Sunday, July 8, 2007

Long solitary drives lead to thinking

Wednesday I drove up to Fairbanks to visit Natasha for her birthday (which was Thursday.) It was a much needed summertime escape from Anchorage. Since being back from Adak I have not have had enough of thus. (meaning, I haven't left town at all... a far cry from my normal pattern of leaving every weekend.)

We had a ton of fun! At 90+ degrees it was absurdly hot when I rolled into town.

Because Natasha is so motivated, we went for a run. The part that motivated me was the fact that the day prior she had described this run to me, which ends with a swim across the Chena River. I so wanted to be a part of that activity! So, we ran then we swam.

Yes folks, it's true, we own the Chena River...

On her birthday we went to Chena Lake to swim and biked around the park....had a BBQ for her birthday Friday night and today she ran a half marathon and kicked ass! We hung out with Kristin quite a bit as well, since she was in Fairbanks having just returned from the field.

Oh. My car got towed Wednesday. It was pretty bogus. It was parked in the visitor center parking lot at Ft. Wainright. They do have a sign posted stating that it is limited to 20 minutes, however it is a singular sign and it is posted on the left side of the driveway at the entrance. I honestly didn't even see it. It felt particularly bogus considering the huge proliferation of other, VERY LARGE, signs they had posted everywhere else...

Today I drove back...and on my initial departure from Fairbanks I decided that I am getting far too sentimental in my old age. While I was waiting at the finish line of the race this morning, I found myself with a lump welling up in my throat as I was picturing her rounding the corner. (weird!) and then.... as I was driving out of town I was on the verge of honestly tearful. I had to turn off the DMB CD because "Long Black Veil" came perilously close to making me cry.

Yes, it is a sad song. But it is a beautiful song. I have listened to it a million times in the past. It is one of my favorite songs. Never before has it made me cry (or almost cry.)

So, that's what I thought about for the first few hours of my drive. (Though, thankfully, the sadness to the point of tearfulness passed much more quickly.)

This was the second time in about month I have gotten tearful over parting ways with a friend. Perhaps it is because I have only just begun to truly appreciate my friendships as I should. I realized that I have spent far too much of my life almost indifferent and lazy in terms of my friendships. It was a shocking realization, and disturbing. But I've vowed to change my ways. Especially in terms of those friends who do mean so much to me.

The drive was good for me. I listened to three podcasted episodes of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" and two of "Car Talk." During that time I had a couple of reveltations about grad school applications, personal statements and career opportunities. Maybe someday someone will give me a Fulbright to study in South America.

That would be incredible!

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