I failed to write a post yesterday for the first time since I can remember.  This used to happen on occasion when I was traveling, but like running it’s usually a daily priority. I did get a short run in first thing yesterday, ending a long stretch of 5ks. One mile is the minimum distance to maintain my running streak that is now at 4,396 consecutive days, without fail. I just didn’t have time to sit down and write afterwards, anxious to make a 9 a.m. meeting. A small group of baseball card collectors typically gets together once of month at Target prior to the card show inside Mall 205. It had been months since I had attended due to Covid shutdowns and other obligations. Yesterday morning, I was on time to grab a caramel latte at Starbuck’s only to notice that the dining area where we meet was closed down. I should have known! None of my friends were anywhere to be seen. 

I tried to reach them by phone, but got no answer. After waiting for fifteen minutes, I decided to get back in my car and drive to the rear entrance of the Mall where the exhibitors can enter before the doors officially open to the public. It was difficult to recognize anyone considering the masks, beard growth, and extra pounds, but eventually I found some familiar faces. I then spent about 2 hours going through boxes of baseball cards from 1958 and 1959, selecting a few for my collection. I also got a couple of unexpected gifts – items they had found at other shows that I might treasure. It was a fun morning that took me away from the normal running, writing, and sitting routine. 

After we had tired of the show, two of us tried to find an open restaurant for lunch. The main goal was beer, while take-out was the only available option. We settled on Stark Street Pizza and ended up paying $21 for a six-pack, preferring to support this local business rather than the 7-Eleven down the street. Oregon is now allowing liquor take-out to supplement food sales for these struggling dining spots. We took our pizza and beer to a nearby park, selecting a table to enjoy what we joked to be “a romantic picnic.” I mentioned to him that my wife would love an impromptu rendezvous like this,  but here we were sitting together in natural surroundings as two desperate dudes. It was too windy to relish the cold beer but the pizza box warmed our hands. The biggest problem, however, was there were no rest rooms. We chugged the last beer in the comfort of the car and drove separately to the nearest gas station only to find the facilities closed due once again to health concerns. I soon pulled behind his parked car near an isolated construction site to empty my aching bladder.

The low-air warning light suddenly flashed on my dashboard, so on the way back home I stopped at the neighborhood tire store. My wife’s daughter and their dog Falco was at the apartment when I arrived, so I got tied up in conversation, further delaying my time on the computer keyboard. Opening the mail, dinner, book editing, football, dog walks, and Hitchcock movies ended the day without the thought of sitting down to write. When I went to write today’s blog, I realized that baseball cards had distracted me from doing this daily duty, so I may write twice today to make up for this tragic oversight. Did you miss me? HA!