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Turkey Trotting as a Family

The twins are getting to the age where being with their parents is becoming less and less important. So, when the twins and Ivy have something to do as a family, I listen to their idea. This time I didn’t listen. When you have a set of boy/girl twins that are as different as night and day, you are constantly mediating and “fixing” problems. It is a better plan to pretend you can’t hear or simply not listen to anything.

Recently Ivy said to me, “The twins and I are going to run in the “Turkey Trot” on Thanksgiving morning. Grandma said she will come; do you want to do it with us?” I was doing that “I can’t really hear you” thing. I said, “I guess I can come, if Grandma is”.

Ivy turned around and left and I started to process what I had agreed to. I thought I was completely safe. This idea meant twins were going to do something together, both of them. I didn’t believe that could happen. The idea meant Ivy was going to do something with both twins. Yeah, right!

I knew Elaine had agreed to the idea; she likes to watch her kids do stuff. Realizing Thanksgiving was still days away, I thought this idea would fizzle long before it became a reality. Even if it didn’t fizzle, I thought how bad can it be? Elaine and I would drop off the youngsters, get a cup of coffee wait for them to finish the race and take them home. What’s the big deal?

I found myself being slapped into reality when Elaine told me, “You should buy some new shoes for the Turkey Trot.” Immediately I realized I was going to need to trot the “Turkey Trot”!

I thought if I didn’t ask any questions it would just go away. Imagine the horror when Ivy announced, ”I registered ALL of us for the Turkey Trot today.” I’m not only going to trot, I’m going to pay to do it! There was going to be no turning back.

I bought new shoes.

Thanksgiving morning every member of the Sipes family woke up early. Most of them were smiling. Girl Twin was starting to realize what she had agreed to. Having competed a couple years ago on the cross-country team, Girl Twin has experience in pointless trotting.

Truthfully, I have experience in the “Turkey Trot” myself. I have been to several races. I was the guy sitting in my car using construction language waiting for all the runners to cross the street before the police would let me drive again. Come to think of it, that might have been the “Firecracker 5K".

We arrived at the starting line about a half an hour before the race time. I looked around. At the starting line there was an area roped off for elite runners. The race organizers did not let me in that area. I could quite understand that. There was plenty of room. How did they know I wasn’t an elite runner, I had never Turkey Trotted before.

Looking around I noticed more and more people showing up. I was not the only one with new shoes. Some people had new compression sleeves, new leggings, and the really cool people had turkey hats.

Yes, quite a few people had turkey hats. One guy had a pumpkin pie hat and one guy had a complete turkey uniform. Personally, I think the complete uniform was a little much. Show off!

An announcer asked the crowd to start lining up. The elite area filled up with people in running clothes. I didn’t see any turkey hats in that area. Behind the elite runners the other three thousand “runners” lined up.

Our family found itself in the back with the runners that brought dogs, strollers, turkey hats and one pumpkin pie hat. Elaine didn’t want to be outdone, so she brought knitting. Yes, Elaine knitted while trotting. I think she won that division. She didn’t get a prize. The organizers said there wasn’t a division for that. Elaine asked me not to make a scene. She deserved a prize and won fair and square.

While I’m talking about things that aren’t fair, let’s talk about elite runners. If those guys (and gals) are so fast, why not start them at the back of the pack where they need to run around the dogs and strollers. That would make the race truly fair.

Our family stayed together for the first 50-75 yards. Elaine was knitting, Girl Twin was complaining, Boy Twin, Ivy and I were walking and looking at turkey hats. The crowd was too thick with people to actually trot.

After a few minutes, Boy Twin announced, “I’m bored”! He worked himself to the sidewalk and took off.

Girl Twin announced, “My feet itch.” Elaine continued knitting. I was trying to keep people from stepping on my new shoes. Ivy looked like she was having fun.

As the crowd dispersed, I noticed people and their conversations. I noticed a woman (thirtyish) pushing a stroller. This woman would turn around and say, “Grandpa, Grandma! You need to get up here!” She wasn't talking to Elaine and I. She was talking to another Grandpa and Grandma and not being very nice about it.

Mentally, I decided I needed to beat this woman to the finish line. I found out later, Ivy was thinking the same thoughts. As we picked up our pace, I found plenty of people I wanted to beat to the finish line. Ivy was doing the same.

Elaine was trying to beat all the other knitters. Girl Twin was looking for shortcuts and complaining. “I’m hot! My legs are sweating. Let’s turn here, its shorter.” I didn’t know what Boy Twin was doing. Most likely he had finished the race and was waiting for the rest of us.

Ivy finished the race running before me. I beat the woman pushing the stroller. Boy was eating an orange when I crossed the finish line. Girl Twin stayed with Elaine, although Girl Twin was not knitting.

When all was said and done, Elaine received her prize. Elaine had a blister. Not from her knitting needles. She got a blister from her NOT NEW shoes.

I can’t wait for next Thanksgiving!

Our crazy lives!


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