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Because my sister donated money to my mission trip to Kenya, I’m now obligated to write a blog extolling her praises.

Granted, my sister is the type of sister that I would put on a pedestal.

And then I would run away with the ladder so that she couldn’t get down.

That’s besides the point.

There are many stories, both flattering and unflattering alike, which I could share with you to give you an accurate description of what my sister is like, but the one that works best happened in April when she and her family came to visit.

My sister, my dad, and I are all runners. My dad and my sister have been running a lot longer than I have and they’re both much more diligent about going out for a run. As a result, they both run much faster than I do. Even on long distance runs. I can average about 64 minutes on a 6 mile run, but my dad does 6 miles in an hour flat. And that includes his 2 lap warm up.

He’s very lithe and long like a gazelle.

I’m more like a tank.

I take out trees and shrubberies as I go.

Kira can do 3-4 miles in about 30 minutes when she’s motivated. She can run faster than that when she eats Marshmallow Mateys because then she feels guilty.

When Kira, Tom, and Emmalyn came to visit, I thought it would be a good idea for Kira and I to go on a sisterly run. Tom would be able to watch the baby run into the wall play with her demon possessed toy lawn mower and this way we wouldn’t have to hurry back. I have a set course that I run when I run outdoors. I’ve measured and mapped this course out. There are no trick sidewalks, all of the dogs are fenced and leashed, and there’s minimal horse droppings (People in the acreage are nasty and they let their horses defecate on the sidewalk when they go for rides. I want to push they’re faces in it when I see them do that. The people, not the horses).

My running path is a straight shot because I get lost in my bedspreads every morning. I really suck at directions. Everyone has their weaknesses and mine is direction. During a recent car ride my friend, Jason, tried to explain how east and west change when you’re going south.

Jason: So which direction are we going in now?

Me: South.

Jason: Good. So then east would be…

Me: Right!

Jason: No, that’s if we’re going North. What direction are we going?

Me: North?

Do you see where this is going?

Kira and I took off on our run, with her running a couple paces ahead of me.I chose to run on the sidewalk like I normally do.  She decided to run on the opposite side of the road because apparently Chi-chi only taught one of her daughters not to play in traffic. We hit the one mile mark and when I waved her ahead to keep going, she turned left.

Me: Not that way! Go straight!

Kira: You run in a straight line? Let’s go this way!

Me: I don’t know how to get home from that way!

Kira: Just follow me!

Kira ran ahead and I followed like a good little idiot. She continued at her pace and I at mine. Eventually she started to get quite a bit ahead of me, but every couple of minutes she would look behind her to check and see if I were keeping up. I was doing a pretty good job of keeping up until I hit a trick sidewalk and my knee erupted in pain. I wasn’t sure of where I was or how much I had run, so rather than stop I kept going on the bad knee. Kira was now a good bit ahead of me and she had stopped looking back. My knee was throbbing at this point so I had to stop running. I started walking and called out to Kira. She had her head phones on and couldn’t hear me. When she was almost out of sight, she turned around and looked at me. I waved my arms drastically in the air, hoping that she would get the message.

My sister smiled, gave me a thumbs up, and continued running.

Then she turned a corner.

And I was hopelessly lost.

I tried to run a little bit so I could catch up, but I couldn’t feel my knee so instead of running I ended up doing a peg leg swagger. I did try hopping, but then my calf on my other leg cramped and I wanted to cuss. Then I prayed to Jesus that he would forgive me for really wanting to cuss and for all the evil things I was thinking about my sister. I also prayed that he wouldn’t let me die in the wilderness in my sweaty gym pants. Don’t ask me why, but I want to die in clean clothes that smell like a fresh spring rain.  

Dragging my bum leg behind me, I finally reached the corner where Kira had turned. She was no where in sight.  I estimated that I was about 3 miles from home even though I didn’t recognize any of the street names. With no other option, I did an about-face and started walking home.

It took me about 20 minutes to find my running path and then I breathed a sigh of relief. That is until I encountered a woman on a horse that was exceptionally peeved. The horse, not the woman. I asked her if she need help and she said no. The horse apparently has fits of pique every once in a while, but calms down in about 30 seconds. They’re very brief fits of pique.

We made small talk since we were heading in the same direction and she told me all about her horse farm in Costa Rica. Apparently you can raise horses in Costa Rica. I just thought it was a good place for surfing and food. Actually, I think any place that’s generous with rice is a good place for food. You see where my priorities lie?

We finally got to my street and so I said good-bye to the woman and her horse, who was lovely with his long white mane, and started walking towards my house. By this time I was no longer angry with Kira. Oh I was exceedingly peeved, don’t get my wrong, but I no longer wished to torture her with thumbscrews and a heavy cudgel. I decided that I would instead do the Christian thing and guilt her into my buying me something pretty.

Or food.

Wait, you mean the Bible doesn’t say that if someone takes your cloak you should guilt trip him so badly that he feels morally obligated to buy you new sandals?

Hmm, must have read that incorrectly.

I was about ten feet from home when I heard a car come speeding behind me. Because I was the child that Chi-chi taught to not play in traffic, I moved to the side of the road (there’s no sidewalk on my street). The car pulled up alongside me and that was when I realized that it was my car, Sid the Hybrid, and that my sister was behind the wheel. She rolled the window down slowly.

Me: You couldn’t look behind you?!

Kira: I’m sorry! I thought you were waving me on!

Me: No! My knee started hurting. Wave means wait!

Kira: When I realized you were missing I ran all the way home! I ran down the street and past a woman on a horse.

Me: I met that woman. You scared her horse.

Kira: She told me it was ok to run past the horse.

Me: You should have probably checked with the horse. What if the horse had trampled me to death in a fit of pique!

Kira: I’m sorry! I came as quickly as I could! (pause) Do you want a ride home?

Me: Seriously?

You know this story reminds me of a poem by Stevie Smith:

Nobody heard him, the dead man,

 But still he lay moaning;

I was much further out than you thought

And not waving, but drowning…”

Ok, I didn’t really mean to give this post such a morbid spin.

Despite my haphazard use of it the poem’s brilliant and you should read it.

I guess the moral of the story is that my sister, while a touch self-absorbed, will come find you when she leaves you wandering around lost in your own neighborhood.

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