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dreams do come true

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Since I relocated to Indiana last fall for school, my husband and I have fallen into habits about how we keep in touch, all of which revolve around the puppies.  I FaceTime him when the boys eat, he FaceTimes me two hours later when the girls are patiently waiting for one of us to say, go ahead.  I get up early, here in the eastern time zone, and usually there are a few texts from him from the night before when I do, pictures of the girls curled up asleep, or funny things that they had done.   I feed the boys, head out to swim or run, and I'm usually making my own breakfast when the text pops up on my phone saying, good morning.
Wednesday.  I was about halfway through my 6am swim when I realized that there hadn't been any texts from him that morning, and I got a bad feeling.  I'm a worrywart by nature, but I couldn't shake it.  I kept swimming, more and more frantic, until finally I pulled myself up on the deck to dig my phone out of my bag and text him, just checking i…

one extraordinary voice

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A year ago.  It seems a logical place to start.

Every October since we transplanted to Colorado, I’ve celebrated my birthday with a ride (and every year, I describe this day; please don't mind as I gaze lovingly at my navel for a while).  I step away from work and responsibility and the ping of the phone to wander the mountains alone on my bike, returning home late in the day, blown with wind and grit and sunshine and sweat.  Filthy, exuberant.  Sated.  
All these years.  I'd boogie through the shower to scrub off most of the dirt, blow-dry my hair, pull on the cowboy boots that constitute dressed up in Boulder and head out for a fall evening that has somehow always turned up delightful & perfect, crisp, cool, a black sky thrown with stars.  The day ends with red wine, far too much ice cream and the warmth of love laced with friendship; at this point (in my advancing age) it all blurs together into one soft memory of bracing sunlight, miles traveled over the earth, deep huma…

a tiny box of graham crackers

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He came home at seven weeks old.
We had picked out several possible names for him, a whole list crowd-sourced from coworkers and friends.  None seemed to fit.  As we drove up I-95 through light snow, I tried them out.  Winston?  Kalai?  And then a few minutes later, off-handedly to the poet, he smells like a tiny box of graham crackers.  He said, Graham? and I said, with only slight irritation to my boyfriend of about two months, Did you just name my dog?!
He was sugar-cookie-sweet right off the bat.  He learned how to sit at eight weeks old, peed on the Christmas tree rug at nine, charmed my dad into remarking, dogs are so much better than kids at ten. I would say that he was mine but the truth is, I was his.  Madly, deeply, immediately, I belonged to him.
He got sick when he was two, and everyone saved him.  It changed us.  It is hopefully not a lie to say that it made me a better person and it is all because of Graham.  We gave back everything that had been given to us and kept giving…

whether or not I should

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In life right now, everything is being measured in tiny increments.  I recently passed four months post-surgery.  I've been exercising again for eleven weeks.  My long run has gotten five to ten minutes longer each week, last Tuesday I graduated from the pink 2-pound dumbbell to the blue 3-pound dumbbell in PT-prescribed bicep curls.  My shoulder can tolerate fifteen more minutes on the trainer, I can unload the dishwasher, chop cucumbers (but not sweet potatoes), open windows, walk two dogs.  To be in this place actually feels quite sweet; I have a phenomenal amount of appreciation for the small wins.  I'm not thinking about when I can next race an ironman, I'm thinking about whether or not I can run ten miles next Sunday and how fucking happy I'll be to see that final mile flip over on the watch.
After almost every huge race I've done, I've taken some time off.  What that has meant in the past is a few days or maybe weeks spent noshing on the oh-so-trite cupca…