|I'm digging for rocks on the left|
(which makes sense because that's generally a job I end up with).
|We used these drills to make tables where all the seedlings will get their start in this world.|
The whole construction project came together so much easier this time around. This was the second time I helped put it together, and I think the experience of the first time made this assembly so much smoother, plus there was slightly less of a perfectionist approach.
|A goodbye hug.|
On my way home that afternoon I drove along Bailey Rd. As I passed by a church a runner was stretching beside his Jeep. Being gregarious and always on the prowl for running partners in Mars Hill, I turned around at the next available driveway and returned to the parking lot where I’d seen him. He was in his car by then and I thought I had missed my opportunity to talk up a new friend. I turned around to leave, and noticed his window down. I pulled in front of him, blocking his exit, rolled down my window and started a chat to see if he would be interesting in running together sometime.
He said he runs kind of slow – at an 8 minute pace – which made me wonder if he would feel comfortable at a 10 minute pace. I suggested that we try it once and see how it goes. He sent me a text and over the next couple hours we decided on a 9 a.m. run on Monday.
This morning I returned to the church parking lot where I met him a few days earlier; I was early so I got to take advantage of the time to stretch (which I really should do more of before runs anyway).
His footfall was heavy. I could imagine hearing the cartilage of his knees vibrating in the aftershock of the thuds as we started our run.
We couldn’t be more different and yet I think we seemed fairly well paired for the running. Ten years my junior Nick is just starting his law enforcement career, after lots of other employment – the military, car dealership, door-to-door insurance salesmen (who knew that job still exists!). He works in the Madison County Sherriff’s Office and is applying to join the ranks of the N.C. State Troopers. He 4-wheels his Jeep to remote areas of Forest Service roads. I walk to them.
We kept a brisk pace that was likely faster than a 10-minute mile for a three-mile loop on Bailey and Bruce roads. We carried on pleasant conversation and may well make good running buddies. I could at the very least use the sustained motivation of Monday morning runs with someone to hold me accountable.