My Mom started a tradition to give her kids one Christmas tree ornament with special meaning every year. Usually they have to do with something we did or somewhere we went during the previous 12 months. The little duck is because that was my first word, there are ones from most of the countries I have visited, others from Gould and Bates. You get the idea. Now, after 24 years, the tree is something of a visual biography of me. It is fun to unwrap the ornaments and remember the trips or events that they represent. It’s also kind of scary; 24 ornaments seems like a lot. I console myself by thinking about how fewer ornaments I have than my older brothers.
Anyways, this year’s is a CGRP ornament crafted by my Dad. I won’t tell you how much colored ink he went through to get it just right, because it is decidedly un-green. But the ornament is perfect and much appreciated!
Just before returning home for Christmas Pepa, Matt, Ollie, Chelsea, and I, as well as a number of Craftsbury juniors, made the long trek up to the County (Aroostook County in Maine) for the opening NENSA Eastern Cup races. There was a skate sprint on Saturday and a 10 km classic mass start on Sunday. I was really happy with how the races went, especially the distance classic. I felt really awful for the first lap but held on and managed to have a significantly better second lap. There is a good lesson there: if the race is rough, just try to wait because it might get better! Also, does having a way better second 5 km mean that maybe I’m starting to get better at distance races?
Aside from the races, we got a first hand view of how incredibly large Maine is. I’ve lived there my whole life (until now) and it still floors me to pass Bangor and see a sign that says Presque Isle is another 160 miles further north. And then guess what? Fort Kent (location of this year’s spring series races) is another 56 miles north of Presque Isle. Wow.
And finally to end this epic post…a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Ida for doing an amazing job at the races in Canmore!!! Yay!!
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