Back in the days when Dave and I were single and active frequent-riding motorcyclists in a large group of like-minded, we both attended an annual pancake breakfast hosted by a couple in the group. The idea was for rides to gather and have breakfast before going to the annual International Motorcycle Show, held at a local fairgrounds. Though many friends now arrive in cars and don't bother to go to the show, the pancake breakfast event lives on. It's one of my favorites of the year, as I always enjoy visiting with our longtime friends in their charming old cottage in Menlo Park.
We weren't sure how it'd work today, as we wanted to arrive at 9am, and Katrins was already acting like she needed a nap. I rarely say this, but fortunately, Katrina took a short nap in the car on the way up there, so she was in good shape (and later took a good solid afternoon nap).
The hostess was prepared for kids and had paper and markers and crayons for them, as well as a plateful of chocolate cupcakes -- and that's the first thing the boys were offered when we arrived! The boys did great, in no small part because of the hostess' efforts. I got compliment after compliment about how polite and well-behaved they were, from child-free adults, no less, who on the whole have much higher standards for good behavior.
Naturally we got lots of comments on how cute Katrina is, and indeed she was in her element again, making cute noises, or putting her head down to play peek-a-boo, smiling at people and generally letting everyone know that the world is hers.
I forgot to take photos (?! WHO, ME?!), but fortunately a friend who is now a professional photographer was there with his gear.
I talked to another longtime friend for a little while, and she reminded me
that she grew up with two older brothers, 2-3/4 and 4-3/4 years older than her, exactly the same as Gabriel and Julian are older than Katrina. "Did they take care of you?" I asked eagerly. She looked at me like I was nuts. "Did they teach you how to drive?" She made a face and said a drawn-out "Noooo" which might as well have been "duuhhh." "Did they get you into motorcycles?" Another "yeah right" face and then, "Yeah, only because they wouldn't let me ride theirs!" One of her brothers runs a successful suspension-tuning business, and she is one of the absolute best and fastest riders I've ever known....that is, for the few seconds I'd ride behind her before her taillight disappeared in the distance. And she's famously sarcastic and close with her brothers now. Still, a good insight.
I've often been accused of overextending myself, doing things the hard way, taking on just a little bit too much extra. It's true, I find direction and purpose in the self-induced pressure. Tonight was a good example of that, the operative word being "tonight." I went running in what started off as "this afternoon," but got into time trouble circling the packed parking lots at Rancho San Antonio in the hopes of coming across someone just about to back out. What was I thinking, it's Sunday afternoon, and all 6 parking lots were completely full.
By the time I did find a space, I was seriously annoyed that I'd have to run a different route than the 8-miler I'd planned. In need of hills, I started off on the lower third of the PG&E trail, planning to take the one turnoff to other shorter loops. But come the sign and the turnoff, I couldn't bring myself to do it. It was probably past 4:00...did I have enough time to take the whole PG&E trail? I told myself I'd work out the times as I started up the trail (based on memory of having run the route with a watch), and if I figured I couldn't do it, then I'd turn back. Not having a watch on me and not quite remembering what time it really gets dark added to the denial.
Well, long story short: I made it, but barely. I passed a hiker at the very top, who told me it was 4:30. Whew; I knew that left me juuust enough time to get back the closer trails before it was pitch-black, though there were so many people around as I got closer that I wasn't worried. After stretching and making my way back to the distant parking spot I'd lucked on, it was completely dark. It was 5:32 when I got back in the car.
Fortunately Dave had things under control with The Three when I got back, helped in large part by solid naps from the younger two. It was a lot of tag-teaming today, but we pulled it off. I'm looking forward to when we're in a rhythm with my being at work again when each day, including weekend days, isn't one giant experiment!