Tag Archives: Relay for Life

Overflowing

6 May

You know that feeling when you look at your significant other, you family or your children and you are overflowing with love?  These moments can be quick, fleeting even, but they are powerful and it is significant to recognize them.  I have had a few of these the past two weeks and I feel happy to be overflowing with love.  But, I did not understand the power of the term “overflowing” as applied to inanimate objects until yesterday morning.

We were having a garage sale to raise money for our Relay for Life team, so I had to wake up at what my running pal affectionately calls, “The crack of f…”  Sirskatesalot had already headed out in the dark for a mountain bike race.  I wandered around the dark house for a minute, looked out the back sliding doors and thought the pool looked weird.  But, it was the “Crack of f…” and I did not have my contacts in and I had not had coffee.  I went into the kitchen, filled my cup with joe and stared out the kitchen window into the back yard for a moment to get my bearings.

I wondered why I had agreed to get up this early after all and sipped my coffee…and the pool still looked weird.  I squinted and tried to focus.  Back to the sliding doors, I noticed the hose was in the pool.  Then a moment of clarity. “Holy sh.., the pool is overflowing!”  I turned off the hose and investigated.  A large puddle by the side of the house where the pump is, but other than that, no damage.  Whew.

Later that morning, I texted Sirskatesalot to check on the race and told him hose was on and “Ooops.”  I am the most forgetful, so I understand.  I set the kitchen timer when I turn on the hose or a sprinkler because I would flood our entire street if I did not have a reminder.  No harm, no foul…Lucky us I didn’t wake up in “a beautiful pea green boat” with the Owl and the Pussycat.

Then, yesterday evening, Sirskatesalot and I had an couple hours without teens so headed out  to dinner.  On our way there, I brought up the overflowing pool and commented, “Good thing I woke up just an hour after you left or it could have been bad.  Surprising how much the pool filled in only an hour or so.”  Sirskatesalot responded that he had turned the hose on Friday evening at dusk and the water had been running for over 12 hours.  We are overflowing with love, gratitude and gratefulness that our bedroom is high and dry and our pool is full.  Sirskatesalot is very thorough and if he had been home, he probably would have patched any overflow with shoe goo or duct tape.

Hopefully your weekend was overflowing with fun or at least entertainment.

Ooops. Do Over.

29 Apr

I guess my consistency goal has already gone to shit.  Arg.  I had high hopes and good intentions.  I can’t even come up with a good excuse.  Sad.  I need a do over.

The Walking Wondergirls held their second bake sale for The American Cancer Society on Friday.   We tried a different grocery store this time and set up camp.  The manager was nice and most of the patrons.  But, there was a difference in the clientele. It was palpable.  Weird.  There is only about 1.5 miles between this store and the last one where we held a bake sale a few weeks ago.

At the first bake sale, people smiled and acknowledged our teen girls.  If they didn’t want to buy a treat (at a very, very reasonable price…especially for all home baked goodies),  they donated. They were generous and appreciative for our girls’ effort.  They asked questions and told stories. Cancer affects everyone.

This past Friday was very different.  The girls had to work for it and work hard.  People turned away, sometimes ignoring the girls completely.  There were some friendly folks, of course.  Many smiled or participated.  But even when the girls were asking, “Want to help us fight cancer?”  Many scampered by with their heads down and said, “Not today.”

I realize the economy sucks and life can pull you in many directions emotionally and financially, but come on!!!  “Do you only fight cancer on Saturday?  Not Friday?”  I kept my mouth shut, but these were my thoughts.  At least smile and toss these girls a quarter.

What has happened?  Are we so bombarded with solicitors and pan handlers that we think all are scammers?  Are we so jaded that six teen girls, with clear approval from the store manager, cannot raise money for a good cause?  I’m being dramatic, they did raise some money, but the vibe was weird.Maybe it was too hot. I just think a smile and some recognition goes a long way for everyone.  Don’t pretend someone isn’t there and rush past.  Acknowledge him/her and say, “Good luck.  I wish I could help.”  Something.  Anything.

We had some bright moments. One British grandma said she was delighted to see teens doing something productive and for a good cause.  She was proud of our girls.  I am, too.  They have raised nearly $500 to fight cancer so far and are gearing up to hoof it around that track for 24 hours in only one month. These girls are part of an event that raises over $400 million annually to help cancer patients and cancer research.  I wonder what the nay sayers at the market are doing to make a difference?

Here’s a link to Relay for Life. Get involved!

http://www.relayforlife.org/learn/index

Running Toward Relay

14 Feb

Our Relay for Life preparation has begun.  My ten, teen Walking Wondergirls and I will take on the 24 hour relay event again this year.  The girls are excited for the event, work assignments have been given, fundraising will start in the next couple weeks and plans are afoot (he he).  Last year, our team won the award for best camp fundraiser and I won the award for most laps.  This year, I wonder if I will run any.  Verdict is out on Peg Leg and I’m kind of nervous to even ask my doctor…For many other reasons, but also for my Walking Wondergirls.  They are a tough bunch and they love to have fun.

Last year, I scheduled myself to run 1.5-2 hours every few hours so the Walking Wondergirls could have a break and enjoy each other and the event.  This year they are heartier and more savvy about the event, so they will not be getting their four hours solid sleep this year.  “Up and at em’!”  I don’t know that my Peg Leg will tolerate hundreds of laps by the end of spring.  I am hopeful, but trying to be realistic.  I’ll do what I can.  My Walking Wondergirls will do the rest.

I hope they make it through the wee hours on the track this year.  Last year, they were in luxurious accommodations  (sleeping bags, no tent, on the wet grass in the middle of the field) and my son’s cross country team members, a few moms and the high school cross country coach helped me hold down track duty until morning.  This  year, I hope The Walking Wondergirls experience those wee morning hours on the track.

In the middle of the night, when you are pounding one foot in front in front of the other on the track, there is a peacefulness.  It is very quiet.  Lots of teams are sleeping, and only a few die hards are actually walking the track.  If you are tough enough, and lucky enough to be going in circles at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., you will see the stars shining brightly and you will hear footsteps and sweet conversations.

During these dark, solitary hours, I ran by a grandmother and her teen granddaughter. Lap after lap, I watched and listened to them.   They were huddled together under the same blanket, tucked tight under their chins, arms wrapped around each other.  The teenage granddaughter was wearing slippers and pjs.  I caught glimpses of sweet conversation that may not happen at any other time between family and friends.  “So, honey, what does it take to be able to go on pointe in dance?” Grandma inquired,   “Is that hard to do?”  Nighttime on the track at Relay is unfettered by distractions, uninterrupted by noise, media, responsibilities, errands, daily stresses.  Did this busy grandma have time to ask these questions…and more importantly, have time to listen to these answers at any other juncture?  These were precious moments.  This is connection.  This is HOPE.

Nighttime at Relay is about living in the moment, understanding the person you are with,  and remembering the people who are no longer with you.  Understanding dreams, overcoming obstacles, finding strength.  The here and now.  This is not cheesy inspiration.  This is real. Go to your local Relay at 2:00 am (or any other time) and experience it for yourself.  You will be changed.  Listen, share, pay attention.  The night opens up the senses and the mind…there is clarity.  Pay attention.   Remember, focus on those around you.  The Walking Wondergirls will understand this more this year.

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Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas
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