Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

light the night

I think if I really tried, I could move.  The problem is that I don’t really want to move.  I want to stay where I am, cuddled up on the sofa with a blanket, a pillow, and a glass of strong wine. 

Ok, so I don’t actually HAVE a glass of wine, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

This evening was the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in downtown Atlanta.  They say it was only a two mile walk, but as I limped across the finish line an hour and a half after we started, I was certain it was closer to fourteen.  

My feet actually started hurting the minute we walked out of the parking garage.  I should have rested, knowing that I had to walk tonight.  But instead, I ran myself ragged all day, wearing flip flops, and only switched to socks and a pair of old sneakers after we parked.  My feet went into immediate rejection mode the minute I laced them up. 

It was a long walk to Centennial Olympic Park where the walk was scheduled to commence.  Mike wasn’t sure of the way, so we crossed street after street, trying to determine which direction to go.  We did this by jaywalking the entire way.  Of course, I protested loudly, informing Mike that we were breaking the law and would surely be arrested!  They actually do stop people for jaywalking on city streets. 

Apparently not tonight. 

The entire Light the Night Walk was an exercise in organized jaywalking.  The city streets were partially shut down for the hundreds (possibly over a thousand) people walking.  Cars honked, people shouted, and I felt a little like a character in a movie. 

Except that my feet hurt. 

It wasn’t a fast paced walk; it was more like herding cattle.  We were packed in like sheep, shuffling down the uneven pavement at random speeds.  I tripped over a few speed bumps in the dark—bumped into a few strangers—caught the toe of my sneaker on a sewer grate.  It was no wonder that my body was starting to ache. 

After an hour, my knees were killing me. 

Aches and pains aside, I had a really great time.  It was for a great cause, of course (our team even exceeded its donation goal!) but on top of that, it was an opportunity to see the sights of Atlanta from a perspective one rarely gets to view.  The city lights, the towering buildings, the history—up close and personal.

I took a lot of pictures.

I’m very glad I went, but after an hour and a half of walking through the streets of Atlanta, I was ready to sit down…or collapse…and we still had to walk back to where we had parked the car.  If only we could be 100% sure where exactly that was. 

I trudged through street after darkened street, this time without the pageantry, to the parking garage where the car was waiting.  We stepped into the elevator, exhausted from the events of the day, and pushed the button to go to the level we thought we had parked on. 

We walked up to where the car should have been but it wasn’t there.  It hadn’t been stolen.  We were on the wrong level.  Mike suggested walking up to the next level.  I didn’t even have the energy to protest loudly.  He just nodded and we went back to the elevator.  Up one more level, and around the corner to another bank of empty spots.

Back to the elevator.

One more level up…one more empty space.

We looked on eight, nine, and ten before going back down to seven where the car waited in the same place we had left it.  I can’t remember when I have been so happy to be back in the car.  I just wanted to go home and climb into bed. 

After stopping at the grocery store for food and writing my blog, of course.  And now that those things are completed…off to bed I go! 

Right after I take a few Advil…

Until the next time…I’ll be waiting for the morning after stiffness to set in!

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