Out on a limb

high wire

We feel so vulnerable! This is the first time we are posting a bit of the story! Input is welcome…please be gentle!

“I really need this run today” thought Gina as she looked out the window of the tiny bedroom. She was seated at the edge of the bed and could feel her stomach tighten as she shuffled her feet to locate her slippers. Last night around the fire pit had felt so warm and relaxing. But Gina had learned that these periods of calm were infrequent and short.

“Breathe slowly,” she reminded herself. She watched the mallards swim below the tree limb hanging by a few sinews to its trunk. “What a winter,” she mumbled as she pushed herself out of bed.

In the galley kitchen, Terri was spooning out their typical Saturday morning breakfast of chia seeds soaked in almond milk. Gina rolled her eyes as she thought of the sort of breakfast she would prefer…cheese omelet with spinach and rye toast. “If I decide to keep this old cabin, job one will be upgrading the electrical…really need a stove and oven,” she murmured under her breath. “I can’t stand eating this healthy crap anymore.”

“Good morning, ladies!” smiled Susan as she emerged from the bathroom, wet towel wrapped tightly around her red tresses. She was sporting her favorite leopard print pajamas and fluffy orange slippers.

“You are way too bright in the morning, Susan,” chided Gina. “Before you say anything more, let me run out to the Jeep and get my sunglasses.”

“And you are way too grumpy!” shouted Terri from the kitchen. “I’ve put something extra special in your bowl this morning, Gina. Let me know how it works for you.” Terri turned the corner from the kitchen and approached Gina with the bowl and a grin.

“Better be gin,” smirked Gina as she took the bowl from Terri.

The three friends padded out to the porch and each slid into her usual Adirondack chair. They ate in silence, scrunching their eyes against the rising sun and stopping frequently to observe the mallards. One particularly beautiful male with a brilliant green head and shimmering purple feathers was shooing away the competition by lifting himself from the water and flapping his wings wildly. His mate then dutifully followed in his wake.

“Lots of puffing, even in the ducky community,” observed Gina. Terri and Susan chuckled and nodded in agreement.

“I think I’m going to try and challenge myself on the run this morning, girls” announced Gina. “I’m thinking that I can push out another mile or two. My endurance has improved a lot over the last few weeks. Rather than run to the end of the lake road and back, I’m going to try to loop the lake this time.”

“Gina, that’s just foolish. You know that’s private property where the lake road ends. And you’ve never even walked that property before. Not a good idea to run it ‘til you’ve walked it first,” warned Susan.

“Sound advice…on so many levels,” added Terri. “Stick to what you know. If you really need to challenge yourself today, why don’t you run out to the end of the lake road, double back, and do a little extra around here. That’ll work just as well.”

Gina nodded as she thought about how best to navigate the double wire fence at the end of the lake road. She’d belly crawl under the lower wire rather than try and squeeze between the two wires…less chance of snagging her running clothes, she thought.



Photo – Joseph Janney Steinmetz Collection, State Library and Archives of Florida, via flickr

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