I suppose it's fitting that Pi Day seemed very long - indeed, at times unending - to me. It was a day of fun and work, pleasure and pain, uncommon activities and common chores. The day started early, after my all too common struggle to fall asleep last night. When my alarm went off this morning, it took five full minutes for my tired brain to stop incorporating Stairway To Heaven into whatever I was dreaming and tell me to wake up. It then took another 15 or 20 minutes for me to gather the energy to stand up. Needless to say, I was a bit later leaving the house than I'd planned, and I'd made it as far as the township park a mile or two away before I realized I'd left my phone on the charger. Luckily, the park was a good place to turn around.
Once I was finally underway, it took an hour to arrive at my first destination - a Wendy's in Kalamazoo. I just needed their parking lot, which was the closest place I could leave my van so I could walk down the road a bit to find a puzzle cache. In honor of Pi Day, geocachers were encouraged to find a puzzle cache today to earn a virtual souvenir, and attend a Pi Day Event to earn another. I had the puzzle cache coordinates figured out, thanks to a friend who is much smarter than I. Perhaps if I'd consulted with my friend before leaving the house, he would have suggested I bring a pair of snow boots with me. I didn't even think of it, since pretty much all the snow in our yard melted this week (Brett says, "FINALLY!"). I was more concerned with mud than snow, so I was wearing my old, worn out hiking boots and because they're worn out I had the foresight to toss some dry socks and a pair of sneakers into the van before leaving The 'Duh. I stood on a little stone wall and stared down a slope covered in deep, crusty, icy, filthy snow. I stared at a particular spot and my geo-senses were tingling, but thought, "I really don't want to walk down that slope. Maybe the cache is up here, somewhere in the wall." I stuck my hand in various cracks and holes, but I knew in my heart I was going to have to go down that slope. So I did. And the snow was well above the top of my hiking boots. But I found the cache exactly where I knew it would be and earned my souvenir, and did it quickly enough to make it to my next stop...
This is where the event was being held. A geocaching event is a group of geocachers getting together to sign a log and socialize. Sometimes there is food, sometimes geocaching, sometimes games, and sometimes just the log to sign and everyone rushes off as soon as they've written their name down. Today there was pie. The bakery/restaurant was having their own Pi Day celebration: A free slice of pie with every purchase. There was quite a crowd of geocachers there when I arrived. This was the nearest Pi Day event to my area an hour away; judging by the big turnout, I suspect it was the nearest event for at least an hour in every direction. I saw some people I know, and some people I'd met once or twice, and some new people I'd never met before. I had my hand crushed before I could block the handshake. I had some good conversation and signed the log. Then I stood in line to buy a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie and get a free slice of ABC pie (apple blueberry cherry). I was going to eat my pie for breakfast, but there were too many people and I was on the verge of an anxiety attack, so I got the slices to go and left. I'd had to park in the IHOP parking lot next door. On the other side of IHOP was an Arby's that was no longer in business. In the Arby's parking lot was a geocache. I walked over and found the cache, then I stood and looked at the IHOP and decided it was a sign from God that I'd had to park there. Who am I to ignore a sign from God? So I went inside, got a nice, quiet table for one and ate breakfast.
Once I'd eaten, my business in Kalamazoo was complete and I headed home. I spent the hour or so before Brett got home starting laundry and pulling a package of hamburger out of the freezer and sitting in a sleepy fog, staring into nothingness. Once he was home, we headed off to Berrien Springs to find an easy puzzle cache in the library so Brett could get his souvenir. It was a quick find and we were back in the truck and pointed home in no time, but Brett was hungry for lunch so we decided to stop at Baguette de France for sandwiches on our way out of town.
Here's the thing about Berrien Springs; it's the world headquarters of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Even though Baguette de France serves meat sandwiches (the SDA encourages vegetarianism), they were closed today because Saturday is the SDA sabbath. Okay, we'd passed a Pizza Hut... we could backtrack and get sandwiches there. Nope. It was a carryout Pizza Hut and they didn't do sandwiches there. So we backtracked again and went to Subway. As we were getting back in the truck, Brett said something about salsa and it reminded me that I needed some white pepper in order to make another batch of salsa. So we backtracked again to the local grocery store and I grabbed a jar of white pepper and went up front to pay for it. There was a customer dawdling at Register 1 and a cashier diddling with the bags at Register 2. Nobody was at the other two registers. I went to Register 2 and the cashier ignored me, so I moved to Register 1 and stood behind the dawdler. Just as the person in front of me FINALLY handed over her check to pay for her purchase, the cashier who had ignored me at Register 2 decided I needed to step down to Register 4, where I had to wait while she logged onto the register, and then got shoved aside by the cashier who had appeared out of nowhere to remove the drawer from Register 3. Now I remember why I don't do my grocery shopping in Berrien Springs.
So we came home and I logged the puzzle cache and then started chopping peppers and onions and tomatoes to make the salsa. It's a lot of work, but it's not hard work. It's tedious work and I have to wash my hands a lot. I wash them before I handle the veggies, I wash them after chopping the peppers so I don't accidentally touch my eyes and get them irritated. I wash them multiple times while chopping the onions because... onions... I wash them several times while chopping the tomatoes because they get covered in tomato juice. Once the veggies are chopped and simmering, I wash up the knives and the cutting board, the measuring cups and spoons and the canning jars and lids. By the time I'm done with all the hand washing and dish washing, my hands are so dried out the touch screen on my phone won't respond to my fingers.
Making and canning salsa takes about three hours from chopping, to processing, to washing the last of the dishes. While the salsa was still processing, I started making tacos, frijoles and rice for supper. That took about an hour. We ate while watching a movie and Brett washed the supper dishes when the movie ended. I am exhausted, but I enjoyed geocaching again after a long winter hiatus, I enjoyed our outing to Berrien Springs in spite of being pushed around by grocery store cashiers, I enjoyed making salsa, the tacos were okay and the pie was delicious. Now I am blogging about my day because I'm too tired to get off the couch and go upstairs to bed. Plus my feet hurt.
How did you spend Pi Day?