Dec 29, 2011

Run to Feed the Hungry & Thanksgiving

After having just been to Disneyland, we didn’t have grand plans for Thanksgiving – that is London and I. Cameron was headed to Reno to go hunting for a buck with Dave and Jason. I’d wanted to run Sacramento’s “Run to Feed the Hungry” 10K Thanksgiving morning. Lynde agreed to watch London for me and the plan had been for me to join her, Matt and his parents for dinner.

But after talking with Emily a few weeks before, and a few texts back and forth that week, Emily talked me into coming up to Chico after the run to spend the holiday with her and her family – the Moffetts are my original second family after all.

This was the 18th year “Run to Feed the Hungry” took place and my first time participating. It was also the first time it rained for this event! But myself and 27,000 other people braved the wet and cold to participate in the 10 or 5K events. I made sure not to leave my gloves behind this time, and even dug out my ear warmers that morning. But in getting my ear warmers and London out the door, I did forget my ipod. I started the race thinking how long the 6.2 miles were going to be without my music.

Well, the first mile I couldn’t do my run/walk intervals, there were so many people. So that went quickly. And around mile 5 or so, I was really glad not to have my headphones.

There was a homeless man standing on the sidelines cheering us on. He could have been seeking shelter somewhere warm and dry, but no, he was out there cheering us on in the rain and cold. And then I heard him say “Thank you, Thank you, you will never know how much this means to me”. Warmed my heart, (and my body, for a bit). After all, the run benefited shelters that he probably seeks out for food and warmth. This sentiment also propelled me through to the finish line. Unfortunately, the long walk back to the car cooled me down – way down. I still wasn’t warm when I picked London up or jumped into a piping hot shower.

It was a little bit of a mad dash to get ready and on the road to make it up to Chico in time for dinner. At one point while blow drying my hair, London was sitting and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I had recorded it in hopes it would keep her entertained while I got ready. I turned my head and not a minute later she was out of sight and had started to cry. I rushed over to find Jake darting across the room as her little cheek filled with blood. He’d gotten her good. Not that she probably didn’t deserve it – I’d caught her earlier that week trying to pull his ears off his head and he hadn’t scratched her then. I was also at fault, as I had the bedroom door closed, which meant his escape route was non-existent. I felt so bad and we’re still not sure if it won’t scar. Right now London has a faint pink line where the scratch once was.

We did manage to get on the road in time, and didn’t run into much traffic until Hwy 99 just north of Gridley – right when we went down to one lane. Of course that’s when I, and 20 other cars got stuck behind a big rig going not his allotted 55 MPH maximum, but 45-50 MPH. Had he been a considerate truck driver he would have pulled over at some point. Nope. Finally we got to the point where 99 and 149 merge and it becomes two lanes again.

Somehow I still made it with about 20 minutes to spare before the turkey was served. Everyone who was attending dinner was already there and almost the whole family had gathered for the holiday. Andy and Ashley were there with their 9 month old daughter, Abigail, and it was fun to watch her and London interact. Both are so used to being around other children that there were no issues. They both love Bonnie’s saltwater fish tank and London, being older child for once, enjoyed trying to show Abby. For the most part they did their own thing.

London found Gene’s childhood rocking chair that had a teddy bear resting in it. London changed it so the teddy was in her lap while she rocked. We learned that the chair had actually originally belonged to Gene’s father, who’d I’d grown up around and called Granddad.

Dinner was fantastic of course. But eventually it was time for London and I to get on the road. With Cameron out of town, I was responsible for the dogs and Tulley had been stuck in her crate most of the day. I asked Bonnie to watch London while I loaded up the car with all the yummy leftovers I was getting to take home. Bonnie took London and sat down at the piano. If this girl doesn’t follow in her grandpa’s footsteps playing piano I will be surprised. London had so much fun playing around with the keys, preferring the lower octave notes best. At one point she even reached up and tried to turn the pages of the music book, like she knew what she was doing. Emily actually got this one video, which I’ll need to snag from her one of these days. We could hardly wait to take London to Tucson so that my dad could play for her and watch her play as well.

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