I am now home after one of those packed-to-the-brim days. I am almost embarrassed to admit how full this day was since it so accurately depicts my inability to say no, as well as my tendency towards seat-of-my-pants preparation. But in the spirit of candor, here goes:
5:30 am – My alarm goes off
5:45 am – I finally drag myself out of bed
6:00 am – I say good-bye to daughter Liz and boyfriend Ron, who are also up since my husband Ray is driving them to the airport.
6:10 am – I head off to the Homeless Breakfast at my church, where we feed 250 people every two weeks.
6:30 am – I am busy making 4 big batches of banana bread pudding for our "guests," with help from several new volunteers (yea!).
8:00 am – The breakfast begins and I begin washing dishes.
10:00 am – All the other volunteers, my husband Ray (the coordinator of the breakfast), and I finish feeding 250 people, cleaning the kitchen and the two halls, taking out all the trash and making everything look as if we've never been there.
10:05 am – My husband and I search all over the parish hall for the speaker and microphone I am supposed to borrow from the church for my Writing Celebration (and which Ray was supposed to have picked up yesterday…)
10:20 – We admit defeat and head home
10:30 – I begin hauling everything to the front door that I've packed up for the Writing Celebration: food, favors, drinks, bowls, platters, etc. and Ray starts loading it all in the car.
10:45 – I print up the story I had forgotten to print (yikes, that would have been embarrassing for one of my students and me), plus I start editing one more story of a student who had lots of tests this week and couldn't work with me.
11:15 – I go over all the names of the kids and make sure I haven't forgotten anybody else's work.
11:30 – I go upstairs, take a shower, and get dressed.
11:50 – Ray and I hop in two cars and head off across town to Roxbury Park and the room reserved there in the community center.
12:15 – After hitting traffic, we finally arrive. The custodian says, "I was starting to worry about you. I say, " I was starting to worry about me, too!"
12:30 – Everything has been hauled in from the car and I start throwing tablecloths on tables while Ray and the custodian arrange the chairs.
12:40 – Ray and I fill bowls with nuts, M&Ms, gummy bears, and set out trays filled with cheese and crackers, vegetables, and fruit, which I had prepared the night before. In addition, we lay out cookies and the remainder of the chocolate cake I'd made for Liz's celebration dinner, plus pour ice in a big bowl and fill it with juice boxes and water bottles. Finally, we arrange all the favors that I'd made for the occasion: animal coffee cups (gorilla, elephant and panda) filled with candy, a little composition book, a pencil and a box of incense (for inspiration).
12:50 – As we are putting on the finishing touches (and Ray has complimented me on how organized I am!), the first families arrive.
1:00 – The Event is supposed to start, but I have now received 3 texts that people are "stuck in traffic." I make an announcement that we will be slightly delayed since we have several people on their way.
1:10 – One of the mothers remembers to tell me that another mother had called her and asked if she'd let me know that her son was sick.
1:12 – I officially begin the "Readings."
1:15 – The first of the 3 latecomers arrives, quickly followed by the other two families.
1:16 – 2:16 – My students wow their parents and friends with their short stories, personal essays, poems, and dramatic dialogues.
2:17 – Ray waves good-bye to me as he heads off to the airport for a week-long trip.
2:18 – Hugs and congratulations to all involved, including me.
2:30 – Everyone is gone except for me and a cart (courtesy of the recreational center) so that I can pack up and roll all of the remaining food, drinks, bowls, platters, etc. back to the car.
3:10 – I'm all packed up and sitting in the car. Ray lets me know he's made it to the airport safely, and Liz and Ron have made it to Mexico City.
3:00 – I head home
3:30 – At home, I carry in all the boxes from the car, put away the perishables, and leave the rest in the boxes for now.
4:10 – I change shoes and head off to church where I am supposed to serve at the 5 o'clock Vigil Mass as a thurifer (the person who swings the incense bowl).
4:30 – I arrive at church, see my fellow acolytes and priest, then get ready.
5:00 – 5:45 – Vigil Mass. I make a few little mistakes since I'm tired, but everyone is nice and helps me.
5:45 – 6:00 – We clean up and prepare for the masses tomorrow.
6:00 – I head home, happy I am done.
6:20 – At home, I change clothes and check my email.
6:40 – I decide that I should write my blog early so I can go stare at television with nothing else to do.
6:40 – 7:40 – I write part of my blog post, stop to take a picture of one of the favors for my students, and then return to finish.
7:48 – Ray calls to tell me he has arrived safely and is meeting our daughter, Sarah.
7:50 – I read over my blog and after making sure I haven't misspelled any words, I hit publish.
7:55 – I go into the den and click on the television.
8:30 – I go to bed.
I am happy and I'm also tired. So, off to television watching I go now. Until tomorrow…