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La Grande Observer 12/22/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow Jeff Petersen: ON SECOND THOUGHT arrow Itís time for Big Fat Hints

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Itís time for Big Fat Hints

The holidays are sneaking up fast. In August the Christmas sales began. Santas were out in force trying to whip the public into a buying frenzy — or maybe they were just trying to get a tan.

If you’re like me, you need to do more Christmas shopping. You need to find that perfect gift for everyone on your list who remembered to drop a Big Fat Hint.

That’s not what worries me most, though. What worries me most about the impending holiday season is getting the Brag Letter written.

You know the ones:

• My son is an honor student at Shallow End of the Talent Pool Junior High School.

• My husband got promoted all the way up to middle management at Dim Bulb Lighting Inc.

• My uncle was elected mayor of Nitwitville.

And so on.

At first I thought I had nothing to brag about yet. Here it is November already and I’ve yet to accomplish anything significant, I thought.

Is it too late in the year to earn an advanced degree in the study of something highly technical that captivates the imagination, like bellybutton lint?

To climb Mount Hood or hike the Pacific Crest Trail?

To write a book about why “cricks” are better than “creeks”?

To adopt a rich kid so I no longer have to renew the vows of poverty each year?

On second thought, I have accomplished a few things this year — some even significant. The biggest thing I did was not just big but Huge with a capital H.

Yes, for months, as I rode through the frosty hinterlands on my bicycle training rides, I practiced my marriage proposal. Numerous critters, including a hawk, a badger and a wolverine, said yes before I tried the speech out for real on the Wonder Woman on Valentine’s Day.

She also said yes.

The wedding is set for 9-10-11 in Athena, motto, Halfway between Pendleton and the End of the World.

I also rode back-to-back century rides. That’s 200 miles in two days, with the Blue Mountains thrown in each day as a speed bump.

I vacationed in beautiful downtown Ukiah, or at least passed through there on the way to beautiful downtown Dayville. The John Day Fossil Beds were king size — and as glorious as ever.

I made it through another year without getting a tattoo or a nose ring.

Despite a tendency to be incredibly self-indulgent, and the fact that I love french fries and apple fritters, I got Younger Next Year. The program, as I’ve followed it since August 2009, involves 45 minutes of aerobics four days a week and weights two days a week with a day off for good behavior.

Younger Next Year is not for everyone. It’s almost not for anyone, if the success I’ve had evangelizing about the program proves anything.

Of course, I also couldn’t sell a down jacket to a naked Eskimo.

My annual physical numbers prove my progress. More oxygen saturation of the blood. Fewer heartbeats per minute. Better cholesterol and triglyceride scores. Lower weight.

I’ve also picked up a new hobby — health and fitness — and it’s important to have plenty of hobbies going into retirement. Not that I’m going to retire anytime soon. But it’s never too soon to start preparing for the day.

Now if I can just get Santa to improve his cholesterol scores, I’d be making progress.


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