Friday, December 11, 2015

Glory to God in the Highest

I hate it when I lose my Fridays which is exactly what happened to me on the first one of December. Due to some health issues my sister experienced as well as the help being in the hospital, one of my nights to stay with Mom shifted from Wednesday to Thursday. This meant I had to get Mom up Friday, fix her breakfast, and administer her meds. Then I had errands to run most of the morning. After that I had to see after Mom's lunch. To top it all off, the first Friday of December is Band Festival Day in Greenwood, and my wife got off work early. Oh, my. It was a good day. I thank God that I get to care for Mom, and I thank God for a good wife. I also thank God for my Friday adventures. I wanted to thank God for this one Friday's adventures also.

I did enjoy the parade, and we had nice company, Sheila and Bridget Mitchell, who joined us for the bands and supper at No Way Jose afterwards. But there was no time for my customary long Friday run. So I woke up Saturday morning with a grudge against the day. I will show you, I said to Saturday and then proceeded to scheme up some type of outing.

The temp was warm, the sky was blue, and the winds were light as I shuffled over the bridge onto the familiar tarmac of Money Road, my go-to stretch of pavement in a pinch, my default running road. I really had no plan because I didn't know how recovered my legs were from the Great Noxapater Journey Run so I played it by ear, so to speak, or maybe I ran it by leg is a more apt saying. I wore a Calbak and carried six Gu gels just in case I could hold up a while. I held up a while.

My mind had toyed with twenty, maybe a marathon, maybe more. I even thought the run could be as short as ten. But about eight miles in, I knew the outing would be a marathon or more. Several friends of mine were running St. Jude's that very day. I really wanted to beat them, so I hatched the idea of a marathon plus one.

The run was pretty uneventful other than me finding  a lot of loot along the way. I usually bring home something to my wife that I find along the side of the roadway such as discarded silverware. It amazes me how many spoons and butter knives and forks I find on the shoulder of the roads I run. Why are they there? Was someone eating lunch while driving and oops that fork fell out the window? 

The last thing I told Penny when I headed out the door was, "I'll bring you something."

Her response was, "I don't want anything."

That sort of hurt my feelings, but perhaps it was providential. I kept for myself everything I picked up that day, and it was a pretty impressive haul. The first thing I found was a flashlight. It was one of those little LED things. Picking it up and examining it revealed that the light had most likely tumbled from an auto at high speed. The front glass was gone, but when I clicked the switch, that little bugger came on. Hot dog, I thought. I can always use a light, especially this time of year when often a shine is the only thing that keeps me from being run over by a car when running at night. 

Wearing the rain top and holding the flashlight.
The next thing I found was a car charger for a cell phone. I still don't know if it works, but this very second that thing sits on an end table beside me. 

The third thing I found was a really nice rain suit. I did my turn at 13.62 miles and was only a few steps into my return journey when I ran by some clothing on the shoulder. That is not unusual. Clothing is common as are shop rags which I occasionally pick up. Usually, however, I just keep running when I encounter clothing, and I did this time too. But I stopped and went back. Something about what I saw seemed less than ordinary or more than ordinary. Not ordinary. Gosh, it was a nice rain suit, a Coleman. The top was in mint condition, but the pants had become a part of a fire ant colony, so I tied the top to my pack and left the pants with the ants.
Gift from a stranger.

I was feeling pretty smug about my stuff when another incident, another find, brightened my day. I was getting low on fluid and was planning a stop at the fire station in Money when a pickup truck slowed as it approached me. Two guys were in a small, red truck and that is all I could discern about their physical description. They never stopped, but a hand came out the passenger side window and in that hand was the biggest bottle of water I had ever seen. They slowed just enough to pass the water like a runner passing the baton in a relay race. 

"Thanks," I yelled out.

"You'e welcome," someone yelled in return.

Immediately I heard a flock of geese overhead honking away as if to sing their approval at the random act of kindness they had witnessed below them. A light breeze blew brightly-colored leaves which pirouetted through the air to the ground below as if the heavens were raining grace upon the earth. I thought of Luke 2:14 which reads and was sung by the angels and is sung by mankind now,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.