float warning upon my arrival.

Other aids would help my effort. Spending hours in endless construction zones would create a slow burn, turning calories to ashes.

Plus, the stars were in weight-loss alignment. Stars or satellites? Not sure. I’m not picky about astronomy.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

I did consume fresh veggies. Also, berries, cherries, peaches and watermelon. And, um, ice cream.

Come on, I live three blocks from Ivanhoe’s, a legendary drive-in touted by The Huffington Post as Indiana’s contribution to “The One Thing You Must Do in Every State.” True Hoosiers don’t live by broccoli alone.

Image by Loulou Nash from Pixabay.

To my credit, I exercised. Dragged along — er, encouraged — by Hubby, I hiked miles across rugged terrain. We paddled lakes, cycled bike paths and, despite bloat-float warnings, frequented beaches. We even swam in the water.

Given those “vacations,” would you choose half a bagel for breakfast?

Also, even the word “s’mores” forbids limiting me to one.

As for swimming — beach alarm aside — possessing a built-in inner tube isn’t a bad thing. When out-of-shape arms don’t keep one afloat, fat to the rescue!  Safety first, I always say.

Besides, the holidays are three months away. Cooler weather will encourage exercise. As temperatures fall, so will my ice cream intake. Really.

Also, plenty of road construction remains to burn off excess calories.

Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay.

Baggy sweaters will hide my summer-acquired inner tube, lessening motivation to diet. But fear not. I’ve created new scare tactics.

Shopping trips with dressing room mirrors always diminish my appetite.

Even better (worse?): the yearly checkup. I plan to share my innovative medical theory with my doctor. Doesn’t it make sense that we who carry more years should outweigh the young, who carry only a few? I’ll inform her the stars are in weight-loss alignment during autumn. She shouldn’t be picky about astronomy.

I’ll promise that now it’s fall, I’ll drop pounds like trees shed leaves.

Besides, there’s always January.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Is it harder to lose weight during hot or cold months?

Super Swooper Versus Small-Time Heroes

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Do you also wish a superhero would swoop down and fly you to a beach where sunshine is the only butt-warmer needed?

My Super Swooper hasn’t appeared. Still, throughout my life, small-time heroes have popped up like crocuses through snow.

My family was staying in a church’s back rooms with no bathing facilities. Mom’s friend shared her old-fashioned bathtub, making the world a less stinky place.

Unknown drivers pulled over 1950s Chevys to give my young father rides to work.

As a preschooler, I pilfered a necklace from Etta, the Church Lady. Mom forced my confession before Etta and God. Both pardoned me. Later, Etta gave me a necklace of my very own.

A preacher gave me a Hershey bar and told me I could sing.

Serious hero points go to children’s education leaders who kept straight faces and saved mine. Assured any scripture memorization qualified for a prize, I recited Song of Solomon passages. Unknown to me, they weren’t about palm trees and goats.

As a teen driver, I smashed a pastor’s car, yet he maintained his religion.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay.

At my first job, I dumped salads with French dressing on a lady wearing a white suit. She waved off my tearful apology: “No problem. I have six kids.”

A college student, I worked summer nights in a rough Western town. The cook drank coffee out front, wearing a snarl no cowboy challenged. “If anybody hassles you, I’ll break ’em in two.”

Less menacing, a couple with small children picked up my boyfriend and I for church every week.

Despite my future in-laws’ visions of a marital Titanic, they supported our wedding during medical school.

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Other small-time heroes zoomed in:

An unemployed couple slid 10 dollars under our door.

A child brightened my tough workday by saying I was pretty.

A stranger, concerned about my pregnancy, pushed my shopping cart and unloaded groceries.

A snowplow operator cleared our driveway, with homemade bread for payment.

I’d asked a Burger King counterperson to reheat cold fries. Upon hearing I’d been dieting and hoped to enjoy a treat, she handed me smoking-hot replacements.

A young college student carried this old adult student’s backpack up three flights of stairs.

A grouchy, nonfiction editor didn’t throw me out for mistakenly pitching fiction to her at 8:00 a.m. She ultimately published several of my pieces.

Image by shahbazshah91 from Pixabay.

A writing friend grabbed me before I entered an important meeting wearing a Chiquita banana sticker on my power-suited butt.

All these and more have rescued me. I can’t count how many times my family has saved me.

Who needs Super Swooper, anyway?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Who are your small-time heroes?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Is Heaven Tropical?

O Jesus, even though I’m allergic to bathing suits, I love Your beaches with palm trees doing their tropical dance. But, cabin fever notwithstanding, OMG, I hope Your heaven includes one winter planet swathed in Your magnificent snow.

Vacation’s Over … Thank God!

Hubby and I have just returned from two weeks of camping, aka our vacation. Grateful to return with only 4,271 mosquito bites, I greet my calendar, which features a two-scene 1947 Norman Rockwell print entitled “Going and Coming.”

In the first, a grinning guy showing off a snazzy fedora and big cigar drives a station wagon topped by a boat. His smiling wife holds Little Sister on her lap. Junior and Fido hang out a window. Warm air flaps their ears and ours, and spit hits our windshields as they pass. Big Sis blows a bubble with her gum that could carry her to the lake by air. Little Bro holds his nose, giving the “You stink!” gesture that passed for rudeness during that era. Beside him, Grandma, sitting straight as a general, ignores the little heathens because of her poor eyesight.

At least, that’s the excuse we grandparents give.

In the second scene, the family returns from the beach. Dad sports only a stump of his cigar and bravado. Mom and toddler snooze. Even the boys and dog sit sedately, and Big Sis’s bubble has shrunk to earthbound size. Grandma, still ramrod straight, probably sleeps with her eyes open, a skill she’s perfected during church.

These Rockwell pictures shout their message so loud and clear even art experts can’t mess with it: “Vacation’s Over … Thank God!”

Each spring, epidemic celebrations offer a taste of summer, tantalizing as our first mouthful of strawberry shortcake. We view new territory, thumbing our noses at those less audacious, confident our bubble gum will taste good forever.

By late July, however, we surpass our quota of quality time together, especially in the car. We peel from the sun’s overfriendliness. Sand has made itself at home in cars, carpets and shorts. Kids have grown an extra epidermis comprised of sun block, Popsicle®, and dirt.

Oddly, something deep inside us craves an alarm clock — and regular bath times. We still love barbecues, but a Sunday roast with mashed potatoes and gravy sounds even better. We want our beds, our messy houses and our schedules.

Even messier because of vacations.

In Rockwell’s return scene, Dad will unload the car, including boat, gear, and sleeping children. Mom faces the formidable task of putting the remaining kids — freshly energized by their arrival home — to bed. (A side note: Both scenes feature children who appear entirely too clean. Mrs. Rockwell never would have painted them thus.)

Coming home is no picnic. Like this family, we continue to meet ourselves going and coming, coming and going. That’s life.

We wouldn’t miss it for anything.

 

Today, are you coming or going?