Running Free

Running Free

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Expedition of the spuds

Today being Thursday I had nothing planned for this morning at 6:30 a.m. Nothing other than volunteering time at my son’s swim team to help prepare for a four day swim meet. Lucky for me I am an early bird, proud to claim that I often am awake before the sweet song of the crow and parrot compete for best vocal.

I had signed up to help with hospitality, which in a nutshell means setting up a table (two actually) and providing coffee and fruit and donuts to coaches from the various teams. Or so I thought. It has been a few months since I last ’volunteered’ in the hospitality area and thus my surprise and near heart attack when I was informed that there was cooked food being served at the tent.

“Cooked food?” I muttered to myself. “What do they mean exactly by cooked food?”

Nick, one of the old timers, and my version of a living breathing teddy bear, informed me that several months ago a new team of volunteers decided to add cooked food to the menu - like omelettes and pancakes for the coaches.

“Uh-huh,” I replied. Tongue stuck to the roof my mouth, I wondered what in the world I would do now since my culinary talents begin with a smile and end with pouring coffee. Visions of me flipping a pancake in a pan were not pretty. I was recalling the episode of I Love Lucy when she tries to make a pizza. Not a pretty picture.

Needless to say I decided there and then that my volunteer skills would be better served behind the scenes, as in the back room.

I was then chartered with washing grapes and blueberries and slicing vegetables for use in the said omelettes.

Luckily, the Head Hospitality Mama loves to cook and that is her domain so that I and my other volunteer moms were more than happy to oblige and stay out of the way and simply follow commands.

One of the gals had been given an instruction which was brought back to me: “Expedite the potato prep.”

I stared at the deliverer of this message, a petite blond with incredibly sea blue eyes. Okay Patti, how does one expedite the dicing of potatoes? We giggled as she picked up her knife and helped me slice and dice the spuds. Hash browns were the next order of business on the food deck out front. I needed to get busy expediting.

“Expedite the spuds,” I said and began to laugh. We looked at each other. Were we in a board room meeting and had simply forgotten ourselves?

I looked around the room, realizing that with the motley collection of folks here, many in shorts and tee-shirts and smelling of sunscreen that I definitely was not in a board room of any traditional format.

I repeated my hollowed phrase: Expedite the spuds - and hold the suds.

I honestly don’t know why we found this to be funny, but suddenly it was. Perhaps being volunteers in the wee hours of the morning – sans coffee – we had gone off the edge of normality.

Out on the pool deck was a full blown swim café complete with piping fresh coffee and made-to-order omelettes and pancakes…and to think just a few months back the swim coaches were happy with a coffee and a bagel.

How times have changed. And this being a recession no less.

Expediting spuds . Two words I never would have sewn together but now they have become part of the fabric of my swimming lexicon.

Let’s salute the expedition of the spuds.

All hail hash browns on deck….

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