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Day Nine: Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

01 Jul

It’s a risky thing, meeting a friend of a friend. I mean, you love your friend. And you have to assume that because your friend loves this other person that you’ll like them, too. But you never know. Maybe the things your friend likes about you, and the things they like about the other person are diametrically opposed. Maybe when the two friends of friends get together they’ll be like magnets that repel one another. Luckily for me, and the matchmaking skills of my dear friend, Jen Hughes Manley, friends of hers are most definitely friends of mine. Today, thanks to the tireless matchmaking skills of Jen (and despite her efforts to apparently derail her own efforts by mentioning baseball loyalties – geesh!), the official Friends of Jen Society got together on the beach at Turbat’s Creek. The FJS includes Stephanie, with whom Jen has been a work colleague for the past decade, Kimberly, who was Jen’s college roommate, and me, who spent my formative years at Country Day & Episcopal High School engaged in all manner of growing up shenanigans with Jen. It turns out that Kimberly lives in Scarborough, just north of Kennebunkport, and Stephanie was vacationing in Goose Rocks, the next town up from Kennebunkport. And so after some back & forth e-mails, and a fortuitous day off, they and their children, and me and mine, descending upon the beach at Turbat’s Creek this morning for some relaxing fun. All together we have 9 kids, 3 a piece, whose ages are 10,8,8,8,8,7,6,5,5. (I know I said that last night, but it was so fun I wanted to say it again.) And the kids got on famously. Nary a bicker, shifting groups at will, but everyone feeling welcome and included. It was crazy the coincidences of situation between Stephanie & I, just hysterical and awesome to discuss life with someone who really, really gets it. And Kimberly was so incredibly sweet as to bake an egg-free cookie bar dessert so that my kids could be included. Wow. They were both just good people. And I hope they walked away thinking the same about me. We sat on the beach while the kiddos played, then at low tide we walked across to Vaughan’s Island, seeking, and this time finding, lots of baby lobsters (or rather, lobstah), and plenty of crabs, hermit and otherwise. And it was only the impending rain, that we had been notified was coming down our way from the Portland area, that caused up to scatter back to our own homes. It was really a lovely morning, exactly the sort of thing that vacation should be about. And all thanks to Jen for her superior matchmaking abilities, and her excellent taste in friends!

After getting the kids cleaned up, we played a few games, including the wildly fun Scrambled States game (shout out to Tina for an awesome welcome gift!!) But as the afternoon wore on, I was feeling worn out. And really, is there anything better than napping in the afternoon while it’s raining outside and the windows under the eaves are open? I laid down and slept hard, well into the afternoon. What a delightful treat! I awoke feeling refreshed, which was a very good thing because yesterday I did something silly and signed up for an evening 5k! At the time it seemed like a good idea, despite the fact that I’ve probably only run like 4 times in the past 6 months. But I knew I could finish a 5k, even if I wasn’t setting any land speed records. And, hey, for $20 I got a long sleeve t-shirt and a draft beer, not to mention the fact it was going to force me to go for a run. Seemed like an excellent idea. Plus it was to benefit the Puppy Jake Foundation, who raises service dogs to give to disabled military veterans. Talk about a cause I can get behind. Since the rain was slacking off, I figured the race would be a go, so I got dressed and headed down to the registration area, which just so happened to be at the Old Vines Wine Bar in lower Kennebunk. The course was a loop through town, with a stretch down by the beach. It was chip timed, but the course was not marked, so I had no idea as I ran where I was on the course, and it’s been so long since I ran that I had no sense of how to ascertain, have I gone a mile yet? Two miles? Etc… It was drizzling, but the temperature was cool without being cold. The stretch along the beach, despite being so foggy as to completely miss any sunset views, or views of any kind, was delightfully cool, and the breeze seemed to alleviate the humidity. Once we made the turn into the woods for the back side of the course, it was close, very humid, and hillier than I bargained for. But I pressed on, remembering the mantra don’t quit ’til the end. As it turned out, it was a pretty good run for me. That last hilly mile kind of threw me for a loop, but overall I felt pretty good. My goal was to be sub-30 minutes. But I ended up finishing with a time of 28:25 – which averages out to a 9:09/mile pace. Not the fastest I’ve ever run, but darn good for a girl who hasn’t even been running these days, and has spent the last 10 days or so doing absolutely no exercise and eating like crap.

Of course the best part of the race was the post-race party. I lucked into a bar stool in Old Vines, sat down to savor my free draft, and perused the menu for some bar fare. Being an upscale place, the choices were rather chi-chi, but I enjoyed immensely my green olives & pesto, plus Basque sausage plate. Not to mention the last two slices of the guy next to me’s caramelized onion & bacon flatbread pizza! My second beer was a Peak Organic IPA (in a bottle) and I must say it was positively delicious! Since it was organic, I’m assuming it was as good as a health drink. And don’t bother telling me different, I feel younger and healthier all ready. There was also a jazz trio playing in the bar, which was great, though it did make conversation a bit difficult. And I ended up sitting next to a guy that also had some crazy coincidence things in common with me. It was entertaining, and very bizarre.

But now I’m home, showered, and ready to fall into bed. Not sure what’s on the agenda for tomorrow. And frankly, I kind of like it that way. But I’ll say this, in order to prolong my sense of glory and accomplishment, I’m probably not going to take a run…

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© 2010 Krista Lindsey Willim