Sunday, October 19, 2008

hilly hundred

Marshall and I biked the Hilly Hundred this weekend. It tore us down, but it was exhilarating! We opted to ride 45 miles the first day (out of 48) and the shorter route of 40 miles on day two. I am so proud that we finished it, especially considering that after we got off the bikes yesterday, I wondered if we could get back on this morning.
On Saturday, the Hills killed us! I think I pulled us
(walking) up 10 hills, wearing bike shoes with metal clips. It was painful. After lunch we found a rhythm (and less traffic). We were almost there at 5pm when the support vehicle came by to announce that they were done, which meant we would be left alone on the road for the remaining 3 miles. Marshall was so cold, tired and hungry so we decided to get a ride. I almost cried because I knew how close we were. I wanted to be smart and not discourage him. When I saw the next hill, I realized I made the right decision.
We got a lazy start, sleeping-in this morning, despite the hard cafeteria floor. It was so cold, too. I was filled with doubt about the day that lie ahead and procrastinated a bit. It had warmed up by the time we started, so it turned out to be an ideal start time. Plus, we enjoyed not having to deal with much traffic.
We rocked it today (only walking Mt. Tabor hill and one other one)! Why the difference? No bike shoes and no heavy, handlebar pannier bag. Also we layered-up so we wouldn't get cold. It worked! We received steady infusions of encouragement, including one early-on that changed our camaraderie . It was a grandma, saying that she made her grand-daughter petal and that when she needed help on a hill, she shouted, "Turbo!". From that point on, our train became a space ship, and we called to each other about engine checks, repairs, alien shields, force fields, etc. Oh, how a good story helps!
We plan on it for next year! My wish is that by that point we will have a real tandem bicycle which will help significantly with our balance issues.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

st. louis with Kaori

We went to St. Louis for Kaori's fall break. An adventure west had to be made, since it had been lacking from Kaori's US experience.
We were disappointed by our experience at the Science Center, but gathered momentum when we biked Forest Park. We lunched at Union Station and then headed over to the place where we were to stay- the Huck Finn Youth Hostel. While the neighborhood of Soulard was facinating, and the accessibility to downtown was perfect, the hostel experience made us feel uneasy. The run down and dirty building, with numerous doors and passages was weird, but meeting our roomate was frightening. (She was simply a strange person, who rambled and laughed in the middle of the night.) We decided to stick with our plan and stay there anyway to save money and I don't regret it as it seasoned our adventure.
We ditched the car and went by bike to a few pubs and to get dessert (the only thing we could afford) at a fabulous restaurant called Tony's on Market Street. Afterwards, we biked to the Broadway Oyster Bar in Soulard and enjoyed the blues jam and dancing that we happened upon.
We slept, a little bit, and then biked to breakfast and the Budweiser Brewery tour. The rest our our day involved eating and sight seeing, the highlights being, The Best Steak House in the Grand Center and seeing the Chess and Scholastic Center of St. Louis in the Central West End.

Friday, October 3, 2008

marshall's child labor

Marshall is not usually self-prompted. He has a lot of things that he likes, but usually only does them if they can be done with someone else. He also doesn't respond well to commands, so the power of suggestion is valuable. His beginning in art was mostly because he could spend time with me, observing what I was working on and then later, when left to make up his own mind about it, would start doodling.
Many times, I have witnessed transformations in his demeanor because of his practice of art. Telling stories is central to who he is, and through the labor of art, his stories are released. I would always ask him to describe his art to me, which he quickly got tired of. So, I backed off, letting him decide when he wanted to tell me the story. I realized that his practice of art was enough of a release for him, and that he didn't need to then relay the story verbally.
Lately, Marshall has begun to draw "design-heavy" things, things that don't have stories. With that, he began telling me that he wanted to build things, "like you do, mom". I have heard him express the "how-to's" of putting something together, or how this vehicle works, or how this other weapon fires a million times. (This makes him a great teacher.) The mechanics of things are what he has gotten interested in and the building of things is what he desires.
If you're wanting something to do tonight, come to the three-kid art show, "Child Labor" on the lower level of the Harrison Center for the Arts. The show goes from 6-9. There are many other things to see tonight too including new work by Tyler Munenick and The Indieana Art Exchange.