What a solid month. The weather has been darn right spring like and I can honestly say that with several weeks now of consistent intensity sessions mixed in with the right amount of “deloading” has me in confident shape. What I was really looking forward to was our annual visit to Long Island to see Gina’s Dad for his birthday. This year #96!! You heard. We planned to stay 3 days and timed it perfectly to have great weather up north that weekend . I’m talking 65 degrees! Sunny warm and with her sisters together made for a fun, reflective and even warmer to the heart visit. I got in a few long runs along the roads of Kings Park and Smithtown, that good ol’ 25A which for years before we moved to CLT provided many a mile of solo time to “be”. Each time we visit, I get to hit those roads for some quiet runs which inwardly allow me to simply “be” again. One morning I had a mild, overcast, misty rain comfort me for over an hour and provided just the recipe for nourishing the MC Force.

We had plenty of fun taking care of Arthur and I even got him his own FATHEAD as a present. We tackled many a word puzzle that I love doing (make it a point to hit 20 each visit), sat out front to soak in some sun, and of course dine and wine with everyone each day! Pancakes at the diners in the morning, Christina’s homemade baked goods during day, and some good Italian food to toast off the evening. To see how Arthur manages his day is a great way to learn what it takes to live that long. Simple. Surround yourself with those you love. Do what you need to do. Keep that mind sharp. Unplug. I will always say and admire to be around the “greatest generation”.  I got to see my friends Penny, who works nearby at the local hospital (and who made sure Arthur was taken care of when he had an illness last spring) and of course my Polar friend Matt Rivas, who unloaded a bunch of his papusas and bread pudding to us. I speak truth when I say 3 days isn’t enough to get in all you want to do when you go back home to family. But Gina and I try and still wind up being exhausted by 10pm. But at least her sisters seem to get to bed just as quickly and earlier when given the chance. (that blanket BTW Gina made!!!)

But we maximized our time there and on our way back home I could tell how much Gina misses them. Once we took off in flight I know she wishes either everyone moved down south with us or there was a way we could all manage to take care of Arthur equally and see a little of each other everyday. And I mean c’mon, see the picture of 18 lbs of the cat Bubbles below. Who could leave that?  I know she’ll try and use any opportunity she can to go and visit in the next few months. Priceless time yo.

Quick shout out to Jody Dennis who once again took care of our boy Holmes while we were gone. Also a big thank you to Mary and crew at 1stchoiceActivewear for the latest gear that just came in (baggy rules!)

We got home late but soundly slept for once we got back into the swing of things – it’s March! The best way to welcome the longer days: LENT!!

In the years I’ve been writing theses journals, I’ll go back and keep to my same theme – no “giving up” things for LENT. It’s always a time for me to “GIVE”. (side note, I’ll be happy to take any of your candy and sweets if you choose to). More silence and reflection. It’s getting lighter. Easier to see now. Things as expected grow clearer thanks to the introspection these months in darkness. Extend the warmth. Brighten others days. Share that QT with those who need it. But also make sure you are strong, indestructible, invincible, and can “burn “for those purposes. We try to get to Stations of the Cross each Friday evening. Fast when required. Do more with less (which is easier since we do this everyday). These 40 days will stamp that “seal” for the rest of the year. Never is easy since you have to take your ‘licks” but the eyes on the prize remains always the fuel for the “will” to do. Be Genuine. Strengthen that self-actualization. That’s my tasks these days once again. And be able to Lend some of that Lent Yo.

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