I saw a spot on the sofa next to a woman wearing a sticky name tag similar to mine. Ah, another visitor.
We talked a bit about our visitor status. She had recently moved to the area from the midwest. I explained that I'd been here for 10 years, slacking away as far as P.E.O was concerned.
She slid her purse over on the coffee table to make more room for me to sit, and that's when I saw the "26.2" dangling off her keys.
"You a marathoner?", I asked
"Yes!", she brightened, and filled me in on some of her various running adventures.
I could tell she was a bit older than me (I've since learned that she's 57), but she had bundles of energy. She spoke rapidly with a slight midwestern accent. Her hair was short, and she had that healthy weathered look of someone who spends a lot of time outdoors. Her face never lost its smile. Her name is Sue. She and her husband live in a mountain community just outside the city.
Later that evening, Sue and I went with Ruthie to the basement where Ruthie hosts one of the local P.E.O. Bed and Breakfasts. We got to know a little more about the chapter and each other. When Ruthie told us of her husband's reluctance to have a Bed and Breakfast in their home - "Gee, I dunno about a Bed and Breakfast. Maybe a 'Nap and Donut'?" - I knew I'd found at least two sisters I could get along with!
After visitng a few other chapters where I met plenty of nice people, I was drawn back to that initial chapter visit. By that time, it was winter and Sue had also decided to stay, by then a member, fully transferred in. I asked how her running was going.
"Great! I'm going to do the Super half on Super Bowl Sunday!"
I casually replied that a half marathon sounded okay, although a full blown marathon wasn't in my sights.
"OH, you should do the Super half! It's relatively flat, and you know it won't be oppressively hot!"
"*snicker* That's like two weeks away, and I really don't know...", but her enthusiasm was so contagious, "... well, maybe?"
So, running Sue thusly talked me into it only to get snowed in and miss the thing herself.
At our mid-June meeting, she told me about a marathon she's getting ready to do in September, out of state. "And I'm doing the Fourth of July half-marathon here in town!" (she often speaks in exclamation points).
I met up with Sue and her husband at the start of the race that morning. He's not a runner, but was there, in cargo shorts and hiking boots, to happily support Sue. She was dressed in a bright fluorescent green top.
We had a P.E.O. meeting this week, and I was hoping to catch Sue's thoughts on the race - how it compared with the many others she's done.
Alas, the road from Sue's home was closed due to flash flooding.
I half expected her to show up in a kayak. With a big smile, of course!
Linking up again with Mama Kat this week:
1.) A new friend.