That’s what the lady at the Chamber of Commerce had said somewhat laughingly when I had called to get some information about the area. I had believed her but I could see it didn’t need to since clearly there would probably still be snow on the ground in July. I had arrived on October 11th and it had snowed on and off since then. The only time it didn’t seem to be snowing was when it was too cold to snow (and who knew it could be too cold to snow.)
I had been looking for a change of pace and thought four seasons, evenings by a warm fireplace, winter walks amidst branches covered with ice and snow sounded ideal. But you can’t walk outside when it’s -15 and a break from the bleak, grey cloudy cold would be nice. From what the locals say this has been a particularly bad year or maybe the outdoors is reflecting my mood.
I told friends and family that a new location would help me to move forward. The truth was I was only looking to hibernate and get away from concerned glances. Now only my yellow lab gave me those looks. I don’t really think she’s fond of our living here. In Alabama I’d take her for long walks along the Cahaba River.
I’m missing it today myself. With temperatures going all the way up to possibly ten degrees here, the low 60’s and a day along the rocky shoals of the Cahaba sounds ideal. But of course it wasn’t the weather or the river that had me running for my life and my sanity. I looked at the calendar. March 10th was three days away and I wanted to be as far from Alabama State Penitentiary as possible.
I had done everything I could to get my life back on track after they had finally put him in prison. I had had a real bad time of it too but just when things had seemed to start to return to normal we had been informed that due to mitigating circumstance instead of 18 years to life was a possibility that they were going to release Bobby Lee Baker after only 2 ½ years in jail. I ran than. I packed up, closed, sold or threw away everything I had. I had been diligent to cover my tracks. Bank accounts were closed. I even started going by my middle name.
After I decided on a place I made sure I was the one who would contact family and friends and only on payphones. Technology was not my friend as it would most certainly lead him to me. So I did not use the internet. There was no myspace for me, no online banking, no email.
I was nervous, anxious and ready to run. I had an escape plan if I needed it and I was thinking I might use it just to be doing something. I knew he would be looking for me when he got out. It had been my testimony that had been the most specific and the most damning. Two months after we’d received the news that he might be getting out I received an envelope with the return address from the penitentiary. Three words on an otherwise blank sheet of paper, “It’s not over.”