Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Iowan

Moscow is a pretty small world. Since it's a small, hip, liberal town in "no where" Idaho, it draws all sorts of people. And all those sorts of people seem to know someone who knew someone who was buddies with someone who decided to go to school here and found out it was a cool place and told someone to come too, who told someone else to come, who spread the word and suggested to someone else to also came to Moscow. Follow that? It's full of people from the same place who may or may not realize they actually know each other when they really do.

While walking around with my friend, Anne, who just moved here from Colorado, we discovered that our friend Caroline is one and the same. Not only that, but Caroline and Anne went to college in Tennessee together. And their moms went to school together too. And now Caroline and Anne both live in Idaho. This small world connection was made even more acute by the fact that Caroline is dating Russ, who is one of Brian's friends from growing up in Rapid City. And Russ' sister, Emily, and I have been friends since I first moved here in 2002. We all knew each other without knowing we knew each other until this fall. To top it all off, Anne and I were both talking about the same Caroline who was sponsoring a party with Russ and Emily that just happened to be the same circus party. Now, even in a town like Moscow, circus parties are pretty rare, but this was quite the circle of coincidences.

Well, today, I was sitting in the coffee shop, and this girl looked at me and said, "I think I know you. You're Nancy, right?" Yes, I am indeed Nancy. Then she said, "We used to work together in Barnes and Noble." Well, that took me back about nine years ago to working in Barnes and Noble Coffee Shop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which was then the height of cool. She said she's Suzy, and then I remembered her. And I remembered the fact that at Barnes and Noble, I not only worked with Suzy but I also worked with her brother, Zach, who is still, apparently, friends with my brother, Dan. And what's even weirder is that I have only met one other Iowan in Moscow, but never someone from CEDAR RAPIDS, my home town. What a small world.

And then, later today, I met another Iowan. We, Midwesterners, are flooding the west.

I Know This Is Good for Me

"Okay, all you do is edge your front leg forward, your back leg backward, until you can put you back leg on the ground. You can use a brick for support. Then, brace your body and lift up. Ta dah! You're in the splits. Your turn, chop chop!" said Erika enthusiastically at our 7:00 am yoga practice.

I edged my body into this awkward leg opener exercise. "Okay, I edge my front leg forward, my back leg backward and ta dah! God, this hurts!" I thought to myself. Edge the legs apart, Nancy! The splits are good for you!

But, man, I've never been one for ballet, and this was one stereotypical ballet move. I imagined myself graceful, elegant, preparing to dance the "Nutcracker," being a piece of elastic, being water in a river. "I am fluid. I am elastic. I can do the splits. I KNOW THIS IS GOOD FOR ME!

"Okay, now do it three times each side at your own pace," called Erika's voice. Was she serious? Three more times on each side!? My legs already felt like they were about to snap off. But, low and behold, after three more times on each side, my legs did feel elastic, rubbery, like water in a river. And, I could do Dog pose with my heels down. Huh, it must have been good for me after all.