Brotherly Love..12 miles and counting

Lupus runner, Jessie, is aided by big brother Jeffrey Russell as she runs to complete the Boston Marathon.

Lupus runner, Jessie, is aided by big brother Jeffrey as she runs to complete the Boston Marathon // Photo Courtesy of Yahoo! WBZ4

I love a happy news stories! Don’t you? I get really saddened when I all I hear and see on the news is “bad” news. Today I stumbled upon a story that brought tears to my eyes.

Last year, I ran a race with my brother on Thanksgiving and I really struggled. It’s the only race I’ve almost quit and not finished. (I never quit anything!). But in the extreme cold  the last mile stretch my little brother runs up behind me (he had long ago finished) and yelled at me. Yes, he yelled. He knows nothing makes me move faster or quicker than people telling me I can’t do something. Through tears, incredible pain and embarrassment, I ran. He prodded me, ran circles around me and yelled me into the finish line. I have never loved him more.

This story brought that memory to mind :) So many people followed the “big” names at the Boston Marathon, but behind the greats, I believe, was one of the greatest stories of all. A brother who loved his sister so much he ran the last 12 miles of Boston with her to enable her to finish her dream of running the Boston Marathon. But Jessie isn’t your typical runner! She was diagnosed with Lupus her junior year of high school and being out in the sun is extremely difficult for her.

Her brother, Jeffrey, knew that the sun would be a challenge for her. At mile 14, Jessie thought she might have to stop. She was pushing to get to the medical tent when she noticed someone running at her. It was Jeffrey :) Big brother had been tailing her along the route shouting encouragement and taking photos. He told her if it was just the sun not to stop. He then ran into a local toy shop and bought an umbrella with sharks on it. In work boots and jeans, he ran/speed-walked next Jessie to holding the shark umbrella over her, sporting her running fanny pack and supplying her with water along the way. Step by step, Jeffrey and Jessie moved along the 12 miles until they crossed the finish line at 7:16pm :)

That ladies and true love! A brother loving his sister so much he endures 12 miles in work boots and jeans to help her live her dream. Jeffrey, I hope you had on really good socks :)

To the big brothers (and little brothers!) of the world who push their sisters to finish races..thank you!

One Teary Eyed Lemon


PS: See the video of Jessie and Jeffrey running here! Jessie Runs Boston


Life Is Short..Run Hard :)

These past few months have been tragic for the #runchat running community. We lost a mother, a wife and a dear friend the day Meg died. But like many..I never realized her husband was running with her when she was struck by a car . As I sat on my lunch break reading his story, I couldn’t help but cry. Here is a father in the midst of such agony and grief but he’s pushing forward to run one last race – Boston.

I urge you to read Scott’s story :) It changed my life.



One Humbled Lemon


PS: If you’re running Boston this year, run a mile for Meg :)



Vintage Love

Sometimes you just need a break from the office. Monday, I headed into town because Charley Tango was a hair overdue for an oil change. The perks of my oil change spot is that it’s located right down from a nice little thrift shop. After dropping Charley off to John (the best mechanic ever by the way!), I strolled down the street to the thrift shop. I was pleased to see one of my friends working there. He’s been struggling a little bit lately to find a job that doesn’t have alcohol around. He’s a recovering alcoholic and work in our town that doesn’t involve alcohol is scarce. I chatted with him for a few minutes and was pleased to learn that he absolutely loves working there. As I rummaged around the store, I was excited to see people talking and interacting with him. He’s a bit quiet and I am glad to see he’s making friends who will be a good influence on him. I perused through the books and found some lovely ones. I only had a little bit of cash with me so I knew I would have to make some choices. I ended up getting a fabulous deal as I was informed they were on a 5 for $1 special! I worked my way around the store and saw a trunk sticking out from under the rack. I pulled it out expecting it to be an old suitcase and boy was I ever surprised!

There nestled amongst the suitcases was a vintage Conrad Becker steamer trunk. For those of you who might not be as nerdy as I am let me tell you about one of my favorite trunk makers. The year was 1881 and nestled in No. 537 5th Street in Washington, D.C. was a saddle, harness, satchels and trunk maker by the name of Conrad Becker.  Conrad would go on to work with some of the biggest name in leather work during his illustrious career making trunks well into the 1920s. Beckers (his company) continued making items into the 1980s.

I often wonder what stories old trunks have to tell…where have they been? who’s life have they lived with them? I noticed my new trunk had a travel sticker on it. I nestled onto my couch and set about finding out what story it had to tell.


The travel sticker I discovered was North German Lloyd which was known as Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL). It was a German shipping company founded by Hermann Henrich Meier and Eduard Crüsemann in Bremen on February 20, 1857. It developed into one of the most important German shipping companies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and was instrumental in the economic development of Bremen and Bremerhaven. On September 1, 1970, the company merged with Hamburg America Line (HAPAG) to form Hapag-Lloyd AG. So I wondered..did it travel to Germany? Was it in the belly of a great ship? Oh the stories and places it must have seen :)

The NDL would operate through both World War I and World War II. At the peak of its existence, the NDL was owner of 9,000 fleet ships. It would move from being a civilian ship company to a company of war ships. The NDL would expand a line to the West Indies and South America and even incorporate a tug services at the end of the 1800s. In 1897, with the commissioning of SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Große, the NDL finally had a major ship for the North Atlantic. This was the largest and fastest ship in the world, and the company benefited from the reputation advantage of the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing, with an average speed of 22.3 knots. Between 1897 and 1907, the line followed with three further four-screw and four-funnel steamers of the Kaiser class, of 14,000–19,000 GT: the SS Kronprinz Wilhelm, the SS Kaiser Wilhelm II and the SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie. With these the company offered a regular service across the Atlantic to its docks at Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York. The NDL would later become an acquisition of the great J.P. Morgan (remember him from history class?).

I’ll stop boring you with my history lesson now :) Underneath the handle, there are three initials embossed onto the trunk in silver – WCW. Who was he I wonder? Was he a traveling salesman? Someone’s grandfather? A soldier? A veteran? A doctor? Was he American? German? British? Oh the stories my brain imagines when I look at this trunk. Will I ever discover the answer? Probably not..but it will be fun trying!

Never thought a little trunk could hold such a tale did you? What about you! What vintage items can you not resist at a thrift store? Do you have one that holds special meaning to you?


One Lemon on the search for WCW

Goodbye Dear Friend

Dearest Kirby,

I remember the night I adopted you. It was cold and rainy. I was on my way home from a long shift at work when I got a frantic call from my sister telling me to come now. I hurried to meet her at the animal shelter. The first time we met neither of us was a fan of the other. You growled, I gave you “the look” and signed the papers to adopt you anyway. We had a time getting you home that night…you were not a happy camper.

The first night you wouldn’t even come out from under the bed. I remember thinking you were the meanest cat I had ever met. But then I wondered who could have treated you so poorly to make you so mean. You frustrated me so! Biting me, never letting me touch you..I remember the first time you let me pet you. It was on your terms and your time limit. Short and sweet..but I knew we were making progress. It took a year and a half before you decided we weren’t so bad : )

You were so sneaky..always hiding in the house when you didn’t want to go outside. Sneaking into my room in the mornings and pouncing on my face to wake me up for school. Never letting me work on my laptop when I got home because you had to be petted first otherwise you just laid on the keyboard until I petted you anyways :) You always made me clear my windowsill each morning so you could bask in the sun. Stealing my favorite blanket and dragging it to your favorite spot.

You even brought good old dad around. I’m sorry he called you know names aren’t his thing.

Gosh, I can’t believe how big you grew! Leave it to my sister to adopt a cat that turned out to be a Maine Coon :) But how I loved your big self! Your little heart thawed and you loved us like crazy. It’s amazing how one 20lb ball of fur can creep into your heart and steal it without you even realizing it. I was always glad when my sister went back to college..because then you were “my” cat again :) I’m glad you were our kitty. I’m sorry for threatening to take you back to the animal shelter..I promise to never utter those words to another animal ever. I’m glad mom made us stick it out with you! She knew deep down you wanted to love us back. I’m glad we loved all of those bad memories out and filled you with good ones.

I’m glad I was home this weekend :) I think you knew it was coming. You’d been so clingy these past weeks and I’m sorry I didn’t pay more attention. I’m glad you laid on my heart and cuddled the other night. I’ll treasure that memory.

I’m sorry you were in pain but I’m glad you went out with a bite. Seems fitting seeing as you bit me the first time we met.

I love you forever!


One Sad Lemon

~ Kirby passed a blood clot this weekend while climbing his favorite tree. Unfortunately, he fell and shattered his pelvis. The vet wasn’t able to save him and Kirby had to be put to sleep. ~