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.
One thing I’ve learned about my pregnant body is it requires a fairly steady stream of fuel to keep my blood sugar constant and my mood relatively stable. If things get out of whack, I start saying things that I don’t really mean and not having real memory of saying them.
Like last night around 6:30, I could feel my blood sugar bottoming out. I was holding the key to my feeling better – a container of leftover spaghetti – that I was trying to maneuver into the microwave to warm up for my dinner, but I had a persistent obstacle in my way trying to feel me up. Michael later told me that I said,
“I will love you after I put this in the microwave.”
This was only a few days after I was frantically trying to finish dinner before I became catatonic from lack of food, and John was asking me incessant questions about the Easter bunny that I reportedly blurted out:
“The Easter bunny was made up by people who don’t believe in Jesus, ok?”
I’m wondering now if crazy bloggers and Rush Limbaugh are really just suffering from chronic low blood sugar. Because clearly I love Michael at all times and I don’t think the Easter bunny was made up by people who needed a replacement narrative for Christ. But out it came anyway.
Michael: “I need to get on the ball.”
Me: “What do you mean?”
Michael: “Pat’s daughter can say ‘Kierkegaard'”
Me: “Hey James. Can you say ‘Kierkegaard’?”
James, age 3: “No, it’s too scary.”
Me: [fidgeting in my seat in the car]
Michael: What’s wrong?
Me: My butt is hot.
Michael: YEAH IT IS!
Just nine more hours to go.
Rebekah: [Emphasizing over and over to her two small children that Daddy’s birthday cake is a SURPRISE and we DON’T TELL DADDY about his birthday cake]
…pick up Michael from work and five seconds later…
James, age 2: Daddy cake.
John, age 3: JAMES TOLD DADDY ABOUT HIS ‘PRISE BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!
Michael: “As soon as I find out who’s SyFy’s sexiest woman is I’ll go make popcorn.”
Me: “Are you kidding me???”
Michael: “They were showing Uhura’s mini-skirt. That thing was really short! I never knew that.”
Me: “It’s time for figure skating.”
Me, feeling generous: You can have the last piece of my birthday cake. [Referencing the ice cream cake I had received on Monday which Michael had already consumed all but one final slice]
Michael: I was going to eat it anyway.
Me: … If you had just said, “Oh, thank you!” I would be feeling much more warmly toward you right now.
Michael: “Oh, thank you!”