possibly the end

Years ago during what was maybe an El Pequeño Niño, I gave birth on a windy, rainy, blustery evening. Having as many kids as I do the odds had to be in my favor at least once that this would happen. And because it was the days of drive-thru deliveries, baby Abigael and I found ourselves coming home scarcely 24 hours after we met face to face for the first time…on another dark and stormy night. My darling husband easily stepped over the giant 3 foot puddle that he parked my new minivan in front of to get our new baby safely buckled in for her first ride. Naturally, I stepped right into the middle of that puddle of cold, brackish rainwater with my fuzzy socks and Birkenstocks because I had just pushed a 7 pound baby out of my vagina just 24 hours before and I was still bruised and swollen enough to not be as flexible as my darling husband imagined that I must be because

weren’t you doing all kinds of crazy downward doggie-warrior kind of yoga-y stretches right before we went to the hospital yesterday morning?

Because I was in labor, BACK LABOR and I might have hurt you were it not for that distraction!

Oh. So I guess puddle jumping is hard for you right now.

Just a little.

Maybe rain boots would have been better than Birkenstocks then.

Maybe.

Somedays he’s lucky that I love him so. That day was one of those days.

Looks like we are having a proper winter finally here in our neck of the woods. Yes, Jonas had his way with the Eastern part of the United States which many have yet to dig out from. I’ve seen all the Facebook posts. Hang in there y’all. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and I promise you that I had experienced more than my fair share of epic snow storms of the century to dig out from whether or not the snow ploughs came by to clear the main road and block our street and driveway…and of course school was not cancelled because as long as the school superintendent can get out of his driveway it’s all good. Still I am thankful for winds and the rains and the snow piling up in the Sierra because we need all the precipitation, all of it.

So while the rains came down, down, down in and all over Northern Cali this past week I set about to be prepared because El Niño finally is here!

This just might bring on the end of El Niño.

God I hope not because I want nothing more than to jump in some puddles while wearing these sweet boots.

Peeking ahead at the extended forecast I just might get my wish.

wearing my words

Does a grown-assed woman really need daily affirmations?

Well, yeah.

Recent conversation with a family member reminded me of that especially when he insisted on calling me by the nickname that was, of course, a family term of endearment. Every time he called me c___ w____, I was reminded how the playground taunt brought home and shared at the dinner table became the family pet name for me because it’s love, Laura, nothing but love…except it wasn’t. At least for me it wasn’t. It hurt. It hurt a lot then…and (surprisingly because I am so far removed from that toxic swill most days) now. What can I say? I was emo when emo wasn’t cool which was probably why that endearment stuck and still tries to stick 45 years later.

Perhaps it isn’t so cool anymore for me to be emo…a middle aged woman like me.

Does a grown-assed woman, like me, really need to be reminded almost every day of her own personal truths?

23888183773_9afc606ecb_z

Sure!

My words, my personal truths look pretty amazing here on my wrist.

They’re shiny too.

 

 

Pitiful Pearl and other traumas

Texting Hollie about the Christmas crazy I am gifting her girls with al to make their wishes come true…and perhaps drive their parents crazyI notice that my Pitiful Pearl is missing. I just might have to skip a post-run shower to tear apart The Big Top to find that poor, pitiful 50 year old doll.

Pitiful Who, you wonder?

True story: when I was a little girl, my mom took me to a fancy doll shop for my birthday telling me that I could have ANY doll there. I chose this doll. She used to have glasses. My mom asked me why would I want such an ugly doll. I answered back because she looks like me.

Yeah.

Ummmm. Mom, that makes me feel like she’s possessed. Like Annabelle.

She is not! But I can’t find her….anywhere!

Where was she? On the bookshelf? By the pool table?

Yes.

My guess is she’s in the garage next to a can of gasoline with a matchbook in her hand.

This is my darling, first-born child, in whom I am very much pleased…

You’re mean! She might be ugly but she is good. I’m the only one who’s ever loved her.

Mom, I haven’t been to your house in so long and yet I still feel like because she is missing I’m somehow responsible. I feel like I am re-living all of my childhood trauma.

Ridiculous!

Here is where I omit the part that I am quietly freaking out because I KNOW I must have moved the doll, probably putting her away somewhere safe from perhaps little grandchildren who want to play with a 50 year old doll who just can’t take that kind of play and yet, I CAN’T REMEMBER WHERE OR WHEN which means, DEAR GOD, IS THIS HOW MY DOWNWARD SPIRAL INTO DEMENTIA BEGINS???!!! Oh and, OMG, THE CHILD MOCKING ME AND PITIFUL PEARL WILL BE THE ONE WHO TAKES CARE OF ME.THIS IS NOT GOOD! NOT GOOD AT ALL!!!

Found her!

Where?

In the closet under the stairs. Perhaps I put her there in order to avoid unwanted attention…from my former neighbors.

CREEEEPY! I bet she put herself there. She just wants you to BELIEVE that you put her there.
(Twilight Zone music plays)

You know, I could still get that Unicorn Furby

OMG! Stop!

 

play it again: that’s what friends are for

originally published May 8, 2012 and because right now, my girl, Tracey is rocking her final marathon. If you’re reading this go tweet encouragement and congratulations right now to her because I said so and because she is seriously kick-asstastic and family.

You gotta love social media. Yes, I know some days you can’t help but hate it…the drama, the “vague-booking”, the time suck. But some days you just have to love social media. The last couple of days I have loved it.

My friend, Tracey, was running her very first marathon back home in Pittsburgh. She trained well for it and, thanks to Facebook, I was able to follow her in her training all along the way. I was so excited for her…her very first marathon!!! I was also a little nervous for her too…a worrisome foot injury late in her training schedule and the typical race-eve freak out…I couldn’t help but be worried a little…it’s what I do. More than anything, I wanted to be there…to cheer for her at the start, along the route and at the finish…because I know how much fun it can be…but more importantly, because Tracey is my friend and I wanted to be there just as I have felt like I have been throughout her training that she has shared. I set my alarm to remind me while at work early, early Sunday morning, west coast time, to send out a shout out wishing her luck and I began to follow her posted split times as well as #PittsburghMarathon live tweet updates.

Okay, fine. It wasn’t like I was there but then again it was…kind of sort of.

It was then on my Instagram feed I saw my friend Kim had posted an amazing shot of one of the elite runners running past her. It was a great capture indeed…air under the guy’s feet as if he was running through the air rather than on the pavement…you know, like us

mere mortals who try to run. I KNOW that it had to be exciting as I once got to see running greatness run past me…in the opposite direction…while running in the San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Excited I messaged Kim and told her how Tracey was running in the same event and just might be running by her soon…okay, later…still Tracey was headed her way! Kim messaged me back asking, “How can I spot her? I’m at mile 16. Would love to cheer her on.” Kim and I send back and forth messages with me trying to describe Tracey and then I send her a screen shot of Tracey with her running bib. An hour later I receive another message, “We just saw Tracey! I think we gave her a nice boost at mile 16!“, followed by, “Wish I could have lined up a few more folks to cheer for her.

Oh yeah, Kim is good people. She even came to my aid during BlogHer 11 with a dose of Tylenol…yes, it was part of her calling card but it helped me out and how can one ever forget that…oh, and I enjoyed sitting with her and sharing during a session or two. Even better, thanks to social media, I get to enjoy Kim’s company a lot and get to remind myself of the wonderful things that I miss about back home in Pittsburgh and that which makes Pittsburgh Someplace Special. Some pretty good people live there…like Tracey…like Kim.

It was after the race that I saw a posting on her Facebook wall from Tracey:

I’m home, icing every part of my body, reflecting on the day. A marathon isn’t fun or easy but parts of it did rock…My teammates, friends, fellow athletes! Laura Scarborough Setting up a surprise cheering section from 3000 miles away! The band at mile 9.29 playing Take the Skin Heads Bowling! Getting hosed down by a hot fireman in E Liberty! Knowing my Dad was with me every step of the way! My coaches Phil Thompson & Drew McCabe crossing the finish line with me! Best running partner Kathie O’Donnell finishing the last mile together!

Reading that made me cry…cry happy tears because although we can’t be face to face every day and we can’t just hop in a car and drive on over to be there for one another, I have some pretty amazing friends out there and thanks to the interwebs and a whole lot of social media I know that we can and are there for each other to support and encourage each other…to cry together…to pray together…to laugh together…tell me how and where to bury a body, you know, if I had to…to just be there for each other. It’s a small circle still it is a circle that has expanded my world in a way that I could never imagine…even when I am feeling alone here in Manteca. I have some pretty awesome friends…friends like Tracey, like Ann, like Kim, like Kari, like Kale, like Jenn, like Bill…I am so lucky…even if you all aren’t physically just around the corner.

Love you Tracey! Love you Kim! I hope that someday I can hook you two up…perhaps while taking in a game at PNC Park.

And one more time, congratulations Tracey!!! I am thrilled and honored to have cheered you on this weekend. You. Are. Awesome.

final marathon

When accomplishing something pretty amazing, most everyone can name at least one person who inspired them. When it comes to running and who inspires me two people immediately come to mind. There’s Kari, whom I hold personally responsible for the fact that I do run no matter how slow I go; and there is Tracey, a high school classmate and dear friend who remains my touchstone and connection to my “back home“…and because she pretty much adopted me into the Baker clan, my sister. Tracey can and will run in almost any crazy condition and considering the winter that was this past winter, I know she did while training for this year’s Pittsburgh Marathon. It’s kind of hard to whine about your running conditions in the Central Valley California when your friend is talking about ice and snow and freezing rain and freaking wind chill factors when sharing her running updates on Facebook.

Then there is the fact that she looks so damn good while running and looking like she is having a great time.

Apologies, Tracey, for snagging this picture from your Facebook wall. I couldn’t help myself because, yes, you look so damn good and like you are having fun. I would be the runner soaked in sweat with sweat drying so I look like a salt lick…a salt lick with a beet red face which would likely scare you and any spectators. I blame the ginger gene for the red face.

But look at her!

I’m inspired to run right now; except for the fact that it is nearing midnight and the Big Top is slumbering.

I received a text from Tracey early Friday morning that made me smile and cry sad and happy tears. This Sunday in Pittsburgh will be Tracey’s last marathon.

No, not her last run.

Thank goodness!

But, for so many reasons, it will be her last 26.2 mile race. And I was sad. Then she told me how she has read and re-read this particular blog post…and then the tears were happy tears filled with so much love.  I’ll be at work, again, but I am looking forward to following my dear friend and running crush via text alerts as she rocks this marathon in the ‘burgh. If I had the power and influence, I would make sure that all the hot firemen were all along the route cheering her on. I don’t have that influence and power…alas.

But I will be cheering my dear friend on 3,000 miles away in spirit, in my heart and via text messages because that’s what friends are for.

You’ve got this girlfriend!