Saturday, March 21, 2009

training for spring

The list of “things that absolutely have to be done today” is long. I’d been away the past few week-ends and now I'm paying my dues. Chores.

Most everything on the list is boring: get new glasses so that I can see my lecture notes in class, clean bike from winter hiatus, find sturdy, cheap but also cool looking pair of jeans for upcoming hiking trip in late spring, get carpet cleaner for grape juice spilt more than two weeks ago, get batteries for Ed’s digital calipers, etc.

Worse, the list requires two stops: at a mall and at Wal-Mart. Which is the bigger devil? Hard to choose. Especially since it’s beautiful outside on this day! Sunny, warm…

But, slowly I gain inspiration. The jeans shopping? No, not boring. It anticipates the adventure ahead.


The glasses? Well, what can I say. I can see now.

While at the mall, we stop at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Ed thinks we should try to pick up a game of tennis. I note that we already hike, kayak and bike in the summer, but I’m willing to throw in tossing a ball over the net, if we accept the premise that I haven’t played tennis since I was thirteen. Really.

And now it is time for The Dreadful Wal-Mart. I profoundly dislike the store for any number of reasons. But, with Ed, life sooner or later directs us to Wal-Mart. And today, we fill a cart. Bike lock, batteries, Burpees seeds (way too many packets)…


…lime remover, Cascade. And a notebook and fizzy water. And finally, we are done. It is, by all accounts, evening. Close to six.

Want to hit a few?

We head out to the courts in the park just steps away from my condo.


We’re not dressed for it. We look ridiculous. We pick a court at the very end, away from the others and still, people pass, pause, enjoying the sight of tennis on this warm (still in the 60s!) day.

The guy at the store said tennis comes back to you, sort of like bike riding. But I never had it! Two or three times in my youth does not count! And still, it is a thrill: we volley some, lose most, and through it all, I am aware that the sun is up and I am warm and really, life is not too bad.

Sorry! I shout again as I mess up a return.
Don’t say that! No one says sorry.
What do guys say when they miss?
Oh. You don’t say fuck when you miss.
It’s not polite in mixed company.
(later) Sorry!
Don’t say that!
Oh, sorry, I cant help it!

And so it continued until one of us runs out of steam.

At the condo parking lot, we are greeted by a pack of red breasted birds.


And to think this is just the beginning of the good seasons!