I continue to be amazed at the things you can do with strings and bobby pins. Although I usually like to put them in my hair, I am glad that this combination is here to flush the toilet until we can get a more permanent fix for the problem. Apparently, Micah forgot his own strength as he was flushing the other day and broke the flusher. But he is a handy man and rigged up this sweet little system in no time so we don’t have to take off the lid every time we use the bathroom. I will admit, however, that I almost expect to hear Woody say, “There’s a snake in my boot!” when I pull the string. I feel just like a little kid again. *sigh*
We have known for some time now that the hardest part of running this marathon has nothing to do with the physical effort. Ten miles? No problem. Twenty-six and two-tenths? Bring it on. It’s the fundraising that is going to kill us. We have lots of great ideas that are taking a while to come into fruition. For a while we have been wondering if we were going to be able to continue, or if we should just forget about Team in Training, running the marathon, raising absurd amounts of money. But every once in a while, something happens to lift our spirits and let us know that things are going to be just fine.
Case in point: Micah has undertaken the planning of a fun run/dance called Laie’s Charity Move & Groove. It has major fundraising potential, and he has spent a lot of time trying to get contacts and support and any other help he can to get it going. But he ran into a wall in that he really needed the Laie Community Association’s (LCA) support. Many unanswered e-mails and phone calls later, he received word that he was on the agenda for the next board meeting. Hooray! The day of the meeting he spent a few hours putting together packets for the board members, complete with the lovely design you see on the right on the cover. We headed out in plenty of time to make our 7:15 appointment with the board, but when we got to Laie Elementary school–the LCA’s normal meeting place–there was no LCA board meeting to be found. We must have circled the premises three times before giving up and calling Ray, our source of all information about how to find anything in Hawaii. Ray’s best guess was HRI in the Laie shopping center, but we found it locked and deserted. We sat down in the parking lot to discuss our options. We weren’t sure we would be able to raise the funds we need without this event, and without the support of the LCA we knew it would be impossible to do. And we had until the next day to decide if we were going to re-commit to raise all this money or if we were going to forget about it. Sounds like a good time to say your prayers, rigth? So that’s what we did.
Then we got in the car and started driving, even though we didn’t really have any place to go. We found ourselves circling BYU-H campus when we decided to call the son of the LCA board president, a friend of Micah’s from work and whose number he happened to have in his phone. Pane agreed to call his dad and a few minutes later called us back with our destination: the Aloha Center at BYU-H. It was almost 8:00 and we weren’t sure the LCA would still be fit us in again, or if they were even still there. But they were there, and they still had time for us. When we got in there, we faced with a tough crowd. Do people really pay money to run races? Are you sure you can get 300 people to sign up? Will there be t-shirts? (People are willing to pay just about anything for a free t-shirt, we’ve found.)
Twenty minutes later, we walked out of the room with not only the support of the LCA, but a better deal than we ever dreamed of: the fun run is going to be part of the Laie Days celebration in July (yes, that is after we run the marathon, but not after our fund-raising deadline) and it is an event they do every year (albeit without a registration fee), so many of the hurdles we were facing just got lowered. Plus, we have new inside contacts to those who normally plan the event. Our plan for the dance was not approved, but it is a small price to pay for such a blessing. And the moral of this story is that the church is true.
We weren’t fortunate enough to have guests for dinner on Easter. Nobody likes us. But we did manage to put together a little Easter Feast. It was so large that we had to eat it in courses. We began at approximately 2:00 with the bag of strawberry milkshake flavored Robin Eggs we couldn’t pass up when we were at the store on Saturday. We actually opened them Saturday night, but there were still plenty for Sunday. Too many, in fact. By the time we got down to the last three, we were practically hitting the ceiling, our sugar levels were so high. It was all I could do to choke down the last one so there would not be any more to dispose of. I practically died doing it, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
By 6:00 we decided it was time to get something more substantial in our systems. We didn’t dye eggs this year (or last year either) but we did hard boil some, and of course the best thing to do with hard-boiled eggs is to devil them. We did a little something different from what we are used to–they have spinach in them. The spinach did wonders to counteract the sugar that was coursing through our veins. However, they weren’t as filling as we would have liked. We wanted to have something festive, but we didn’t realize when we were at the store that ham is the way to go on Easter. And all we had in our fridge was the deli-sliced variety. So we did the best we could and put together some chicken cordon bleu–with mozzarella instead of swiss cheese. Our final course was ready at 9:00 and was well worth the wait.
The lateness of the hour kept us from sampling our delicious dessert, however. The poor little purple peeps were left out in the cold for this Easter Feast. We’ll probably have to warm them up in the microwave a little bit. I hear that does wonders for the squishy little critters.
Don’t ask me if we sat mesmerized through all thirteen minutes of this (twice) because I’m not going to tell you. Let’s just say we know how we’ll be spending our retirement years.
The alarm went off at 5am on Saturday and after a few moments of disbelief and confusion we rolled out of bed, packed up our running shoes, grabbed a bowl of raisin bran and headed out the door for the hour long drive to Honolulu. We got there right at 6:30, stretched out, and hit the road for our 2 hour run. Like us, everyone in the team is training for a full (26.2 mile) or half (13.1–for those of you who are math-challenged) marathon and are doing a lot of fund raising to benifit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We really love our group and enjoy getting together with them on a weekly basis. It boosts our morale. During our 2 hour run we covered about 12 miles–the farthest we have run so far, but not quite as far as a half marathon. So sad. However, after running 20-25 miles during the week, it is no easy task. As we were hobbling into a store after our run we realized that it is a good thing that we still have about 2 months to train.
So, one would think that putting in 12 miles before 9:00 would be enough punishment for one day, but as it turned out yesterday was also our appointment at the dentist. Yippee! We had our checkup a couple of months ago and we had to go back for some fillings. I had two cavities (one of which was due to a filling that had fallen out 2-3 years ago) and Elizabeth had three. Because my cavity had not been refilled for so long it got much bigger and it took forever for them to fill it. I had to open wide for longer than I would like to think about and I could not take a rest. My mouth was so sore just from being open. Then my lovely wife hit the chair and they filled her three (more than two) cavities in about 10 minutes. Such is my luck. I did, however, get a few laughs out of the fact that both of us had numb faces for the next several hours. We were a sorry sight. It was a while before we could take a drink without leaking and smile without looking like we were grimacing in pain.
So, having fulfilled her physical and oral pain quota for the day, Elizabeth set to work paining her brain by taking a GRE practice test in preparation for the real thing this Friday. She gives me a mean look everytime I brag about how smart and wonderful she is, so I won’t tell you how the test went, but I think it is safe to say that I have married a genius. The smile on her face and the cheerful tone with which she told me to be quiet and leave her alone was evidence that she actually enjoyed the experience. I was trying really hard to be quiet and stay out of her hair–I kept myself busy by reading a bit and other exciting, noiseless activities–but it was clear that I was the cause of any pain (mostly in her neck) she suffered during the ordeal.
By the end of her test we both decided that we had had enough for one day and agreed that no more blog worthy events should take place that day. Unfortunately, we broke this goal during our dinner preparations. It was time, we decided, to begin tearing our garden to pieces. It was with heavy hearts that we took the scissors and decapitated a few cilantros and plucked some leaves off of Cindy Basil. But after we chopped up our little ones in the food processor and stirred them into a steaming pot of spaghetti, we decided the pain was worth it. Nothing like cilantro/basil pesto sauce over pasta washed down with bittersweet chocolate ice cream to make you forget your pains . . . .
For Christmas Mom Heiselt gave us some family history documents. One was a history of her father’s life written by her mother, the other a letter from Micah’s great-great grandparents Hyrum and Magdelena Heiselt, written to their posterity in the early 1900s. In the letter they wrote that they had been married by my great-great-great grandfather, Archibald Gardner (which was very exciting for me to find out), but more importantly to this blog, they wrote about how grateful they were to live in a time of such great technological advancements. I’ve been thinking about all the things that have changed since they were here and wondering what they would think of their “great technological advancements” today. Of course, they witnessed things like the railroads, electricity, indoor plumbing, automobiles and probably many other things that are so commonplace today that we hardly think about them. But what would they think if they could look over my shoulder while I’m at work and see me talking to Micah, who’s sitting at his desk on the other side of the island, chatting with each other (intermittently, of course; we wouldn’t want to slack off on the job) almost as if we were merely in different rooms? Or if they could see how we hand each other documents through e-mail almost as quickly as if we were just handing it to each other? Or if they could see us talking on our cell phones on our lunch break, almost as if we were walking side by side, rather than 30 miles apart? I sure do feel blessed to live in an age of such technological advancements that allow me to be with my husband all day even though we can’t see each other.
After more than 40 days of rain . . .
. . . our friend has returned!
I have had the opportunity over the past three months of taking advantage of the City and County of Honolulu’s bus system. I was hesitant to to ride the bus after our first experience with it on the island (in which we were left at a strange gas station in a strange town in the middle of the night our first week here–with no one to call and no way to get home until 6:00 the next morning). Although it has been almost three months since I have become a regular on the 55 Circle Island route, I cannot say that I have any desire to continue the practice after I stop working in Honolulu. It took a few weeks for me to get past the point of feeling queasy and wanting to throw up after sitting through an hour and a half of sudden starts and stops, swaying turns and rough roads, but I am accustomed to it now and it doesn’t bother me so much. I have the same bus drivers in the morning and evening (unless I miss the bus). The morning driver has taken a liking to me, I believe, because he sees Micah waiting for the bus with me–still dressed in his pajamas–and the quick peck Micah gives me before running back up the street when we see the bus coming. He has made it a habit of stopping so the door opens right in front of me, no matter how many other people are at the stop or where they are standing. The afternoon driver has also come to expect Micah to be there waiting, although sometimes circumstances prevent him from being there. After one especially rainy day last month the driver asked where he was when I needed an umbrella–he was waiting to turn onto the highway behind the bus so he could drive me home.
Of course there are a lot of other people on the bus as well. Some of them a little bit more “interesting” than others. I was a little nervous when I got on the bus a few weeks ago and a thin, scruffy young man came and sat next to me. I was pretty sure he was on some sort of drugs the way he was flailing around. His attention span was extremely limited, and he couldn’t seem to figure out what to do with his arms. Either that or he was dancing to the unusually loud music coming from his headphones. I tried to ignore him and read my book despite the fact that he almost hit me more than a few times. I was very grateful when he joined some friends at the back of the bus. Most of the time I just watch–or try not to watch–the crazy people that share my ride. There was a guy one time who seemed to be practicing a mime routine across the aisle from me. The girl I was sitting next to and I were both trying to figure out what in the world he was doing without him noticing–although for all he seemed to be aware of, I doubt that he would have cared. One time a lady came on the bus with a cup of soda from Subway. Needless to say it didn’t stay upright for too long. Unfortunately she sat back and moaned about what a horrible day she was having while some of the other passengers cleaned it up, mostly because it was getting on their shoes and bags. Just after it was as taken care of as it was going to be, the cup spilled the rest of its contents into the aisle. The bus driver was not a happy man. Of course children always provide a welcome distraction. One girl has her grandmother in Kaneohe take care of her baby while she goes to work or school in Honolulu. She picks up the baby at one of the stops on the way home and some of the ladies nearby spend the rest of their drive making faces at the little boy. Another grandmother was taking her three grandchildren somewhere. One was an infant, but the other two were school aged kids who must have had a hard day. After twisting around the poles for a few minutes they both fell into deep sleeps–even though they couldn’t have been on the bus for more than 15 minutes. Ah, kids. They can sleep anywhere. Last week I sat next to a visually impaired man–Andy, the Hawaiian cowboy from Molokai. I’m pretty sure he could see a little bit, but I don’t know how much. He was rather chatty and I talked to him for a while before he took to calling out the bus stops, which the bus’s PA system usually does. He seemed to have it memorized, though. “Kamehameha and Kaneohe Fire Station, Kaneohe Police Station, Benjamin Parker Elementary,” he would say, right on cue. Either he could see fairly well, or he had an amazing sense of place.
Even with all the adventures and excitement that comes from riding the bus–the amazing view from Pali Highway, the guessing game of whose cell phone is ringing and how long will it take before the person realizes it, the suspense of if the driver will be able to get us home through the driving rain (we’re going on 41 days of it now)–I was pretty happy when I purchased April’s bus pass and realized it will be my last. No sentimental journeys for me. I just like to be home.