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Merry Christmas H_T_REX!!!!

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  • bob.i.botto@exxonmobil.com
    Noel It was Christmas Eve and a cold one in Houston. I had finished everything I needed to do for Christmas. My last minute Christmas shopping was in Houston
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 14, 2009
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      Noel

      It was Christmas Eve and a cold one in Houston. I had finished
      everything I needed to do for Christmas. My last minute Christmas
      shopping was in Houston and I was headed home to Baytown when I
      approached Memorial Park. I had my running gear with me and, although it
      was already dark, I thought it would be good to do 3 loops around the
      park. A 9 miler would feel good and Christmas day was to be so busy, I
      would not get a chance to run. It was late though. About 8:00pm. The
      Tennis Center was closed so I had to change clothes in my van. The park
      was so deserted! I saw only one or two other cars in a parking lot that
      was often completely full.

      As I started out I on the loop path I felt the damp cold going through
      me. "Maybe just two loops", I thought. The temperature must have been in
      the 30's and a misty fog shrouded everything in gloom, wetting all it
      touched. I could see maybe 100 yards ahead of me and, beyond, everything
      looked dark gray. Actually, there were shades of gray and the gray
      shades brightened and faded, whirled and swirled with the night breeze
      and passing lights. Other than an occasional car on Memorial it was very
      quiet. The fog seemed to absorb all the city sounds. I could hear the
      thoughts in my head so much clearer. I felt really alone. I could see no
      one on the path anywhere. About a mile and a half from my starting point
      I passed through a wooded section of the trail.

      Now it was very dark and so quiet. Even the sound of my feet hitting the
      gravel seemed to be absorbed. I wondered if my shivering was just the
      cold. I was finding it hard to shake a creepy forboding that was unusual
      for me in such a familiar place. I even looked over my shoulder several
      times. I peered hard to see ahead. It was then that I saw something. At
      first it was just a shadowy movement but as I emerged from the woods the
      fog parted a little to reveal a woman dressed all in white! Another
      runner? Yes but what a runner! She was running in the same direction as
      I was but well ahead. As I strained to close the gap I could see that
      she was special. Her running was a beautiful flowing dance touching on
      her forefeet, propelling her body with perfect efficient form. Each
      stride gathered in a long piece of trail but looked effortless. This was
      the form of an "elite" runner, a champion racer.

      Now laboring hard to catch up I could see her more clearly. She was a
      very beautiful young woman with long blonde hair tied in a pony tail
      that flew behind her from side to side. She was dressed in a plain white
      runners split top and white shorts, nothing more to keep her from the
      cold. It seemed so unusual, I wondered if she was real. She looked like
      an angel. I had learned as a child that angels accompany us everywhere
      to protect us. I supposed that runners might have running angels that
      run with them to protect them without being seen - except on this
      magical night?

      Well now she must be human because she heard my steps and slowed to
      greet me. Thank goodness she slowed down! Without introductions we just
      began to talk like runners often do. She told me that she was new in
      town, moving here from out of state. She was going to run the Houston
      Marathon just like I was. We talked about races and what we wanted to
      accomplish. I forgot all about the dark, the loneliness, and the cold.
      There was just a warm comfortable feeling and something else - it seemed
      as if she knew me. She told me about some of the exotic races she had
      run - one of them was a marathon than ran from the sea up to the top of
      Mona Loa in Hawaii where there is snow in the deep tropics! I told her
      proudly about the best race I had ever run - 25K (15.5 miles) at 6:22
      per mile in Houston. Then she gently said "I know, I ran that race with
      you." I mentioned another race and she had run that one with me too. Now
      I was really feeling strange and a little embarrased. I should know her
      but I don't. I began to think about angels again.

      "I must leave you now." she said. "My car is just over there." "Good
      luck in the Marathon!" Then I blurted out "Sorry, I don't remember your
      name." She said "Noel" and headed off the trail. It took a couple
      seconds for that to sink in. "Christmas Eve.....Noel...." I had not even
      wished her.... I turned about quickly to say "Merry Christmas" but she
      was gone. It seemed that just seconds had passed but she was nowhere to
      be seen. I saw only the trees, the fog and the night. I continued on
      down the trail, my thoughts now occupied with what had just happened.
      The miles went by quickly and when I arrived at my house my wife Kat
      heard me mumbleing something about Noel as I passed by the gleaming
      Christmas tree on my way upstairs. I just had to know there and then! If
      she ran a race with me she will be in the results! A name like Noel
      should jump right out. In my closet I found the results from the 25K. I
      looked down the list - there was my name and time and yes just a minute
      or so behind me - Noele Stenger!

      Still filled with wonder I told Kat how I had run with an angel that
      night!



      Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

      Bob Botto
      Analytical Services Laboratory
      Baytown Complex Laboratory Department
      5000 Bayway Dr. Baytown, Tx 77520
      Company Mail: CORP-BSL-103
      Phone: 281-834-5133
      Pager: 281-439-1300
      Fax: 281-834-1775
      Join the ExxonMobil Corporate Track & Field Team!
    • Maryann Ramirez
      thanks for making my day! Maryann ... From: bob.i.botto@exxonmobil.com To: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 10:05 AM Subject: [h_t_rex]
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 14, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        thanks for making my day! 
         
        Maryann
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 10:05 AM
        Subject: [h_t_rex] Merry Christmas H_T_REX!!!!

         



        Noel

        It was Christmas Eve and a cold one in Houston. I had finished
        everything I needed to do for Christmas. My last minute Christmas
        shopping was in Houston and I was headed home to Baytown when I
        approached Memorial Park. I had my running gear with me and, although it
        was already dark, I thought it would be good to do 3 loops around the
        park. A 9 miler would feel good and Christmas day was to be so busy, I
        would not get a chance to run. It was late though. About 8:00pm. The
        Tennis Center was closed so I had to change clothes in my van. The park
        was so deserted! I saw only one or two other cars in a parking lot that
        was often completely full.

        As I started out I on the loop path I felt the damp cold going through
        me. "Maybe just two loops", I thought. The temperature must have been in
        the 30's and a misty fog shrouded everything in gloom, wetting all it
        touched. I could see maybe 100 yards ahead of me and, beyond, everything
        looked dark gray. Actually, there were shades of gray and the gray
        shades brightened and faded, whirled and swirled with the night breeze
        and passing lights. Other than an occasional car on Memorial it was very
        quiet. The fog seemed to absorb all the city sounds. I could hear the
        thoughts in my head so much clearer. I felt really alone. I could see no
        one on the path anywhere. About a mile and a half from my starting point
        I passed through a wooded section of the trail.

        Now it was very dark and so quiet. Even the sound of my feet hitting the
        gravel seemed to be absorbed. I wondered if my shivering was just the
        cold. I was finding it hard to shake a creepy forboding that was unusual
        for me in such a familiar place. I even looked over my shoulder several
        times. I peered hard to see ahead. It was then that I saw something. At
        first it was just a shadowy movement but as I emerged from the woods the
        fog parted a little to reveal a woman dressed all in white! Another
        runner? Yes but what a runner! She was running in the same direction as
        I was but well ahead. As I strained to close the gap I could see that
        she was special. Her running was a beautiful flowing dance touching on
        her forefeet, propelling her body with perfect efficient form. Each
        stride gathered in a long piece of trail but looked effortless. This was
        the form of an "elite" runner, a champion racer.

        Now laboring hard to catch up I could see her more clearly. She was a
        very beautiful young woman with long blonde hair tied in a pony tail
        that flew behind her from side to side. She was dressed in a plain white
        runners split top and white shorts, nothing more to keep her from the
        cold. It seemed so unusual, I wondered if she was real. She looked like
        an angel. I had learned as a child that angels accompany us everywhere
        to protect us. I supposed that runners might have running angels that
        run with them to protect them without being seen - except on this
        magical night?

        Well now she must be human because she heard my steps and slowed to
        greet me. Thank goodness she slowed down! Without introductions we just
        began to talk like runners often do. She told me that she was new in
        town, moving here from out of state. She was going to run the Houston
        Marathon just like I was. We talked about races and what we wanted to
        accomplish. I forgot all about the dark, the loneliness, and the cold.
        There was just a warm comfortable feeling and something else - it seemed
        as if she knew me. She told me about some of the exotic races she had
        run - one of them was a marathon than ran from the sea up to the top of
        Mona Loa in Hawaii where there is snow in the deep tropics! I told her
        proudly about the best race I had ever run - 25K (15.5 miles) at 6:22
        per mile in Houston. Then she gently said "I know, I ran that race with
        you." I mentioned another race and she had run that one with me too. Now
        I was really feeling strange and a little embarrased. I should know her
        but I don't. I began to think about angels again.

        "I must leave you now." she said. "My car is just over there." "Good
        luck in the Marathon!" Then I blurted out "Sorry, I don't remember your
        name." She said "Noel" and headed off the trail. It took a couple
        seconds for that to sink in. "Christmas Eve.....Noel. ..." I had not even
        wished her.... I turned about quickly to say "Merry Christmas" but she
        was gone. It seemed that just seconds had passed but she was nowhere to
        be seen. I saw only the trees, the fog and the night. I continued on
        down the trail, my thoughts now occupied with what had just happened.
        The miles went by quickly and when I arrived at my house my wife Kat
        heard me mumbleing something about Noel as I passed by the gleaming
        Christmas tree on my way upstairs. I just had to know there and then! If
        she ran a race with me she will be in the results! A name like Noel
        should jump right out. In my closet I found the results from the 25K. I
        looked down the list - there was my name and time and yes just a minute
        or so behind me - Noele Stenger!

        Still filled with wonder I told Kat how I had run with an angel that
        night!

        Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

        Bob Botto
        Analytical Services Laboratory
        Baytown Complex Laboratory Department
        5000 Bayway Dr. Baytown, Tx 77520
        Company Mail: CORP-BSL-103
        Phone: 281-834-5133
        Pager: 281-439-1300
        Fax: 281-834-1775
        Join the ExxonMobil Corporate Track & Field Team!

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