Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ice cream, Champagne and Shin splints

The day after.

I have aches in my head, my back and my hands are covered with small little cits. I have bruises from I don't know where. There are guests in my house and a kitchen so piled high with dirty dishes, pots and pans I wonder if I will ever be able to dig out.

I come upstairs and find Jill with the dogs nearby. They are laying quite contentedly on the wood floors as she sips her morning coffee. The rest of the house is quiet. Outside the fog is so thick it is coming in waves to blast my windows and leave them dripping wet.

We had a plan to leave from my house at 9 am to go walking. The plan was to come as close to 18 miles as we could, while squeezing in a Birthday lunch for our friend MB. So as my first accomplishments of the day, I changed that plan. NEW plan meet in Corte Madera at 11, walk to lunch and back, then play it by ear. Good plan so I sent a text to Patti.

As Jill and I sat on the sofa and chatted with Jill. If you were to add up all the wonderful gifts I have been given since I started this journey one of the biggest, if not the biggest is the pure contentment I have gotten from being around my friends. In my too busy life of work, work, work I would see my friends rarely, perhaps as little as once or twice a year for Barbara and Jill. Now here I was sitting chatting with Jill, with Barbara and her husband Curtiss in the other room, feeling like it should be. Like we are all family.

This walk of ours has been a huge endeavor. If you know anyone of us you have come along to some degree, knowingly or not knowingly. Our husbands in particular have had NO CHOICE. Well, I suppose they did, but then, it could be the beginning of one of those... ex-husband things.

Glenn has been very supportive besides being the representative for Heller at Wine Wars, he has been my mover and kitchen clean-up helper and my shuttle service when I have walked too far and need to get home in a hurry. He has stood by me with a look of pride that helps me keep on heading toward the finish line. He has walked with me on occasion, at least until one walk left his toes bruised terribly. John Patti's husband, has cheered her on, and had to put aside some of their plans to allow for her training. He was hoping to come last night to help pour wine and beer ( like he did at Wine Wars) but he fell while working and has a broken ankle. He called me the day before last night's event to volunteer to still come and to make his famous sausage rolls. He was one of the great Bar Boys at Wine Wars. Jill's husband Randy has watched as she has commitment countless hours to her training. He served as her Sherpa, as she walked the Cachagua grade the day after our 17 mile drive. He was one of our happy bar boys at Wine Wars. Allison's husband Chris, has walked with us, and Allison. He has come to Wine Wars from Denver and may have found a new calling as a Bar Boy. (Our Bar Boys were so good they were offered a job!) Then there is Curtiss. Barbara's husband, who my husband just described to me as someone, who is "like someone who is born again, but he is born again on life". He has a vest of living that is hard to ignore. He is optimistic and joyful. Frankly it would be hard not to be this way being married to Barbara. He had walked more miles with his wife than any of the other husbands. They get up early or walk late as they live in Sacramento. The heat there is intense. This past week Curtiss has developed shin splints. If you don't know what those are, look it up, they are extremely painful. But here he was, a smile on his face, pouring a Cote du Rhone for someone who asked for Merlot, and leaving them happy as a clam. Knowing we have the support of these great guys... how lucky can we be?

When everyone int he house was finally up and awake, I made some pancakes and eggs. Barbara and I got ready to walk. We called Patti and arranged to meet in the parking lot at the Bay Club. Jill was heading back to Moraga so off she went in her pink pants and shirt. The next time I see her, most likely will be for another slumber party at my house the day before the walk.

Glenn went off to work while Curtiss left to spend time at Barbara's nephew's house. I know if his legs would tolerate it, he would have rather walked. But what he really would rather be doing is sail. That too has been a small sacrifice to the 3 day... wives too busy to sail.

Since it was Barbara. Patti and MB's birthdays this month. I had wanted to take them to lunch. But I also wanted to give the a little gift. I found these darling PJs on and bought Patti and Barbara pink varieties for the Crissy Field camp, and MB a blue dot sleep shirt.

That was part of the reason I wanted to meet in the parking lot, I really didn't see myself walking with 3 big boxes!

MB is our very good friend from UOP and Tri Delta. She is one of those people that some people believe is too good to be true. She was telling us a story about some younger people who she heard whispered to each other, "Shhh here comes MB", because they were using foul language. MB said "I don't know why they did that. I am not that old." I told her she should tell them to "shut the F up." and see what they say! The reason why they did that is they respect her. She IS a good person. And today was the first day we were able to walk with MB.

Off we went on our way to R'hon Thai in Kentfield. Boy did I need this walk after last night. I needed to leave that kitchen of stuff and get back to the outdoors, the air, the space and walking!

We had a great little lunch on the deck overlooking the marsh land. Fresh Thai rolls and Tum Kai Gai was the choice for three of us while Barabra ordered some sort of tofu.......

We laughed and chatted and caught us with each other. When we were totally refreshed and ready to go, we headed down Magnolia to the creek with the plan to follow it until Bon Air Road. We were only a few yards down the path when I noticed an animal in the water. Having seen one earlier on a walk near us, I identified it as an otter. The sleek critter was swimming with ease along the concrete wall of the creek. "Hey you guys! OTTER!" Then a second later, there was another and then another..... a total of four otters swam with each other enjoying the warm day and the still water. These guys seemed a little browner than the one I saw near Richardson Bay.

It's amazing that I have seen otters in Marin twice in such a short time! It must be a good sign that not only me, but the creeks are healthier than they have been... don't you think?

On we walked and took a short break at the Children's Memory garden, which always makes me cry. The thought of all those people and their lost is quite intense. Its a beautiful place thought but you can feel the weight of a thousand tears when you walk into the center.

Back on the path we headed up to Magnolia and walked along until Patti announced "I need birthday ice cream!" We swung into Piccolo Pizza and got some yummy soft serve Strauss ice cream then walked across the street to the shaded park on the corner of Magnolia and Madrone and took a few pictures while we finished our creamy treats.

Patti looked across the street and saw the Tavern at Lark Creek. "We should get champagne." She said she was joking but it sounded like a great idea to me. So I insisted ( and everyone agreed) we should go over and check out the Tavern. When we poked our sweaty heads inside we were told they were closed until 4:30, and they suggested we head back down to the Left Bank for our birthday champagne. That being the wrong direction.... I suggested Il Fornoio back where we had rendezvoused int he first place.

And that is where we ended our birthday walk, sitting outside sipping Mumm Cuvee Napa, smiling and laughing and enjoying each other's company.

This 8 mile walk took longer than any other we have done. But come on, how can you argue with Thai food, ice cream and champagne. Now that is what I call training!