Five things I thought about during my morning run:

1. So I woke up this morning to Eric's big arms wrapped around me. "Good
morning and happy anniversary."
2. Nineteen years of marriage is a long time–but it doesn't seem that
long, really.
3. We were together a long time before we had children. I look back and
think a couple of things. "What did we do with ourselves, with all that
free time?" Then, I remember. We went to concerts, bookstores,
restaurants, movies, plays, the opera, ballets, and oh yeah we went to
Ireland. I took Yoga and poetry classes. Eric took German and Latin
classes. Those days are gone–probably at least until the kids leave or I
get a full time job of hit it big with one of my books.
4. Sounds cliche, really, but Eric is my best friend.
5. Still, there have been times when it's been a challenge–to say the
least. But at the core of it all there is a deep and abiding bond
between us.

Five things I thought about during my morning run:

1. Blooms and blossoms blowing the the wind this morning.
2. Teeny tiny droplets of rain hitting my skin, then going away.
3. Trying to focus on the moment, one foot in front of the other, but my
"to do" list keeps popping into my brain.
4. Had such a wonderful time last night at Marijean's house and my date,
Mary, was fabulous. Met some interesting women. I hope to see them
again soon–other than just on Twitter and Facebook. 😉 Great food,
wonderful company, can't get much better than that. thanks for including
me…
5.Sweat pouring out of me. Heart beating strong. A space in my day
that's just for me. Hope you get that, too.

Five things I thought about during my mid-morning run:

1. Couldn't get to the run earlier in the morning because we went out for breakfast. And I was out late last night. I am moving slow…
2. Thinking about my new blog. Have you seen it? http://www.molliecoxbryan.com/kitchenqueenoffishpotroad
3. So good to be with some good friends last night. I cherished each moment. We all get so busy that it's tough to get together. But we need to make more of an effort.
4. Heard something about my niece Abbey's poetry. But my mom gets things confused. Something about a professor taking a real interest in her poetry. Way to go Abbey.
5. Eric's high blood pressure medicine. He just started it this week and he came home for work one day to sleep. He seems to be adjusting now, but is having some wild dreams. Funny, because he hardly remembered his dreams before.

Five things I thought about during my morning run:

1. It's very cold out here, but I can't stand another Wii run.
2. Hard to work up a sweat, but my heart is beating fast.
3. Grateful for the work I got in today.
4. So many crows out here this morning. Tink is intrigued. But I told her she didn't want to get mixed up with a crow.
5. Eric loves crows. He used to feed them in our backyard. But I put a
stop to it. They are so noisy and it freaked me out to see a bunch of
them in our yard. Sorry, not a good idea to feed crows.

Five things I thought about during my morning run:

1. Beautiful morning for a run-nice and cool.
2. Tink and her bravado. I SO understand it. She acts all tough when she comes across one other dog. She just wants them to know she's not a pushover–it needs to back off. But when there's two dogs around who are barking at her, she whimpers and gets behind me. I understand that, too.
3. Feeling grateful this morning. Grateful to be here and to be in the space that allows me to play with words and images. Wild night of dreams and if I am reading them correctly, there's more of the frontier and colonies for me to explore. It sparks my imagination—the way this land grew.
4. Seeing Bob Dylan live was one of the most disappointing experiences of my life, years ago. He gave me a headache.
5. Pancakes. Mmmm.

i mollie, i run

Shortly after my 45th birthday, I started running. I tried running at other points in my life and became really bored with it, preferring step aerobics, walking, and Yoga. My commitment to exercise has always been off and on. I did it when the mood struck me, or when I noticed had gained a few pounds. But I always loved it. I crave movement. It makes me feel so much better. It makes me feel alive. And nothing makes me feel more alive than running (okay there's dancing, but we'll get to that at a later time).  I know I'm not alone in being a woman in her 40s who suddenly started running. I never imagined I would be so in love with a sport at this point in my life that I'm actually starting a running blog.

A combination of events conspired to my taking up running. I turned 45 on 4/5, thought that was amazing and strange, and though I'm not one to dwell and mope about, it dawned on me that I am probably half way through my life and if I am going to maintaining a quality of life I better start taking better care of myself. I have young children and want to keep up with them. And I want to be there for all the momentous event in their lives.

So, one morning while walking the dog, I looked around. I mean I REALLY looked around. The sky was a blue as I 've ever seen it and the air was cool and crisp. Before I knew it, I was running, feeling my heart race, and feeling connected to the universe and grateful to be on the planet.

I started off slowly. It's been a year and I'm only running two miles. I hope to be at 3 by the end of the summer. But if I don't make it, I won't feel too bad. It's not really about the distance, just the fact that I am still here and thriving. My running is a celebration on the one hand and a meditation on the other,

The other thing is that it has opened up a space in time for my mind and I started thinking more clearly than I have been for awhile. If you're a parent, chances are you know what I mean. I began to share my thoughts with my friends on Facebook. I write them everyday, which has facilitated some great coversation. I hope to do the same here.
This blog was oringally Thoroughly Modern Mollie which linked to my newspaper column. I am keeping that connection and all those posts because they are about being a parent, which is afterall, the most important thing in my life.

Reading Haven Kimmel

“What if  God loves us the way we truly love our children, walking around outside with them and watching them eat cinnamon toast and listening to them talk to imaginary friends on imaginary telephones, and they are becoming and we are becoming with them, because of all this, this life with them, is planted in us and stays in us and it’s what we know of love,” The Used World, Haven Kimmel.
The Used World is the third Haven Kimmel book I’ve read this summer. It started with my friend who is an awesome writer, Elizabeth Massie, telling me about A Girl Named Zippy, Haven’s bestseller of a memoir. I am writing one, just like it seems everybody else is doing. I admitted to Beth one night that I didn’t think anybody would want to read my story. I am not famous, I have not been horribly abused, or overcome an addiction. She said, “Read this book.”
It sent me on a journey of reading Haven Kimmel, a writer of mostly happy childhood memories. Her fiction is very different and goes really, really deep. The quote I started this post with is one I keep in mind every day as I schlepp my daughter to dance camp every day.
She is nine, no longer a baby in my lap, but nonetheless, I am inspired by her and her sister nearly every day. If I allow myself, between packing lunches, getting baths, fighting about the tv, and gameboy, I can see Spirit in them. I hope it never goes away. I hope the world does not leave them bitter and turning away from love.

Three novels in 5 days

So, I went to a family member’s house on Christmas night.She has load of really interesting fiction books, which she told me I could borrow. "Take anything you want," she said. I took over a bag full. I’ve read three of the books and I think I REALLY need to be swept away into another world. It helped me cope with the rest of the stress of the holiday–of which there was plenty. My favorite one was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which I found really hard to put down. It’s about two Chinese women, their special friendship, and this secret writing system that Chinese women used in order to keep their stories alive–when it was looked down on women to have an education. I also read A Thousand Splendid Suns. The writing in this book about Afghanistan was breathtaking. Once again, the focus was on women. The third book I read is Water for Elephants, a really fast-paced read about circus life, a particular fascination of mine. I wanted to  join the circus when I was 15. My mother would not sign the papers. It never occurred to me to forge her signature. That tells you something about what kind of kid I was, I suppose.
I have not read for pleasure, really for quite some time.  I belong to a book group, but I don’t get to pick out the books, except for my month. And because one of the things I write about is food, I read a lot of food-related literature. I had forgotten how much joy a good fiction book can bring you. Even though I am not writing fiction right now, reading it reminds me of why I am writer. And I need that every now and then. So, on to the next book.   

dreams, business, art

Dreams are funny things. Last night I dreamed about my friend Jennifer Ledford’s best friend Robin Goering, who is an artist. We stopped by her studio yesterday. http://robinstudio6.blogspot.com/ Let’s just say that between the incredible art and the magic of her space, she filled my dreams most of the night. On top of that, Jennifer has created a nifty space all her own in downtown Waynesboro, as well—forged with her own blood, sweat, passion, and you guessed it DREAMS!

Kids and Sew On, Jennifer’s custom embroidery company, used to be a home-based company. It has grown so fast and so incredibly that she decided to take the leap and rent a store front. She embroiders bags, shirts, hats, well, just about anything you can imagine. Now her store is located on Wayne Avenue. You can still order her products online at http://www.kidsandsewon.com.
We visited both places yesterday during Waynesboro’s Fall Foliage Festival where artists set up their wares for sale. Okay, so I can never afford to buy what I like, but still, it’s always inspiring to see the art, but more importantly, to see the dreams become reality in front of my face. 
For me this year, it was so satisfying to see these two women Jennifer and Robin fulfilling their passions. Interestingly, they both spoke of how nice it was to have their own space, how it made them feel whole again. (Jennifer has four children; Robin five. And both have been stay-at-home moms, while pursuing their businesses and art.)
Things do and can fall into place. Often, it’s not the way we imagine it will be when we are young women pursuing our careers—or when we are struck utterly, profoundly, with the need and the desire to have children. How will it work? Will we have to stop painting? Will we have to stop dancing? Acting? Writing? Often the answer is “No, but…” That is to say,   “No, but it will just take rethinking, reshaping, reforming. I know that my writing career is nothing like I had imagined it would
be. Still, it ain’t chopped liver. I am still finding my way. Who knows
where I will be 10 years from now? Even though they are not writers,
women like Robin and Jennifer are
lighting a way for me. I am grateful for them. 
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More Blessings

Okay, so I think of our family as almost poor, at times, especially when I look at some of my friend’s homes and cars and so on. But really we have more than enough. We have food for our bellies, heat for our homes, and clothes for our backs. Good things for which I am grateful.
We tell our daughters that we’ve made choices–important choices–and that’s why we don’t have a huge house and the latest gadgets. We chose to leave the DC area where I had a busy editing/writing career and made money. We chose to move to the Valley so that I could stay home. That meant some changes needed to be made.
Keeping the big picture in perspective is not always easy. But I won’t sacrifice time with my children so that I can have a bigger house or dress better or buy as many books as I want (like I used to.) I’ve learned to appreciate the library, the Goodwill, and yard sales in a way that I could never have imagined before I gave up my job.
It’s funny where life leads if you open yourself to possiblities. I never would have imagine writing a cookbook, for example. Now, I am at work on my second cookbook proposal. I am grateful for this new appreciation of cookbooks.
So much to be grateful for, even without the extra money in my pockets…