After several late-night runs in a row last week, it was amazing to be greeted by blue skies and a gentle breeze on Friday’s birthday* run.
It was just a 6-miler, but I was running with a purpose: In my left hand I clutched our last two Christmas cards, to friends who not only wouldn’t mind the blown deadline but whose cards I’d purposefully saved for last so I could savor writing each a note rather than a frenzied pre-Christmas scribble.
Delivering the cards to the mailbox 3 miles down the road in Uniondale made this a sustainability run, in my mind. I didn’t rack up many sustainability miles this year – errands run on foot or via bike – but I hope to do better in 2014. I was also going to peek inside that new antique store, if it was open, and check out their lineup of baked goodies.
Carrying the cards was more fun than a hassle, because I kept imagining my friends opening them on the other end of the line. Traffic wasn’t too bad, though it was annoying at times to scurry off the pavement and take my chances on lumpy, uneven terrain as a semi barreled past. But the run went by fairly quickly, especially since I could see the grain silos of the town feed mill from a couple of miles off.
I dropped my cards in the mailbox, then jogged through back alleys to find Minnich’s Antiques and General Store by the ballpark. Sure enough, they were open. I ogled a basket of vintage maps, a display of cupcake-shaped candles and a surprising supply of groceries – just what a dinky town with only a post office and grain mill needs.
“People come in here and say, ‘You wouldn’t by any chance happen to have …,” said the cheerful woman behind the counter. “You’d be amazed how often we do.”
Finally I settled on a Diet Dew and a homemade Bun bar as a birthday treat. It was gone before I reached the edge of town.
Heading back, I wondered if I’d dallied too long. We still had to pack up for a weekend trip to Pokagon State Park, where we planned to do some tobogganing (more on that tomorrow). I picked up the pace, but decided I wasn’t going to fret about the time. It was nice to just be able to enjoy a run after so many quickies designed solely for the benefit of my run streak to-do list.
So I did.
*If you’re wondering about a number, I’ll offer up this clue: My age has pretty much matched the price of a first-class postage stamp ever since I was about 8 years old. Sure enough, the night before my birthday, I saw an article in the newspaper announcing the latest increase.