Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Tale of 14908 Steps

April 18 has been circled on my calendar for months. It is the date of one of the biggest events my office hosts. Kindergarten through 8th grade students write books and compete in local competitions in their school district. We then invite all the district winners to a county event to honor their accomplishment. Coordinating this event is my responsibility. I work with the districts to register the 300+ winners who attend the event. I spend weeks gathering and organizing 50-60 volunteers who work the event. Each student receives an event booklet, a certificate, a snack and a gift bag. This year students were welcomed by Geronimo Stilton.

On the day of the event, which we hold at a local high school, I am the point person. That means my control book and I need to be EVERYWHERE. I am constantly running from one end of the school to the other...upstairs, downstairs. Each year by the end of the event my poor feet feel like they will fall off. This year I decided to wear my Fitbit and see how much walking really happens. While we were packing up the book fair my Fitbit announced I had hit 10000 steps. By the time we were finished at about 1:30 p.m. I had 11,455 steps.

Hands down my favorite part of the event is the books. I always take a few minutes to pop into the classrooms and look at the fun stories the students have written and illustrated.

The Lost Dog - made me think of Mary & Molly at Runs to Get Waisted. I hope they will never have to experience a lost pup. Spoiler Alert: Molly is found :)
 You all know what attracted me to The Magic Bike. What I wouldn't give for a ride on that baby!
The Chick Who Liked a Boy made me giggle. I am pretty sure the little guy that wrote this book didn't mean it that way :)  It is an adorable story of a boy and his baby chicken.

The books are so much fun. I wish I could sit down and absorb them all, but work calls and I am off to another task. From the planning to the day of this event is a huge project and can be stressful. Not to be corny, but seeing the books and the pride on the students' faces does make it all worth it.

After the event, I usually go home and crash. I am exhausted and my feet hurt. However, I saw an opportunity I didn't want to miss. Six years ago, a couple purchased an old abandoned school. The school was built in 1905 and was closed about in the late 80s. After that, a glass company purchased it. Unfortunately, the owner was more artist than business man and struggled financially. After his death, the building was abandoned until this couple purchased it. Their dream was to restore it and create space for small businesses to operate.

They offered a free tour of the space. I was intrigued, so a friend and I signed up for the tour. The space is vast and there are restored parts, in progress parts and untouched parts We were allowed into some creepy places- the old shower rooms were particularly creepy.

The old gym would be a great place with its vast space, stage, natural light. At this point city codes made it cost prohibitive to use.
As space is cleared and repaired they make it available to rent to small businesses. The huge windows are spectacular. A creative mind could make this space into almost anything. We were in this room for several minutes before my friend said "hey, that's a mirror". I had just thought it was some sort of tunnel that we would be investigating later in the tour.
The building forms a little courtyard. The couple actually had their wedding here a couple of years ago. Note the curtains in the top windows for later reference.

This inviting little space is at the end of the hallway as you come in the main entrance to the businesses. Among the current tenants are a coffeehouse, a massage therapist, a couple of photographers and a dog groomer. They just announced a taproom will be opening later this year. The couple has a mission to work with tenants to help them succeed in their new ventures.
Think back to the curtains in the courtyard picture. The tour ended with a visit to a jewel in the middle of the school. The couple spent two years renovating and designing an apartment for themselves. They incorporated so many items from the schoolhouse into their apartment. For example, the kitchen counters are made from old chalkboards. The creativity is incredible.
The apartment currently consists of a kitchen, bathroom and a large open living space. This bathtub is actually in the corner of that open living a space with a view of the giant windows.
A little music space.
Living room area. You can see the foot of the bed in the bottom left corner of the picture.
A view across the main room - bed in foreground, bathtub behind glass block all, seating area to the left of this picture.
I admire their vision for the space they have rescued from abandonment. The work they have put in is awesome - in the true sense of the word. The tour added another couple of thousand steps to my day.

The evening was much more least physically. Some friends invited us to be on their team for a Trivia Night benefiting their daughters' school. I hadn't done a trivia night for a couple years and my husband had never done one. Again, how did I manage to get one more thing scheduled on such an exhausting day?? Turns out we had so much fun I forgot to notice how tired I really was.

My husband has an excellent memory for all kinds of facts about various subjects. He turned out to be the master of all music questions - especially creepy musicians. Who knew Alice Cooper was the Godfather of Shock Rock?  Or that Barry White is the voice you hear singing in the background when a couple is about to have intimate moment in a movie? I was so proud of my guy. He saved our bacon over and over.

I think the question organizer was excited about it being the night of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. There were several references. I was surprised though that I was the only one who know Joan Jett was with the Blackhearts. One of the categories was sing me a nickname....The Red Rocker? Coolhand? The Lizard King? The Motor City Madman? Anyone?

It was a fun way to end the day with friends and laughter. Trivia Night came at a cost though - the snacks. Everyone brought snacks to share with the whole table....chips, brownies, rice krispie treats and more. I am not proud to say I indulged in everything.  All I can do is be thankful I had been on the move all day. And start over :)

By the time I stumbled into bed I am sure I was well over 15000 steps, but I stopped counting at 14908.


  1. Hmmm.. Ok I think Coolhand is Eric Clapton, The Lizard King is Jim Morrison and The Motor City Madman is Ted Nugent (I think) but ask the Rock and Roll girl, Mary. She probably can answer the others too :)

    Awesome day for you! Sounds like everything turned out really well so great job to you for holding everything together! I love that apartment that they redid! How awesome and creative!

    1. You are correct on all three that you guessed!! I only knew the Red Rocker. It was a good day and I was exhausted.

  2. That's a busy day and lots of steps! Well done! And if you had to pick a day to splurge, that was the day to do it. And what a cool building. I'll have to check it out one o fthese days.

    1. Next time I need the steps and skip the snacks :)

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