MCM 2019: Exodus

As I sit here blogging on a second straight UNSCHEDULED day off (such a lazy bastard), a few notes on my week back home in Peoria, IL:

I took last week off to go home to Peoria to help my sister move from our home of 31 years to an apartment a half mile down the street. I didn’t take the week off from my marathon training, rather I finally upped the road mileage this week. However, I was home for my sister, so helping her out came first.

I flew home last Monday night and after sleeping in, got to work late Tuesday morning. I set up a good schedule: Sleep until 0900 or so, get dressed in work attire, work at the house and move stuff until she had to go to work at 2:00 PM, then get a light, late lunch and either run or go to Landmark health and Fitness around 4:00-ish. Everything actually got done.

The move was bittersweet, but necessary. It was home ever since I came home from Christmas leave in 1988. Lots of good Christmases and summers at home over all that time. There is a little room in the house where my mother passed away nearly three years ago; I refer to it to this day as “my mother’s last way station before she went to heaven.” I just realized I forgot to tape a couple pictures of my late father and mother in that room before I left.

I did get to take a small cupful of my parents’ ashes and spread them around the three homes in Peoria. Early Sunday morning, I got up to the house one last time. I took a spoonful and a half from each of my parents’ urns, put them in a small glass, then mixed them together.  The first sprinkle went out in the front yard. I wanted to sit in the front porch swing one last time, but the weather that morning wasn’t pleasant and the seats were wet.

I then drove to the south end of Peoria and spread their ashes in the yards of the two places where we lived during my childhood; 309 South Charlton and 309 South Webster. Actually I spread ashes in the vacant lot where 309 Webster once stood. Having said my final goodbye to my parents and my Peoria homes, I went back to my sister’s apartment to pack for the flight home.

Most of my runs were up and down North Sterling Avenue, and of my running was done in the afternoons since the weather was unseasonably cool. Not much sunshine that week, but the rain was pretty much kept at bay. On Tuesday, I went north towards War Memorial Drive running a most flat route up to the Glen Hollow Shopping Center before turning home. On Thursday, I took Sterling south towards Farmington Road and turning around at Laura Bradley Park. The big difference on this route was the downhill starting at the intersection of Sterling and West Nebraska Avenue, it’s about a quarter mile decline going down, and a good quarter mile climb on the return. I think the climb back dropped my run pace for the day.

Although the weather was just right for running, there was the issue of traffic. My runs were around the afternoon drive time, which meant I had to keep and eye and an ear for traffic. This was a big thing on the Sterling south run, where I had to make a trick crossing at the corner of Sterling and Farmington Road, where there are no real crosswalks and traffic coming from both directions.

Saturday afternoon was my longest run of the year so far. I took the Sterling south towards Farmington Road, taking Farmington and a brief climb towards West Main Street towards Bradley University. I noticed a sizable crowd at the Bradley Convention Center, and mistook it for the graduation ceremonies (it was their annual Mother’s Day celebration). I took Main Street to a rolling University Street. When I reached Forest Hill, I took it straight to my sister’s apartment.

My running paces this week dropped from 11:31 on Tuesday to 11:43 on Thursday, then 12:02 on Saturday. I could point to my running later in the day and with some food in my stomach, or my choice of pacing myself. That being said, it was the second week of May and at least the weather was good, so it’s not worth sweating over the pace right now.

UEFA Champions League: I didn’t get to see Liverpool’s stunning comeback over Barcelona on Tuesday. I did get to see the second half of Tottenham rallying to beat Ajax, watching the game at Round 1 Amusement Center instead of making the Uber trip to Buffalo Wild Wings.

I am so done with Peoria’s CityLink mass transit system. After my Friday workout, I made the twenty minute walk home from Landmark to my sister’s new apartment. I didn’t see a bus until I was at the last light before home.

The one sad part about my moving experience: my photos from my deployment to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm were confirmed lost for all time. L looked in every chest of drawers, closet and even the storage tubs in the garage.

From the layover in Charlotte, NC on, the trip home sucked. I chipped a sizable hole in one of my molars while chewing a piece of gum. My flight back to Baltimore was delayed by an hour and a half, meaning I didn’t land until 9:30. When I got on the ground, it took a half hour for them to unload our luggage. I guess I caught the local Uber at Baltimore Washington International Airport at a surge because my two hour ride home cost me [REDACTED]. Finally it was raining when I finally made it back home to Lexington Park, MD.

Health Issues: Rash on neck from one of my older tech shirts, which is now too small for me to wear comfortably (chaffed too much on the Tuesday run). Heat rashes on both my arms. Chipped molar. Big toenails growing weirdly. But my beard is coming in nicely, though. But my beard is coming in nicely though.

Going home last week was a good thing for me. I got to spend time with my sister and help her move into her new place, while closing down the old home one last time. I guess the big thing was putting an important part of my past behind me.

Sorry, no SOTD tonight, either.

Post script: Atari VCS updates. NO SD CARD SLOT and delayed until end of 2019. Ruh-roh.

 

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