Saturday, March 7, 2015

Maiden Breaking

I received a very cool - cool to me at least - piece of news the other evening.  Approximately six weeks ago - in the middle of January - I filled out an application for the lottery that the New York Road Runners Club holds annually for spots in the New York City Marathon.  I am hard pressed to think of a lottery, a raffle or a random drawing of any type in which my entry has been a winner.  I unscrew the bottle cap and look underneath to find "THANK YOU FOR PLAYING!  PLEASE TRY AGAIN!" written there.  

The entry into the 2015 New York City Marathon was - to be candid - utter gossamer.  The action plan called for my running companera Gidg and I to run in the Marathon in 2016 in celebration of her 50th birthday.  We planned on trying our luck in the lottery and failing to gain admission in that fashion to gain entry as runners on one of the event's numerous charity-based teams.  I filled out the lottery application for the 2015 race in significant part because she did and very much took an approach to its outcome that would have made Joel Goodson proud

Tuesday evening, the Missus, my father-in-law and I trekked from Middlesex to Spring Lake Heights to pay our respects to a simply tremendous lady, Helen Elizabeth Haverstick.   I had known her for the past quarter-century or so but had known her only as "Chickie", which is what she directed me to call her when I was first introduced to her and called her "Mrs. Haverstick".  Her daughter, Chrissy, is married to Margaret's brother, Frank.  She lived an incredible, long life.  Fittingly, when she died last week at age ninety-seven she did so peacefully and - if  I understood the story correctly - immediately after having finished playing Bridge with several of her friends.  

Here in the State of Concrete Gardens, Tuesday night was a nightmare weather-wise, which made it an atrocious night on which to have to drive.  A trip that under normal circumstances this time of year would have taken us less than forty-five minutes to complete took closer to two hours each direction.  While I did my best to alarm neither my wife nor my father-in-law, there were a number of occasions on our trip North on the Garden State Parkway during which I was more than slightly pleased that our car stayed on the road.  I felt as if I aged two years in two hours. 

Upon our return to Middlesex, we had a stop we had to make before we could safely dock in our driveway, which was a trip to JEM to retrieve my car.  After I exited Margaret's car and she and Joe drove home, I sat in my car for a few minutes to allow it to warm up and to give the ice caked on the windows time to melt.  While sitting in the driver's seat, listening to McMurtry's Complicated Game on the CD player, I noticed that the little blue indicator light on my cell phone (evidence of a received text message or e-mail) was blinking.  Upon checking it, I found out that the notification was for a new e-mail in my inbox.  

The sender was the TCS New York City Marathon.  The subject line of the e-mail told its tale:  The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon:  You're In!  

If you are going to wait forty-eight years to finally have a winning entry in a drawing or a contest, then having the maiden broken in the lottery for the New York City Marathon is not a bad way to do it.  The only bummer is that Gidg played the role I usually play in such things, which is to say that she received the significantly less satisfying information that her entry had not been one of those selected.  

A lot of life remains to be lived between today, the first Saturday of March, 2015, and Marathon Day, which is the first Sunday of November - and coincidentally November 1 - 2015.  I cannot tell a lie:  I am damn excited about getting to participate in this event.   

Given the historical pace at which I win such things, I am not on track to win a second drawing of any type until shortly after I celebrate my 96th birthday.  There is no one - including me - who looks forward with eager anticipation to me reaching the age of ninety-six.  So, I intend to plan on this momentary flash of good fortune being a one-off event and to savor the experience as much as I can and for as long as I can.  It is not likely to come around this way again.


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