10.22.2007

Two weeks 'til New York

I ran a shake-out 5K route on Friday morning. I had enough tight emotions to go 50K but I was sapped. Plus it was raining and I didn't want my one pair of race day shoes to get soaked; what with a 15-miler to do on Sunday too. So I enjoyed the warm rain over the Shelter Harbor Race course and turned in after one circuit. It was meant to be a tempo run but I concentrated on pushing up the inclines with effort instead.

Flashback City. After the run I helped my dad put away numerous accessories and peripherals to my mother's health care that are no longer needed. That meant hauling them to the attic. I had never been in this 90-year old attic and it was very intriguing to see what I saw up there for the first time. Old steamer trunks my grandparents used when crossing the oceans, a parasol hanging from a rafter with most of its cloth lying on the floor boards, boxes marked "photos" and "ledgers" that have decades of history stored within.

I did not have time to explore too much but my eyes did fall upon a Boy Scout (Troop 4) backpack that a certain younger version of the Thin Trade had in junior high. I saw that it was packed full and my curiosity surged to Level 5. I looked inside and found two boxes, an old water canteen and three 33 RPM oldie albums from the mid 60s that I had absconded with from a former schoolmate. I could tell by the sloppy cross-out of another name and the clear spelling of my name.

One box had assorted baseball stickers that I believe were from my brother's era, knock hockey sticks and a puck to a game I built by hand in the early 60s; and a telescope I could never get into focus for the month or so I used it, way back when. At this age (now) I finally figured it out.

The second box was the mother-lode. It was a stationery box for envelopes and in it were sorted (by name and date) all my correspondence received from others (mostly female admirers) from 1966-1969. Wow. I spent the next 36 hours reading about all sorts of things that gave me a new insight into my former adolescent psyche. Allow me, right now, to express my sincere apologies to the following young ladies to whom my attempts at courting may have been gross or grossly misconstrued: Ellen, Maureen, Chris, Cindy, Cindi, Gretchen, Marjorie, Tonia, Beca, Sue, Susie, Laura, Dee, Ann, Catherine and a few other girls I can't even remember but who seemed to have had a deep interest in me.

Good grief. I could write a screenplay.

Most interesting is that one of the ladies named above just happened to visiting Rhode Island this past weekend and I could not help but bring her letters over to share some of the highlights and let her read what she wrote about life and love back in the late 60s. She threatened me my instant death if I shared any of the intimately revealing details with anyone; and her husband offered not a single penny for the lot of them. Bad luck.

15 Miler. For Sunday I mapped out a variation run from last week's 20-miler. Instead of leaving the colony and heading westerly I headed towards the sun and up a narrow, winding and hilly 2-lane road, rich in color and country. At the peak, I stopped at St. Vincent Catholic Church in Bradford and found myself red-faced, drippy and bare-legged in the under croft with all the Sunday school kids while the organ pumped out hymns above us. That was rich. I had some water, used the men's room and was on my way.

I angled back down straight to the Weekapaug breach way and along the ocean shore to Susie's and my beach (and that of a few of the aforementioned girls) . The sun was sparkling on the waters. The beach was deserted but for a few fisherman down towards the rocks. I breathed it all in and stared at a spot in the sand that had triggered many years of bliss.

I turned away and picked up the course along the back roads of Weekapaug, east on Shore Road, back to Shelter Harbor and down Gounod again, through X Corner and finishing at Sea Tower. It took 2:37 to cover the 15.75 miles. I felt good and strong but not interested in running any more that day. I had to pack and head back to Florida.

I gave Dad a hug and we shared a few moments remembering Mom and how things will be different but, perhaps, in a good way in many respects. He'll be fine once he gets through these next few weeks.

I am now tapering for New York. Runner Susan: be ready.

7 comments:

Just12Finish said...

A trip down memory lane is good for the soul every now and then. Hope you enjoy your journey there and back - don't cause any trouble!

Darrell said...

Quite an impressive collection of old letters. Apparently you were quit the Casanova.

I was sorry to read about your Mother. She looked happy at the beach. Running in that place so full of good memories seems to be just the right thing. Run well in NYC. Thanks for the encouragment at MCM.

Runner Susan said...

A beautiful post like that and then you have to scare me? Be ready?! How am I supposed to be ready? I don't even have a bus pass. And I don't swim very well. And my left knee hurts. So, okay. I'll be ready.

21stCenturyMom said...

Good grief. I could write a screenplay.

As well you should!

My daughter just found her Dad's box of similar treasures only it extended through high school/Eagle Scout and had all sorts of racy stuff in it. She is now the proud possessor of a photograph of her Dad and his friends showing off their beeramid. Cool stuff.

Happy tapering!

susie said...

A wonderful post, David. You and your collections :)
I'm heading up to RI myself in a few weeks to check on dad. I'll stop by to say hello to yours.
I have a feeling this marathon will be quite the journey for you--in a good way, of course.

Joe said...

Great post, David.

Do stay in touch with your Dad over the next couple of months, even more so heading into the holidays. He'll appreciate it more than he can ever say.

jeanne said...

you are still quite the ladykiller--just check the proportion of comments on your blog from women vs. men. i REST my case.

I know you'll be there for your dad.