Thursday, February 24, 2011
This morning I met with my rector; we had a very pleasant chat, and he invited me to preach on Maundy Thursday and on May 29 (Memorial Day Weekend). I'm really looking forward to writing homilies again, and I'm honored to be preaching during Holy Week.
I ate my brown-bag lunch at church, raced to the gym and swam for thirty minutes, and then drove to the family shelter to teach my poetry class. I absolutely loved it. You can read about it on the UNR Poetry Project blog. The eight weeks of classes will culminate with a gallery show, probably at the university, and one of today's students has already given permission for her poem to be displayed (which makes me very happy, because it's a gorgeous piece of work).
It was incredibly moving to hear people in such tough circumstances express so much love for their families. As a side note, I was also very impressed with the physical plant; I'd been to the medical clinic downstairs to donate my father's meds after he died, but I'd never been inside the family shelter. It's clean and spacious, and seems very comfortable. Each family has its own room, and I loved looking at the kids' artwork posted on the doors.
When I got home, Gary and I decided to dash out to a store in Sparks that sells sports optics; we were hoping to get prescription snorkel masks. The store sells them, but they cost about $200 each, which is way too much money for an activity we indulge in once a year if we're lucky. So we're going to look for less expensive options. The cruise line supplies equipment, but we don't know if they'll have optical masks.
The store was fairly close to the fancy mall with the big sports store where I bought my wetsuit, so while we were in the neighborhood, we decided to go look at ellipticals. And, mirabile dictu, we found one! We hope to very soon be the proud owners of a Horizon Ex-59, which -- at its sale price of $599 -- was the second-least-expensive machine in the store. It seems really solid and smooth, though, and the online reviews we've seen have been good. We could have ordered a slightly older model, the Ex-57, from Amazon: less money, no tax. But after reading about people spending two or three hours assembling their machines, and winding up covered in grease, we've decided to spring for the tax, since if we buy from the store we'll get free delivery and installation, and they'll handle any necessary repairs. Right now the store only has the floor model in stock, but the sales guy is going to call me tomorrow about when they expect more in.
Of course, this is an even larger investment than the masks (and yes, I was conscious of the irony of embarking on this project right after a visit with homeless families), but we'll use it a lot more often. I hope to use it for at least a little while most mornings; I'll be able to work out in my PJs, which means I can give myself a serotonin boost on those mornings when crawling into clothing to crawl into the car to crawl to the gym is just too much effort. Gary dislikes most gym equipment but was very impressed with this, and he can use it when weather keeps him from hiking. So, yeah: big outlay, but I think the price is reasonable for what we'll be getting, and I think it will help with my health goals. My ultimate goal is to work up to using the elliptical half an hour in the morning and then swimming half an hour in the afternoon. That way, I'll get both weight-bearing exercise and the swimming I love, and I'll be able to rest between them. This may be too ambitious, of course, but if I could manage that even a few times a week, I'd be happy.
It was dark when we left the mall. I don't know Sparks very well, and I got lost. We wound up on a long highway without traffic lights. I couldn't see familiar city lights. I couldn't even tell which way we were driving. Finally I pulled up to a supermarket and told a lady there that we were lost. She laughed -- she's gotten lost there too, it turns out -- and offered to lead us back to town.
Talk about angels in disguise. I never would have found my way on my own; we weren't even close to my best foggy guess of our location. Thank you, lady in the silver Cadillac!
After that adventure, we'd have gotten home later than Gary likes to start cooking, so we went out for pizza, to the place that has gluten-free crust and soy cheese. It was very yummy. I'm very grateful to be able to eat pizza again.