Sunday, July 6, 2008

The dog who was scared of the flag

Big relief. My naturalization application was approved on July 1 and I will become an American citizen on 25 July. Very excited about the prospect of being able to vote and to travel on a US passport. My son reminded me that one of the other things I can look forward to is a jury summons. I can hardly wait. After nearly 18 years of living in the USA and just over 14 months since I first applied for naturalization, the actual interview was brief. It took USCIS Officer M. Tunnell less than 20 minutes to confirm my identity, establish my eligibility and to test me on English and U.S. history and government. And yes I did get the one ‘difficult’ question (of the 96 or so on the list) which was to name the original 13 states. I had worked my way out of the south (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia) but when I got to Maryland, just before Delaware, Officer Tunnell cut me off. It’s ok, he said, we don’t have all day. Actually I did have all day but I was not about to disrupt the flow of the interview. Come to think of it, if Officer Tunnell had said the sky was green, I would have ventured emerald or olive.

Running has been going great; two more weeks of back to back 40+ miles: 46.5 miles for the week ending on June 28 and 44.5 miles for the week ending on July 5. First double digit run in many weeks on June 28 – a very enjoyable 10 miles at 8:33 pace with Steve, Mark and Anne at Cullen Park. On July 1 (after my naturalization interview) I must have been feeling particularly good, doing some brisk mile repeats (7:02, 6:54 and 7:15) at Memorial High School. Mile pace a bit erratic, but there are reasons. On the 2nd one a blonde had shown up at the track and I did not want to appear to be old and slow... By the 3rd mile I just had nothing left.

Kathleen and I ran our first 5k race in years (I can’t even remember the last time!) on July 4th. A time of 22:18 got me into the top 5 of my age group, but no cigar. I made several dumb ‘rookie’ errors, starting much too far back, and running with a shirt in my left hand and a water bottle in my right. Won’t do that again. Later that day – after some veggie hot dogs - we put up our first-ever American flag. It felt good to see Old Glory fluttering over the front patio. It did scare the living daylights out of our Boxer puppy Daisy, though. Even after a couple of days, she still gives it a wide berth. Any abrupt movement brought on by a sudden gust of wind, and Daisy dives under the patio furniture. House-trained? Yes. Crate-trained? Absolutely. Leash-trained? Getting better. Flag-trained? Are you kidding me?


Steeeve said...

Way to go Yankee Burt!

Pat H said...

Bert...first of all congratulations on your naturalization and citizenship. I think its a great accomplishment and something you should be very proud of. You read my blog sometimes, The Running Life. Thank you for your coments on my "Don't Tread on Me", take.

I'll bookmark your site...I too am going to Boston in 2009.

Happy Running and happy writing!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Congratulations!! I just saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time this weekend and it made me pretty proud of this country.