Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baked, Mashed or Fried

Scritchem, scritchem, scritchem...this is the sound my thrift store shoes made on the gravelly paved streets early Sunday morning as I went for a slow jog. It was the morning after the SpudFest and I was still sorting out all my grievances of the previous day as my tired feet pounded the blacktop. Was it a success? How can we improve? Did we accomplish our goals? These questions were tearing at me as I warmed up taking loud steps along the street.

I decided to take the mile route from yesterday's SpudFest to help me visit my thoughts instead of my normal route this morning. I started up the hill and went as far as Church street goes north and then rounded the corner thinking about how my Maleah ran half the 5k yesterday in the sweltering heat and finished strong thinking she was done.

She was thirsty and tired and I couldn't bear to tell her she only did half, so I didn't. I knew that this morning when I returned home she would no doubt say her legs are sore as she also rode her bike all afternoon and played on the inflatables.

My brain flicked to memories of my dear cancer survivor friend Denise who one year ago was recovering from a chemotherapy treatment and just yesterday completed a 5k. I hugged her at the finish line and with tears in both of our eyes felt. so. wonderfully. proud. of. her. and so thankful for this life that I have been given. Trying not to slip on the stones down the hill I remembered the 1st SpudFest. My one year anniversary from the cancer diagnosis. How far I have come now. How blessed I am and continue to be. How wonderful and amazing our Lord is.

Scritchem, scritchem, scritchem...My ipod lays forgotten and abandoned on top of the piano at home so my brain continues to wander through these still vivid short term memories. After the 5k Main Street was flooded with kids on bikes and lawnmowers for the kids poker run. The vendors, with their bright booths and attractive wares, were set up. The fragrant smell from the concessions was wafting through the air. The heat was thick and chewy and stagnant but the kids were not letting it get them down. The kiddie train with its' loud and headache creating bike horns was running at full capacity for hours. The driver had placed a plastic bag chock full of potatoes on the hood of his lawn mower engine and every time he passed me I smiled wondering if he would bake them or mash them or fry them or grate them for browns. Potatoes are one versatile vegetable:)

The route was flattening out now as I neared the pool and the sand volleyball courts. Yesterday there were tons of people watching and playing and whooping it up. The swimming pool was packed. My heart panged a bit, sharply, when I realized, again, that I didn't make it down to this spot once the day before to play or watch a match, something I had really looked forward to accomplishing. I rounded the corner and noticed the campground was at maximum capacity but at this hour was completely quiet and all I could hear was my feet again, scratching on the street.
Turning up the road I glanced over to the softball park and the garden and thought of how much fun the kids had digging up potatoes Friday night. It was a dirty job. The bugs chewed on us. But bugs can't eat away the memory of the forks digging the black earth and the brown water bath for the 'taters and the interesting spinning barrel we used to get them clean. I wondered what kind of memories others might have of yesterdays big party. The tractors and trucks throwing candy in the parade kind of memories. The cotton candy, kettle corn, or funnel cake kind of memories. The getting hosed down by the fire truck (please tell me someone got a photo of that) watching the horses, or jumping and sliding on the inflatables kind of memories.

As I neared Main St. and saw the road blocks pushed up onto the sidewalks and the overflowing trash cans I thought of the music and supper and silent auction that ended the evening. My cheeks rose into a smile when I thought of Mike and his wife, the t-shirt designer, who showed up in the late afternoon to check things out. It was good to see you, Mike, hope you enjoyed our little town, I am kicking myself for not giving you a tour. Sorry, have no idea where my brain was :(

I jogged past the deflated but brightly colored inflatables and the big tent and the last few scraps of what was left of our annual event. I huffed and puffed up the hill wondering how well attended today's worship service would be. I thought about all the people I wanted to thank for their hard work and dedication to making this event happen. I wondered if they knew all the memories they were helping to create. I hoped they did.

My heart surged and I half sprinted the last block home. The blood pumped in my veins and my heart was filled. The blessings that we have are too numerous to be counted. The overflowing of support from our community year after year after year has to be noted. It takes a village to have a SpudFest.

The worship service was AMAZING. What a perfect end to the weekend. Over 50 people sang, praised, and thanked the Lord for his ultimate sacrifice. The message was wonderful. I wish you all could have heard it. Pastor applied the Scripture to our lives and it fit like the last puzzle piece in the cause of our celebration. Everyone broke out in applause after his sermon and I am positive it had nothing to do with the joke he made earlier about not getting recognition like the soloist.

We were blessed with some AMAZING music, too. Thanks for the great praise music, Vicki, Pastor, Betsy, kids, Stephanie and Lenice, and Pastor Jerry and I can't forget the percussionist, Isaac...Jesus is the rock and he rolled my sins away!

Afterwards as we sat at the table and took care of all the loose ends I felt compelled to voice my opinion. I was frustrated with some lack of communication. I felt that there were some people who did not value and work towards the true mission of the SpudFest. I focused on the negative, got caught up in the little things and forgot to look at the big picture. I didn't even thank the people I wanted to for all their volunteer hard work. I crumbled and fell apart. I put in my notice. I retired. The earth still is still turning.

With or without me, I hope that there will be many more memory making SpudFests. I can't wait to see what's in store for number 5:)
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