Wendy is my dear friend and running partner who I met in the early 90s through an eclectic group of weekend warriors known as the Flying Squirrels. She’s a partner in a downtown Los Angeles law firm, so if you’re faithful to DailyCupofJo.com, you just may glean some free legal advice from time to time. We try to run together once during the workweek and again on Saturdays. This past year, all three of my daughters played soccer, which really put a chink in the Saturday six (the amount of miles we usually do) and Wendy’s husband went and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which has really played havoc with the regularity of our weekday run. I joke because Marco is so close to being himself again after a year of recovery that, with Marco, joking is required.
Anyhow, I told Wendy we had to commit now to Wednesdays because of the alliteration it provides. When we do what we call our “Barham” run, we talk the entire route, solving the world’s problems as we go. I’m no longer going to keep these conversations to myself.
But now here’s the deal. Occasionally, Wendy will be unavailable, in which case I’ll wrangle a special guest…like today, for instance. Turns out Marco didn’t like the dent in his head left from the TBI and had cosmetic surgery to fix it. This morning, he got the stitches out. He now looks more Portuguese than ever which I’m pretty sure was not the goal. Understand that to know Marco is to harass Marco (and okay, love him) – especially now because when he dishes it back out, it’s currently only at about 90% capacity. When he’s at 100%, I hope against hope he doesn’t remember all the crap I gave him when he was in a coma.
My special guest this morning was my 10-year-old daughter. We decided to walk the mile to school. A few blocks from the house, I observed a woman with her little son in a stroller. He was pointing at something and his mother said “tree” and I whipped back in time to when my daughter was that age, pointing at everything, saying “dis” over and over and over. I was an exhausted new mom realizing quickly that babies come out of the womb knowing nothing but how to suck. You have to teach them everything: tree, dog, car, bottle, wine. Think Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller. It’s a wonder mothers don’t all lose their minds. Oh wait, we do.
My daughter talked this morning about the mile she had to run at school next week. She jogged ahead of me, “practicing”, and I followed jogging behind – which she thought was so queer, she stopped immediately. And that’s why we have kids: so they can grow up to be a 5th grader horrified by their mother who taught them the word “tree” and “water” and “agua” (we live in LA).
Which brings me to my favorite topic this week that I did discuss with my daughter this morning, which is Summit on the Summit, the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb that fifteen famous people (Jessica Biel, Emile Hirsch) and people with famous last names (Kick Kennedy, Alexandra Cousteau) are going to begin tomorrow. Why? They’re trying to bring attention to the global clean water crisis. Simply put, dirty water is responsible for killing more people worldwide every year than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Yet it’s a crisis with an attainable solution.
Dr. Greg Allgood, in collaboration with Procter & Gamble and the CDC, came up with the PUR packet, a solution that comes in a sachet the size of a tea bag, that cleans 2 ½ gallons/10 liters of filthy water in 30 minutes, making it safe to drink. By raising awareness, the Summit on the Summit team hope to generate funds and get these PUR packets everywhere they need to be. Go to their very cool site, SummitontheSummit.com, and do the climb with them. While you’re there, sponsor a foot of the climb. HP has set the group up with computers and tech support so that they can post pics, clips and Tweet from where they are on the mountain.
Wendy and I did not run Kilimanjaro this morning.
The Wednesday Wonder of the Week award goes to musical artist Kenna,whose idea it was to gather friends for the Kilimanjaro climb and put together Summit on the Summit.
Tomorrow: Thursdays in the kitchen with Jo
Parenting, Wednesdays with Wendy