Thursday, November 22, 2007

thanksgiving numbers

6:30 was wake-up call so I could drive Dan to the airport. 8:15 was the meeting time at Sarah's house so she and Nora and Pete and I could all drive up to the race together.

41:07 was my official time for the 5K. That's 49th out of 50 women in my age group, and 307th out of 321 total women, and 664th out of 688 total runners. But gee whiz, who cares about those numbers. I ran and finished and had fun AND improved my personal 5K time by 6 minutes. The more important number here is 8 brothers & sisters cheering each other on at the race.

5 was the number around the table at Thanksgiving dinner. My choir-friends Joni and Kevin and their daughters Sarah and Bridget, and me. I had 2 servings of stuffing. We played 2 rounds of Skip-Bo after dinner and then chilled in the living room listening to Nanci Griffith, whom Joni and Kevin have seen in concert 6 times.

When I left Joni & Kevin's, the snow was falling thickly and I couldn't resist going to Notre Dame to see how beautiful it would be. 25 is the approximate number of snowy-tree photos I took there while my fingers froze numb ... would have been more (and I would have gotten frostbite) but my battery died.

2.5 hours is how long I spent watching a cheesy movie on TV (and resting my race-weary, snow-chilled body). 62 is what I turned the thermostat to before going upstairs with the intention of going to bed. Instead of bed I started my 56th blog post.

11:34 is the time right now, and it's time to go to sleep.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

yes, i am still here

Wow, it's been almost two weeks since I blogged. Crazy! I don't have anything particularly momentous to share today either but I thought I'd post something so my regular readers (i.e. my mom) know that I am still alive. So, random thoughts ...

... my ankle is way better. Thursday was the first day that I woke up and realized by ankle wasn't hurting. And then on top of that it started feeling *normal* again. Not just not-hurting, but like "oh, this is what it felt like before I sprained it." Hooray for the power of the body to heal itself, even if it does take a month! My ankle injury and healing process has also made me super-grateful for the overall health of my body. And even happier that I am using my body to its fullest (in soccer and running) while it is young and healthy. I'm not getting any younger you know!

... THE RACE is just three days away! My dear running buddies Kyle and Sarah have helped me run the distance (5K or 3.1 miles) twice now. So now I feel like the actual race will be rather anticlimactic ;) but maybe having all those people watching and cheering will make it more exciting ;) In any case, I am still kind of astonished that I can actually do this. Someday I will do it in less than 47 minutes ...

... my workplace, which shall remain nameless, has asked me to remove all references to it from my blog (new blogging policy). Erasing everything was pretty painful, and there have been a number of things I've wanted to write about in the past few weeks and couldn't, which has also been hard. But for now I'll hold them in my heart and try to keep my eyes open for the beautiful and interesting things going on in the rest of my life. Maybe this will help me not to focus on work too much :)

... tonight is the first Citybuilding discussion for the South Bend branch. Having heard a talk on it yesterday, and anticipating the discussion tonight, already made me think more throughout the day about what our city should look like. For example, read this article about the infamous Wooden Indian motel. The controversy over new licensing policies for budget motels is interesting but for me, the real question is how do we care properly for the mentally ill in our community, and how can we be Christ to the prostitutes and drug dealers ...

... "we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinet ..." I couldn't wait for Thanksgiving this year to start listening to Christmas music. Partly that could be because we had a Thanksgiving dinner for Anne's birthday last Sunday and after cooking a turkey, it just has to be Christmastime. It's also because things were a little rough at my unnamed workplace and I just needed a little cheering up. I needed to sing in celebration of the Incarnation and think more about Christ being born into the muck of this world. He's here with us, came to be with us even though we'd messed up the world so darn much - just because He loves us. Praise God. (So, don't laugh at me for listening to Christmas music early!)

... some of my Christmas music is swing and when I put it on I couldn't resist holding my invisible partner's hands and dancing around my room (gently so as not to hurt my ankle). Can't wait to swing dance again!

... I've been out of soccer for about a month now and I realized Saturday night, when we were kicking a ball around lightly in Kyle's basement, that sometime in the past year and a half I transformed from a person who is afraid to play soccer, to a person who doesn't mind it, to a person who likes it a lot, to a person whose feet itch for movement when she can't play. I wonder if the same will happen with running.

... this blog is quite long enough now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

cleaning house

My dear friend Kristin is moving across town, and twice I've had the opportunity to help her get the new house ready. Last Thursday a bunch of us went over to wash walls. I used to live in Kristin's new neighborhood so it was delightful to work with (and chat with) my old friends from that area - Mary Ann and Larry, Geoff and Sue, Peggy and Bill, and Ron and little Owen (who is not so little anymore, when did he get so tall?). The nicest part, though, was seeing that big group of people, whom I love, pour out their love for Kristin, whom I love. Everyone was scrubbing cheerfully and seemed entirely happy to be there. Such a nice and quiet but also profound way for them to welcome Kristin's family more into their lives.

Then last night my women's group and another group from the new area (and Sarah too because she is always there when there's work to be done) got together to paint some wood paneling in the basement and take care of miscellaneous items on Kristin's to-do list. We had a lot of fun! I had a major flashback to Allendale since the wood paneling was just like the house that we painted down there. I unconsciously slipped back into crew-chief mode and after I finished taping around doorways, I walked around for a few minutes checking on everyone and quietly inspecting their work ;) I was even working with the mother of one of the teens I went to Allendale with, and it was fun to have a chance to tell her how much I'd enjoyed working with her son.

Anyway, the house was filled with people and we all got a lot of work done. And all the men will be there tonight moving everything in. How the heck does everyone else in the world handle a move like this? Well, I guess they hire movers and painters. But movers and painters don't welcome you into the neighborhood and make your house into your home before you even move in ... praise God for what Kristin got to experience with all of us and what we all got to experience with Kristin!