Christmas came early (twice) and the not-so-great long run.

Friday evening, my little town held its Christmas Parade.  A wee bit early?  Probably, but waiting means that people start leaving town to Christmas shop.  And, believe it or not, the smaller (yes, there are smaller towns) towns in our county hold their parades in the weeks after Thanksgiving, so we wouldn’t want to schedule our parade to compete with theirs.  Apparently there are a lot of people who hit the parade circuit in Fannin County.  Who knew?  A little side note: my town’s population is around 10,000 (which includes 2,000 who are housed in the prison here) and is the county seat.  Last I heard, the county pop was around 30,000.  Small town Texas, America.  Right here.

I must confess I haven’t been to our Christmas parade in years.  Alli had a friend over to spend the night who suggested that we go.  We went into town early to get a parking spot, ate at THE Los Amigos, then headed across the street to secure a viewing spot.  Before the parade started, there was a little band and a choir singing Christmas carols and we even sang along by candlelight.

Alli and her friend, Roxy, protecting their flames from the breeze.
Alli and her friend, Roxy, protecting their flames from the breeze.

Finally the parade began! We were standing near a corner where the parade route made its final turn around the square.  Since I’m new to this blogging thing, I haven’t yet gotten into the mindset that I must have my camera at the ready at all times.  Sadly, I missed a good photo to go with this story.  As the floats crept by one by one, I noticed a person covered in white out of the corner of my eye.  My first thought was (and, I’m NOT making this up), “Why the hell did they let the KKK in this parade??”  This must have been on my mind because recently the KKK held a public rally in an East Texas town.  Seriously, SO sick of people who spread hate, but that is for another post.  As the man in the white robe came closer, I realized it was Jesus – although I’m assuming resurrected Jesus (he was even wearing Reef flip-flops).  Generally speaking, you would expect baby Jesus in the Christmas parade, but hey, this IS Bonham and we do live in the Bible Belt, after all.

Those of you who live in suburbia are really missing out.  In Tiny Town, Texas, you get to see some of the strangest parade entries: GIANT wreckers (WHY??), wooden electric cars named “MaryLou”, miniature horse-drawn carriages and more!  It was a fun evening out, though, and we were so glad that we went!

These miniature horses were sooooo cute!
These miniature horses were sooooo cute!
No Texas parade is complete without a cowboy on a horse.
No Texas parade is complete without a cowboy on a horse. (This one is for Paula, Marci and Jane!)

My church had the most original entry, in my opinion.  Of course, the fact that my sister and cousin were part of it had NOTHING to do with that!  Our church was to hold a “Spirit of Giving” this weekend and our entry was advertising this event.  It was staged like a marching band, except instead of instruments, the members were wheeling shopping carts!  Each shopping cart was decked out with lights.  Our “Drum Major” would whistle and shout instructions and they would wheel around in like they were marching on a field.  It was hilarious and very clever!

My sister and her parade shopping cart.
My sister and her parade shopping cart.

Alli and I volunteered at the Spirit of Giving event that our church held on Saturday.  Anyone was welcome to come and shop and there were no income requirements to be met.  Each man, woman and child who came were given tickets with which they could “purchase” items of their choosing.  All items were one ticket, and some smaller items were combined so that patrons didn’t have to use all their tickets on something small.  We had a “free” clothing room that was shopped first before they moved to the other areas.  There were bikes, coats, household items, food baskets and more.  I worked with my good friend, Andrea, in the picture section.  My reply when she commented about the fact that no one was shopping our booth was, “It’s hard to worry about decorating your walls when you need a coat.” So we made the executive decision to make our section a clearance section, and we started giving away all our items without requiring a ticket. 🙂

Working the event was such a blessing.  I had tears in my eyes more than once.  There were so many walking around with smiles on their faces.  I saw SO many kids from school.  It was great fun to see their reactions because I was obviously out-of-place! In the two hours that I worked, we were able to serve over 300 people.  They were all so appreciative.

Alli with her best friend, Sarah at the check-in point.
Alli with her best friend, Sarah at the check-in point.
Some people waited almost 2 hours to get to come in and shop.
Some people waited almost 2 hours to get to come in and shop.

On Sunday, our church elected our slate of elders for the upcoming term.  (I’m Presbyterian, by the way.)  My son, Logan was elected to serve as youth elder.  The funny thing is, I had NO idea until they called his name in the meeting!  Before names are brought before the congregation, the nominating committee talks to those who have been chosen, to see if they are willing to serve.  This means Logan was asked and said nothing to me about it!.  Typical.

Today, I had scheduled my last long run before taper.  I tried to send out good vibes to the running gods so that this would be the best long run ever, but apparently I failed.  Maybe I should have tried an offering of Clif’s Double Espresso gel? The good news is that there was no calf pain during the run, so fingers crossed in hopes that is healed.  Now for the bad news: my ITB was a little cranky.  And by “little”, I mean it wasn’t as painful as last time, but bothered me enough that Smart Jen overruled Queen of Stupid Sh*t Jen and cut the run short.  (Or maybe it was the promise I made to a friend to cut short if I experienced any problems….who knows?)  The run wasn’t a total loss, however.  I tried some tricks, like stopping and stretching my ITB as well as short walk breaks.  This seemed to keep it manageable during the 5 miles that I was running back to my car.  This gives me hope that I can finish on race day, if it decides to act up.  I may not meet my time goal, but I will just have to deal with that!

And, instead of “Suck It Up, Buttercup”, my new mantra (until the race) is “No Stress”.  I can’t worry about it.  It is what it is and will be what it will be.  I’m just going to try hard not to get in my own way between now and December 14.  And for that, I may need an intervention.


Happy Monday!!

9 thoughts on “Christmas came early (twice) and the not-so-great long run.

  1. runninrocker

    The Spirit of Giving event sounds so nice. Glad it was a success. What a great way for you guys to kick off your holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

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