After coming home from the excursion to Lummi Island, I helped spread manure in our community garden. Some of the residents in our apartment complex talked the owners into the idea of using part of the area located behind the apartments for a community garden, and they paid to have the area fenced, to (hopefully) keep out the deer and other critters that will be eyeing our veggies. I decided to plant kale, collards, carrots, and squash in my little area, but we needed to spread the two piles of horse manure before it can be tilled, which will probably happen today. I am exhilarated, since I have never before had the possibility of having a garden. I may enjoy it or possibly find it to be too much work, who knows? Even the uncertainty is a bit exciting to me.
Our sunny, beautiful weather returned for a couple of days, but last night I woke to wind blowing the curtains and rattling the bird feeders. I went outside and removed them so they wouldn't be blown down and felt the change in the weather. Today is the annual Ski to Sea event here in Bellingham, and I've been watching friends in the gym working hard to get ready for it. That link will take you to a USA Today article about it that I found interesting.
A few years ago I volunteered to help organize the packets that the racers require. There are eight people in a team, which are limited to 500. People sign up for this event far in advance, and the same top teams win year after year, but many people are not as competitive and decide to enter for the fun of it. It's a relay race of over ninety miles. Here's a bit of information taken from the official website.
A Ski to Sea Race team consists of 8 racers (2 in the canoe leg) for the seven race legs (Cross Country Ski; Downhill Ski/Snowboard; Running; Road Bike; Canoe; Mountain Bike; Kayak). A racer can only be on one team, and only complete one leg. We also recommend a support team to carpool the team to the different race leg venues. From the top of Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay, discover Whatcom County's recreational playground and the 'Ski to Sea' Experience.Some of the teams have decided to make it even more challenging and reduce their carbon footprint by not taking any cars to get to their starting point. I heard some people talking about logistics. It's a fun event and a lot of people get totally enthusiastic about it. Although I have considered finding a senior's team (there are plenty), I haven't followed through yet. I don't have a bike, so the only leg I would feel comfortable competing in would be the cross country ski part. That's what has kept me from actually doing it. I tell myself that, anyway.
Instead, I'll learn about gardening and raising my own vegetables. I was wondering what I would be doing this long weekend to keep fit, since the buses won't be running and the Y will be closed tomorrow. After shoveling manure for hours yesterday, I no longer need to worry about that. I came in and took a shower, washing off all the sweat and grime and went to bed early after a glass of wine. Although I tried to read, I found myself nodding off and gave myself permission to retire. After all, I'd walked a fast six-and-a-half miles and shoveled for a couple of hours, so I was entitled, I figured.
It was such a beautiful day yesterday that I glanced up at the sky now and then and thought about skydiving. A gentle breeze and completely blue skies made it a perfect day for it. But last Saturday I made four jumps and was a little bit glad for a break. My friend Linny wasn't going to be there anyway, so it wasn't as tempting as it would otherwise have been to make the drive down to Snohomish and get my knees in the breeze.
The birds are singing outside; I can hear the ubiquitous robin who wakes me every morning, a couple of chickadees, the goldfinch twittering, and the house sparrows tweeting. I've got a few white-crowned sparrows hanging around, but I don't hear them right now. The wind seems to have died down and the sky is looking good for the racers. In the afternoon I'll head downtown on the bus and make my way to the finish line, hoping for some good pictures. The first teams will arrive at Marine Park by early afternoon and the rest will stagger across the finish line, one at a time, until the sun sets.
And so it begins, the unofficial start of the summer season, the blue skies and sunshine, long days and short nights. I'm feeling pretty good for having lifted that shovel so many times yesterday; my workouts must be making a difference. Not bad for an old lady, I tell myself. Not bad.