Friday, January 26, 2018

Making a run for it

     Two days ago when I told my husband that I was going to run to the grocery store, he asked me if I was planning to sprint back, too.
     Duh…Cute of him to shock me into realizing that I use run in a literal sense constantly.
     Truthfully, I was afriad the supermarket would have a run on toilet paper before the impending storm.
     It’s a favorite phrase. And favorites often get overused. It could be that my husband was reminding me it’s time to change my expressions up a bit.
     Women are forever running on 4 cylinders here and there from one minor event to another and there’s no curbing them.
     Thinking back how that phrase got in my vocabulary, I have my mother to blame. She’s not around to defend herself, either. 

     Speaking of that, if I were to say that I have a run in my stocking, that would date me back to nylons, garter belts and the 50s. Those were the days before panty hose and now, mostly leggings, or no hose whatsoever depending on your style.
     Clear nail polish was a staple in every woman’s bathroom closet, and could do the job in an emergency – stopping the run from more damage, that is.
     Along with imported linens, my father sold nylon stockings in his store on Roanoke Avenue. He had boxes and boxes of Hanes Hosiery – before Hanes created L’eggs packaging - stacked neatly in sizes, colors, lengths and yes, textures running the length of a whole wall.
     I would marvel how he mentally could run through the size every woman on the Eastern End of Long Island, and could turn around and pick exactly what each woman needed from the shelf. That was back in the day when you were waited on in a store, too, and you got personal attention without running your own interference.
     Our dentist would run in the day before Christmas and buy two-dozen boxes for his secretaries. Stockings were not cheap, and women had to buy from specialty shops or department stores. After he left I would query my father as to how he knew each of their sizes. He told me that was part of his business practices to know those things, and for me not to be so nosy.
     In case you have a wrong opinion of my father - eyeing women inappropriately and running fantasies in his mind - that was far from the truth. He simply was a good salesman who knew his stuff.

     When I was on a recent trip in Palm Cove, Australia I sat out on the terrace sipping a glass of fantastic white wine with my fellow travelers. I decided to run a bar tab to save the hassle. When I was checking out, the manager waived my account all because I was inconvenienced with no hot water for showering – there was a run on hot water - earlier that morning. I wasn’t expecting that gesture, but it left me with fonder memories of the location not that I’ll ever return.
     Then I’ve never been running as from running from the law. My LA family would often sit the half-hour before the evening news came on watching live car chases on the freeways.    My vivid imagination could run through a lot of likely scenarios being played out.

     When we had that hot spell for a couple days and snow was melting, the creek by the side of our house was running nonstop. It didn’t overflow over our two walking bridges, and our house is high up overlooking the water, that we were safe.
     That very morning in the pouring rain I made a run for it to the car for I mistakenly chose a jacket without a hood. One should never be without one in this fickle weather you see. I’m not much of a runner –sprinting, yes – and I barely made it.
     Once I was in Juneau, Alaska at the right place and at the right time of year for viewing the salmon running upstream to spawn. It is quite the sight, and one of nature’s marvels that I will never forget.
     If I could count the times that I nearly let a boiling pot of water run over the edge, and at the very last second, I rushed to the pan’s rescue for dear life as if I was saving the world from a major flooding, then it would put me in the Guinness Book of Records along with you.
     I’ve tried my hand with watercolors. The colors often bleed and run over the paper, or in the wrong direction, if you are a rank amateur such as myself. It’s so unpredictable.

     Remember in our youth how you and I would run on fumes to the next gas station in a challenge with our passengers?  Once a bunch of us was getting low on gas as the sun was setting in one of those western states with the wide-open spaces, and nobody ran his mouth unnecessarily until a gas station was spotted on the horizon. My heart can’t take it anymore, and I keep my gas tank filled.
     Some of you might know that I am running – along with a competent board of trustees, director and staff – the Wayland Free Library and we run a great series of events. Check us out. The library runs its schedule in the newspaper and on Facebook, too, with the specifics.
     It’s best to stop running my mouth  before someone runs me out of town.