Thanksgiving 2017. In the states. So much has changed in so little time, wow. SO MUCH. It is surreal as I look back and see a year ago I was on a beach, thinking, “This isn’t your typical Thanksgiving…” and yet – let’s jump right in…
I have realized while there are a TON – TON of things to be angsty about, in fact, that is okay. It is, because for how many things are to be angsty about, there are that many individuals who can counter those angsty events by ACTION. True that, even if you do not believe, that fact is there. How do I know? YEARS of being angst-prone and finding ways through the messes.
From years of conquering community problem through community projects, to figuring out methods of making corners meet that simply do not seem to have any corners, to how does something stand out to affect the public good and involve others, to turning someone’s head to get their attention to simply making a difference, every single angsty-like issue, problem, and dilemma has a way out. Even if it is not apparent.
Wednesday, you might have heard of the Cannon Ball run – amazing film, and an amazing idea, I might have t take up that idea something, LOL. Well, for the 2017 HEROn 5k Run/walk, it was Cannonball Run Day. First, we needed to grab unique trophies to keep up our record of providing unusual and unique commemoration of our event. Since this IS the HEROn Run/Walk, well you have it, we need a few HERONs. The try and grab the live ones seemed slightly out our our ability. (We considered it.) However, over 7 years ago, there was and IS a birding festival held in Kiptopeke State Park and I had obtained a sculpture of a heron somewhere around there, and it was an unique find.
Amazingly still, I unpacked this 6 years later when I returned to the states, and thought, we need to find it. Thanks to colleagues and others, after a few days of trekking through the internet and realizing we still had the name of the inventor on the bottom, we found it at R & T Nautical in Cape Charles, VA. Heck yes, we arranged the creation and reunited with the owner, and in a leave at 8:30 AM, grab the trophies, and return for the second leg of the 5k scavenger hunt, we did it! Back by 1:30 – the 2 hour and 45 minute run for trophies, well it was a hair on the edge of your skin run down and back, but DONE and allowed us to proceed onto the second leg of our 5k preparations. (I think there is something 1000% more rewarding bu going to local artists, and finding items for gifting, utilizing for events and purposes to avoid the consumerism of MORE MORE MORE. I was amazing that in 2 hours and 45 minutes, I had gone out of Delaware, through Maryland, and into Virginia, and back again, all under 6 hours, and heck, we had something from over 7 years ago brought back – heck YES!
Second leg, I had been out of the country long enough to not be familiar with where to best get running bibs, so I had relied on Falls Road Running Store countless times to save us out of a jam. Years later, they still remained for us a constant supporter when we needed them. Baltimore. I had not been there for several years but, it being 3:00 PM, I knew I had to get there soon before the end closing for numbers. I cruised to Baltimore 2 hours after the Virginia trek, and clocking in just under 5:30 PM, with it being dark, made it! I found that the numbers I needed would be able to me picked up at the MAC, but panicked, where is the MAC? (I would find out it was the Maryland Athletic Club) It was only about 25 minutes, so graciously taking some information on Falls Road Running Store, I headed to my next destination. Seeing Baltimore and Baltimore Harbor again was amazing, it is an amazing place. Though unplanned, I found myself there, found a parking garage, sprinted to the MAC, asked about numbers, but since they were doing the Gobble Wobble, I think I might have confused them at the Falls Road location asking for numbers for THAT event versus just picking up extra numbers they would have from previous events. YET, they came through amazingly and provided me with running numbers AMID the huge event they were putting on, and did so in amazingly style. I was thinking for the 5 minutes while getting ready to accept the donations, how exceptionally unusual it was that earlier this AM I found myself in Cape Charles, VA, then Delaware, and now in Baltimore Harbor, all places I had not found myself in for YEARS.
Yet, there is the backdrop story, This is the kicker. When I came to Mexico this year, a friend from Mexico City, who thrived in reading and studying poetry, was going to Ohio University to study. We posed hey, it would be cool if we could get you to my place in Delaware to spend Thanksgiving – well it happened. Not think on this. They arrived by Greyhound (Violeta and two friends) from Athens, Ohio, to Union Station, in D.C., somewhere like 4:50 AM – and had been in D.C. all the day during my Cannonball Run tasks, and I was now heading from Baltimore Harbor to grab them in D.C the night before Thanksgiving, so they could experience a Thanksgiving and not of course by themselves (which sucks). THEY would have travelled from Athens, Ohio, to Pittsburgh, to Washington D.C., to Maryland, to Delaware as well. And did. All I have to say, when grabbing them on the corner of Macy’s in D.C. after a crazy tripping day of my own, and finally getting them into Royal Farms to grab anything we could find (chicken, potatoes, Mac & Cheese, milkshakes, EVERYTHING, ANYTHING) after not eating really all day, and finding ourselves all together in Delaware, we all looked back and thought, WHAT just happened? Really? What JUST happened in 24 hours? It seemed kind of well, CRAZY? IMPOSSIBLE?
Yet, this is the takeaway, there are amazing things that occur, you can never feel, obtain, and experience i the rush of trying to do the impossible, and sometimes, not all the time, sometimes, it is just worth it. I have seen that in my students take on ideas, then become projects that no one even imagined, and seeing them run through to success! YES! By the way, oddly enough, on Wednesday, November 22nd, we also found out from
Columbia University, that the 2016-2017 Repentino. – GOLD RECIPIENT AGAIN! The staff in Mexico, and from all over the world making up last year’s staff DID IT AGAIN – so again, pockets of amazingness between the pockets of angst, impossible verdicts, and openings for opportunity that are everywhere.
Yes I struggle with adapting back to the United States after learning so much about myself and another country by being in a another country, that in itself is worth VOLUMES before you retire, because you learn SO MUCH about yourself and others you simply DID NOT REALIZE. It goes on to affect alot of things thereafter as well.
As we settle down to bring back a GREAT tradition of the 5k Series runs in Seaford DE, we all get a chance to see glimmers of hope, making the impossible news in the news reports we get seems a little brighter, and ultimately, it rests with each of us and what we each are willing to do, WE, not them, not anyone else, but US, and WHAT WE are willing to do to make a difference and change the status of things that are just not right.
I am thankful for my family who has continued to support me abroad and locally, and I do not need to go outside that term family, as my students, my immediate family, and newly-made friends slowly slip into one category, making the expectation of that turkey to come even better.
I loved the opportunity to share how this day can be something that normally was never vocalized, but could be, and shared around the world when we most need it – Hope you get involved in this and send yours in – and most of all, HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING!