Photographs

We’re in Texas for a family funeral this week. Exactly two years ago when I was training for my first 10K, I would get up as early as 5:00am to avoid running in the grueling Texas heat. I tend to run the same routes so I can compare my times thus each run took me by the same house where each morning I would see the same elderly couple. Texans of a certain age have a habit of sitting out in their garages or carports early in the morning before it gets too hot; drinking coffee, eating breakfast or simply taking the air. This tradition seems to be leftover from a time before central-air conditioning.

I started running again in February after a six month pregnancy/new baby leave, and Monday morning laced up my running shoes to do a 4-miler in my husband’s small Texas hometown. About three miles in I paused my podcast and my stopwatch, and walked up the driveway to say hello. His wife was inside cleaning up after breakfast, but the coffee carafe and two cups were still on the TV tray. Wearing new denim overalls and a short sleeve cotton tshirt, Mr. W and I exchanged greetings, notes on whom we were kin to and comments about the weather. He was one of those elderly men who seems to sweeten rather than sour with age. His short cropped hair was white and his soft plumpness was like Henry’s on the waning side of life. With his fingers laced over his stomach, he told me how he is living 6 miles from where he was born and how his wife almost died from a blood clot a few months ago.

“I’m 85 years old and it was the only time I’ve ever been scared in my life,” he told me solemnly.

This is one of the reason I love to run.

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3 Comments

Filed under culturific, dialogue, life happens, run white girl run

3 responses to “Photographs

  1. This is such a lovely post. I’m going to link to it on the Schmexas Facebook page, if that’s okay.

  2. Bonnie (Mom)

    Great read!!! I ‘try’ to be a runner (I ride bicycle) for the same reasons (early heart disease in my family) so I can do my part to be here for my children and now wonderful grand children!!!

  3. So this morning I went for my first significant (albeit slow) jog since Clara was born and I still walked up most of the big hills. But I had one of those community experiences. I crossed paths with an older couple who was walking, so I greeted them like I always do with fellow folks on the road. Later, towards the end of my run, I saw them sitting on their front porch. I was, by this time, just walking. I said hello again, and the woman said hello back. But then the man said, “Weren’t you running awhile ago?”
    And I thought, go ahead and rub it in, mister. Just rub it in…

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