The Bloody Trail

Okay, Okay I know: It has been a VERY long time.

BUT! I have been traumatized!!

I know I have mentioned that I have been getting up really early to run and get a workout in. The routine has been; meet my sister a mile down the road twice a week, run, go to my dad’s gym, lift weights, hit the bag, swim or do whatever we feel like. On the off days I do it all by myself.

July 7, last week…..I left my house around 6:15 am for my morning run. I go by myself and have a great workout. I head towards home around 8:15 and see my friend. She tells me the police caught the serial killer or else she would have something to say about me going by myself and she really wishes I would take something with me like a knife to protect myself. I tell her; she is such a good friend and thank you so much for caring and I think CRAZZZY boy how lucky I am to have such a great friend and neighbor. I also told her how at one point…….((close to home)) I did get a little freaked out because of the song I was listening to “Killer on the Loose” by Thin Lizzy. Or maybe it was our talk from yesterday about the serial killer and the combination of the song the talk and the fact we really don’t live too far from Gaffney where the serial killer lived……Yicks!!!

We laughed at my silliness and I went home.

9:30 AM ~ I get a text message from Melissa, my friend next door: “Forensics next door 2 me.” …….then another message……”Police, fire trucks and a whole bunch of everything you would believe the cars & people – wonder what is going on”

We Figured someone was hurt and that was really too bad. I go about my day. After all, I had a birthday party to plan.

11:00 A.M ~ Another message from Melissa. “They are still there”

1:00 PM ~ We leave the house. I pass the police that are hanging out at the house in question up the street. I stop and ask; “What happened?” I am told “AHH nothing really, just a little domestic thing.” I say, “Wow! This is a lot for a domestic thing.” “I hope no one was hurt to badly.” The cop says, “No, don’t worry.” This is routine.” I say “Oh! Wow! I didn’t know.” “Okay”

I text Melissa and tell her everything is okay ~ this is all routine. She texts back and say “Oh! Wow!”

We have our party ~ come home around 7 and drive past the house in question and see: yellow police tape, more police cars, police vans, lots of police stuff……

WOW!!

We have dinner, talk about the day and what could be happening up the street……… the phone rings…..it’s my brother….I let it go and figure I will call him back as soon as we are finished …..Mark’s phone rings……It’s my brother….Mark says….”UMM It’s Bill…..It must be important.”

They talk…….

Matthew and Stephen are getting themselves ready to go out for their run.

Mark catches them as they are going out the door and says with alarm……”Hey! Wait! Your not going…….”

He looks at me and says……..”You’re finished running alone.”

What?!?!?! What are you talking about?????? WHY???

He tells me there has been an attack on our street……….an ATTACK!!??!!

“What kind of attack? What are you talking about? This street is beautiful town USA. Nothing ever happens on this street except dogs…..or a lost cats…….What are you talking about???? This is the street people don’t lock themselves in at night. We leave our keys in the car……….We leave our doors unlocked ……….what do you mean an ATTACK???

Mark tells me what Bill said:

A man…….(( he does not live in our area)) was attacked…….WITH a MACHETE! A MACHETE!!! Writing it gives me the creeps!! This was a Hispanic man, no one has seen before, ends up on one of our neighbors door steep……..Hatched up, bleeding profusely…The woman calls 911!!! This guy says he was attacked by someone he did not know on our street…..OUR STREET!! He said he didn’t know why, who or anything………He was just attacked with a MACHETTE!

The police investigate………They find there is a blood trail……..A BLOOD TRAIL……on our street!! Leading one tenth of a mile down the road to another house…….2……TWO!! houses from my house!!

YICKS!

We are not told much about this crime. We have been told; the attack happened inside this house one tenth of a mile down the road…….2……TWO!! houses down from my house!!

We know now this house was being used for drugs…for drugs…..on my street!! …The police pulled 3….THREE…van loads of marijuana out of this house. The police where seen by people on the street taking out grow light…fertilizer…computers…and other things needed for marijuana growth (( I don’t even know what that could be……..I have trouble with tomatoes!!))

As of last week; the guy that was attacked with the MACHETE! was not expected to make it. We don’t know what happened to him….We really don’t know much about what was going on there except the house was being used for drugs and we do not think anyone lived in the house. No one ever talked to the people in the house……they didn’t speak English….they only waved and rushed inside. We only saw Hispanic men coming and going rarely from the house.

….The grass was never cut, for a brand new house there was never even so much as a flower in the new yard. Now we know why…….They where to busy taking care of what was inside the house.

The police told us… This was a big crime. They will catch who ever did this. They said they could not find the owner of the house and to watch out for any strange happenings in the area. YICKS!! Strange Happenings in the area……like men walking down the street sliced up from a machete attack….

This area is very quite…People move to rural areas to be left alone….to run early in the morning and feel safe…to raise their children in a friendly but not so talkative neighborhood. We live here to be safe and live our lives in the bubbles we have created….It has really been very nice!

Everyone is on edge…..People are not going out as much…..you don’t see people walking their dogs…running…or doing the normal things you see in a neighborhood.

For one week I stayed inside in the early morning ……..not working out…….not doing anything….I got up, got dressed and sat there thinking….Okay, I will just get in the car and go to my parents house…I can run around their neighborhood….I just sat there….. waiting….to afraid to go outside, to get in the car, to go down the street.

After 3 days of this I thought……okay I will sleep in this week and start Monday. I can give it a week and then things will be okay. Happy with that and thinking the rest will be good……..

I waited until Monday.

Monday comes…..I get up early…..but still don’t leave early. I force myself to get my shoes on, find a good song on Matthew’s IPOD and go out the door. I start running…I have an hour and think that is okay…..I feel a little creped but think…..It’s okay……I’m okay…..everything is fine…I go to the dead end turn around……past my house and up the road….I pass my friends house and then see circles in the road with arrows leading up to the house in question……then I follow circles and arrows .1 mile down the road to the house that helped the man that was sliced up with the machete….((YICKS!!)) I force myself to keep going…….I run, stop, turn around look behind me, turn the music up, run, stop, turn around look behind me, turn the music down …….think okay I know I learned how to take away a knife from an attacker…..but I don’t think we covered Machetes…as a matter of fact I don’t think Mr T thought about teaching us how to take away a Machete from an attacker……mmmmm……maybe I should ask him about that……….I review in my mind taking away a knife, a gun, someone chocking you, okay how do you break elbows again…..yeah, that’s right…run, turn around look behind me, turn the music up, stop, turn around look behind me, walk, turn the music down ……make myself go 3 miles like this the whole way… I go past my old Karate instructors house…….think maybe I could just run up and down his drive way…..gee I miss karate…..hope I can go back soon……review in my mind the moves I should know..…

I have enough of the whole thing and head home…go past the house in questions, past the circles, past the arrows leading to the houses… I run, stop, turn around look behind me, turn the music up …

YICKS!!

I can’t wait to get in the house…I see Mark and say “GEE!! That was creepy!!” Mark says he wishes I wouldn’t go by myself any more……think that is a good idea.

Tuesday I wake up Stephen to go with me…..Show Stephen the circles and arrows and notice the blood staining the road leading .1 mile to the house where the man went for help. Stephen and I only make it a couple of miles it is early for him and the blood trail has both of us freaked out.

Yesterday, I was brave enough to get in my car and go to my mother’s neighborhood. I’ll keep you posted on the progress!

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Where’s the Chocolate??

It has taken me a long time to accept ~ I have to run to get back into shape……….because let’s face it……the way the economy is going for “us” ((the nation as a whole)) it will be a long time before I can play Karate again.

The acceptance of just liking to run has been hard for me………..actually I hate running. I would much rather go to a really hard and long sparing class………….I remember many Saturday mornings walking of the mat bleeding, hurt and in pain….and someone would say Wow! That was a great class…….. Everyone would nod their heads in agreement and say “YAY!!”

I have been trying to run for quite a long time now……maybe 2 1/2 years …… and my resistance to running has taken it’s toil on me. However, I have decided…… I have to like it………..almost as much as I like chocolate.

Okay……. Not that much.

But, I love to have Ice Cream for dinner.

AND

If I am going to have Ice Cream for dinner, I have to exercise. Right now that exercise has to be running.

So, I have been trying……….I have been drinking my water and eating right……..Well, most of the time. I am trying to take care of myself for many reasons………..The biggest is my father, who has cancer and has survived much longer then the doctors ever imagined he would……….One of the things he contributes his survival to is exercise……….He has always and still does exercise even on his sick days.

AND

CANCER STINKS!! IT REALLY DOES!

Over the past three years, I have struggled with these big issues; I am not as physically fit as I was BFME……..that is……BeFore Mary Elizabeth. It has taken me a long time to accept………I have a long way to go from pre-baby……..to post-baby…………even though she will be 3 next month.

And SO, I have struggled!

I think I am getting there. I think I have convinced myself……….It is okay to be where I am and I am learning to like “the” running and not pout about it “all” so much.

So here I am…………With my “I love exercise Finnell Grin”

………We have a secret……..”We” the Finnell’s and the Advent’s are far from being athletes…..all we do is……”TRY“. We pick a sport we like or in my case right now……. can tolerate and learn to like it. Then, we give it our all. We are not fast…………We persevere…….We work through the humiliation of always being last. We work through the pain of what ever it is that hurts and we just ‘do it’. We put our hearts into it and get the job done.

And

We do it with a Grin……….My sister and I have named it “That Finnell Grin”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So anyway, I have been getting up really early……..I mean really early and getting out there. The sun comes up at six. I have my shoes on. I am ready to go with my phone and my daughter’s I-pod………… I am excited about seeing how long the miles will take me and what my plan of action is for the day…………..I am trying to increase my mileage and cut down on my time.

It is fun right??????

That was until Monday morning……….I was going by my neighbors house……..I should tell you, he has JUST started running again after 1o, 12 maybe he said 15 years…….. I forget………..the most important thing here………. IS………… HE! SMOKES!! He smokes!…………..He just started running and he smokes……..

Okay ya……..Good for him, right?? ~ Maybe he will cut down on his smoking and all that great stuff. He will be healthy AND we all have to start some where. RIGHT??

It was about 7:00 am……..and I had been running for about an hour. He sees me and says, “Why don’t you run with me to the top of the hill?…….It is only a mile. I am just trying to run a mile.”
Being the nice, caring, encouraging person that I am ~ I said, “Okay” I have 10 more minutes……..I can do that.

He says, “Let’s go!”

He takes off……………..He “smokes” me…………..He “smokes” me!! I am way behind……..huffing and puffing and starting to cough like the smoker HE IS……….my asthma is starting to kick in……….. I can’t breath……….I can’t stop coughing.

I can only say………THANK GOD! My phone rang and it was a customer……..I had to stop to answer my cell phone……..out of breath……….I got to tell this guy……….”I am running and that is why I am sooooo out of breath and please forgive me………could you please call my husbands phone and he will be able to help you.” …………..

I didn’t tell this guy………I was losing badly to my neighbor who just started running like 2 days ago and by the way he smokes………….

BUT! there is good news “he” can run a 9………..I said a 9 minute mile…………and he smokes………and he just started running again…….He has gone from doing nothing……..NOTHING!! to running a 10 minute mile….now down to a 9…….and he beat me…… bad!!

Stupid Rick!!

Where’s the chocolate???

Oh! The good news…………..Today ………He has shaved 12 seconds of his time…………..Stupid Rick!

OOP! There it is again!!

So the other day, Well maybe it was a couple of weeks ago…….I was talking to a friend of mine. I don’t know if I have mentioned this or not but I try (and I use the term loosely) to sell Mary Kay. Every now and then I may have a class for a friend who is trying to raise money for something special. I give the profits to the charity and sometimes I get a new customer out of the deal. It is a fun way to help out a little and try to stay connected.

I am not the greatest Mary Kay consultant there is………I don’t keep a lot of stock in. I don’t have very many parties and I don’t try to get new customers. I fit the Mary Kay in when I want to or if someone asks me. I really like to use the products for myself. I can get it for half price being a consultant and well, that is enough for me.

So anyway, we where talking and she was telling me what she thought……..She thought I needed to make Mary Kay more of a priority. I was not doing all I could……… I need to sell, meet people and just be a GREAT Mary Kay woman……I can do it! ….I can rise to the top! Get a car! OHHH!! …….”It takes work! Hard Work!” And I need to get out there and place my orders and decide what I want and…………HERE it comes………..P-U-T My PRIORITIES in order.

I simply smiled at her.

Well, this made me think another time I had this conversation……..I thought of the time I sat in the office of my Karate Instructor or shall I say………the Master Instructor of all of South Carolina……… maybe even the country…..maybe the world….I just think he is that good. I remember the day we had “the talk”……….I was teaching classes at the school but I did not receive payment…AND ……..I paid for my families instruction……….(Yes! I know! C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!! Who in their right mind would do such a thing………only a real sucker)………WELL, NO! People who have a love for the Martial Arts do these things…….and people that just want to learn all they can. You will do it especially if you are told you would recieve ONE ON ONE instructions with the Master……. You grab it! AHHHH!! To do that again…… how Tempting!!!!!)

OH Sorry! I forgot what I was saying!

Back to my story; I walked into the school excited about a weekend trip that Mark had surprised me with………He had planned a trip to the beach. But! The trip interfered with the classes I taught at the time.…….I asked one of the other teachers if they could cover my classes because I was going to the beach………She couldn’t and to my surprise someone else told me……… HERE it comes …… I needed to put my priorities in order and decide what it will be.

You will be pleased to know, I went with my family……….We had a great time. The women that came to my classes understood why I canceled and wished me well. But, there was trouble when I returned…….I was told I was taking to much time off and away from my training, away from my classes…..I really needed to decided what I was going to do……I needed to ……here it comes again……Put my Priorities in order……..I did……..I hung up the teaching towel………or It hung me up……..Yeah! That was more like it……….I was “weeded out” …….like it so often happens when your priorities are not in order.

All okay because I loved it ALL and even though I was sad not to teach anymore I think it was time to stop. I still went to class and enjoyed it all very much.

The last Karate straw……..I was expecting our fourth child……….It was time to step back from what I truly loved to do for myself and enjoy the new gift we where receiving. I put my priorities in order and I am now taking a break from Karate.

I realize what all these people where doing was telling me my priorities needed to be their priorities and they where very unhappy that I was not conforming to their norm.

In my last post, I recieved a comment from a friend of mine that I never expected………She told me how much she admired the things I did. She told me I have been an example for her………she even went as far as saying I (me) am an example of a Proverbs 31 women……which I had to look up……..I know now …She is giving me way to much credit…..I was stunned and honored by this and I really didn’t know what to say or think.

After giving it much thought……..very much thought………I have to say……….I had a Great Example………My Mother. She taught me how things should be done………When we where growing up she was the one that was there for us. She was the one that put her self last. She was selfless………She was the one who put the family first. She was the one who would be there with the kids, doing home work, getting the meals and helped my dad with his business……… helping his dreams grow. She was the one that gave the support…………..She was and still is the wind beneath our wings.

It just so happens I (WE… all 5 of us) have been blessed with two wonderful parents……….Great examples of how to give of yourself……how to give to your family. However, I must give most of the credit to my mother. She has taught me that my family should be first. Everything else comes second. My intention in my past post was to show my priorities are my family just like my mother taught us all they should be. All 5 of us are many things but the one thing I know we are is excellent parents.

Let’s face it………… I am not a doctor. I will not be saving lives anytime soon. I am not a writer. I will not be publishing books that will change the world…….. I am not a political figure. I will not be changing laws in the near future………Today…..….I am a wife, a mother and just a woman…….Just like my mother……….I am proud of that.

My hope is to be the example for my family………..like she has been for hers.


With all that said……….I know now why I can smile and walk away when someone tells me my priorities are off………When my priorities are not what someone else wants them to be. I can walk away happy knowing they are wrong and my mother was right when she taught me what was important in my life.

Thanks Mom……..I Love you!