Life as an Extreme Sport


I’ve talked about animal care and medicine before, and this morning, Jennifer over at the Women’s Bioethics Blog writes about companies providing vet insurance as a benefit of employment, and whether it’s a good thing, or if we’re (to be blunt, and in my own words) insane for treating our pets like members of our family.

But for those of us with pets, and as I explain in my comment to Jennifer, they are our family, or at least a big part of it. Pets love us unconditionally, are there for us at all times, and mostly just want us to take the time to cuddle and love them. When you’re having a bad day, there’s not much better in life than to come home and curl up with a purring cat in your lap, or a happy dog on your legs. And the benefits pets give us, medically and socially, are well documented. If you have pets, you know this and get it… and if not? I can’t help but feel you’re missing out.

With that said, I hope you’ll all join me in sending Daniel and his family sympathies at this time – his photogenically goofy Cadbury passed away yesterday. While it wasn’t unexpected, for reasons Daniel explains, it’s still a sad loss, and I know Cadbury will be deeply missed.


I wondered what it would be like, returning to Seattle after nearly 9 months gone. What would I feel when I saw the familiar city skyline that I can trace in my sleep, when I drove down roads I used to see daily, walk the paths at the University of Washington, go to the places I literally spent more time than anywhere else the past three years of my life.

When I saw the skyline, I felt the twinges of the familiar, but it didn’t call home. The mountains are beautiful, covered in snow, and I remembered how much I miss that form of beauty around me, but at the same time, I found myself missing the broad, open skyline that I first fell in love with in Reno, and found again in Albany. The waves at the waterfront lapped against the dock, and tugged at my heart and imagination, but not enough to pool any regret.

But at the same time, I discovered home in places I would have never thought to look. In a short, spiky bobbed hair cut and infectious laugh, and in blue eyes. In laugh-lined eyes circled by glasses. In tight hugs that ended too soon, tickled by scruffy beards, and the comfort of being able to relax into someone, safe and warm.

In not enough kisses, and too many tears.

Home caught me off guard, not being in a place, but being in people.

I know you’re scared that I’ll soon be over it
That’s part of it all
Part of the beauty of falling in love with you is the fear you won’t fall
It hasn’t felt like this before
It hasn’t felt like home before you
And I know it’s easy to say but it’s harder to feel
This way
And I miss you more than I should than I thought I could
Can’t get my mind off of you

the office is out on a morale retreat, please call back later

I like how Sandra sums this trip up: a morale retreat. And oh, has it been. Surprisingly, I don’t find that I miss Seattle – and this is truly a surprise. I miss aspects of it, sure, and I definitely and heartwrenchingly miss the people, but the city itself? Notsomuch.

But I realized today, over beer, that I have had more physical contact with people today than I have had since I left Seattle, in June 2006. Literally from the moment I met up with Lizzy for lunch, I have been hugging, touching, kissing, leaning against, on, or over people. Reaching out to brush hair out of someone’s face, running my fingers through a scruffy beard, rubbing a back, patting, hands resting together.

This is what I miss.