ON THE BACK BURNER

June 24

sunshine,familiarity,black,automobile,work,running,relaxing,enormous. These are the words that we had to use in our writing exercise. Here is mine.

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I loved running.I actually ran until my 80 th year. I didn’t jog, I ran. Slowly. .My body didn’t break down. I just got so slow that walking quickly was just as fast as my running. I ran in snow, freezing sleet, rain and sunshine. My favorite was running when it was cold enough to freeze my eyelashes shut. I would feel enormous pride in knowing that I had run in this weather. One of my favorite exchanges was after running in a New York City Marathon, on a rainy, windy, cold Sunday, I was proudly wearing my finishers medal around my neck on my flight back to Chicago. A fellow passenger told me that he had entered the race , but took a rain check because it was too cold. Wimp.

I ran competitive races in many states  and one foreign country.My first race was in Grant, Michigan, where we had our cottage. I was among the last finishers and as the last line of runners , we had a police automobile following us. I hated the thought of a cop car on my tail and I learned how to be faster. I would work at it. I attended running clinics, I went to running camp, I joined a running group. Later, I had so much experience that I put on the clinics and was responsible for organizing  road races.This was my career for a time. I got paid to do something I loved. I ran my first marathon in Paris, France. I ran past landmarks that I had read about and seen on pictures and films. I had a feeling of familiarity  , as I ran past the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph, the Louvre, and cafes where relaxing Parisian’s sat at small tables  and cheered us on.

My favorite races have been the New York City Marathon’s. I have run 3 of them. One was rainy, one cold and windy and one a perfect running day. You get up early, in the dark of night ,when the night is still black  and catch a charted bus to the starting line. The crowd of runners warming up,stretching, waiting in line at the port a johns  is enormous. So many participants that the race starts in waves. The challenged runners , the elite runners, and the rest of us, all of us with a goal. Some will have met their goal which is to finish. Some will meet their goal of a certain self imposed time. Some  where in the middle, I finish ,just wanting to have a good , as in a fun,  time and with bragging rights. There is no cop car behind me now. 

I loved running. I met wonderful people , all ages, from all places. Running gave me a community. My longest  friendships come from this group.We have gone through life cycles with each other. Weddings, births, plantar fasciitis, blisters ,death in the family, a transplant , change of careers, Cancer,graduations, divorce. 

Some of the places that I ran were Indianapolis,Chicago, New Orleans,Grand Rapids, Steamboat Springs, Boulder,Washington,DC.,Atlanta,St. Louis, oxford, Maryland,  Sarasota,Milwaukee and Paris, as in France, not Illinois. And in almost all of these events,my husband, Bob was my support team, standing at the finish line holding my gym bag, no matter how long it took me to get there.

I loved running.

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29.08 | 13:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.

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31.07 | 07:02

Leona, do you have a date or a booked flight that you come back ?

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20.07 | 13:55

Everything sounds so wonderful Leona. Venice will seem boring . I would want to move to Portownsend where the kids are living. All sounds great . Is there?

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19.07 | 12:33

That lavender sounds very nice!

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