Stranger In Park!

19 Apr

Dear Readers,


Last Thursday, I started my day in the oh so usual way, YAWN


Let the dogs out








Get updated on overseas markets (CNBC WorldWide Exchange)


Check on the DOW & NASDAQ futures (CNBC Squawk Box)


Talk with my silent investor


Talk with my sister in Atlanta


Talk with my friend in Florida


And by now its 6:58 AM…YAWN


Watch a little of The Today Show  


Plugged myself in to the iPod 


Jumped on the trend mill for my daily run, complete a few exercises – a constant battle and fight against middle age (I always win the fights but lose the battle!) 




Later, jumped in the car with my favorite employee to complete all my wanted and needed errands




Thinking happy thoughts, made some purchases and sent gifts off, sharing always makes me even happier!


AND THEN…the day was so beautiful, inside my head and out…sun shining brightly! Repined a philosophy (I believe in) on pinterest. (My opinion of Pinterest; arts and crafts without needing scissors and glue.)


Fourteenth century Sufi Poet, Hindu




All this time

The sun never says

“You owe me”


What happens

With the love like that

It lights the




AND AGAIN AND AGAIN…If I heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times from my sweet husband and my sweet friends…”do not go running in the Metro-Park alone.” But you see last Thursday was such a beautiful delicious kind of day, I threw caution to the wind, around 1:30 drove off to the Metro-Park.  I started my run, past a heavyset man, his hike was almost finished and by the looks of him, the end was not close enough. Kept going, and about two miles later reached the top, touched “the tree” for good luck, then started my descent.  About ten minutes later I saw a man walking towards me in the opposite direction, a stranger with a full-face beard walking closer and closer on the same footpath. I felt something was off, immediately I moved the folded cars keys that I had been holding in my hand to a position that extended the sharp part of the keys between my fingers in my right hand… The stranger kept moving towards me, he was holding a black thick leather strap in his left hand. He started talking to me as I kept ensuring some space between him and me.


   He said “if you see a small white dog, don’t be afraid he’s harmless.” 


   I kept running and said, “not to worry I won’t be afraid” 


   The stranger stopped turned and reached out his hand and said “Wait, do you have a minute?”


   I said, “NO, friends are waiting” 


…And started to run even faster. I gave a couple of glances behind me, but concerned if I didn’t keep my eyes in front I would end up tripping over rocks, tree roots etc. My Uh Oh alarm was going off, ringing loud and clear. My brain was reeling from the information I just saw:


  He was too far out on the path to have been dressed as he was


   Small white dogs do not go running in these woods, too thick




   Didn’t hear any rustling of leaves, branch etc.. that a dog would create


   He wasn’t calling out for his dog


   The black thick strap was too heavy to be used as a leash for a small  dog


   There wasn’t a clip on the end of the strap to hook to a dog’s collar


As my breathing and footstep became one and getting closer and closer to the end, I saw a young woman in her late 20″s running up the hill, I stopped her, told her what I had encountered and she took my warning (thanked me) turned around and we ran together back to our cars. She had the same story that day as I did… usually never run alone but the day was so beautiful, just finished working (nursery school teacher) and couldn’t resist. When we got to our cars another woman (alone) was getting ready to embark on a hike and of course after our story she changed her mind…. it makes me wonder if its a known fact, sunny afternoons equal, woman run/hike by themselves.


AS WE MIND YOUR BUSINESS it keeps playing back in my head over and over, the 20 something young woman, what she kept repeating, “it was so nice of you to warn me”…. I didn’t think of it as nice or anything above and beyond (not a favor)…I felt it was my duty, my responsibility, as a caring human being!


At the end of the day, did I have any proof “the stranger” in the park wasn’t safe… NO! Could he have been just a man thinking the park was a better place to meet woman then an Internet dating service…. MAYBE.  But I acted in exactly the way I would have wanted my daughters to act! NEVER, ignoring one’s (a women’s) internal alarm, that ah oh feeling of something is just not right.


A dear friend’s husband once said, “when something terrible happens, it is never just one thing…its a series of mistakes and bad decisions along the way.” 


Was I nice or did I just do what I was supposed to do? You decide.



Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!



Kindest regards,




President and CEO





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