Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
In thinking about this trip, it occurred to me that Anne and I have have spent one other Easter week together. It was Holy Week (or Semana Santa, as they say in Spain) of 2003. I was living in Zaragoza, and a group of my American friends/co-workers and I decided to take a trip down to Seville where Semana Santa is celebrated in grand style.
There are processions through the streets with giant floats depicting scenes from the original Holy Week:
Operatic songs are sung in the open air:
Women are dressed in their traditional headdresses:
And then there is the most striking sight of all: the throngs of people walking through the streets in these hooded garments that look to my American eyes precisely like those worn by the Ku Klux Klan.
As I came to learn, Spaniards have worn such garments during Holy Week for centuries. The hooded cloaks are symbols of repentance. I tried to get comfortable with that and to dissociate what I saw around me in the streets of Seville from the symbol of hate that hooded cloaks symbolize here in America.
But it was impossible.
I have always tended to diffuse uncomfortable moments with humor, and Anne still gets the giggles when we reminisce about one particular day of our trip to Seville when I leaned over to her and said, “Hey, Annie, purple Kluxer at six o’clock”.
I am now arrived safely in Charleston, and perched on Anne's kitchen countertop to greet me was this little trinket she bought in Seville those many years ago.
Nothing like a little purple-clad penitent to bring back memories!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
When researchers followed more than 34,000 non-dieting women (average age 54.2) over many years, they found that regular physical activity was associated with gaining less weight over time—but only in women who weren't overweight or obese. (That means a BMI of lower than 25, or less than 150 pounds for a 5'5" woman.) And those women had to exercise quite a bit: An average of an hour a day of moderately intense activity—such as a brisk walk—or the equivalent (if you exercise more strenuously, less time is required) during a week was the amount of activity recorded for the normal-weight women who gained less than 5 pounds during the 13-year study. (Just 13.3 percent of women studied fit that bill.)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Below is a news story if you'd like to learn more: