barking at the moon

barking at the moon

What does barking at the moon mean?
bark at the moon – To labor or protest in vain; to choose an ineffectual means to achieve a desired end, or to attempt the impossible, thereby making any effort futile by definition; also often bay at the moon. The phrase refers to the common practice of dogs to bay at the moon, as if to frighten or provoke it

barking at the moon – I’ve been “barking at the moon” lately…to no avail other than soliciting concerned looks from family…

I try to remind myself of something I read recently – “Life is like rolling vistas..” I have always tried to pin moments…

“You will never reach your destination if you step and throw stones at every barking dog.” -Winston Churchill

May you have great dignity,
Sense how free you are;
Above all, may you be given the wonderful gift
Of meeting the eternal light that is within you

A blessing for Old Age.. John O’Donohue

barking at the moon…..

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I have a friend. And he will not run Boston today.

I have a friend.  And he will not run Boston today.

For a lot of runners, the Boston Marathon is our Mecca pilgrimage.  For most runners It’s aspirational if not attainable.  There is a reverence reserved for the Boston Marathon.

According to Wikipedia “…The Boston Marathon was first run in April 1897, having been inspired by the revival of the marathon for the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. It is the oldest continuously running marathon (US).”

 Because of its storied history and popularity, it requires a qualifying time based on your age.  Running 26.2 miles is an incredible accomplishment – Running 26.2 miles under a qualifying time is Herculean.

Unless you are superhuman, training for a marathon takes literally months of preparation with focused planning, a physical/mental commitment, discipline and desire – All of which will be challenged daily.  Those who have endeavored will attest to mental toughness as being 90% of your success.

My running buddy qualified for Boston in April last year (2019) in the 65-69 age group.  He needed to run under 4 h 05 min, which he did.  We trained together leading up to his qualifying race.   For 3 months prior, we shared part of our training runs – 2-3 times each week.    That’s a lot of running time together.

You get to know someone pretty well training like this.  So, I understood his plan- his focus and commitment. His aspiration.  I understood what this meant to him.  I watched his progress.  I celebrated this training milestones and listened intently to the challenges he encountered.

We traveled to the race together, sharing a hotel room the night before.

I took this picture of an enthusiastic Boston hopeful at the starting line. 

scott 2


And this picture of a Boston qualifier approximately 4 hours later.

Scott 1

He won’t be running Boston today, but he has accomplished something that he has earned and can take great pride in.  I personally am very proud to call him a friend and running buddy!

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Enjoy that Vodka and Ginger ale John! Cheers!! and Thank You!!

Maybe it’s just this time we are living in…maybe… but I have never mourned the loss of an artist more then the passing of John Prine

Running today listening to “Fair and Square” I had to stop and gather myself..

His genius is so natural and comfortable.

“Sam Stone” was the 1st song I heard

Johnny Cash recorded it but refused to sing the line
“There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.”

The story goes that John (Prine) was OK with that..

There’s really not one song I love more then any others he wrote and sang.  Love them all. 

Pure Genius


Enjoy that Vodka and Ginger ale John! Cheers!! and Thank You!!


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Twilight I believe in YOU

Twilight is the name given to the period between dawn and sunrise, or between sunset and dusk, when light is still visible in the sky due to sunlight scattering off the atmosphere.

I thought about twilight on my morning run. I thought about the pulsing stars that appear in twilight and couldn’t decide if I wanted them to symbolize family and friends who are gone or my four granddaughters who light my life up.

I decide that they are both and that they are all here now all together filling the darkness with promise.

Burl Ives once said/sang “mister in-between makes a fellow mean…” –
A state in sailing when you are “stuck” in between tacks called “stays”
Twilighting – staying at home.

Twilight becomes darkness and then again daylight.

Recently in my home office at my computer,
concentrating on something (I don’t remember what),
My wife walked in – stood there quietly demanding my attention.
After a moment…
I acquiesced turning to fixed eye contact

“I love you” she said.
Her words hung in the twilight of that moment,
Turning the space around us into the warmth that sunlight brings.
Demanding that we both acknowledge these words
That hung in this twilight of the moment.

Please “THANK” those of us who are working to get us out of “stays” – you know who they are- those medical professionals on the front lines to those folks who are stocking shelves
all working to move us into daylight.

“I believe in you”
“I believe in you”
“I believe in you”

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I ran in the rain today – nothing like a rainy summer run…

Puddle… What a funny word…Puddle…Once 5’11” and 9 ½ shoe size, am now 5’ 9“ with a size 11 shoe….The longer I run , the older I get, the closer to a Puddle I am….It’s mortality that’s in my way, otherwise I’d eventually liquefy….and what a wonderful thought…  it happens just a the crest of a long down hill…..swish…..I’ll gather at the feet of my three granddaughters rippling from their laughter and consumed with JOY as they jump and splash….


PS -A tear for Charlottesville…….

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George is back…

George (Jorge) is back from his stay in Nicaragua. He left in late October of last year and returned home (Camden) the beginning of this April. We ran around Cooper River together this morning….

Photo of Cooper River Park - Collingswood, NJ, United States

I first met George a number of years ago. He was running around Cooper River (3.65 Miles) – I caught up to him and asked if he’d mind if I stayed on his shoulder. Happy to have the company, we began what has become a warm friendship. I know a little Spanish and George speaks English with a heavy accent requiring concentration by both of us while conversing. This tends to make our running time together fly by.

George is in his late 50s..maybe even early sixties by now..  I need to ask him next time I see him.  He runs around CR three of four times a week.  In the summer he’ll typically do two loops (sometimes three).  His pace is about ten minutes per mile but he can press when he wants to.

We talk about many things, but mostly life, health and family.  As most runners do, we talk about our injures and our running. George is also very religious, so occasionally our conversations are heavy with “God”.  I tend not to be religious, but when George decides he wants to talk about “God and Faith”, I politely listen with respect.  George has TWENTY grandchildren!  I kid him with challenges to name them all.  He can.  He also talks about values a lot.  Not righteousness, but fundamental values and how they are important to him in teaching his children and grandchildren.

George asked me to visit him in Nicaragua next year.  It most likely won’t happen but what a nice gesture.  Am glad George is back and look forward to many more runs together around CR. Am Glad George (Jorge) is my friend.

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Hate Has No Home Here

I’ve been displaying this sign on our front door for about a week now. Yesterday HATE knocked on the door of the JCC center where my granddaughter attends child care. Hate Has No Home Here – South Jersey/Camden County

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If you smile at me I will understand

If you smile at me I will understand
‘Cause that is something
Everybody everywhere does in the same language

Wooden Ships
On my morning run today, with the sunshine plentiful and a pleasant 58 degrees, I made note of all the folks and runners I passed who offered smiles.  I love this!  Smiling expresses kindness.  It’s not only the mouth that communicates but the eyes smile as well.  I chose to believe its in the nature of all people to smile – it’s undeniably deep inside us.  Travailing in countries where English is not the 1st language, smiling is essential.
Primatologist Signe Preuschoft traces the smile back over 30 million years of evolution to a “fear grin” stemming from monkeys and apes who often used barely clenched teeth to portray to predators that they were harmless, or to signal submission to more dominant group members. The smile may have evolved differently among species and especially among humans.
I plan on smiling a lot more….
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One of My Favorite Races….Jonas Cattell

Sunday I ran the Jonas Cattell 10 mile Run – The run originates in Haddonfield NJ and finishes @ National Park, NJ /Red Bank Battlefield Park.

Image result for Jonas Cattell

“Jonas Cattell was born in 1758, on a farm called Lavender Hills. The farm was located just outside Woodbury, New Jersey, in what is now the town of Deptford. While growing up, Jonas loved the outdoors and exploring the woods and trails in the area. He was known as a fast runner; in more recent times, he was listed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not for hand-delivering a letter from Woodbury to Cape May and back, 160 miles, on foot, in two days. And at the age of 18, in October 1777, Jonas became a hero.”

Image resultThe 10 mile run, in it’s 46 year, reenacts Jonas Cattell’s run from Haddonfield to Fort Mercer in National Park to warn the Patriots of the pending attack from the Hessians – those being the German auxiliaries contracted by the British government.  Amazingly, the 1st female was Julie Cattell, a decent of Jonas…

I’ve been training for the Philadelphia Marathon for the last 2.5 months.  I  started with a good base and logged one eighteen miler and three twenty+ Map of Forbidden Dr, Philadelphia, PAruns – The last 22 miler was done in Philly and incorporated the last part of the marathon and Forbidden Dr (one of my favorite places to run).

My right Calf/Achilles  has been a chronic issue for me and it surfaced again on the last half of this particular run…I decided to take a couple of days off, walked and invested in a 1.5 hour massage.  By the end of the week I felt good enough to run again and put in a couple of easy 5 milers.

My marathon plan called for a 12 mile run on Sunday so I thought I’d join some of my running club (SJAC) friends and run the jonas-cattell-finish-2016Jonas Cattell run as an easy long run… Ahhh….the best laid Plans….
The 1st mile I could feel the stress in my Achilles and by mile 6th I was done, limping across the finish line…

I’ve run this race many times in the past and have always enjoyed it’s low keyed, local fare.  Many memories, including once running most of the course with Dr Tom Osler, a running legend and role model of mine and many.

I found this picture of me, Jessica and JT taken after one Jonas Cattell run enjoying the afternoon in National Park.  jonas-cattellI can only guess at the date circa 1982 maybe….

I KNOW I probably should have stopped when I first felt the Achilles acting up…But I didn’t and I am probably going to forfeit my marathon plans for November because of it… but I am content in knowing that I marked another memorable Jonas Cattell run and will take my “medicine” of rest – looking forward to when I can run again….

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Jessica is the strongest, bravest person I have ever known.


Image (8)

Jessica @ Ohio State University –

We all “watch” our children.  We watch them as infants.  We watch them as they grow into adulthood.  I have watched my daughter grow into a mother of two beautiful girls.  I have watched her as she has mastered motherhood with grace and assured my granddaughters a future filled with confidence, moral grounding and love.  I have recently watched her with her knowing smile and telling eyes suppress a deep, fear-teased scream that struggles for release.  Anguish.

3rd time a charm?  The 3rd time only confirms what you already know – that the surgery is traumatizing emotionally and physically- That recovery is slow and a constant reminder of the why and the whats to come.

Jessica, Amelia (Mia) and Penelope (Pi)

Jessica, Amelia (Mia) and Penelope (Pi)

Jessica is the strongest, bravest person I have ever known.  She has stared-down a disease requiring three major brain surgeries to date with a grace that astonishes.

Jessica is a real life hero!  I will continue to “Watch” my real-life hero – I will always be amazed at her strength and courage – I will always, of course, love her without condition.

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