I just finished my first 5K. My time was 41:49-- not great, by any means, but still an accomplishment for me. Thank you to Alan and Meredith for their pre/post race encouragement, to Amberly for cheering me on, and to RJ Corman who hosted the event. I talked with RJ for a bit while we were running and he turns out to be a very polite man, so it will be hard to still think of him as Wilmore's version of Mr. Burns (for those who don't know he is the millionaire up on the hill here).
The details? I ran, I walked, I watched quite a few people pass me and passed a couple myself. The hills were demoralizing, the onlookers were uplifting (except for the little girl who pointed at me and said "She's NOT going to win the race"!), and I appreciated the free spring water. Congrats to Meredith for placing-- we knew you'd do well.
Now I can see better the holes in my weekly routine. I'd like to keep running my whole life. My grandfather is a rather fit person for his age. He walks every day and has incredible endurance, which I learned all too well when he outdid Alan and I on a 5 mile hike in the snow (another blog post for another day). God willing, I will live to see 80 and still be out there jogging.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Other seminary families know: true vacations are few and far between. Plane tickets and suitcases say "sleeping in my in-laws living room" or "a week fighting with my siblings" more than "some time off to relax." This trip was a little of both, a visit with family that had an excursion to the beach tucked in the middle.
We left Wilmore at 2am (only a few hours after Chad and Justin were under our car fixing it). As usual we thought we missed our turn in Louisville and got a little lost, barely making it to the gate in time. After being tossed over to Charlotte, NC (where they have rocking chairs all over the airport) we buckled in for a 6 hour flight to Tacoma. A pleasant surprise was waiting: our rental was upgraded to a luxury car. Alan had a great time using it to cruise through the city, avoiding the freeway at all costs.
After a few days of hanging out with Alan's family-- including our cute niece and nephews who are also so much fun-- we started preparing to caravan out to the Oregon coast. My two clever sister-in-laws had the whole thing planned out and we spent the day before shopping for our food.
We ended up driving the scenic route to Oregon which took hours, but we had a good time getting there just the same. I could not believe all the mountains, the inlets, the crusty little fishing towns we passed. It was cloudy (of course) but very beautiful, especially when we rounded one corner and there was the Pacific far below with waves crashing up on the rocks. I told Alan it looked like a scene in a Hitchcock movie.
Finally after 5 hours, a bout of car sickness, a stop to shop, and thousands of huge pine trees we were at the beach house, the roar of the ocean clearly heard on the other side of the dunes. I opened the car door, smelled the salt air and pine pitch, and felt like I could breath again.
"On our way, on our way home... the time we had is not gone." - The Mother Hips
"Tell me, where did you sleep last night?
In the pines, in the pines where the sun doesn't shine." - Lead Belly
The house was simply lovely. It looked more like a beach cottage someone owns and frequents rather than rents out. The decor was beachy and homey with a beautiful hand-stitched quilt on the wall, fine furnishings, and a full kitchen. After a moment of unpacking and kid-proofing the house, Alan and I walked out to the beach, leaving Lucy to play with her cousins. The water was a mere thirty second walk from the back door (props to Desiree and Tamiko for getting a house right on the sand).
The sand was soft, there was drift wood as far as the eye could see. I didn't realize how pretty drift wood could be, all polished by the waves and bleached by the sun. The water was freezing but I didn't care. I'd never been in a place where the ocean is before you and at your back are mountains so high their peaks are hidden in the mist.
That night we ate tacos. (Note: I married into an eating family. Alan's family know what good food is and eat plenty of it. This, for me, is a key part of any vacation and I thank them all for putting a few pounds on me while out West). We spent a good hour or two in the hot tub that faced the water, watched Flight of the Concords, snacked on wasabi peas and fruit, and fell asleep that night lulled by the sound of the waves.
The next day was more of the same-- eating, walking on the beach, soaking in the hot tub, playing with the kids. That morning both my brothers-in-law, Bubba and Bryan, went jogging with me-- well, it turned out I was tagging along with them the whole time. The guys played pool and cooked a barbecue feast for us that evening. My father-in-law, Howie, roasted marshmallows over the grill for s'mores which was a much welcomed dessert.
Our final day we packed up and cleaned the house. We headed up to Canon Beach to see the sand castle festival and Haystack Rock. It was cold! But we still shopped and perused the castle competition. We warmed up with some clam chowder and seafood at Moe's before hitting the road. We wanted to be home at a reasonable hour so we drove home the quick way which involved a hair raising amount of hairpin turns (I was driving, Howie and Alan gripping the sides of the car with every cliff we passed).
As I said in the beginning, it was pleasant. I can't complain about a trip that afforded us new family memories, a chance to see the ocean, salt water taffy, plenty of pictures, and some time to relax.
"I'm still living with your ghost
Lonely and dreaming of the West Coast
We could live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind." - Everclear
"We spotted the ocean at the head of the trail
Where are we going, so far away
And somebody told me that this is the place
Where everything's better, everything's safe
Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone
Now were back at the homestead
Where the air makes you choke
We don't even have pictures
Just memories to hold" - Toad the Wet Sprocket