Daily Archives: October 11, 2008

Portrait of a Saturday

Busy, but fun.

Local U. holds a 5K road race during homecoming weekend, and I volunteer every year to check runners in.  I get there at 7 in the morning, help get the tables set up, put the tee-shirts out according to size, then I’m assigned four college kids to help me out.  Two get the A-L table – one on the list with a ruler and a pen, one who finds the runners’ numbers – one gets assigned the tee-shirt retrieval, and one gets to partner with me on the M-Z table (though, sometimes, just to mix it up, I take the A-L table.  I’m reckless that way).

The race is actually pretty popular; in the seven or so years I’ve been doing this (I should go count my collection of tee-shirts to find out how long I’ve been volunteering, but I’m betting that seven is a reasonable estimate), I bet we’ve never had fewer than 300 runners.

I was a little disappointed this year, though.  Every single year that I’ve done this, there’s been a nun who comes with about six or seven kids to run the race.  The nun was never particularly personable, so it’s not as though I had any kind of relationship with her, but she was fun to look at; she always wore a gray habit, a big, plain wooden cross around her neck, and Asics running shoes poking out underneath it all.  My bet is that she is the lead for her Catholic school’s running club, and that they like to run the race.  This year, though, my running nun was no where to be found.  It made the day a little less fun for me to not have her there.

Distance running is something I will never understand.  To me, “fun run” is an oxymoron.  I get that a lot of people like it, and I respect that they do, I just don’t understand it….

Once I finished up with my volunteer stint, I headed down to the fitness center to teach my yoga class (I’m on the Saturday rotating schedule, and this was one of my “on” weeks).  I assessed a few more essays while I waited around for the class to start, and was a teeny tiny bit upset when only one person showed.  I was hoping to have either a crowd or a complete bust – it’s weird to teach a class of one and I could have used the time to finish up the essays I’d brought home with me.  Nothing doing, though; she’d come, and she wanted to yoga, so I spent a somewhat awkward hour leading her through a practice.

I was pleased by how easily I got out of town – its being homecoming weekend and all – and arrived home to find my family all worked up about going apple picking.  The problem with that plan, though, was twofold; first, there’d been a hail storm in early summer – at what was reported by the local papers to be the perfect worst time for apple trees to be beaten upon by flying balls of ice – and the result was a rotten crop.  Second, it’s pretty darned late in the season and I didn’t think that any place nearby was still doing pick-your-own.  We did a quick check online to see that both of those things were true, but we went to a local place anyway for some farmstand shopping and a hayride.  We had a pretty darned good time (even if the hayride was geared for the toddler set.  Whatever; there was candy involved, and I got some pretty good foliage pictures).

Once that was done, we piled in the car and headed for a quick fast-food lunch and then bought tickets to see City of Ember.  Mr. Chili had read the story to the girls and they were pretty excited to see it.  I went into the film with no preconceived notions and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  The rest of my family seemed to like it pretty well, too; there was no vicious post-film critique going on in the car on the way home.

We did a run through the market before arriving home and the rest of the evening is unplanned.  I have some more essays to evaluate and I might try to get over to see Xena as she recovers from knee surgery last week, but it’s just as likely that I’ll call her tonight and try to see her tomorrow.  I kind of feel done right now.

How was YOUR day?

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