Friday, April 21, 2006

An expanding family

Exciting bird news... there are 6 eggs in the nest!! When I left for Easter, there was only one, so I assumed that would be it. (Obviously I did not pay attention in biology class and have no common sense... of course a little bird can't pop out 6 eggs that are the size of her head all at once!) Mama bird, let's call her Wilma, is now sitting on the nest for most of the day. I don't have any idea of what type of bird she is. She looks a bit like a sparrow, but has a fatter beak and a yellow stripe where her wings meet her body.

6 babies and a protective mom will definitely put a cramp in my plans to spend lots of time on my balcony, but I am willing to accomodate:-)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Random Thoughts

Here is a collection of things I have been thinking about lately...

1. It was confusing to be back in the States, especially in Boston. I said “guten morgen” to another guest at the hotel. It just rolled off my tongue! He wasn’t German, but it just so happened that 6 Germans were also staying at our little 50-room hotel… what were the odds!?

I had an even more interesting German experience at the Freedom Run. 2 guys wore black, red, gold wigs, while a woman wore a black, red, gold feather tiara, and another couple of people carried German flags. It is possible that the wigs and tiara were being worn by a running club whose colors are the same as the German flag, but the German flags were unmistakable. Thinking back to the Berlin marathon, I did not see a single person with a German flag. Is this all just a coincidence or would a German feel more comfortable “waving the flag” outside rather than inside Germany? Maybe this is much ado about nothing, but I couldn’t help but ponder this question on my run.

I also ran behind another group of Germans for part of the run. Katie and I felt a little tricky being able to run and eavesdrop on a conversation in a foreign language at the same time;-)

2. There is officially a bird nesting in my flower box. Expect regular updates about this event on this blog. I am most excited!

3. I don’t think it is a good idea to read “He Just Isn’t That Into You” on the U-bahn. It leads to funny stares.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Marathon Day!

Swan boat at Boston Public Garden. We lucked out with a great weather weekend!

The girls after the Freedom Run

After a fantastic weekend filled with a Duck Boat Tour, walking around the Public Garden and a 2.8-mile fun run on Easter morning, Monday was the day for Katie, Dave and Lisa to get down to business and run the marathon. At 7:30am, we walked them down to the Boston Common where dozens and dozens of busses were waiting to take everyone out to Hopkinton. You could see runners coming from all sides of the park. Some were jazzed, some obviously nervous, while others walked quietly, waiting for their morning jolt of caffeine to kick in. It was amazing to think that the next time the athletes saw the park they would have run 26 miles!

The support crew (mom, dad, granny, grandpa, Ellie and I) found a perfect spot to watch the race—300 meters from the finish, right on the street, under the jumbo-tron and near a port-a-potty! Ellie and my mom passed the time by writing messages on the street with sidewalk chalk. I passed the time by eating a lobster roll:-)

Dick and Rick Hoyt

As with other marathons I have watched, the day is always filled with emotion. It is exciting to watch the first runners race by and hope that an American is among them. But the best part of the marathon really begins after the elites finish. This was the 25th year that Dick Hoyt ran with his son Rick, who suffers from cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. The chair and Rick weigh 140-lbs, Dick is 65 and just had surgery, but the two ran the race in an amazing 3:46. They are truly an inspiration! The crowd went wild as they passed. Two “jogglers”—who run while juggling, set a world record for their efforts. There were also US soliders who ran the race with all their gear and in military boots and hundreds of others who were “running for a cause.” The dedication of all the runners, whether they finished in under three hours or over six, is remarkable—maybe a little nutty—but amazing nonetheless.



It was awesome to see all the Taylor runners come down the home stretch! Lisa passed through first, followed by Dave and then Katie. Katie and Lisa were pleased with their performance; Dave less so. I was just impressed that they were all still on their feet running after 26 miles! Though I have joked about this comment before, I am so proud of them all!

Katie-- How do you feel? You feel good!!

We all headed their separate ways on Tuesday. I am now back in Newtown and fly back to Germany this afternoon. What an unforgettable whirlwind!