My close personal friend, "Julia," from Proctor & Gamble, sent me another close and personal e-mail. Honestly, I'd feel so cut off from the outside world without her. In her latest letter, Julia gave me (and 379,000 of her other friends) tips on "stepping out into spring".
I appreciated her encouragement to get off the couch and get outdoors. I did promise myself once it got warmer I'd walk the dogs more, do yard work and breathe un-recirculated air for longer than it takes me to walk to the bus stop and back.
Ol' Jules said to get the kids off the couch and send them outdoors too. This woman is smarter than I thought. She told me to "Take a casual approach to getting your kids to watch less TV – create some outdoor action to sway them away from the screen."
Hmm, what kind of action can I create to lure them outdoors but still look casual doing it? Call the carpet cleaning guy? Feed both dogs beans for breakfast? Tell them Aunt Ida and her cats have a surprise luncheon visit planned? Hold a match to the smoke detector?
I opted for the carpet cleaner so beans or Aunts egoes were needed and dragged the family out for a walk. I followed Julia's suggestions on how to "keep in touch while you keep moving."
#1 "Get a family history. Ask your parents or grandparents to walk with you. Tape them as they talk about their life." This was tricky since both grandparents live in Florida. We tried talking on cell phones while we walked, but the conversation was cut short when Grandpa Buffer got so excited talking about Siciliy he fell of his treadmill.
#2 "Play Frisbee golf. Throw Frisbees to various targets: a tree, porch steps, mailbox, and 15 other landmarks. Tally the attempts it takes to reach each target. The player with the least number of throws wins." We made this extra challenging by anointing any car exceeding the 25mph speed limit a target. This was fun until a car screeched to a halt and we had to hide in the bushes.
#3 "Go wild. Kids will get a kick out of a walk around the local zoo or wildlife preserve." We didn't have to go far out our back door for this one. I told you I need to do yard work.
#4 "Pick your own berries or apples. Head for the farthest field for more of a workout." We met some new neighbors this way. I doubt we'll be talking to them again anytime soon.
All that walking and fleeing from angry speeders made us hungry. Good thing Julia included suggestions for spring eating. "Grin and Grill It: Grilling is as American as apple pie. The onset of spring sends noses flying into the air as the aromas of neighborhood barbecues tempt us all. Step up to the grill and go for it."
I'm firing up the grill now. Beware of flying noses.