It’s been sort of a wild 24 hours, and I was unprepared for that.
Last night I headed to Light Up Night with my parents and 500,000+ of our closest friends. To say it was insanity is putting it lightly – there was no walking happening, only shuffling, because it was impossible to take a full (or even half) step. It honestly took us nearly three hours to walk from Market Square to the Clemente Bridge (a walk that probably takes 5-10 minutes normally); there were that many people. When I walk through Downtown during the week, it seems not exactly large, but rather spread out. Last night when I walked through and tried to keep track of my parents (who, bless their hearts, are useless when attempting to navigate through Downtown Pittsburgh), it seemed tiny. It was a weird feeling. And despite the fact that I work Downtown and on the North Side, and I volunteer all over Pittsburgh, I didn’t see one single face that I recognized. It was crazypants. I will say, though, hats off to the emergency services people for ensuring we had a super-safe environment – police, other emergency crews, and giant spotlights were everywhere you turned, so we never felt unsafe in the slightest. Good job, Pittsburgh!
We stuck around through the fireworks, and then headed to the parking garage. When we got in the garage, I finally took my phone out and noticed I’d just gotten a text requesting a second team of volunteers for a fire. Since I was in the area (and really, I felt guilty since I was supposed to be on the schedule anyway, until a few hours before the shift started), I texted immediately and said I’d handle it. So 3+ hours of shuffling through the mass of humanity wasn’t enough action for me; I then decided to tack on a fire at around 10 pm. It was cool, though, because I got to show my parents the volunteer office, and they got to see firsthand how I transform from a shy, nerdy goober into a confident, take-charge volunteer as soon as I step into the office. They were a little frightened, I think, because my mom kept telling me, “Calm down. Really. Calm down, Linds. You’re way too excited about a fire.” 🙂
We didn’t get back from the fire until around 1, and then it was all-hands-on-deck (out of the volunteers that were there) to clean up paperwork and get started on casework. I think I got home sometime around 2? On the plus side, I got to work with a) someone amazing who I hardly ever get to see; b) someone who’s been around longer than me but who I’ve never met before (very rare these days); and c) a new trainee, who is also one of my mentees, and whose enthusiasm and talent for doing this stuff makes me think she’s a better version of me. Even though it was a good night to start with, I’m glad I took the call and stayed up past my bedtime in order to help out – totally worth it. Plus, I avoided all the Light Up Night traffic coming home (since it was 2 am). 🙂
Then this morning, I was woken up at way-too-early o’clock by three texts, almost in succession: 1) my mom, asking when I got home (thanks for the early wakeup after the late night, mom); 2) a request for volunteers (too tired, didn’t go); and 3) another volunteer who’s currently on leave in Myrtle Beach, telling me he’s going to be in town soon and requesting I teach him how to do some of the things I’ve been working on. Word of my awesomeness has spread to SC, it seems. (<– Just kidding, I’m not that conceited!)
Anyway, the person in SC sent me this picture of the MB sunrise today, as I was listening to the sound of wind, rain, ice, and snow whipping around outside. The temperature dropped a LOT over the past 24 hours, and we’ve now entered winter in Pittsburgh.
By contrast, the first picture is what I saw when I got home from a busy night at work tonight – snow is laying on the ground, and I don’t like it one bit.
I might need to find a way to sublet my friend’s apartment while he’s back in Pittsburgh for the holidays. Wonder if he’d do a housing exchange? 😉