You Get a Different View with Running Shoes

park bench by benstone410I mentioned yesterday that our local river has won a piece of my heart. That was the inspiration for yet another river run. There is a park at the heart of our downtown that holds a few special memories for me. Back when I was a teenager, our downtown had fallen out of favor and (except during banking hours,) was almost always dead. My friends and I, with nothing better to do, would drive down and walk through the empty streets. We’d hang out at that park, sit on the edge of the fountain or on the grass, and talk about dreams, life and, (of course,) boys.

I’ve been thinking about going there to run for a while, but downtown has changed a lot since then. Now it’s a busy, thriving place. It isn’t quite as easy to find a place to park, and now the park can sometimes draw some… unsavory elements. But, it was late afternoon on Sunday, the weather was nice, and I wanted to be by the river again. So I headed over.

You know that feeling when something that was mythic in your youth suddenly becomes very small? That happened to me that day. It’s still pretty there – there’s boardwalk along the water, big pieces of sculpture and that beautiful fountain is still there, but the park is far, far smaller than it has been in my mind. I only ran 2 miles that day, but in order to make it I had to loop, backtrack, and finally, run across the bridges to the other side of the river – several times. I just couldn’t believe that those walking paths I spent hours and hours on took about 4 minutes to run.

I’m glad I went. I’ve been thinking about running there since I started running, but my guess is that I won’t be back. I have new, longer paths to run.


Photo credit: benstone410 on flickr

The Next Big Thing

I am embarking on a new project.  

Last month my best friends and I had our annual garage sale. It’s a huge multi-day event that is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. We have it down to something of a science – with a vast collection of brightly painted (and hilarious) garage sale signs, professional shelving and display racks (thanks to one friend who works trade shows), more card tables than you can shake a stick at, and a whole lot of drinking. (Alcohol is mandatory for a successful sale.) By the end of the last day, we are making deals and giving things away left and right.  It is quite thing to see.

One question always seems to arise – how can we manage to have a huge sale every year? I mean, shouldn’t we eventually run out of stuff to sell? We probably will someday, but so far every year someone has just moved, gotten married, had someone move in with them, or had some event that generates major closet cleaning. Personally, I keep a box in the basement with labels and pen nearby all year round. When I decide it is time for something to go, I slap a price sticker on it and pop it in the garage sale box right there and then.

Inevitably, I also end up walking around my house looking for more things to get rid of… while the sale is happening.  It isn’t about the money, we tend to price our stuff cheap. Our goal is to move it out of our homes (where it has been collecting dust,) and into the arms of someone who will love it. So, every year I end up walking through my house searching for more stuff to add to the sale. I love watching things go down the driveway with someone who is happy about their find. Then I see what my friends add to the sale and that inspires me more.  Someone might throw in a hat, and that reminds me that I have one I haven’t worn, or I see pile of purses and it makes me look through my own to see if there are any I am done with.

The night before the second day of our sale I had a dream about having the “biggest garage sale ever” and all of us putting everything we have ever thought of getting rid of in the sale. In my dream the tables were groaning, the customers were shopping like crazy, and we knew we would never have to have a sale again.  Perhaps that dream is part of what is inspiring my current project. Continue reading