The holiday season has begun. I hope the season brings you great joy and a sense of togetherness.
My holiday season has started out with a case of the bitter/sweets. If you remember last year, Ivy talked the family into running/walking in the Turkey Trot 4 mile "race". No one in our family had ever done such a thing, so Ivy being able to talk two teenagers and two seniors into getting up before the sun, on Thanksgiving day was no easy feat. That said we had a good time and have decided to make it a holiday tradition.
This year's race was a little different from last years race. OK, it was big-time different, as I will try to explain.
As I mentioned, last year was the first year any of our family had done anything like run in the Turkey Trot. We felt a little left out because a disproportionate number of last years' racers had "cool" turkey hats. We came prepared to "race", we didn't know we could wear a "cool" hat.
This year we were prepared. Previous to the race, Ivy checked out The Nile on the internet for cute hats. Ivy bought two turkey drumstick headbands for herself and Girl Twin. She also purchased a pumpkin pie hat for me and an apple pie hat for Elaine. Boy Twin was too cool for a cool hat.
Now, I don't know about you. but I am not running four miles in a pumpkin pie hat. I planned on running hat-less again.
As it turned out, Elaine was recovering from her ear infection and chose not to run at all. Elaine planned on just watching the race. We asked her to wear her apple pie hat. She said, "I'm not standing around here with a piece of (construction language} apple pie on my head".) Maybe not her actual words, but I'm writing this story.
This years race was the twenty-fifth time the race has been run. Last years' (The 24th) commemorative shirt seemed nicer than this years shirt. Should I notice and care about things like that?
As we do with anything we attend in town, we left with plenty of time. We arrived at the race site and parked the car. There didn't seem to be many "racers" and I wondered if people decided to stay home. After all, it was early Thanksgiving morning and there was a cold nip in the air. It turned out that we were at the race forty-five minutes early. The other "racers" simply weren't there, yet.
The fact that I parked the car will become extremely important to the story in a few minutes.
As more racers arrived, I heard the guy on the public address system announce they expected more racers than the year before. Maybe even more than had run in several years. I can verify, there was a bunch of runners. About a third of them had "cool" turkey hats. One guy had the same pumpkin pie hat that I had left on the dining room table.
After a beautiful. emotionally charged national anthem sung by a woman who did an incredible job; the announcer said GO! THOUSANDS of runners/walkers started down the street. Some wearing hats. Some pushing strollers. Some leading dogs.
Ivy, Girl Twin and I started down the street. A Hat-less Elaine and a too cool Boy Twin stood on the sidewalk to watch the action.
Ivy, Girl Twin, and I picked our path through the crowd. We serpentined left, then right and left again. (The computer does not think serpentined is a word. That's OK, most people think I have no idea I know what I'm trying to say, anyway.) Someone in the crowd was yelling, "On your left, on your left!"
The first one hundred yards was like being the ball inside a pinball machine. I was humming Pinball Wizard as I ran. OK, I wasn't humming Pinball Wizard, but I am now. Two hundred yards into the race I heard Ivy say, "Hey Monner, look at that cute Mastiff" Looking to the right I saw a man struggling to get his Mastiff to the sidewalk. The Mastiff was looking for a Port-a-Potty.
Three hundred yards, I yelled at Girl Twin, "Look out! Dog (construction language)! Too late!" Ivy, Girl Twin and I were almost to the first corner of the race.
Somewhere in the crowd, a young woman was running with one of those jogging strollers with three wheels. You know, the strollers with the big wheel in the front. This woman lifted the front wheel off the pavement and was using the stroller wheel to ram the runners ahead of her. It might sound bad, but it was a pretty sound strategy for those of us that want to run next year.
Ivy, Girl Twin and I rounded the first corner. Girl Twin smelled a little like a dog Porta-a-Potty. I think it was me that first said, "I'm done." Girl Twin ran to the side of the road to scrape her shoe in some grass. Girl Twin and Ivy agreed. "We're done."
The three of us turned around, left the course and started walking back to the start line. On the way back, some other runners asked us if we were already done. Ivy said, "We quit." The other runners chuckled and gave us that"quitters" look. I debated having a discussion with them, but thought the better of it. Sheez, one of those ladies was armed with a cane.
Ivy, Girl Twin and I walked back to find Elaine and Boy Twin. All together we walked to the car. Remember I said I parked the car. Would you like to guess where I parked the car? Yep, on the RACE COURSE! We couldn't move the car until the race was over. I said, "Had I known that I would have finished the race."
It worked out OK. We decided to get warm drinks at the locally owned coffee shop. (Yes, I buy from the small local guys, even when the big guys are across the street.) Eventually, I was able to sneak the car out between runners.
I'm hoping for a better shirt and less dog (construction language) next year. Maybe Elaine will be over the ear thing.
It is Small Business Saturday. I have been awake since 4:25 AM. No, I am not going shopping. I awoke at that time to take Boy Twin to catch a bus to a wrestling meet 150 miles from our home. I can only guess how many wrestlers Boy Twin's bus drove by to get to the wrestling match.
It was nice to get up before the dogs. "Hey Maggie, Lizzie, Walter, get up! You guys are going outside! Don't look at me like that! Get outside! Yes, I am that bitter.
Truthfully, I hope you got out today to support some of the small businesses in your town. Walk the walk and talk the talk. Those businesses need your help and support. Or you can buy everything from that (construction language) River.
Bitter=Turkey Trot and Wrestling
Sweet=waking the dogs
I am writing a day early. Tomorrow we will get up and decorate the property and go into the woods to cut our Christmas tree. Tell your friends I didn't forget, I'm just early.
Our crazy lives!