Tag Archives: wytheville community center

The Tuesday Swimming Incident

The Monday book will be back next week. Sit back and enjoy the story of Wendy’s latest adventure….

Regular readers know that I enjoy canning. Like, a lot. It’s my down time upper. So yesterday evening I was squeezing out seven quarts of mixed veg from our garden, which is putting out more daily. Having a good time, rocking out to a little oldies Abba, slicing and dicing and spicing.

I threw a load of laundry in at the end, because canning is a messy business. And because Tuesday morning is my swim aerobics class with my sister, and it had been ages since my suit had been washed, what the heck, in it goes.

(Yes, I know washing is bad for suits. Just like fungal growth is bad for suits. It needed a scrub.)

Next day, sis and I are paddling in the pool preparatory to class beginning, and I feel something in the lower area. Like elastic that’s poked through. Oh well, I think, I know better than to wash a suit with other clothes, ruined it. I reach in….

…. and pull out a string bean.

A dried up string bean that looked so much like elastic at first that I didn’t realize what was happening. Until I felt a little pebble-like thing caressing my cheek….

After removing the two beans and the other half of the string bean husk, I placed them as surreptitiously as possible on the drain at the side of the pool.

A few minutes into class, the lifeguard gets this incredulous look on his face, climbs down from his chair, and walks to The Place of the Bean.

My sister who drags me to the class each week shouts, “It’s a string bean and it’s hers!” She points at me. “She cans everything and it got in her suit!”

Fortunately the instructor had The Beegees blasting at top decibel so not many of the participants heard her. Only one woman turned and asked, “Do you can in your suit? Is that cooler? I can a lot and…”

I am not banned from the pool. That is the good news.

My sister will die at the time and place of my choosing, and they will find her with a green bean shoved into her throat, serial killer style. That is the other good news.

Thank you for coming to my comedy of errors life show.


Filed under humor, small town USA, Wendy Welch

Appalachian Yoga

About two months ago my sister Nora convinced me to join a gym. This was just as firewood and gardening season were picking up speed, two facts that didn’t co-register until my muscles began to point out the connection.

This is not me

“I can’t go to Core Strength class today; I have to pick up and cut and stack firewood.”

Or, to my friend Dawn, co-conspirator in finding and hauling home dead trees of other people, “I can’t go hunt firewood today, I have to go to Zumba.”

It got complicated, and between the classes and the workload and my day job at a desk, I found stiff parts and sore stuff that hadn’t been there before.

That’s how I came to invent Appalachian yoga. A couple of days ago, still in my pjs, I went out to pick the abundant black raspberries growing on our little homestead. Hard rain had fallen last night, and one of the best spots requires walking under a kind of topiary arch, which of course would shower my thin cotton jammies and me with cold water if I touched it.

Sneaking between the bushes to my favorite picking spot, I observed a cluster of ripe berries just out of reach. One leg lift over the low thorny vines, a careful placement, toe up for balance, lean forward, back leg extended for balance….

Thus was Appalachian yoga born. I call that one “the berry picker.” It has two variations: “the berry picker and the mosquito,” which focuses on agility motions with hand slapping, and “the berry picker and the dropped bucket,” which involves core strength because you have to bend down at the waist without losing your back leg extension and scoop up the fallen object.

Discussing this with Nora as we prepared for Low-Impact aerobics, she felt the idea was an instant winner. We quickly invented “Milking recalcitrant cow” and “pulling pokeweed from the root,” both involving simultaneous dexterity and core strength.

Other moves (patent pending) may include “the chop that goes wide,” in which you fling your arms over your head, and then downward, hands joined in a single fist, to try and hit an imaginary target. We also have “the chainsaw,” in which you lock fists, squat so your knees and toes are aligned and your butt is pushed back, and shake for 30 seconds.

“Pulling the ivy” is an upward thrust of one hand, other down for balance, and a shift of weight from one leg to the other, leg up with toe point, leg back with squat. If you’ve ever pulled Virginia creeper from a tree, you don’t need further instruction. There is a variation, “pulling poison ivy,” which repeats the move from the ground up, but adds a sudden swift revolving circle of toe-hopping panic running and a primal scream.

Finally, “chasing the chickens”: you power walk, legs wide, toward a location, shuffle sideways without turning, and then race forward for 10 seconds, all while flapping your arms.

Nora and I plan to introduce this class to the good people at the Wytheville Community Center soon. We are sure it will be popular.

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Filed under humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch