Mildred, Wendell, and the Gang

Jan 16, 4:45am….my alarm went off, it was Friday.  I knew this was the last day this week that getting up early was going to be followed by the semi-rush to get ready for work so it kept me going.  I’ll spare you the boredom and just say I did what I’ve done the other days this week.  Laid there awake up to the point where I had to get up in order to not be late for work.  I was at the gym by 5:40am-ish where I lifted arms, walked on the treadmill.  I’ve concluded I have to do the stairmaster, run, or something harder than walk to make myself proud to call it “cardio,” but I was cutting myself a break since it was technically my 6th workout since Monday morning with more planned for the weekend.  I went through Starbucks where I was losing patience at the person in front of me who was taking forever to pay.  I get to the window – their slowness was due to them waiting for my order to process because they paid for my coffee.  Oops.  #alwaysgrounded.  I came home and got ready for work, had a small bout of feeling like I was going to get sick which got me out the door for work later than I desired.  Keeping this blog has really highlighted how many days this month I haven’t felt well.  Not horrible, and obviously not to the point where I’ve actually taken myself to the doctor….but ugh.  When I went to bed that night, Chris recommended that I think about not getting up early the next day (Saturday) just to recover again from not feeling well.  I’m sure it’s the early mornings, weather, and the fact that I never got antibiotics to just kills whatever it was the first time.  When I say “feel bad” I typically mean a sore throat which passes later, a little pukey feeling but never actually puking, or just overall being tired.  No fever or anything like that.  No need for high concern.  I decided at that point, much like the previous weekend, I’d set my alarm and see how I felt in the morning.

Jan 17, 4:45 am….my alarm went off, Chris was right.  I woke up and laid there for awhile gauging if it was worth getting up and doing some of the smaller things on my to do list or if I should just sleep.  I opted for the sleep because it was a Meals on Wheels day for us and I did not want to feel bad for that.  I fell back asleep and got up at 8:30am instead.   (Spoiler alert – this part of the blog has nothing to do with waking up early).  A couple years ago someone at work asked me to ride along with them at lunch for Meals on Wheels (we have all kinds of volunteer opportunities we can do through work).  I reluctantly agreed because I knew I would have to forfeit whatever plans I had for lunch that day.  We went to an apartment building, picked up some hot and cold bags of food and delivered them throughout the building, and then headed back to work.  He told me how in most cases those individuals would not get food that day if Meals on Wheels did not deliver to them and how we had to move fairly quickly because they were waiting on their food.  I was made more aware of my compassion for older people at that point….even the lady who had 5 locks on her door and only opened it 3 inches and had a butter knife in her hand in case we were there to harm.  I kept thinking how when I’m at an age where I can’t get out as easy or can’t cook my own food I would hope someone would bring me food (or my parents, or my grandparents).  I came home and told Chris about the experience and we proceeded to talk about if we should volunteer.  That discussion happened on and off for the next year.  If I’m being completely honest, I tend to be someone who will donate to a charity with little convincing, but am totally guarded with my time.  Depending upon which book you read, that can be either a good or a bad thing.  Anyway, after many days of realizing how thankful I was that we have reliable cars and the ability to eat whenever and however we want…..I called Life Care Alliance (they run Meals on Wheels).   I had to attend a training which was 2 hours long where I learned that Life Care Alliance offers a variety of services and Meals on Wheels is just one of them.  If an older person has a pet but they can’t get out to feed them, they will even do a route to deliver pet food.  If there are cancer patients who are home bound, they will send someone to help them clean their house and help in a variety of other ways.  I normally go “all in” on things (i.e. this blog) but I actually pulled myself back from telling them I’d volunteer every week because I knew realistically I have a lot of a conflicts.  I told them we could do 1 Saturday a month (Chris had already agreed to participate with me).  A month later we had our first route.  So this day we were going on our third month delivering meals.  It takes us anywhere from 1-2 hours depending upon the number of stops.  They give us anywhere from 8-16 houses or apartments to drop off to, all within a few miles of each other.  We pick the food up at a host site in Gahanna, drop the meals at the list of houses about 20 minutes away in Whitehall, and then drive back and drop off the bags.  When we pick up the food we have a hot bag of food and a cold bag.  Some get just hot meals, some get hot and cold meals (cold serve as their dinners), plus milk or orange juice, and a couple other little things depending upon the meal…..even though Chris is convinced we keep delivering the same meal every time.  I’m the driver and manage google maps, Chris manages the clipboard, who gets what, and gets everything out, organized, and carries everything.  After 3 routes, it’s become something we enjoy (the first time can feel a little stressful) and we even have our favorite clients to drop off to – mine is a lady named Mildred (even though it looks like she cancelled her service this month) and Chris’ is a man named Wendell….both very hard of hearing.  It fills my soul to see Chris smile to himself after he gives someone a meal at the houses where I stay in the car.  There was no workout this day, there was no long list of productive things for work this day, but there are 8 people in Whitehall with hot lunches this day.

MealsOnWheels1 MealsOnWheels2

Jan 18, 4:45am…my alarm went off, I woke up.  It’s Sunday.  I laid there awake for awhile and then fell back asleep for all the same reasons noted in prior posts.  Gym isn’t open, tomorrow is MLK day so I have an additional day off work for other tasks, and I wanted to rest up/ditch the sore throat before yoga at 11am today.  I was awake at 6:30am to wish Chris good luck as he headed out to pheasant hunt with his dad.  Many have asked if I’m going to keep up the early mornings after Jan 31.  I’m learning (which I kind of assumed in the beginning) the weekends aren’t worth a 4:45am wake up call.  You have to give your body some moment to recover.  I am all for waking up on the weekends early still (“early” meaning 7-8am) from February and after….but not sure it warrants 4:45am.  Until then, I’ll still set my alarm for 4:45am on Saturdays and Sundays.  Off to yoga…..