Day 12-2 – Sanbornton to Canterbury
It was early morning and it looked like it was going to be a clear, gorgeous day. Griffin and I walked in Loudon alongside where the huge race track complex is located. The track takes up almost a mile of space for both the venue and the necessary parking. It’s a huge area of flattened land.
While we were walking past, a solitary driver was inside the motorcade racing along the track. We stood where we could see through an opening in the fence and watched the car pass us on its way to another lap and then another. Marc and I had never taken the kids to a car race, but Griffin and I had seen enough movies to feel the thrill when the car raced passed us, engine revving, a powerful wind coming from its’ underbelly as it pushed forward.
Because the land was so flat, we also started to see many cyclists (you don’t see too many people on bikes when you are going up mountains.) Bikers have to ride with traffic, while walkers have to walk against traffic, it meant that we had to constantly move to the side of the road where gravel and road debris gathered or risk being run over by a bicycle. Cars, bikes, people – that’s the chain of command in transportation.
My foot had been bothering me since we had started walking that day. I didn’t mention it to Griffin (honestly, I was already wearing two knee braces, wasn’t that enough?) But it got to the point where I had to sit down and get off my foot. It was that painful.
I called for a break.
“My foot hurts.” I mentioned to Griffin.
“Your foot?” he said surprised. “What did you do?”
“I don’t know, I must have twisted my ankle on a rock,” I looked at the puffiness that had developed around my ankle. We had had to move to the gravel many times already for the bikers. What else could it be, right?
But in reality, I knew I hadn’t twisted my ankle and neither had I fallen. It just started spontaneously hurting. I was reminded of the time when I had brought Griffin in for an incredibly sore and swollen finger. “He must have jammed his finger in the pool while swimming” the doctor told me.
In my lifetime, I’ve jammed my finger several times. It hurts when you do that. Who, I thought jams their finger and doesn’t realize it?
What they had missed was that the finger was swollen due to his autoimmune condition and it had nothing to do with an injury. His body was sick.
Who doesn’t realize they sprained their ankle? I asked myself. But I let denial take over my logic and after a while we continued onward. I’m better at being an advocate for my son than I am for me.
“Next time we pass a store, I’ll buy an ankle brace,” I told Griffin. “I’m sure that will help.”
Probably due to the constant local excitement of the race tracks, everything in Laconia seems louder. Griffin and I continued to wave but now we not only had drivers wave back at us, but they also honked their horns and gave us a thumbs up. If you want motivation have a parade of cars pass while honking just for your effort.
We grinned back and waved with even more enthusiasm.
It was slow going but we were in no rush. Even with the flat terrain, my ankle bothered me to the point where we’d have to stop every mile so that I could get relief. Then we had to stop every half mile.
“I have no idea what’s up.” I said to Griffin, apologizing for the constant breaks.
As I had done for Griffin with the daily Hitchcock mystery stories, Griffin started a conversation to take my mind off the pain.
“If you could have 10x of any one thing you currently own, what would it be? As an example, if you have a diamond necklace, you would now have 10 of them. If you have a car you liked, you could have 10 of those cars. What one thing would you choose?”
“Well if I had 10 cars I’d be selling most of them because I wouldn’t need them,” I started. “And what are you going to do with 10 diamond necklaces?”
I thought some more. Hmmm. What could I use 10 of? And then it came to me.
“I’d like 10 houses. That way each of you kids would be able to have a house and we’d still have some houses that could be sold for money.”
I wasn’t looking for money, I was looking for safety and security for my 6 kids. It was a very “mom” answer.
“So what would you pick?” I asked my son.
“I’d probably like to increase my odds by 10 times when I played the lottery. So instead of having a 1 in 100 chance of winning something, I’d have a 1 in 10 chance of winning.”
I stared at him, not sure whether to be appalled or amazed at his choice. It was the answer of a risk taker, someone who hadn’t yet had to look out and be responsible for others. It was the answer of someone who still had a little faith in the magic of chance.
“Just think,” he said “I could win a whole lot and then I could do anything I wanted with the money.”
“Yeah, like pay me back for the house I just gave you.”
Cars passed us honking their approval and we slowly continued on our way.
(Here’s some information on why we took this trip.)
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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