Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Day Down South


No not LA but in the Palo Alto / Stanford area. I have a big race coming up and I find myself with only one good pair of shoes heading into this race. I need another and there is a specialty running shop in Palo Alto that caters specifically to ultra-marathoners. They carry a line of shoes that I cant find here in the city. What is this race that I dont feel comfortable having only one pair of shoes? Well thats a topic for the other blog.

I've been wanting to visit this shop for some time but beacuse I dont have a car I havent been able to find the time. You know how it is with public transportation, it takes much longer. Well work is slow again after a busy month so I decided once and for all to head down. Work has been like the hilly trails that I run and race on, up and down, up and down; but God has been good, not only providing a means to survive but means to support the comfort and priviliges that I'm used to which of course includes my running habit, my running addiction.

I caught the train down, an Amtrak type, double decked commuter train that runs back and forth between San Francisco and San Jose. It takes a long time with all the stops but it's comfortable. Catching the train brings back memories of my last year in art school. A friend and I worked as interns for one of our favorite teachers. She had an office in San Francisco but when she and her husband decided to start a family they closed down the San Francisco office and asked if we would be willing to continue working for her in her home office. After some deliberation my friend and I decided to do so. It was no small sacrifice. Door to door a one way trip could take an hour and forty-five minutes. We would have been fools not to take it however. We had this great paid internship with a most excellent teacher who let us work on actual projects, was generous with everything especially her guidance and the use of her equipment. Most of all she treated us like family. A little known fact is that Rozanne was the one who inspired me to take up running. She was a marathon runner in her younger years.

When Sara was born, Rozanne's eldest, we took on the additional role of "nannies". We would have "Playing with Sara work breaks" several times during the day. I also helped with bathing her, back when she could fit on the bathroom sink. I was always good at avoiding diaper duty though, hehehe. I always managed to be indisposed at those moments which is no small miracle in a home office. By the time her second child was born a couple of years later, Jason, I was already working at another firm but I visited regularly and had babysitting duty a couple of times. Yes eventually I had to learn how to change diapers. Something parents know very well, kids are pooping machines. The life; eat, play, sleep and poop. Over time the visits became less and less frequent. I got more involved with my running and these days I hardly see them.

Well it ended being a day well spent. I got the stuff I needed, there was a 15% sale on everything so not only did I get a pair of shoes but picked up a new flashlight for night running (the old one broke) and some water bottle holders. Met up with Rozanne for lunch, she's still the same and I stuck around long enough to spend time with the kids too. We picked them up after school and I went to see Jason practice Wushu at the martials arts gym before catching the 5PM train home from Palo Alto. The kids are so active and getting BIGGER. Sara has her Taikwando after school then swim team stuff, Jason also does the swimming and martial arts thing. Sara is 11 and she already has some of that teenage attitude going. Jason who is turning 9 in two weeks is still a sweet and funny boy. I can't believe I used to change his diaper! Time flies.

Kids they grow up so fast.

Jason, Rozanne and Sara

Myself with the kids

Around the art studio

Jason after his Wushu class