Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Just a few things

I've noticed that fall in Colorado is glorious. I don't know whether I was just so new-baby gobsmacked last year to notice, but I don't remember any of this. Or maybe it is just fun this year to have a little guy take me by the hand and lead me out the door, into the sunshine and the crunchy gold leaves. He's ready for adventure!
I've been running on the trail near(ish) our house. It is a nice forest sort of thing, and there are also cows and horsies and so on, which is fun (will stop to observe animals, trucks or bulldozers). But if I can convince myself to run a slightly longer distance, then there comes a glorious point where the landscape opens up, and all I can see is the soft foothills in the distance, and the beautiful yellow leafed trees lighting up the plains.
Pretty much every time I do that run I stop and take a picture at exactly that point. I don't run it enough to really get used to it, which is its own kind of pleasure I suppose.
In other news, here is some of the bounty from our pumpkin patch. We are also enjoying the last of our kale, made extra sweet by the recent cold nights. Here is a bonus WHAM (what Heiko ate maybe):
Are you mesmerized by the fact that my foot is also in the photo? Bye for now!
 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Things that go, reluctantly

Well hey.
 
Today is Heiko's 1.5 year birthday! 18 months! My goodness, how life has changed.
I don't know how, or exactly when, it happened, but Heiko is now one of those kids who is fascinated by things that go. Cars, trucks, airplanes ("bbvvvvvv..."), buses, tractors, diggers, trains, helicopters (recently we could see the Chinook helicopters flying over due to the flooding -- those are truly a sight to behold), did I mention trucks? Oh dear. For a little boy whose parents are pretty staunchly anti-car, this is sometimes a challenging development ("Hey Heiko, look at the bike!" meh). Board books of planes and trains now comprise most of my weekly library haul, the farm and animal books are definitely less interesting these days.
 
We live in the land of the pickup truck. In the morning Heiko and I watch out the window as the kids attending our nearby school are dropped off. A white pickup truck arrives ("tha-tha," he says). A bigger white pickup truck arrives ("tha-tha!"). An even bigger one, and just when you think that must be it, there is one that is bigger still ("THA-THA!!!!"). Then follow the trucks with trailers. On and on it goes. The pointer finger is in full use, pointing pointing.
 
As an aside, I noticed that all of the students at this elementary school (up to grade 6) must be signed in every morning by their parents or guardians. I don't know whether this is just a particular policy of this school, or whether it represents a broader trend, that people don't trust that their children can walk to school by themselves. Instead, they must be piled into the SUVs and pickup trucks that careen around our street and spew their gross pollution into our air. What a way to start the day. Mark my words I will not drive Heiko to school! Rant over. I think...
But back to the H-man. Just like all those trucks, Heiko himself is a thing that goes. In the evenings after the aforementioned school is out, sometimes we will go play on the school playground. Last night he took my hand and led me sweetly out the door, down the street all the way to the school. But he kept going. Much to my horror, he was not leading me to the school at all, but rather right past it to see all the trucks zooming by along busy Mulberry street ("tha-tha!"). Ugh.
It is fascinating though, this world that we've created for ourselves, and it is understandable that it should be so interesting to Heiko. Fort Collins is truly a great place to live, and a wonderful place to be a cyclist. But make no mistake, the car is king. It isn't a fun thing to think about, but even a quick tour through the CDC's stats about cause of death by age group will lead you to a single, somewhat sickening, conclusion. The leading cause of death among children is motor vehicle accidents. Yet, it is taken as obvious that cars are part of childhood. And given that there are so many cars on the road, maybe I won't let Heiko walk to school on his own after all, I'll be too afraid of one of those big cars just zooming right over my little guy.
 
OK, well, this was supposed to be a cheerful Heiko update, and it turned into my car rant. Sorry folks. But it is something that I think about each and every day. My feelings about cars and my basic philosophy about using the car (emergencies, necessities and nature) make me a stranger to so many people in Fort Collins. Someone recently did get it though. She said, "Oh, you have a mountain car". Sounds about right.
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Out of the habit

Does anyone else read Zenhabits? What a weird thing. I mean, the guy who writes it is one of these pro-bloggers whose job it is to write about how to be productive at work and get things done, but what he is getting done is just writing about how to get things done. I think it is strange, and I could go on with more detail about that but I think I won't.
What I wanted to say was that I realized that I'm out of the habit of writing blog posts (and habits are unsurprisingly one of the big topics on Zenhabits). I used to have a running list of things I wanted to write about, so it was always easy to find something. And I was also taking lots of photos all the time, which provided a lot of easy material. Maybe it is just because Heiko moves so quickly these days, but I'm finding myself reaching for my camera less. That is a habit I'd like to pick up again. Maybe I'll even take some photos that are - gasp! - not of Heiko!
In general I'm pretty good at habits. Sometimes too good, in a way. For instance I'm currently engaged in a race-to-the-bottom with Heiko around wake-up times. That is, I'm trying to get up before him, to carve out a little quiet and dark yoga time. But with 5am wake-ups ("da-dee!") it isn't going to happen.
Anyway, we have been trying to set up a habit of going on hikes on weekends. Has anyone else noticed that Colorado is ridonkulously beautiful? It is mind boggling to me, honestly. Yet every week I drag my heels, complaining about all the snacks-sunscreen-layers-water-sandwiches-binos-backpacks-diapers-epipen-toys-cameras-maps-hats preparations, only to find myself so invigorated and uplifted by hitting the trail with my two favourite guys. The unique sweet smell of the dry earth and that astonishingly blue sky. Plus, those sandwiches taste so much better up at the top!