Thankfully, my obsessive tracking of the storm reassured me and anyone who would listen — the people at Starbucks nod so politely, by the way — that it was a fast-moving storm off the Pacific that would surely pass prior to the carnival itself. “Think of it as God’s power wash,” I repeated far too often. Who knows I may study meteorology some day – our tax dollars pay for a lot of really cool and readily available satellite, radar and other information about our environment, I’ve learned — after my obsessive investigation of the weather last week.
On the day of the festivities, the air was crisp and the school grounds fresh, the way any city is after a good shower.
The sun was out and the temperature remained in the sixties. It was a postcard worthy day made even sweeter by the residual fear of rain… NOAA is not the NSA after all.
After a few minor hitches, the event found its rhythm and my co-chairs and I actually had fun. We smiled, enjoyed the warm embrace of friends gratefully and reveled in the smiles of strangers. Apparently – at least according to the pictures of passed out, happy, post-event kids that our friends sent us — a great time was had by all.
And, the beer I indulged in as we started the clean up may have been the best brewsky I’ve ever tasted.
As the sun began to set my Uber delivered me to my house – some 10 hours after I’d driven away from it (my husband and kids took the car back home after the festivities ended). As soon as I unlocked the door, my children greeted me with hugs and said how much they had enjoyed the carnival. Children’s glee is a great salve to an old, tired and sore volunteer. Suddenly, the weight of all of the details I’d stressed over for months were lifted. I sent my kids off to bed with a kiss all of us happy and tired.
I showered, popped two Ibuprofen – I didn’t have the energy to soak in a tub — and fell into the sweet slumber of pride and relief.
In the haze of the ‘morning after’ all of the planning efforts just didn’t seem that daunting.
“It’s like producing a movie – only you have to beg people to be department heads. And then you can’t pay them, fire them or make them bend to your way of getting things done,” is how I’ve explained co-chairing this large event to those foolish enough to ask.
And while it stressed me greatly when others weren’t quite as compulsive as I am this old dog learned a few new tricks from those with whom this event has blessed me to work. One woman taught me to trust the outcome and not be so obsessed with the process. And this gracious gal was right – her part of the event’s proceeds far exceeded expectations.
My two co-chairs taught me that I can make new friends even though I’m an old broad. My liver has taught me that I can handle wine nightly and Nespresso has fueled me the morning (and mid afternoon) after.
After some coffee and more hugs from my children, chairing this event for a second year – especially if I was lucky enough to entice the amazing women with whom I worked this year to join me – would be easier… who knows… so far, there is no rain predicted for May 2016.
And I’ve heard that the second time is the charm…