Tuesday, August 27, 2013





Joshua Radin at the Bend Athletic Club
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Millie (Half) Marathoner

Way back in May, while on the boat in Mazatlan, Millie started getting up early to run.  Colin and I would sleep in, make banana pancakes, and watch The Lion King as Millie was out jogging.  She found a website online for the annual Haulin’ Aspen Trail Marathon and Half Marathon in Bend and, in a moment of spontaneity, signed up to run the half marathon.

Over the next three months, as we slowly made our way north to central Oregon, Millie continued to train for the race.  When we were putting the boat away in the heat of Guaymas, she would run.  When we spent a week visiting family in California, she would run.  And, when we finally made our way to Bend, she picked up the pace, getting up early to put in eight miles before breakfast.  Colin and I slept in, made blueberry waffles, and watched Dora the Explorer.

Of course, we encouraged her.  I offered my congratulations as she made steady improvement in both distance and time.  I handed out upbeat praise and gratuitous high-fives as she came in from her runs.  I made her waffles.  And, I had confidence in her.  As the big day of the race approached I knew she was ready.

That big day came on Sunday.  We all got up early to get Mom to the starting line by 8 o'clock.  Colin and I cheered as the horn sounded and she strode out of view with a few hundred other runners.  The course started out on a paved bike path that led to a dirt trail through the beautiful wooded Shevlin park before climbing up a steep hill and looping back to the start -- a nice 13 1/2 mile stroll on a gorgeous sunny day.

Two-and-a-half hours later and we waited at the finish line as Millie's bright pink tank-top came in to view.  She crossed the line holding the same steady pace she started with, and her proud family showered her with hugs and kisses.  Then we all made our way to the concession stands where Mom drank her weight in water and Dad enjoyed the free beer and burritos.  We should do this more often.

Good job, Mom!
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Friday, August 9, 2013

School Daze

Change has been the constant since leaving Alameda, and that reality hasn't changed with our location.  Even though we're now settled in to our house in Bend we still find ourselves adapting to new challenges and opportunities. 

This week was a big one for the Wilson family.  Yesterday Millie started her new job as an oncology nurse at an outpatient clinic just a short drive from our house.  It's a perfect fit for her skills in a position almost identical to the one she last held in the Bay Area.  She's excited and eager to go back to work.  I'm excited for her.  Colin's just excited.

Both of us working full-time jobs, however, presented a new challenge -- finding daycare for Colin.  Millie started researching local preschools weeks ago, and set up appointments to check out a few of them.  After careful deliberation we chose a well-established school near Millie's work with a fun, structured program and a great staff.

So, on Thursday, before dropping Millie off at her new job, we dropped Colin off at his new school.  We'd been dreading this day for months.  I had images of a sobbing, inconsolable toddler in the corner weeping all day and wondering why mommy and daddy abandoned him.  Colin was just a few months old when we sailed south, and we've been together as a family unit since.  He's never been apart from Millie for more than an hour or so.  Preschool represented a big step for all of us.

On the other hand, two years in Mexico have allowed us the opportunity to develop lasting friendships with many wonderful and interesting people.  Traveling at such a young age has exposed him to a different culture, language, and values, and that has helped shape his young mind in a very positive way.  He seems to be a very intelligent, well-adjusted little boy -- with us, anyway.  How will he behave without mom and dad in the room?

Well, after two full days of school, I'm happy to report Colin has received high marks in class.  They all love him there, and he seems to love going there.  He cried a little in the morning, but was soon distracted by all the children, the games, and the toys.  At the end of the first day we walked in to the room expecting hugs and tears but he didn't even notice us at first.  I considered that a good sign.  By the time he finished his dinner and bath the little guy could barely stay awake.  "Colin, did you have fun today?", I asked.  "Yeth", he replied.  "Do you want to go back tomorrow?".  "Yeth!".  I think we're going to be OK.
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