Thankful for James, Jacob, and Carl

Carl’s two best friends in the entire world are his cousins, James and Jacob, who live in Jamestown. When the three are together, they can always find something to do, and they always have great fun doing it. Sue calls them “three peas in a pod,” but I have always thought of them more like “three nuts in a tree.” In this picture from eight years ago, the three spent a week at the farm building this fort and playing on it. They made spears, bows, arrows, shields and armor from whatever they could find and had a blast! The shield on Carl’s arm is the base from an old chick watering bottle.

We traveled to Jamestown for Thanksgiving, and once the three got together again, they picked up right where they left off last time; playing World of Warcraft! Yes, still the same boy games, just a different medium on which to play them. They joined us for the main meal and entertained everyone with their comical portrayals of “sophisticated people.”

After the meal a group of us decided to go for a walk to wear off some of the extra calories we consumed. I made a joke that we should do a short run, and everyone moaned their protest. I had just eaten a huge, heavy meal, complete with a few glasses of wine and I was in no way serious about running. It must have gotten the three boys thinking however, because they approached me and said they wanted to race the “Marathon Man.” I made excuses that besides being stuffed, I also wasn’t dressed for running, and I hadn’t done any stretching.

The three wouldn’t give up and said they only wanted to race me to the next electrical pole. I said they could easily beat me on that short of a distance, but that if we were going to race, it had to be a longer distance. They told me that Jamestown Reservoir was 1.5 miles away, and that we could see who could get there first. I countered by saying” “to the lake AND back again!’ and they accepted!

I set off on my usual pace, and the three boys fell in behind me. I heard them discussing their strategy as we ran along the road: “We just have to keep up with him at this slow pace, and we can shoot past at the end and win.” Yes indeed, James, Jacob, and Carl! That is all you would have to do!

The wind was blowing in my ears, so I couldn’t hear much after the first hundred yards. I didn’t look back, so I didn’t really know how close the boys were staying. I ran down a hill for the last quarter mile to the lake, and turned around to head back only to discover that I was all by myself. When I neared the top of the hill, Jacob came into view and said that he was giving up the race, so I stopped and began walking with him back to the house. We soon caught up with Carl and James, who had given up earlier and were already leisurely returning home while discussing “World of Warcraft.”

The three boys had all given up, allowing me to stop, which was a good thing because my stomach was beginning to cramp up pretty bad. I’m not sure if I could have continued running all of the way back without throwing up! Running within 15 minutes of eating the largest meal of the year wasn’t the brightest thing I had ever agreed to do, but once I started, I wasn’t going to give up! It wasn’t my best run of the year, but I did manage to continue well enough to intimidate a 15, a 16, and a 17 year into quitting before they were even half way through. For that, I’m truly thankful!

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