(Names have been changed and details obfuscated to protect the not-so-innocent because the Home is still looking for them after that last breakout)
It was dusk and we were following Heather and Maggie along a quiet, lonely, deserted, dusty, rocky Delta road. We’d been detoured when the original path ended, blocked with large signs covered in X’s. A dry creek bed had, at one point in the past, been full enough of raging water to wash the road out. Judging by the quantity, size and condition of the signs some people had managed to miss the message anyway.
Becky and I were trying to call Heather to tell her to turn around and come back as we watched her tailights recede in the dust and distance. I finally got through. “Heather, you need to turn back, I think we’ve found another way to get to their house.”
“No, it’s OK,” she replied, “David told me to drive until the road dead ends and then turn left. Then when that road dead ends, turn left again.”
When the road ends, turn left. As the sun quickly disappeared on the horizon, looking around at the silent, barren fields, the twisted grey-brown trees, and the leaning, rotted, empty shacks, I asked Heather if she and Maggie heard banjos.
Now it’s Sunday morning – a steady grey rainy downpour outside my window.
I can hear birds chirping, flitting about while I watch the surface of the lake bounce with the rain. A large blackbird is hugely pissed and hopping from limb to limb purveying his destroyed beginnings of a nest, screeching at the offending squirrel who apparently misjudged his leap from my roof to the tree, landing smack on the foundations the bird had carefully laid. Murphy’s cowering under my chair. He’s going to be staying close to me for the day, I expect, between the thunder, which he abhors, and the fact that I abandoned him and the cats overnight Friday. Yesterday evening when I got home Mo wouldn’t come out from behind the dryer while Chunk jumped up on the counter and kept grabbing my arm if I started to walk away.
I have Dumper Soup on the stove as I’m (oddly) craving healthy food, and I’m looking back at both the last five months and the last 48 hours, shaking my head in disbelief.
I ran a half marathon yesterday.
Crazy running nutjobs and beer.
Shortly after the awesome adventure of their first marathon last December my friends Becky and Anne were discussing their next goals. Anne had discovered the Mississippi River Marathon & Half Marathon in Greenville, MS in February. I believe beer had to have been involved; she talked Becky into training for it. Why lose the fitness so diligently obtained training up for the first marathon? they most likely reasoned, probably nodding in sloppy agreement over their cups at the Flying Saucer.
I thought they should. What would it hurt? I didn’t have to do the race.
Anne was beside herself happy to show her best running buddy the Land of Her Peoples, having been born and bred in the Mississippi Delta. An Italian from the heart of the Delta. She talks fast and southern.
At some point I got tapped to be the DD on the journey, as Becky doubted their ability to run 26.2 miles in the Land of Anne’s Peoples and then drive home. Later Becky’s hubs, John, decided to come along and do the half also, effectively making him the DD, a fortunate occurence for all involved.
Last Monday after running the furthest I have gone since 9.9.2012 – 7 miles – on the previous Saturday, I asked Dr. Krackurback if I needed to be scaling back, hanging with the same mileage or if I should try pushing it. He paused for a moment and looked at me. “I think I’d like to see you try pushing it.”
Dr. K doesn’t know me very well.
Thursday night at Flying Saucer while celebrating a birthday we discussed the next day’s plans, in which John would take Anne, Becky and me while Heather and Maggie drove separately to Greenville. John and I would try to register for the Half, having learned that 100 extra regs had been opened.
Friday morning I laid out my running gear. I was a Newbie all over again. Shorts. No, not those shorts. Those. Shirt. Short sleeve. No, long sleeve. No, both. No, not those shorts after all. Those. Garmin, charger, HR monitor, gear bag, socks, chews, trail mix bar, lucky hat…for hours I laid things out, looked them over, wandered about the house. Returning, I looked over everything. Add, subtract. Search frantically to see if I’d remembered socks. Yes, four pair should be enough. I was going to be gone a whole night, after all.
John helped me load everything in Becky’s car and we picked up Anne.
You can buy freshly made tamales at gas stations on Highway 61 in Mississippi. I didn’t.
We drove directly to registration and I nearly bowled over three people in my rush to see if I could still register. Clutching my race bag I ran to Becky and Anne. I’m IN!