Dearest Rachel –
It’s barely 5 o’clock, and it’s gone completely dark. We’ve just reached the next checkpoint; the first one where people riding in my van will be taking up the baton. Well, not literally… As it turns out they’re using several snap wristbands to pass on from runner to runner as each leg of the journey is completed.
As difficult as it’s been for the runners, given the snow and the sleet, it hasn’t gone completely smoothly in the van, either. Leaving the last checkpoint, our front windscreen was completely fogged up (you’re not gonna believe what Siri just put down instead of ‘fogged’ – or maybe you will, she’s perverse like that), and would absolutely not clear up. Jessica and I tried to use paper towels on the inside, with limited success. By the time the defroster actually got to where it was working credibly well, we were pretty much at the next checkpoint.
Equally problematic is the fact that our headlights don’t seem to be working either. Oh, the car gives off light, but only those yellow-orange lights that serve as directional indicators. The standard headlights do nothing. We can use the high beams, that’s gonna be dangerous for oncoming traffic. So it’s almost comical, the trials and tribulations involved in getting from point A to point B, and thereabouts thereafter.
And, like I said, it’s only 5:30 now. How this is going to be once midnight comes and goes, I can only guess.
Anyway, I’m writing you from the McDonald’s at the corner that’s been designated at the next hand-off spot, sipping a hot chocolate (can’t bring myself to order a coffee), and trying to warm up.
Jim is fretting that we might be losing time against the schedule; if it takes this team until 6:15, our final arrival time will end up falling behind by an hour or more.
But surprisingly, team #6 shows up only a little after six, and we send our van’s first team (Rogelio and Ingrid) on their way. The rest of us continue to hang around the McDonald’s while team #6 dries off and warms up.
I find my attention drawn to the piped-in music; it’s playing another one of ‘our’ songs, Barry Manilow’s ‘Mandy.’ I think you adopted that as a code name from the young adult novel from Julie Andrews (I know, she used her married name ‘Edwards’ on the book, but we both know who wrote it). I find myself having to explain myself to one of the other runners… she finds the whole story ‘sweet.’
I don’t know how to respond to that.
Well, as much as I hate to do so, we need to get ourselves put together and get out to the next checkpoint before Rogelio and Ingrid do. I’ll do what I can to keep you updated as we move along.
As always, honey, wish us luck.