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Last Cup Till Fall

I forgot to write about Coffee with a Cop!  I’ve written about the program before. It takes place on the first Saturday of the month.  A police officer or officers who are on duty but not busy meet with any interested community members. We have coffee and treats, and we talk.  The meetings take place at various locations, such as churches or the library.  On Saturday, June 6, we met at Trinity Lutheran Church, 443 Henry St., Herkimer, with Officer Tiffany Hill and Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory.

The idea of the meetings is to foster a better relationship between the police and the community. Discussions often cover a variety of topics.  Officer Hill talked about Community Policing, getting to know the people she protects.  Recently she had attended a parade and danced with kids in Meyers Park.  She was at a local school one lunch time and ended up signing autographs (nobody at the meeting was bold enough to ask for one).

She also told us about a foot pursuit where she ran across State Street and caught the guy.  Apparently somebody had leaned out of their apartment window to record it and posted the video on YouTube.  Some of those present had seen it. Oh, I missed a bet.  I should have found it and posted a link.  It was an exciting story.

“My job is so boring,” I grumbled.  Please note:  I don’t really mind; I can live with a little boredom.

We talked a bit about Main Street’s bad reputation, which I feel is not entirely deserved.  As with many such things, there is some truth and some exaggeration involved.  I said I would stubbornly continue to walk and run on Main Street when I felt like it.  Nobody seemed to think this was a bad idea.

I love my adopted hometown of Herkimer, but I know there is room for improvement. I like to think that Coffee with a Cop is a step in the right direction.  The program is taking a break for the summer but will restart in the fall.  I’ll be watching for fliers and scanning the newspapers to see when and where, as I hope others will be, too.

 

 

Not Wuss-out, Shout-out!

So after work today I put in laundry, folded laundry, went running, took a shower, put on a cute outfit, and waited for Steven to get home. When he did, I suggested we go out for dinner.  I suppose it was irresponsible of me, because we are supposed to be watching our pennies, but, well, sometimes you just gotta. We ended up in Jamo’s in Herkimer.

We sat at the bar, which we like to do.  A musician was in the dining room, playing piano and guitar (not both at once) and singing.  He was covering some great mellow ’70’s music by John Denver, Dan Fogelberg and others.  We sang a couple of the songs to each other.  Luckily for our fellow diners, we were not within earshot of anybody.

I ordered a salad called Artichoke Panzanella while Steven got the B. L.T.  His sandwich came with fries, which he graciously shared with me. Yum!  We had an excellent Pinot Grigio with our dinner.

After settling our bill, I wanted to put a tip in the musician’s tip jar. I had to wait till he was in between songs, because there was not one right out, clearly labelled.  That was OK, because I got to chat with him a little.  His name was Lauren Quail, and he is from Frankfort.  He said he was a Valley boy, so I told him I was Mohawk Valley Girl, although I was transplanted here.  We talked about how much we love the area.  He plays at Jamo’s every Wednesday, so that is something for me to remember when I feel like a mid-week night out.

So, you see, instead of Wuss-put Wednesday, I give a shout-out to a local business.  Jamo’s is located at 123 Mohawk St., Herkimer, NY, phone number 315-866-1746.

 

Somewhat Skimpy Scattered Saturday

I had meant to re-institute Saturday Running Commentary, but I didn’t get right on it soon after my run.  Then I did a bunch of other stuff, so I think a Scattered Saturday post is in order.  As always, I reserve the right to write about any and all of the activities mentioned at greater length subsequently.

So, the first thing I did was, I drank coffee.  Just in the interests of accuracy.  However, I managed to get into running clothes and out the door shortly after 7 a.m.  I took a long run, an hour and fourteen minutes.  I will OWN that Boilermaker!  At least, I will run it and finish it on my feet.  We’ll call that a win.

Back home and showered (which I am sure everyone who encountered me today appreciated), I wrote post cards.  I also go on the computer but just couldn’t settle down to making my blog post.  I was feeling icky, tired, and not inclined to do anything.  We can’t have that!  I could walk to the post office, which I usually do when I write post cards.  Then I thought how I wanted to write about Moose River Coffee Shop in Ilion, NY, for Mohawk Valley Living magazine.  Writing in cafes is an excellent thing to do.  Also, when one has been having trouble writing, as I have, changing one’s surroundings can help.

Accordingly, I decided to get drive to Ilion, stopping first at Herkimer Post office.  It took some dithering to come to this decision (I’ve been in that sort of mood lately), but at last I had made my plan.  Then I could not find my notebook.  What the hell?!  Finally I said to myself, “Just pick up a notebook.  Any notebook, as long as there are blank pages in it.”  Avoiding the TV Journal and my Running Journal, I found a notebook.  Fine.

When I walked into the coffee shop, I was immediately greeted.  One of my favorite families was there, enjoying coffee and each other’s company.  They invited me to join them.  I got my coffee and did, mentioning that I had originally come in there to write.

“We’ll be quiet and let you write,” one of the daughters said.  I said I would rather visit.  We had a lovely visit, and I got a little writing done after they left.  Not a lot, I confess.  I started a letter to a friend.  However, since I described my surroundings in the letter, I felt it was a rehearsal for my magazine article.  Incidentally, that is REALLY good coffee at Moose River.

Next I headed to the Ilion Farmer’s Market at Clapsaddle Farm.  I purchased tomatoes and Gouda cheese, and chatted with folk artist Jim Parker and the lady that sells eggs (I don’t know her name; how remiss of me not to ask).  Then I went home and did laundry.

My other activities today included a trip to T & J’s Fruits and Vegetables, a wine tasting at Valley Wine and Liquors, and sitting on my deck with a friend.  Now I am trying to get my blog post done so I can relax myself some more and wait for my loving husband, Steven, to return from work.  I guess I’ve kind of skimped on my latter activities today, but you’ll have that on Scattered Saturday.  I hope to give proper shout-outs to the businesses mentioned, and a couple others I’ve patronized in recent days, in upcoming blog posts.  As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

 

A Month and Two Days till the Boilmaker

I did not run for the last two days, so I knew I must run today.  The Boilermaker 15K is a month and two days away and I do not feel ready.  I feel old and creaky.  So I went on a long, challenging run and now I feel — you guessed it — even older and more creaky.  I suppose one will have that when one is, in fact, old and creaky.  However, I planned earlier to make a Running Commentary post, so here it is.

The Mohawk Valley weather gifted us with a beautiful, sunny day today.   It is a day which calls us to spend time outdoors (I say is, because the sun is beckoning me onto the deck as I type this)  (in fact, what am I thinking, being in here?  My laptop has batteries!  I’m going to finish this post outside) (That took a few minutes.  Now where was I?).  I got home and got right into running clothes and out the door as soon as possible.

I knew it would be a good idea to run a hill or two, but all the hills are on the other side of German Street.  Would traffic allow me to cross the street?  I ran toward German and hoped.  Wow, lots of cars.  And my body was NOT in the mood to run.  Oh, my legs were tired, it was not easy to breathe, my back was sore, I was incapable of moving very fast.  However, I WAS capable of moving.  Maybe no hills today.  After all, if I couldn’t cross the street… but maybe now… no, cars kept coming.  Well, if I couldn’t cross the street, I couldn’t feel guilty for not running hills, could I?  Oh, here was an opportunity.  Damn.  Uh, I mean, good!

But which hill to run?  That sun was certainly warm.  I decided to run into Brookfield Park and down the path in the woods, which comes out on the back road up to Herkimer College (HCCC, to long-time locals).  The road goes up as soon as you go into the park.  Oh, that was painful.  It’s not even that long or steep of a hill.  Good God, I only took two days off!  What the hell, body?  It seemed to take a long time to get into the park, but soon I came to the bridge over the brook, which leads to the picnic area beyond which is the path through the woods.  I decided to go beyond it, to the end of the road, then back to it.

The stream babbled towards me, over rocks, moving rapidly and splashing busily.  The recent rains were no doubt having their effect, but it did not look in any danger of flooding.  At the end of the road is a fenced off area.  I could see a path at the edge of the fence, where apparently pedestrians bypass the fence and walk into the woods.  I,  however, did not do so. I had had the damnedest time getting this far; all I could think was that if I could go no further, I did not want to be too far from civilization.

Soon I was headed into the woods, along the path, which also took a long time.  I was not going to go the rest of the way up to the college. I would keep running.  Then I would stop.  Ooh, stopping sounded good.  But I kept going.  Finally I got back onto the road and headed down.  Then I had another idea.  There were a couple of dead end roads that went uphill.  I could run up those and still get some hills in.  I turned right onto the first one.

And realized that it was not exactly a dead end. It led up to the college by the dormitories, a way I have dubbed the kick-butt way.  Well, I did not have to run up the college the kick-butt way, just because I accidentally went on that road.  I could turn around.  I WOULD turn around.

I did not turn around.  Instead, I got my butt kicked.  It is a good idea to get your butt kicked a month and two days before the Boilermaker 15K, I think.  When I ran down the hill from the college, I stopped at the spring and got a drink.  As I ran onto my street, I passed two ladies and a baby on a front porch.  The baby was crying piteously.

“That’s exactly how I feel right now,” I said.  One of the ladies laughed.

I tell you, it was a lousy run, but I ran and I’m glad I did.  Tomorrow I am scheduled to donate blood at a blood drive at my work, so I will probably not run or walk.  And the Boilermaker 15K will be a month and one day away.  Yikes!

 

Memorial Day Musings on a Run in the Rain

I said yesterday I was going to do a hard run today, in honor of fallen soldiers for Memorial Day.  When I got up it was pouring rain, and I was tired.  I don’t usually run in the rain, and it was raining quite heavily.   I really felt too sluggish to do anything.  At last I bestirred myself and went upstairs to put on running clothes with the intention of running in place on the mini-tramp.

As I sought out proper attire, I felt I must run outside in the rain.  Was this a tribute to fallen soldiers or was it not?  How could I justify making things more comfortable for myself?  Maybe I wouldn’t make it for an hour and a minute (the length of my last longest run), but dammit, I was going to run in the rain.  I put on an ARMY t-shirt with a reflective decal on the back.  ARMY for the soldiers, reflective decal for me.  Headlights would catch the decal even in broad daylight, wouldn’t they? Cars should have their headlights on in the rain.  I would be fine.

I headed in the direction of Herkimer College, thinking up that hill would be a good, tough run.  I dodged around and jumped over puddles, eventually landing in one so that my shoes went squish, squish.  I expected that.  I wondered if my plan was a good one.  For one reason, I think the hill I ran up the last time I ran in the suburbs was a longer, steeper one than the one to HCCC (can’t get out of the habit of calling Herkimer College by its old name).  For another reason, I did not think there would be any people up at the college. I like to run where there are people, in case I run into problems.  Suppose I got cramps or sprained an ankle?  I like to think somebody would notice.

“Hey, there’s a crazy old lady, out running and came to grief.  I’ll call 9-1-1.  Better not get to close, though; I hear they’re dangerous when wounded.”

Halfway up the hill, I remembered Campus Safety would probably still be around.  Anyways, I’ve never come to grief running.  I think it’s something my body tells my brain to think about in hopes I will decide to stop running. Soon I was happy for the lack of traffic, because I went out almost to the middle of the lane to avoid a deep puddle.  I didn’t want any more squish in my shoes than I had to have.

Soon I started second guessing my whole “Run for the soldiers” theme.  Who did I think I was, anyways?  Wasn’t I just glorifying myself:  “Oh, look how tough I am, running up the hill in the rain.”  Of course I did not feel particularly tough. I felt wet and old, but oddly good about myself.  Naturally I become suspicious when I start to feel good about myself. I feel I am not the best judge of what I ought to feel good about.

Oh, it took a long way to get to the top.  Did I think this hill was easier than the others I run?  I must be crazy!  But I knew I could make it.  I was running with a bottle of water in one hand but did not feel inclined to take a sip on the steep incline. When I got to the top, I promised myself.  When I got to the top, I kept going across the campus, which I have not done yet this year.  After all, you can cover a lot of ground if you want to keep going for an hour.

Campus was almost deserted.  I saw one car moving and a few empty ones parked. Nobody told me to get off campus, and I enjoyed the solitude.  Things look kind of interesting when they are grey and soggy.  I was pretty grey and soggy myself, and not just my hair; the t-shirt was grey and by now it was soaked through.  I ran all the way around behind the athletic fields to Reservoir Road, which quite frankly seemed a lot longer than the last time I ran it.

I continued my run, moving back and forth between feeling I was making a respectful tribute and wandering what the hell I was thinking.  I also ran the gamut of “this really sucks” to “I LOVE running.”  Sixty-one minutes is a pretty long run.  I finished my water and re-filled the bottle at the spring.  Then I saved the spring water for my husband Steven.  I had left another bottle of tap water on my deck to drink during my cool-down walk.

And that is how I remembered and honored our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.

 

Scattered, then Nap, then Snapped

It’s Wine O’Clock on a Saturday.  I wrote a blog post with that title once.  Some may feel I have not earned a wine o’clock today, but to that person I will explain, “Shut up.” (With thanks to S.J. Perelman.)

I managed to sleep in till after 6:30 this morning.  Ooh, did that feel good.  Ooh, did the coffee taste good when I had some of that.  I had not finished the first cup (I was nursing it) when I decided to go for my run.

What a run!  It was a long run!  It went up a long hill with some steep stretches!  I got endorphins.  The endorphins wore off (here’s a Freudian slip: I typed “whore” instead of “wore.”  Damn immoral endorphins!)  My computer thinks “endorphins” is not a word, but “endorphin” is.  I like it with the “s.”  Ooh, and look: on my headline, I added and “s” to “nap” to get “Snapped.”  Let’s hear it for the letter s!

I’m still on my first glass of wine, by the way.

After my run, a shower and some breakfast, I wrote my postcards while Steven finished a letter I had started to a sister-in-law.  I paused in the middle of that to put some stew beef in the crock pot for later consumption.  Before walking to the post office, I messaged my friend Kim on Facebook about getting together later.  When I got to the post office, I heard a voice say, “Hey, lady!”  It was Kim.  How serendipitous was that?  We made plans to meet at noon.

We drove out to the Herkimer County Humane Society for their garage sale.  I’ve gotten some good stuff at their garage sales!  I found some good stuff today, but I can’t tell you want, because a couple of them are presents (don’t shake your head at me for buying presents at a garage sale; it’s reduce, reuse, recycle!).  We looked at two other garage sales we had seen on the way out but did not find anything else to buy.

Next we went to T & J’s Fruits and Vegetables, at 221 Caroline St., Herkimer,  to look at plants.  I had it in mind to get my container garden together.  I saw a lot of good stuff but suddenly was overcome with tiredness.  Serious, my whole body just said, “I can’t possibly do this today.”  However, I ascertained that the place is open tomorrow and Monday, so I do not despair of getting something done soon.

Kim and I had a couple of other stops in mind, but when she asked if I was too tired, I had to say I was.  I got home in time to visit with Steven during his lunch hour.  Then I took a damn nap.  Yes, naps!  I love naps!  Before I slept, however, I started to read through the rehearsal script for The Tempest, which is LiFT Theatre Company’s summer Shakespeare production.  I must begin learning my lines!

After the nap, I had a cup of tea and tried to recover at least a modicum of ambition.  I succeeded to the extent of doing the dishes.  Then I poured myself the glass of wine referenced in the first sentence and turned on Snapped, my favorite television show.  And, as you see, I had enough ambition to make a 500+ word blog post.  Yay me!  Now to watch my show and crochet a little till it’s time to finish fixing supper.  Happy Saturday, everyone!

 

Trying to be Cheerful on a Mid-Week Run

So I went running this morning and started to make a Running Commentary post, but I was just too distracted.  I thought I would feel less distracted as the day wore on, although I confess I don’t know why I thought that.  Never mind, I’ll just start the post and see if it works.

The thermostat said it was 40 degrees out, well within my range for leggings and long sleeves.  Only I couldn’t find a pair of leggings I didn’t mind getting dirty (hey, sometimes you have to plan your wardrobe ahead and you can’t count on being able to do laundry in a timely fashion).  I finally found a pair of spandex tights which I put a pair of shorts over.  What a late ’80’s/early ’90s fashion flashback! I used to LOVE wearing leggings or tights with shorts!  This was back in the day when one covered one’s butt while wearing leggings, unlike our current permissive times.

I only got a house or two away from home when I realized I had forgotten my hat.  That would never do.  I ran back home and pretended that was a warm-up.  I started out the second time running in the opposite direction to what I usually take: toward Meyers Park.  I ran through the park and over to Main Street.  There was a fire on Main Street last night.  I refrained from going down and rubber necking while it was going on, but surely it would not be too inquisitive to run by on the opposite side of the street and view the extent of the damage.

It didn’t look good.  The business on the ground floor seemed untouched, but upstairs windows on one side of the building were black holes.  Windows on the other side appeared to have been knocked out.  Damn!  I continued up Main Street, looking for something more cheerful.  Unfortunately, there are several un-cheerful sights on Herkimer’s Main Street.  I like to keep this blog positive, so I’ll go ahead and skip to the rest of the run.

My head was feeling the cold, despite my toque (it was the knitted watch cap I got in the Army; Steven calls it my toque).  I pictured a warm scarf wrapped around my face and thought that would feel good.  No matter, I told myself.  I could take a hot shower when I got back home.  I looked around at flowers in people’s yard and reminded myself that things WOULD warm up.

I only ran 32 minutes, but I thought that was all right for a mid-week run.  I had things to do that I felt I must recruit my energies for.  In fact, I’m still recruiting them and not getting a whole lot of things done.  But at least I made my blog post.