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My nephew Logan at the Eugene Marathon. Logan ran a personal best of 3 hours, 23 minutes, 21 seconds. His mom, Elaine, and Craig and I had the pleasure of cheering him on. A week later, during a Mother’s Day Zoom call, Logan’s Grandma Irene, plus aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. were congratulating him as well as recognizing what a physical challenge running 26.2 miles is. Logan noted that having run the race is sufficiently gratifying to overcome the physical pain during the race. And this prompted Irene (my 96-year-old genius mother) to ask the rest of us to share similar experiences in our own lives, things that are gratifying but not necessarily easy.

Some of the things that got brought up: herding cattle, being an air force pilot, writing, taking on the challenge of a new job. It was a fine family discussion as it helped us all know each other a little better. And that’s why I call her my genius mother. She’s good at drawing us out this way.