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“Don’t get lost. Don’t be late. It’s good to smile, but easier to get bugs stuck in your teeth.”

When I was 16 and an employee at REI, I discovered this message on a handwritten note in my bike bag. My first thought was to blush, “Oh, that’s sweet.” An older colleague who happened to be a professional triathlete had tucked the note there in the bike closet. And my second thought, sitting up abruptly, was “Am I that transparent?”

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chicken tortilla soup

I ran twice this weekend—a rarity these days—and drove home with my heart feeling so full. The sunshine, the post-endorphin buzz, the crunch of my iced coffee all reminded me that I am embarrassingly blessed. I walked through the front door to discover my son sleeping in his crib, my husband washing dishes. I had time to shower. To shave my legs, even.

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tomato soup with coconut milk

I have a confession that is unlikely to surprise you: I haven’t been cooking much lately. Mike has been working long hours, and cooking for one gets dull. And frankly, I’ve been tired. And uninspired. And perfectly content to eat Trader Joe’s Indian food from a cardboard box and aluminum pouch. (It’s like backpacking food—at home!)

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triple squash soup

Healing is a process that refuses to hurry. If you have witnessed it in a loved one, then you know the feeling of wishing you could wave a magic wand, whistle a tune, or snap your fingers and restore what is broken.

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A recently repaired clavicle

As some of you have heard, it’s been a bumpy week. Reality came crashing in after Paris—more literally than we anticipated. Because insurance claims are underway, I will stay mum on the details of the accident (please do the same if you comment on this post). But the long and the short of it: Mike was a patient for Halloween. Luckily, collarbones mend and concussions fade into healing.

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Hot Cucumber Soup with Deep-Fried Parsley

I subscribe to a frenzy of food blogs and newsletters. At times I have to dig out my inbox beneath the press of recipes for martinis, vegan chocolate cupcakes, and hamburger sliders. But every now and then the statistical odds tilt in my favor, and just the right recipe will land on my plate. Earlier this week exactly that happened.

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I have done a foolhardy thing. I signed up for another marathon. In Napa Valley, to be precise.

This will be marathon number six for me. Numbers four and five unfolded two years ago and within five weeks of each other, a mathematically reckless decision that cured my itch to run 26.2 miles in one go. That is until very recently.

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The calendar says its September 24—a whole two days past the autumn equinox—but you would never know it by walking outside. Summer is showing up late here in the Bay area. The mercury peaked at 87 degrees in Mountain View today, with 97 predicted for tomorrow. Granted it could have been worse. D.C. topped the Weather Channel’s list of worst summers; looks like we barely dodged that bullet!

Even though I was breaking a sweat in cutoffs and a t-shirt this afternoon, and my cool weather wardrobe might stay unpacked for weeks more, some internal clock says it’s time to eat butternut squash. And soup. Better yet, paired together. So darn it, I made butternut squash soup for dinner tonight.

Prep work

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