Galloping and Prancing Along

Had you rather look at the neighborhood mums and pampas grass or walk on the beach and look at hundreds of beautiful prancing, trotting, galloping horses? You never know what awesome sights you’ll behold if you don’t get outside and “just do it!”

Quick post about the wisdom behind “Just do it!” I went to the beach this past weekend, primarily because I wanted to attend a baby shower of a friend’s daughter. Plus, my better half was “in the woods” on the hunt for that elusive deer, and I think he’s happier when I’m engaged in something fun. Less guilt on his part, less nagging on mine.

I woke up Saturday morning with tons of things to do before the shower at one. The event was in Shallotte, NC, and I hadn’t even bought a gift yet. It was chilly outside, and I thought, “I think I’ll skip walking this morning and aim for this afternoon. “  Who was I kidding?? I knew good and well that if I didn’t put the miles in that morning, then I wouldn’t be doing it that day. I had plans with one of my lovely daughters that afternoon, and they didn’t include walking.

“Okay,” I thought. “I’ll just walk around the neighborhood. It won’t be that bad (boring), and I can always get landscaping ideas.”  While lacing up my shoes, I had change of heart and decided to go to the beach. It’s only couple of miles from my front door. How could I justify letting such an opportunity pass?

Folks, I’ve been going to Myrtle Beach for decades, and I have NEVER seen the sights I saw Saturday, at Myrtle or any other beach.  At first, I saw three horses and their riders and thought of how cool and unusual that was. Then a couple more passed me. Looking into the distance, I could see perhaps a dozen more trotting towards me.  Before the hour was over, I had seen hundreds of them. I’m not too good at estimating numbers, but trust me when I say HUNDREDS. Some were galloping, some were prancing, and others were just sauntering along. Some liked the surf and ran right through it; others were more skittish and raised a ruckus when their riders tried to steer them in that direction.

Not only were the horses an enjoyable sight to behold but so were their owners. All were smiling and reveling in the sheer beauty of the morning and of the opportunity to be on the strand. I responded “Good morning” to dozens and dozens of greetings. I began to wonder if perhaps there was a certain personality type (extraverted and friendly) that gravitated towards horseback riding, but when I asked a horse owner at church yesterday, she said, “No, they were just all happy to be allowed to ride on the beach.” Sadly, she missed that ride but will be there with her hat and boots on next year.

Apparently, Myrtle Beach allows horses to be on the beach one day per year, and Saturday was that day. It was an awesome sight, one that I would’ve missed if I’d walked around the neighborhood admiring mums and pampas grass. Just do it! You never know what you’ll see right outside your door.

Lunch, Scrabble, and a Poem

I’m wondering if making a conscientious effort to look for the good stuff has made a difference in my attitude of gratitude.

Yesterday was a stupendous day. Actually, I’ve had a lot of those days lately, but yesterday was exceptional. Maybe I’m just a tad more observant because we are, after all, about to enter the month of Thanksgiving. Then too there’s the fact that I love love love this time of the year. My parents got married in November, and since I was born nine months later, I like to think of it as the month I actually began my life. Oh, and two of my children were born in November too.

Here are the events of yesterday for which I am quite grateful:

  • Waking up at least semi-rested. While I like to get at least seven hours of sleep, I can rock and roll on six.
  • Working all day on the Kershaw campus without having to drive to another location.
  • Eating lunch with some friends. While we were munching on our chips and salsa and discussing family idiosyncrasies, a couple we knew from church came in, and we chatted with them for a moment or two. When we went to the front to pay our bill, we discovered that the mutual church friends had taken care of it for us! Isn’t that amazing? Not to mention generous. Did I mention that while we were eating we got to look at the life-giving rain falling gently outside?
  • After lunch, I worked on online courses some more and chatted with Lisa and Lach, some colleagues whose conversation I always enjoy.
  • After work, I delivered some mums and visited briefly with the flower loving ladies.
  • When I left my mother-in-law’s house, it was with a big container of homemade vegetable soup for dinner.
  • I walked 50 minutes and enjoyed the changing autumn landscape of the neighborhood.  I even picked up a few hickory nuts and acorns with thoughts of using them in some fall craft or table decoration.
  • Speaking of autumn, I read and reread a beautiful Robert Frost poem (October) that Martha posted on FB.
  • I dined with my hubby, an enjoyable activity until he began reading the newspaper.
  • I checked Face Book and relooked at some pictures of Carrie, Amanda, and sweet baby Olivia. It makes me happy to think about the three of them spending some time together Saturday at Time Out for Women in Atlanta, especially when I consider the uplifting and inspirational messages they received.
  • Only one negative event occurred. Someone forgot to turn off the burner under the soup pot, and as I was doing my Susie Homemaker thing in the kitchen, I put a plastic container right on top of the burner. Later, I kept smelling something pretty awful, and when I walked into the kitchen, flames were engulfing the plastic container and its contents. Now we have a permanently damaged stove top and only three useable burners. I’m wondering if it’s time for a new stove. This one’s about 20 years old and doesn’t go with the updated kitchen.
  • At bedtime, I still had a slight edge in FB Scrabble.

Today’s been great too. So was the weekend. I’m wondering if making a conscientious effort to look for the good stuff has made a difference in my attitude of gratitude.

Top of the Rock

It’s amazing what a payoff can come from proper pacing and a little positive self-talk.

About Chimney Rock, it’s an awesome place. I’ve been there several times in my life, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I actually went to the top of the rock. That day we rode the elevator, and later we walked a trail at Hickory Nut Gorge. The waterfall was beautiful, just like everything else around us.

Last week when we visited Chimney Rock again, I was determined to walk the steps to the top.

 “You’re crazy,” my husband declared. 

“Yes, I already know that.  See you at the top,” I said.  “And don’t worry. If I feel like I can’t make it, I’ll turn around and get on the elevator.” He shook his head, probably wondering at my sanity (or lack thereof) and walked away.

Folks, it was quite a workout. I could feel AND hear my heart beating. Instead of being deterred by it, I tried to think of how magnificent an organ the heart is and how fortunate I was that mine seemed to be working so well. I met several people along the way up, among them a couple of young couples that I passed (loved that!). Okay, to be honest, one of the couples stopped to take pictures of each other posing along the trail, so naturally that slowed them down. I volunteered to take a shot of them together, and they were appreciative of that. Hope they like the way the picture turned out.

Heart working overtime, I paused to take some gorgeous pictures of the trees and birds and trail itself.  “A step at a time, Jayne. Just a step at a time. You can do it!” It’s amazing what proper pacing and a little positive self-talk can do. I also thought of something I learned from teaching Human Growth and Development: What most people in later adulthood say they regret are the things they did not do, not the things they did and failed at but the lost opportunities, the phone call never made, the hill never climbed, the trip never taken, the dance not danced, and the song unsung. When I’m in one of my children’s homes living out my last days (since none of them ever read my blog, it’s safe to say that), I won’t be saying, “If only….” It’ll be too late then to even get in the elevator at Chimney Rock, much less climb the stairway.

So I climbed to the top, and I was so happy to see the rest of my party and the beautiful American flag flying in the breeze. We hung around on the chimney taking pictures, relaxing, people watching, and exclaiming over the breathtaking views. Before descending the mountain, we visited the gift shop and the restroom, mainly so we could snap a couple of pictures of the murals there. Regardless of what direction we glanced, there was something majestic to see and remind us that “God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world.”

 Before we got on the elevator (I succumbed to the not so subtle pressure of my sweet husband), we walked outside once again, and an employee of the park asked us if we wanted him to take our picture.

“That’s part of my job,” he assured us.

“Taking pictures?” I asked.

“Making sure everyone has a good time,” he said.

We did. And you will too. Put Chimney Rock on your “to do” list this year. Even if you don’t make the trip to the top, the town itself is charming, especially now that the river walk has been added.  And don’t even get me started aabout the quaint gift shops, restaurants, and streetscape.

Joann’s View

If you’re open to life and all it has to offer, all sorts of invitations, views, and people will come into your life…even mountain top home tours.

When I woke up this morning, the room was still dark. Even so, I could quickly visualize the tree right outside the bedroom window and the sloping front yard with its dogwoods and crepe myrtles. When my new friend Joann (not her real name) who lives in the mountains surrounding Lake Lure wakes up in the morning, she opens her eyes to one of the most majestic views I’ve ever seen in my entire life. To say it’s awesome is doing her “yard” an injustice. Her house is built on stilts, and she has no yard as such outside of her bedroom, just mountains and a splendid view of Lake Lure.

Meeting Joann was just one of the many delightful events of the weekend, but I’m starting with her because our meeting seemed so serendipitous. Yet, was it really? My sister-in-law Karen and her husband had been staying at Rumbling Bald Resort in the Fairfield Mountains, and Karen had become part of a walking group that met at 7:30 each morning and walked for an hour. The walk had a tour guide who led them on a different walk each day, complete with tidbits of interesting information about the area. I joined them Friday morning, and it was both invigorating and educational.

While we were traipsing all over the Rumbling Bald property, I became better acquainted with the early morning crew.  They were all from other places in the United States whose paths had converged at Rumbling Bald, and I enjoyed hearing their life stories and the circumstances that led them to the mountains of NC.  As we talked, Joann pointed up one of the mountains and said that her house was up there somewhere and that she had the same view of the lake that we were currently seeing, only better. “Yeah, right,” I thought. She invited Karen and me to come  visit her and even said that if she happened to be out, she’d leave the door unlocked. We didn’t really take her invitation seriously until she proffered it once again at parting.

The menfolk were playing golf all afternoon, so Karen and I decided “what the heck” and went up the mountain, around and around and around, until we reached Joanne’s home. It was gorgeous. It looked like one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs and seemed to fit right into the surroundings, partly because of the design and partly because of the materials. I’ve seen my share of lovely homes, but few have had the structure and the surroundings so beautifully matched.  Even the façade of the structure was partially stone, and the pillars looked like slim tree trunks. The inside floors were slate and wood, and pathways around the house were of skillfully laid stones.

Joann invited us in and took us on a tour. She allowed, even encouraged, us to take pictures, and so we did. She even asked us to “sit a spell” on her back porch, and we obliged her in that as well. While there, we discussed God and how He had led her to this perfect place. It was like a gift and one that she well appreciated. We also talked about decorating, children, careers, gardening, and the importance of friends. When we bid Joann adieu, Karen and I both felt that our mini-vacation had definitely been enriched by meeting such a fun, warm, hospitable, ditzy (her self-description) person. When we parted, the three of us expressed the hope that perhaps our paths would cross again.

After leaving Joann’s mountain top home, Karen and I went to Bat Cave and Chimney Rock where we spent a couple of wonderful hours. After eating a creekside lunch, we went back to Lake Lure for a boat tour, and as we were waiting for the tour to begin, we watched a wedding take place on the grounds. Nice. The boat tour was fantastic, and I have tons of stuff to share about that later. I mean, really, why does someone need a 7 and ½ million dollar home????? Boat tour complete, we joined the guys for dinner and a street dance. Fun.

That’s just Friday…and only bits and pieces of it. Later I’ll write a little about Saturday and our trek up to Chimney Rock.  The entire area is beautiful, and I’m wondering if anyone else has some tales to tell about your experiences there.

Sunshine and Shadow

There’ll always be elements of sunshine and shadow in our lives, and it’s our perceptions of each that make us happy or miserable.

This morning while walking a few miles at Scott Park, I was again struck with the contrast of sunshine and shadow, just like our lives. Even when you’re walking in the light, there are some things going on that you could notice and complain about. Some people do, loudly and frequently. “It’s hot as heck,” they say, “and my eyes hurt.”  Then you’re in the shadow. It’s good too, but sometimes you’re so busy feeling sorry for yourself that you don’t notice the slight temperature change or the slight breeze that cools your skin.   

Have you got anything good going on right now? Can you walk? Can you see? Did you sleep in a bed last night instead of on the street somewhere? Will you have lunch later today? Sunday morning before going to church, I spent some time watering my plants and flowers. I was lamenting the fact that I’d spent a small fortune on them, and despite my frequent attention, many were dying. Plus, it was almost unbearably hot, and I just wanted to get it over with and scoot inside to the air conditioned comfort. I was also thinking about a lesson I had to teach in a couple of hours, one that I felt a little anxious about. Although I’d spent hours reading and preparing, I still felt inadequate to adequately cover the topic.

Did you see a few good things going on in the above paragraph? There were several. I have an air conditioned home that has some pretty flowers and plants around it. I have running water that enables me to stand and water the petunias and ferns.  I don’t have to go to a well to get it. I have eyes to see not only my yard but all of Mother Nature’s handiwork. I have the opportunity to worship at a church of my choice…and to teach. I don’t live in a country where women’s voices are stifled. Here’s what happened to wake me up from my pouty, self-centeredness. I looked up. That’s it. I looked up and saw the treetops gently moving with the breeze, and beyond them was the bluest sky I’d seen lately…or at least that I’d taken note of. I gulped at the magnificence of the sight and wondered how many just like it I’d missed because I’d been too busy grumbling or looking down.

Hours later and several degrees hotter, I remind myself that I live in the American South, the land of magnolia trees, grits, and beautiful beaches. Hmmm. Makes me want to reread To Kill a Mockingbird.

Crystal Coast of NC

My husband says a beach is a beach and that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I say, “No way, Jose.” While there are some common features, each shoreline is just a little different from all others. Because of his attitude, my other half missed out on some beautiful sights last weekend.

We went to the Morehead City/Beaufort, NC area with some family members to celebrate my brother’s birthday and my husband’s retirement. It’s a lovely area, and although our primary purpose was to share a six-hour cruise excursion, we oohed and aahed like the tourists we were as we walked the downtown streets gawking at the pretty sights of Beaufort. We parked the car in the parking lot of FBC, and the “girls” and I chatted about how cool it would be to live in one of the charming homes and saunter over to church on Sunday morning. Afterwards, we might stroll down to the coastline and watch the harbor action. Everything was so clean, neat, and well-preserved.

We climbed aboard a catamaran that accommodated 42 people and began our sail out into the ocean. That was a stupendous adventure and one I’d recommend to everyone (more on this later).  After about an hour and a half, we reached Lookout Island, and our captain gave us some tips about shelling and instructed us on when to be back. The first moment that I set foot on the island, I was agog at the sight and “feel” of the place. All I could see was  beach, beach, and more beach…a wide expanse of sand and shells.  I looked down, and there were hundreds, no thousands, of shells of all types and sizes. The captain had provided shell bags for us, and I started collecting them right away. In fact, I became so involved with examining and bagging them that the rest of my party left me to go snorkeling. 

I probably walked a mile or more around the island gathering shells, watching people frolic in the ocean, chatting with fellow travelers, and listening to my sisters-in-law laugh as they enjoyed their snorkeling experience. There was also a bird sanctuary on the island that I didn’t enter; however, I did stand there for a while taking in the isolated beauty of the area. In the background, there was always the constant, repetitive sound of the ocean lapping on the sand. Calming, very calming.

Our next destination was Cape Lookout, part of the National Park Service. It too was breathtakingly beautiful. We bought a few souvenirs in the gift shop and then walked down pathway to the museum. Loved it. This is where my husband and I parted company. This is where he said, “If you’ve seen one beach, you’ve seen them all.” He sat in a rocking chair on the porch of the museum while I climbed the steps to lighthouse. Once at the top of the steps, I could see the ocean, and there was no way I could leave without seeing it up close and personal. I clamored down the steps and made my way down the path and over the small incline to get a look at the Atlantic Ocean.

On this particular afternoon, the sea was calm, and the beach was flat. The water was amazingly blue, and if we’d had more time, I’d have “sat a spell.” Lisa and I walked in the water up to our knees and headed back to civilization…or to the boat, that is. This morning I’m wondering what’s more civilized, a natural habitat along the side of a continent or a city teeming with people, restaurants, cars, hotels, hospitals, museums, and shops. Both have their pluses, of course. I couldn’t go for too long without the busy, buzzy world I usually inhabit. At the same time, it’s reassuring to know that there are sanctuaries where one can find serenity and calmness.

Visiting these Morehead City and Beaufort was awesome. Walking their beaches was a highlight of my summer, and I hope to repeat the experience in the not-too-far-distant future. One of the men I met on the sailboat was from Ohio, and he said he and his family have been coming every year for ten years. So do some friends of theirs, also from Ohio. It’s amazing to think of people coming from so far away to visit the Crystal Coast when there are people in SC, NC, and VA who have never experienced its beauty. You might consider it for your next getaway. It’s a “shore thing” that you’ll enjoy it.

Yellow Beach Umbrellas

While home might be one definition of heaven (according to Emily Dickinson), it’s a great big beautiful world out there that you can’t fully experience from behind the blinds.

Emily Dickinson reportedly said that home was her definition of heaven. I love my home, and at times it can feel downright heavenly. Still, going out where life is teeming all around you brings you a different and broader perspective than peeping out through the blinds. This past weekend was filled to the max with people, sights, and sounds that we wouldn’t have experienced had we just hung around home sweet home.

Here are a few of our (my) sights and impressions:

  • A beautiful wedding. We got to see a young couple vow love and devotion to each other and later watch  Hannah dancing with her Aunt Jenny at the reception. Sweet. We also chatted with old friends and sampled some of the yummiest shrimp and grits I’ve ever tasted.
  • Driving to the beach together and going the back way through Wisacky, Lynchburg, and Hanna. At one time, that was the only way to travel to the coast, and so our cruise down the back roads brought back a lot of memories. Quick one: When Carrie was an infant, we were on our way home for Christmas and got stopped in Olanta by a Christmas parade. I LOVED that. The stoplight in beautiful downtown Olanta conjured up that decades-old memory Saturday morning.
  • Tons of beach scenes including a mother using molds to make a starfish, an octopus, and other sea creatures from sand. Then there was a family of five slowly making their way down the beach whose father finally turned to the little girl who was holding up the gang and said, “Come on, little Sea Snail. You’re taking too long.”  Another memory was seeing a woman attempt to wash her hair in a sink in one of the restrooms at the state park. She said she thought there’d be showers, but since there weren’t, she was making the best of it. “It’s all good,” she said.  Loved that. Some people would have been grumbling and making life miserable for everyone else.
  • Cicadas chirping so loudly that I couldn’t hear the ocean for a brief stretch. Can you imagine what a loud symphony that was? It was deafening, yet cool. I felt the wind so fiercely that I literally had to lean forward as I trudged along. I felt the sun so strongly that even with my eyes closed, my retinas saw red (if that makes sense). I saw a long line of yellow umbrellas, millions of sea shells, and a woman flying a kite. I also read much of a novel and will always associate Juliet and the Guernsey folks with this weekend’s sights and sounds.

We also went to a movie (Robin Hood), shopped a bit, dined out a couple of times, and chilled. Some of the shopping took place at a couple of flea markets that we visited with Ann and Allen, and I’m loving the little Dora and Diego game that I bought for my grandchildren to play when they visit the coast. Ann and I bought books.

The woman in the restroom was right. “It’s all good.” It’s so much easier to see all the things you don’t have (like no showers), but life is more enjoyable for all concerned when you take note of what you do have…but sometimes you need to get out of the house to do that.

Gliding Along

I saw something Saturday afternoon that defies description. Sounds like a hackneyed phrase, but still…it was awesome.

Stressed to the max, I escaped to the beach for about an hour. Why stressed? The end of the semester with six classes (make that seven when you add the online one from another college), Elizabeth’s house closing and all the puzzle pieces that went into that, and then learning that my beautiful young niece had being stricken with spinal meningitis. We didn’t know whether it was bacterial or viral at the time; we just knew that she was in excruciating pain and running a high fever. There were other issues going on too, stuff I’d rather not go into at the moment. I needed my mama to talk to! So what did I do? I went to the strand to walk and think and pray until I regained my usual optimistic perspective. Surely I’d find some solace there.

I walked for a while and then sat in my trusty beach chair to read. After a few moments, I closed my eyes and enjoyed seeing the vibrant oranges and reds and pinks, a regular light show going on behind my eyelids. I don’t how the retina’s cones provided that, but the show was magnificent. Eyes still shut, I became more aware of the squawking seabirds, the laughter of playing children, the roar of the ocean, and the muted, constant hum of nearby conversations.

Leaning back, I opened my eyes and saw a breathtaking sight, four pelicans gracefully gliding above me. Between me and a cloud, their movements seemed almost languid, and yet they were moving along at quite a clip (compared to humans). As the one in front lifted its wings, then the one behind followed, and the one behind, and then….you get the picture. It was a beautiful sight and one I’ll never forget.

Even this morning, as I think of their unity as they moved gracefully across the sky, I feel peace. I could take a lesson: Stay together, be cool, move at a decent (not unduly rushed) state, and glide…just glide. Things will work out. Sarah Beth is on the mend, Elizabeth moved in her new home over the weekend, and well, things are moving steadily forward with my end of semester stuff. I’m gliding along.

A Closer Walk

Yesterday’s worship service was a bit unconventional in that I didn’t actually get dressed in my Sunday best, drive to church, and enjoy talks, hymns, prayers with others. Nope. I needed a “closer walk” yesterday so I went to the seashore and saw God everywhere.

He was in the roar of the ocean, the seabirds gently floating on the water, the small white birds looking out to sea, the people collecting shells, the sun on the horizon,  the sea oats, the sun glinting on the wave tips…and so on. The birds flying overhead in V-formation were awesome too. I walked (more like sauntered) along and thought for the umpteenth time of what a beautiful world our Creator designed for us.

 I also thought of those verses in Psalms where we’re told that we can never go from His spirit or flee from His presence…not even in the uttermost parts of the sea.  He always knows where we are and what we’re up to. I thought of how fortunate I was to have legs, lungs, and a heart that allowed me to stroll along and enjoy the majesty of the morning. I thought of how angry the sea can be at times and how Christ, the Master of earth, ocean, and sky, calmed it so many times. I also thought of how much Christ apparently loved the seashore as much as I do because he sure spent a lot of time there.

Refreshed and calm, I left the strand and headed home.  Today I’m looking at the tiny shells I collected and remembering the peaceful, yet almost joyous, feeling I had when I picked them up, still wet and fresh from the sea.

The Marathon That Wasn’t

A few people who didn’t know the MB Marathon was cancelled because of snow (yes, you read that right) have asked me how I did. Actually, I did just fine because I wasn’t under any pressure to achieve a personal best or even to go the whole distance. I just enjoyed the scenery and the experience.

Here’s what happened. As we were dining on delicious Mexican food at Abuelo’s on Friday night, the snow began to fall, and as we were enjoying our papas and enchiladas, the downfall became so heavy that the truck (yes, we were in my  hubby’s truck) had a couple of inches of accumulation by  the time we left. I’m serious.

Naturally, my husband the planner wanted to talk about contingency plans for Saturday morning. The marathon was to begin at 6:30 a.m., and he always drops me off around 6:00 or a few minutes after. Even under optimal conditions, the traffic is horrendous, and we both knew that the snow could make it a nightmare.  I managed to push negative thoughts out of my mind and insisted that there was nothing to talk about because the show would go on, so to speak.

“How will you get to the show?” he asked. “No one will be traveling the roads, and well, even if the streets are passable, we’ll have to leave here around 5:00 a.m. just to get to the start.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I said.

“I’m serious,” he countered. “We’ll need to get up at 4:30.”

“Whatever,” I offered over my shoulder as I left the room to get my “stuff” together for the next morning. I had just decided on the perfect pair of socks when I heard, “Jayne, you need to come back in here for just a minute. There’s something you need to see on television.”

In disbelief, I read the words across the bottom of the screen: “The Myrtle Beach Bi-Lo Marathon has been canceled.” I probably stood there looking like a dork for several seconds. I literally couldn’t comprehend that all of the  training and anticipation had come to naught. Yes, there was snow for the first time in ages, and yes it was breathtakingly beautiful, but….Well, you get the picture. I was upset (a nice all-purpose word).  Within a few moments, I had accepted the situation and had begun to think of it in other ways. After all, the streets and beaches would still be there, and I could walk/jog to my heart’s content without the pressure of finishing in a respectable time. 

The next morning, we took Hannah and Sallie out in the yard to frolic in the snow a bit, and then we decided to take them to the MB State Park. It was indescribably beautiful. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Anyone, including yours truly, who could witness that majestic scenery and remain miffed about the marathon cancellation could only be described as a first-rate grouch.

Walking on the pier was a treat. The winter wonderland was awesomely beautiful, and when combined with the beach itself…well, I have no words adequate to describe it. The little birds hunkered on the pier railings looked at us as if to ask, “What’s happening???” The sandy line between the ocean and the snow was a sight I’d never seen and will probably never see again. I even snapped a photo taken from the end of the pier that included the sun’s reflection in the ocean and the snow on the pier. To top things off, I met a fellow half-marathoner and new FB friend, Sandy Taylor. Somehow, talking to each other made the cancellation less disappointing.

We walked through the gift shop and bought a couple of souvenirs and then walked down on the beach itself. That’s when I parted company with the rest of the family so that I could walk, walk, walk, and revel in the splendors of the beautiful morning. As I began my walk, Amanda called, and among other things we talked about Olivia, the precious baby that she’s carrying and my granddaughter. Great way to start my walk!

I won’t go into all of my impressions and memories of that morning. I do, however, want to mention that although thousands of people who’d paid the registration fee were disappointed and perhaps angry about the cancellation of the marathon, hundreds attempted to make lemonade out of lemons as we walked, jogged, ran, hobbled, ambled, and sauntered along Ocean Boulevard, King’s Hwy, Market Commons, and the beach itself. Some walked/ran together while others participated solo. Some people whizzed by me like lightning while others sort of lumbered along. Still, I loved their spirit(s) of undaunted determination.

Me? I walked 11.8 miles and took tons of pictures. When I got home, DH asked why I just didn’t go the distance. One reason is that I didn’t know how far I’d walked until clocking it in the car later, and the other reason (probably more important) is that I had to save some energy for shopping. That’s another whole story. For now, suffice it to say that Lauren and I found some super good bargains in Homegoods.

Next year, I’ll register again. Why don’t you do the same? I only do the half-marathon these days (old knees, no time to train, etc.), and I’ve read that it’s become the premier event. Your body recovers more quickly, and it’s not as grueling.