Our social justice tour

I wanted to come to Washington, D.C., to visit my friend, M. I intended to come last weekend but didn’t because of the forecasted snow storm.

My teen wanted to come, but I rescheduled the trip for this weekend and she had school… so I thought… what if we made it a social justice tour in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

So, I signed her out of school to “explore social justice in our nation’s capital.”

We ended up on the campus of Georgetown University’s Law Center. And had a sandwich nearby where I tried my first pastrami.

I don’t know why I never had pastrami before.

We then attended a rally for Marzieh Hashemi, the African-American journalist and American citizen who lives in Iran and works for the English language Iranian Press. She is also a Muslim convert.

Marzieh recently came home to the United States to visit family when she found herself “kidnapped” by the FBI and transferred to two different detention facilities, where she was not offered halal food nor allowed to wear her hijab.

I had heard Marzieh’s story on NPR’s Morning Edition and saw M posting some updates on her situation on Facebook. When he mentioned a rally and protest today, I wanted to go.

She called her 11-day imprisonment an act of “intimidation” and encouraged all of us to make sure we make a difference with our lives because we will all eventually die.

Meanwhile, my daughter ended up on Iranian TV. See the little blue globe in the photo and the brown haired girl in the jean jacket? That’s my baby.

Check out my YouTube videos of this event:

The beginning of the event:

https://youtu.be/1Bl4A5NoE7g

Marzieh’s son talks about growing up in a home that the FBI raided without reason:

https://youtu.be/BAOPut6jVH4

Marzieh arrives:

Marzieh speaks:

https://youtu.be/ZcgL2Iog0s8

I love you so much I went to WalMart

This is my daughter’s ninth summer attending resident Girl Scout camp. She’s been handling preparing and packing for the last few years.

But this year, her drama almost made me lose my mind.

Because that’s what teen girls do, right?

Our recent road trip should have made this simple. She needed to take clothes out of one suitcase, launder them and repack in a bigger suitcase.

Except she just didn’t do it.

Until Thursday. I ordered her makeshift riding boots on Tuesday with two-day shipping, except the web site acted up and my husband had to do it over from a different computer and forgot the 2-day shipping.

Luckily, they arrived Friday evening.

Drop off at Camp Wood Haven is Sunday, 1-4. Saturday she makes a list of things she needs, including the shampoo she just lost after our road trip, a new water bottle despite the fact that we have a million, and a swimsuit because suddenly the two bikinis I bought her a few weeks ago aren’t good enough.

But we did it. And got her the cutest black one piece with scalloped edges.

Then this morning her shoelaces broke and while she had compiled a list of addresses to send mail, she didn’t have stamps.

So I went to Payless and got shoelaces AND spare shoes. Stopped at the grandparents because old people always have stamps.

Killing it.

And we decided to go to IHOP since it was a highlight of our road trip. The IHOP was packed so full it would have failed a fire inspection.

So we ended up at Arby’s. My sandwich didn’t agree with me but darn do I love their cookies.

We arrive at camp. It’s 100 degrees. Really, it is. They ask her to grab her swimsuit for her swim test. She forgot it.

“How?” I ask. “We bought it yesterday?!?!”

They ask her if she has a sports bra and gym shorts. Nope. She only wears jean shorts.

Now I should have made her wear left behind lost and found clothes. But she is my baby and she looked so sad.

So instead of accompanying her to her unit, I went to WalMart 30 minutes away.

I hate WalMart. But through the farms and Mennonite country, my husband and I went to WalMart.

I found this cute blue suit. Blue is her favorite color.

I was going to ask someone at the customer service desk to staple a note on it so the camp can deliver it.

It was too busy.

I saw these brown paper sacks at the cafe. I can write on those. Smile.

I got to the car and realized I forgot my iPhone X. I have NEVER done that before. Luckily the cashier noticed.

Phone retrieved and swimsuit delivered.

We won’t know until Friday if the child liked it.

Left for camp: about 11:45

Arrive at IHOP after grandparents: 12:50

Arrive at camp: about 2:20

Left camp: 2:50

Returned to camp from WalMart: 4:05

One Hour Until DC

We had the kids in the car and some munchkins on hand by 7:20. My daughter has already had about a dozen munchkins and has started on candy.

We have taken I-95 through Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. We should be in Washington DC before 11.

My friend and traveling companion on my overseas journeys, M, has purchased a house in DC. We will be touring it and having lunch with him and some Indian friends. Yeah for homemade Indian food!

We have no real plans for the week. Gayle has made no reservations. Except for having to be in Savannah in Wednesday to be at Juliette Gordon Low’s house. We have reservations for that.

Road Trip Preparations

My good friend Gayle and I love to have adventures, usually day trips or hikes or going to a trampoline park on my 40th birthday.

Gayle loves a good road trip.

Gayle is a lifelong Girl Scout.

Gayle’s great-niece, Frances, and my daughter, Eva, are in the same Girl Scout troop. Both girls have a birthday next week. Frances will be 16 (ack!) and my girl will be 14 (double ack!). Their girl scouting days are coming to a close and Gayle wanted to take them to see the birthplace of Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low, in Savannah, Georgia.

We leave on Sunday.

The human experience of the Thin Mint Sprint

I have anticipated this 5K for a long time. My training started in November, paused for the Holidays, resumed in mid-January, paused in February for an illness caught from my daughter and then in March I dropped a 15-lb dumbbell on my toe, which is still a little sore and definitely swollen.

So last week, I could finally resume training, but new routines at work have made that difficult too. And my training partner and other half for this run is my almost-fourteen-year-old daughter who gave up on running weeks ago.

Three years ago, I swore I would get in shape before my fortieth birthday. And I did. At that time, I had explored some walk-run 5K events with my friend Gayle and found the Yuengling Lager Jogger. After the first year running for beer, I vowed to try and run my next one.

And two years ago (April 11) I finished the Lager Jogger is 44-minutes something.

Now, the Girl Scouts have hosted a fitness series of three events. I attended the orienteering style one at Camp Laughing Waters with Gayle and her niece and my daughter. My daughter planned to attend the second event, a walk-run through the camp, but she ended up with bronchitis and I wouldn’t let her attend the race in the race with a troublesome set of lungs.

Then Gayle registered me, the girls, and her nephew for the Thin Mint Sprint in Wissahicken/Fairmont Park outside Philadelphia. The sign “Welcome to Philadelphia” is on park grounds.

I have always wanted to run a 5K, and run it. It didn’t happen today, but I did shave two minutes off previous times for a new personal best. Well, except for the times in training that I came in at 38-39 minutes. That was when training was working.

But I want to tell some stories from the day.

And maybe start with some quick asides:

  1. The portapotties were nastier and covered with more human feces than anything I ever saw in Africa, and that includes facilities with no running water.
  2. Parking was awful but the park was so gorgeous it is quickly forgotten.
  3. There is a rustic coffee house IN the park.
  4. I’m sorry, but strollers do not belong in 5Ks.

So onto MY experience…

I love how other runners will say kind things to you.

The first half mile was physically easy but breathing was difficult. At mile marker one, I would have traded my first born for water.

I reached the road (that actually had cars on it) that the race route crossed WHILE TRAFFIC WAS STOPPED. The cars were waiting for us and backed up for what seemed like miles and I was part of that initial horde for whom officials stopped traffic. That was awesome.

I thought the first half was all downhill, so I expected, since the race was an out-and-back, the second half would be uphill. It also seemed to be downhill. How was this possible?

I had a lot of what I call “little disappointments.” I couldn’t get my new iPhone X to start MapMyFitness so I had no idea “how I was doing.” I felt most of the way, that I wasn’t performing as well as I had wanted myself to perform. I had to let go of those thoughts.

By the time I reached the finish line, pushing down that final hill, running… I saw the clock at 42-minutes something and I was overwhelmed. Not with any discernible emotion, just overwhelmed. Hot. (It was 80 degrees and I have never run in temperatures over 70). Dehydrated. (I drank 25 ounces of water before the race and the cup in the middle.) Tired. Proud. Disappointed. Happy. Crying. Smiling.