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Home > Columns > Paul Schweer > December, 2004 - Squirrelly
by Paul Schweer

Squirrelly by Paul Schweer


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It's December 1st and we have our tree. It's up and decorated. Yesterday I finished putting the outside lights up, hanging them on the house and running them through the bushes and trees. I managed to avoid falling off the ladder.

First time I've ever finished decorating so early in the season, but I was running out of time. Had to leave town this morning. Spending a few days at a client site. A week of sitting, basically. Sitting in meetings. Sitting at a computer. Butt waza.

Soon as I get home from this trip I'll be leaving on another. Spend a few days at my Dad's. See a little bit of my extended family.

So I won't be training for a while.

Spent most of yesterday feeling sorry for myself... then I showed my wife where the squirrels have been trying to chew their way into our house through the wood in our patio doors... and you just can't continue feeling sorry for yourself while plotting to thwart an invasion of irrational bushy-tailed rodents.

Left the house this morning at zero-dark-thirty, headed for the airport. Too early for coffee. Didn't think that was possible. Only one good reason to be awake and on the road that early -- but I didn't go fishing, I went to the airport. Spent the in-flight time sleeping and reading and thinking about the next couple of weeks.

Too much to do this time of year -- I ain't the only one gets grumpy -- too much to do. But once I get it out of the way, once I get the shopping and the planning and the decorating done, once I make the travel plans and pay for everything... I get to see my family. And it ain't Norman Rockwell, but I'll gladly put up with the belcher and the doper and the prepubescent-hollow-eyed-psycho-nephew with the singsong voice... if I can see my Dad. If I can spend some time with my brother and his family.

My brother's youngest is a girl, just learning how to walk this time last year. At my Dad's in the morning, with everybody awake and starting to make noise, she'd toddle out into the middle of the living room and stand there scowling at everybody. Then crawl into somebody's lap, and scowl. Grumpy little kid. I liked her.

My brother's boys, five and seven, were about the same size last time I saw them. Older one's a runt, younger one's big for his age. Last year at Dad's house I could get down in seiza on the living room carpet and look them both in the eye. After about a day with the in-laws and outlaws I usually start feeling a little squirrelly. And the boys are, well, boys. Next thing you know.... Two little blurs of socks and sweatshirts are all over me too fast to keep track of what they're doing. I try to keep moving, and they're kicking and punching and trying to tackle me. And holy cow they don't hold anything back. They don't quit either, they speed up instead. Then they team up. Their ukemi isn't great, although sometimes spectacular, but nobody gets hurt. And we don't break anything.

By the time their mother kicks us out of the house my legs are talking to me and I'm starting to sweat, and the boys are mostly laughing and lying on the floor. And I'm sitting in seiza grinning like a fool.

So I won't be training for a while. So what.
Maybe instead I'll learn what I've learned,
see a little bit of what I need to see.
Understand a little more of what I'm training for.


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