Archive for October 12th, 2008|Daily archive page

Catching up–October 10, 11 and Day 73

I took Friday off but I felt guilty about it–at first.  Thursday was a tough day and I don’t know all the reasons.  I do know one though and she was about to leave me and return home.  Merrie came Sunday and we had Monday together driving up to Kansas.  But Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were all about walking and running with only brief times when she was with me.  It had been more than a month since we had seen each other and she was about to be gone again.  Friday and Saturday would be our last time together until December.  I could not spend that time running and miss out on our last chance for some time together.  It was the right decision for both of us.

After breakfast Saturday morning, Merrie and I went to the airport where I saw her off at 1:10 p.m.  At 1:30 Rick French had arrived and we made our way back to Kansas.  It was a long trip with rain and darkness slowing us down.  We got to our motel in Liberal, Kansas about 11:30 p.m. 

Day 73–Running into Liberal, Ks

Rick and I did not set the alarm.  Even though we were both tired from the traveling we still awoke at 7 a.m.  A check of the weather looks like 3 days of rain ahead.  We had breakfast and drove out to the start about 21 miles north of Liberal.  I jumped out with a short sleeve shirt, my Golite jacket, and rain hat.  Rick drove off to the first crew point a couple of miles up the road.  I soon found that the shirt and jacket were not enough.  The wind was driving the rain sideways and I was getting wet and cold immediately.  When I met up with Rick I was not quite sure what to do.  My extra shirts were in the room and I had no gloves.  I did have my Goretex jacket though and put it on over everything else.  That took care of the cold wind and wet body but not my hands.  I put them in the pockets but the wind was blowing water into the pockets.  I had to keep emptying the water out and my hands were still cold.  The only thing I did have was some of the Walmart dry-bags (thanks Brady).  I put them on as mittens and fastened the strap around my wrist.  Water did eventually come through but my hands stayed warm.  Rick and I took a lunch break at noon.  We drove back to Liberal and Burger King where he had a good-looking whopper and I had 2 vege-burgers.  We both had coffee.  After lunch we stopped by the room and I put on a dry shirt before going for another 3 hours and arriving in Liberal on foot.  I was offered 7 rides today and checked on by 2 deputies.  That is a record for offered rides.  One guy was even going in the opposite direction! 

I am dedicating today to my mother, Myrtle Eunice Blake Dawkins.  Mother was born October 12, 1917.  I don’t know how much of me is me because of her, but it is a very large part.  I do know that the doctor told her before she became pregnant with me that she should not have more children.  He did not think she could carry any more to term.  But here I am (and Roger too).  Mother had to do lots of exercises while pregnant to keep me.  Of course that was probably the easy part  of having me.  The hard part was the next 51 years she spent teaching me how to be an adult.  Anybody who knows me also knows that being an adult is something I sometimes fight hard. But Mother never gave up on me and even in her eighties sometimes threatened to turn me over her knee.

Mother taught me so many things.  She taught me how to iron a shirt and sew on a button.  She taught me to behave and only switched me once.  She taught me to forgive.  She taught me to pray.  She taught me how to win and lose by playing games with me.  The list is long and I’d never be able to complete it without leaving many things out.  But one thing she taught me that is really relevant right now is about “The Little Engine That Could”.  “I think I can, I think I can.”  There is no telling how many times I have thought of that lesson in the past 3 months.  It has been there every time it was needed.   Mother, thank you for all the lessons you taught me or tried to teach me.  I am still working at many of them.  I hope you had a Happy Birthday!  I miss you.