Remember the FRIENDS episode where Phoebe tries to find a truly selfless act and everyone else insists even charitable acts are selfish because thy make you feel good?
I was a big ol' mess of feel-good-charitable this weekend, and it was awesome.
M had skipped town for his second (in as many weeks) long-weekend-boys-fishing-trip (yes, he knows how spoiled he is) and I was contemplating whether to binge on Sex and the City or FRIENDS that night (important life decisions) when Syndal texted and asked if anyone wanted to come over and help her make 65 corsages for a cancer survivor's breakfast she was hosting on behalf of her job. I think she was mostly joking, but all I heard was "girl talk, wine, and a good cause? Sign me up!"
I'm in no way a floral designer but I think I have a decent eye for design in general, and while I can't keep the things alive, I like playing with them. Jess and her hubby ended up coming over a bit later and we all hung out and chatted over wine and flowers. It was an unexpectedly wonderful little Friday night.
I headed home at a reasonable hour knowing my dad and I had volunteered to help at the MS 150 bike ride in Hinckley, MN.
The bikers start about 160 miles north of the Twin Cities in Proctor, MN and bike 75 miles the first day to Hinckley. There's a huge village set up with tents and entertainment and food and massages. Everyone stays overnight, and hits the road early the next day for the final 75 miles or so to White Bear Lake.
We had signed up to help in the bike corral, making sure everyone knew where to set their bikes, and matching up wristbands with bike numbers for security. (I was told by a family friend who was riding the "average" bike cost on the route was around $4,000, and he saw a few $15,000 bikes. Insane.)
That would've been all well and good if that were our only job duties, but we ended up battling with the giant balloony finish line for about an hour, too. Initially because the generator crapped out twice and it started to deflate ON riders. Everyone just kind of stood there as I tore off to the finish line realizing people were about to clothesline themselves on it.
After we fixed that issue the wind picked up and the giant Culligan jugs that were holding it in place started to drag, which again- threw the finish line down and in the path of bikers.
We ran down there to hold it up for a while before ultimately recommending taking the whole thing down- it was just too much of an issue.
The sea of bikes in the corral. That was only half of them too. They estimated there were around 3,500 riders. We've talked about doing the bike ride instead of just the walk, but it was readily apparent we would NOT be doing so without training. Oof.
My dad and I were standing near the entrance of the corral early in the day and a woman walked over who was waiting for her rider to cross. She struck up a conversation with my dad an I and told us it was an emotional year for her family to be participating. I nodded sympathetically not wanting to prod but she continued. She told us last year on the trail her husband went into cardiac arrest mid-ride. A doctor just happened to be biking behind them as well as a nurse. They performed CPR until medical personnel arrived. He ended up having a stent put in (and a whole host of freak medical complications) but survived and really wanted to bike this year, which he did. It was very much a similar case of "right place, right circumstances" or he wouldn't have made it.
I sat there in shock as my dad and her swapped stories. What are the odds of meeting someone at an MS event, after losing my mom to MS, who suffered a major heart attack under similar circumstances as my dad. (I still honestly have a hard time believing all that happened.)
The rest of Saturday night brought a delayed onset sunburn and heatstroke that had me bedridden with the cat. Awful.
Sunday was some errands and getting ready for the week, followed by the season finale of Game of Thrones. I think TJ's face after the show sums up my feelings appropriately:
Legitimately distraught over what happened.
We turned on Orange is the New Black to cleanse our palates after the shocker.
This weekend is shaping up to be a busy one- M's dad will be in town for Father's day, which also coincides with M's mom's birthday this year. SO, we'll have 2 father's day celebrations and a birthday celebration. Looking forward to a weekend of family!