A Life Full of Color

I spent my day in a cloud of color at The Color Run in Minnesota.

Instagrammed photo of the Color Run

If you think I resisted making “Purple Rain” jokes, you are mistaken.

As a social media volunteer for Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless, this meant running around with my iPhone, snapping pictures and tweeting and Facebooking and generally doing things that actually don’t look that helpful but hopefully are (awareness, you guys!).

The event itself was pretty overwhelming. About 19,000 runners, starting out all in white and eventually turning into human canvasses, ran or walked the course. A portion of their fee was already given to Open Your Heart, but quite a few made extra donations at our booth. And a few of them apologized for the money being covered in color.

That’s Minnesota nice for you.

In preparation, I spent the past week thinking of color. Favorite colors (mine, obviously, are yellow and purple – SKOL Vikings), color quotes (“When in doubt, wear red.” – Bill Blass), color songs (“Lady in Red” is welcome to leave my head anytime now. Anytime.), and color references in movies (“Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”).  But after participating in the event, and knowing the good these donations will do – going towards the people who truly need them – there’s one song lyric I think sums it all up for me.

What good did it do?
Well hopefully for you
A world without war
A life full of color

Now, I recognize The War Was in Color is not about a war on hunger. But today was a day full of color – and a day to fight hunger.

Let’s all enjoy our lives full of color.

Best Things of the Week: Let Your Troubles Roll By Edition

1. “What about everything?”

So, I saw one of my favorite bands, Carbon Leaf, for the second time in my life on Wednesday.

I didn’t take any pictures because the last time I brought my camera out in public someone asked me if I got it at Savers, but here’s a picture of me and lead singer Barry from April 2010:

Rachel and Barry

I was so excited I couldn't speak to or near him. THAT awkward.

This time around I was so much cooler: Not only did I speak in front of Barry, I managed to say, rather loudly, “that’s, uh…that’s the lead singer!” while pointing at him on the street.  The other witness to the event suggested maybe I was embarrassing myself, but I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure Barry knows he’s the lead singer.

None of the live stuff on youtube does them justice, but here:

They are way fun live.  And they ended one song (actually, it might have been this one) with an Aerosmith riff, at which point my soul exploded.

2. Stepping on fruit for fun and profit

On Saturday, I ventured to Glacial Ridge Winery to enjoy a Grape Stomp with Lacy.  Lacy and I have a rule: we do NOT compete against one another.  However, as a team, we kind of rule.  I stomped, she strained, and we won fifty bucks!  We are winners, and the local media took notice.

Rachel and Lacy in the bucket

Admit it. This is adorkable.

I also participated in some belly dancing lessons, and Lacy and I were mistaken for high school seniors.  All in all, a winner of a day.

3. Just a little visit

There’s not a lot I can or want to say about September 11th that hasn’t been said before.  As we came to the ten year anniversary, I couldn’t stop thinking about the kids who will never live in a world where that didn’t happen.  I made a promise to myself to start volunteering with younger kids, and I’ve signed up for one opportunity so far (more on that in a few weeks, maybe).  That was the only thing I had planned, but on the day itself my mother invited me to hand out American flag dog tags to nursing home residents.

Every time I see a flag, I think about vets both young and old.  I think about my best friend’s younger brothers who went from fighting with us over TV and computer access in high school to fighting overseas in the Marines.  They get my prayers whether they want it or not.  And I also think about my two grandfathers, both of whom served in WWII, and both of whom have passed away.  So it just felt like a nice gift to visit with the many servicemen and women at the nursing home on such a day.  I mean a gift for me; they’re already pretty aware they’re excellent (especially the 80ish man who asked me out; sir, you are adorable).