PJ Christmas Downers Grove 2010
Just like we do every year, we participated in the Bonefield Express Thanksgiving morning 5K this year. I either run with my son or my daughter but strangely enough never both of them at the same time. I ran with Jenna this year as she had a few friends who were scheduled to run it as well so she thought she would see them while she was there. But that was easier said than done, as there were over 4100 participants this year, up more than 900 from last years race.
The race starts on main street in Downers Grove just south of the Metra rail tracks at around 8:00am (8:30 this year), and winds through the business district and a few residential areas as well as Denburm Woods, which can be really beautiful if it has snowed recently. One year we had an ice storm the night before so all the trees were covered with shimmering icicles. The road was a bit trecherous that year but a wonderful sight.
This year the weather was pretty cooperative for an end of November day in the Midwest. The sun was trying to peak out with just a bit of drizzle and a high of around 40 degrees. I had a good day and set a PR for the 5K but Jenna had a bit of trouble as she had not run regularly since Volleyball season ended more than a month ago, and her asthma was acting up a bit. We broke off from running together at about the 1.5 mile mark and I met her at the end in the large paring garage where they have coffee, water, snacks and massages. This race has really become a community event with more than $120,000 give out in scholarships to local high school students since the race started in 2002.
If you have never done a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, I highly recommend it. It is a great way to start your day and in most cases a great way to say thanks by supporting others.
I visited our local farmers market this morning and noticed it has grown to twice the size of last year. Although there are twice as many booths as last year there are not twice as many produce/farmers booths. It seems the village is allowing more and more non produce booths to be licensed alongside the produce, flowers and baked goods every Saturday.
Today I saw made to order crepes, purses, knife sharpening, a for rent portable barbecue/TV cart, ‘natural’ soft drinks, jewelry and children’s clothing. I don’t know if the village can’t get more types of produce vendors or if they are just trying to diversify, but I am tired of seeing crappy purse vendors at every event I go to. Even my daughters weekend volleyball tournaments have purse booths every weekend. There are plenty of places to buy purses other than the Saturday morning market. I hope this trend dos not continue and we return to what the farmers market should be, a market for farm fresh goods.
This is totally awesome. I had no idea that the DHARMA initiative had taken up residence in Downers Grove. I was driving home today and saw that only about 100 yards from my house, there was parked a VW bus with the license plate DHARMA. Perhaps in season six, they are planning on introducing a new character from Illinois. I can only hope….or maybe I am living in an alternate time line.
If you are fortunate enough to travel frequently (or unfortunate depending on the length and destination) you may find your self missing out on events or just missing someone. With my schedule I often find myself missing special events that my kids participate in. Now I’m not just talking about missing one of Jenna volleyball matches or an extra great practice session that she wants to talk about, but sometimes just simple everyday things that bring joy to everyday life.
Matt has discovered the joys of shopping at the Salvation Army thrift store and donating back to them as well. He would much rather spend an hour or so looking for great finds at the store on 75th and Lemont in Downers Grove or the impressively large store in Oak Lawn, than go to the mall and waste his hard earned cash. I have followed his lead in finding some nice items for welding class and for the marathon as I mentioned in my post on January 10, 2010 all in great shape and purchased for pennies on the dollar. He has been collecting shirts from all the major league baseball teams as well as other items that relate to MLB, like caps and glassware. He also has had a few good finds related to the actual implements of the game like baseballs, gloves and bats.
So back to my reason for this post ( I tend to wander but I hope to get better at this as time goes on). Today he scored a really nice pair Nikes, an MLB shirt and a few other items. Normally a phone call to explain his find would be nice but we agreed on a Skype video call so he could show off some of his score. I have a little Logitech Quick Cam for Notebooks (mine is an older version) that I can clip to the top of my laptop and at home we have a webcam connected to our Media Center PC which servers up media to the big screen in the back house. The family can sit on the couch and do a video call with me from anywhere on the planet (limited only to available bandwidth).
We started a video chat after my client visit, diner and a quick run (more on that pain tomorrow.) I find that a video call is much more engaging as I am able to enjoy his expressions and animated gestures, things that you just can’t pick up with a simple voice call. Being two time zones away can be difficult when you are so close to your family so Skype has been one of my most awesome purchases ever. You can get a free account, but I opted for the $3 per month unlimited calls to Canada plan to cut down on the cost of calls to the customers up north (I’m all about saving money).
If you are able, donate your lightly used items to organizations like the Salvation Army. They could really use your help. Or if you have large items or non ‘Consumer’ items, consider giving them away via FreeCycle. Freecycle is an organization that allows you to give and get stuff for free. Instead of adding to the landfill, there may be someone who can use that old bird cage or extra three stacks of shingles that you don’t need anymore. Many communities, including mine have a local chapter. Check it out and help someone out.