Melly Was Here

wife, mother, teacher, runner, writer, lover, fighter

These Boots

My big brother died almost 13 years ago.  I still miss him.  Everyday.

When my mom moved to town, she went through some boxes of his things.  She came across the cowboy boots she bought for him right before he got really sick.  I wanted them, thinking they would fit me.  They don’t.  He had pretty small feet.  Mine are enormous.  He also had better hair, by the way.  But, I digress.

I didn’t know what to do with them.  I wanted to keep them, but I have a clutter issue.  I didn’t want to sell them or give them away.  Couldn’t throw them away.  He was excited about them.  He liked them.  When I looked at them, I smiled.

I took them to my classroom and put them in House Area, next to the dress up clothes.   My students noticed them right away.   During our Worktime (free choice), someone always has them on.   Even when they are fighting over them, it makes me smile.  Because these beautiful little people, who I love so much, are enjoying something that belonged to someone else who I love.  It just feels right.

I don’ t think about the fact that he only got to wear them a few times.  I don’t think about how his death left a hole in me that will never be filled.  I don’t think about how a part of me – that part that ate cereal on Saturday mornings and stayed up late over Christmas break playing the Atari – died when he did.

I think about these kids.  These beautiful little souls.

I think about their lives – their futures – and where their boots will take them.

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Race Report: Natural Bridge Caverns Half Marathon

Last weekend, I ran a half marathon at San Antonio’s Natural Bridge Caverns.  It was put on by Redemption Racing, the same people who did the Illuminations Half Marathon in December.

The half marathon was to start at 7:30.  Lance and I got there by 7:00 and picked up our packets. He ran the 5K, so I was to start first.  Half marathoners were lined up in the cave right on time.  Since runners were started one at a time and I was close to the back of the pack (we lined up according to pace) it took awhile for me to cross the starting line.  I didn’t mind, though, I chatted with the runners near me.

I got started and ran about a half a mile through the cave.  If I have one criticism about the race is that I wish we could have spent more time in the cave.  It is so beautiful!  With our race registration, we got a free ticket to go back and take the tour.  You can bet we are going to take the boys and my mom back.

It was a cold day.  I didn’t realize it was going to be so cold, about 36 degrees, and I just was not prepared mentally for it.  I also didn’t study the course map and didn’t expect it to be so much of a trail run.  Lesson learned: always study the course map before signing up for a race.  I had a rough start.  I really struggled for the first four miles or so.  At that point, I stopped and used the restroom. I collected myself and drove on.  It was about mile 9 that I got runner’s high.  It was raining and cold, but I felt great.  I knew I was going to finish the run just fine and my time was going to be pretty decent too.  There were some serious hills and I did walk more than my plan of run 5 minutes and walk 1.  But, I had my jams one and my thoughts.  I felt awesome.

The course was great.  Really pretty property.  And I love my medal.  It’s a geo slice.  Very cool.

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Pic in the car because I just wanted to get out of the cold!

Lance ran the 5K and ended up coming in second in his age group.  If he’s going to be running 5ks, we are going to have to stick around for the awards.  We left too early and he didn’t get his prize!

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Lance with his medal.

All in all, a pretty cool event.  I’ll probably run it again next year.

There were some ladies there with tshirts that said, “#14 in 14.”  Upon investigation, it seems that it means fourteen races in 2014.  I like that.  So, I am going to run 14 half marathons in 2014.  Oh yeah.  Uh -huh.

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