Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jump Right In with Eyes Wide Open !

As we approached the camp, I had no idea what to expect, but what's new? The entire experience up to this point had been full of unknowns, new experiences and trepidation over what lie ahead. The view all around me was a sea of pink. Pink bubbles as far as the eye could see. I assessed the situation and tried to figure out where my pink bubble was located. I found a man walking around with an official looking name tag on and asked him where my pink bubble was set up.

"All the tents are laying over there. Just grab one and set it up."

He had to be kidding. There is no way they expected us to set up our own tent after just completing a twenty mile walk in weather that was so hot my armpits were stuck to my body. I had sticky Popsicle goop all down the front of my shirt and Gatorade stains made me look like my whole body had been dipped in tie dye. If I thought too long and hard about it I could feel a blister working hard to develop on the back of my left heel. If I thought at all, I could feel every muscle in my body screaming at me to go take a hot shower and get a massage.

And then I stopped.

I thought about the women and men who had undergone weeks and months of chemotherapy, radiation, invasive surgeries. I thought about the pain, the fear, the side effects they live with every day as they fight to survive. I thought about the friends I have lost to this dread disease. I thought about how hard so many of my friends had fought to survive. I thought about my mom and her battle with breast cancer 24 years ago and how thankful I am that she survived. I gave myself a good bitch slap, ended my pity party, walked over and grabbed my pink bubble tent. I proudly set it up in the field with all of the thousands of other Susan G. Komen participants who were walking with me in the 3 Day, 60 mile walk.

That was in 2007. I had the privilege of walking in the Susan G Komen 3 Day for the Cure walk with five wonderful friends. Our team name was 'Melons with Moxie'. We raised over $15,000. for the cause. I was Major Melon and the other teammates were Senior Melon, Math Melon, Ellen Melon, Motivating Melon and Stylin' Melon. We walked, laughed, sang, cried, danced and were dedicated to this life changing event. I don't type that lightly. It was a life changing event for each of us in very personal ways. Have you ever had the privilege to participate in something that is so much bigger than yourself? A chance to make a positive difference in someone's life? For three intense days we were surrounded by powerfully positive attitudes, mind boggling motivation and lots of love. These weren't just invisible concepts. These were tangible, 'you could feel it in the air' actions that were happening all around us. We never felt that we were walking on concrete or cement. We felt that we were walking on clouds and sunshine for sixty miles over three days.

Don't get me wrong. We all had our moments. Blisters, nasty blisters like I had never seen before developed on many heels and toes. Moments of missing our loved ones sometimes overwhelmed us. Many emotions surged through our bodies as we walked, hoping and praying that the cure for this disease be found and no one would ever need to walk for this cause again.

And now I have made the decision to walk again. On October 8, 9 and 10th I will be walking in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure in Washington, DC. I will walk hard and steady, knowing that I am making a difference, knowing that I am part of something so much bigger than myself. I am once again putting together a team of Melons who have Moxie. Not sure who will be my side, but no worries. I know that I will not be alone because I am walking for so many and I will carry them in my heart and soul.

If you have an extra moment and are able to make a donation I invite you to visit my web page by clicking on the 3 Day button on my sidebar. Interested in walking with our 'Melons with Moxie' team, please email me. Aren't able to walk with us or make a donation? Then please send positive energy and hold us in your thoughts and prayers as we train over the next few months. And know that by doing so, you are also part of something so much bigger than yourself. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh, Deer !

This was the view out of my window late yesterday afternoon during the snowstorm. At first I saw just one deer and I ran to get my camera. Then I noticed that there was a second deer in the distance and then deer number three made himself/herself visible and I tried to get all three together for a family portrait but they wouldn't cooperate for me. Imagine my surprise when a fourth deer meandered into view. I was wishing I had a wider lens but with or without the pictures, I am quite sure I won't forget any time soon the view outside of my window.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Through a Child's Eyes

I love the art which children create. It is frequently colorful, detailed and honest. It always puts a smile on my face. I have a young artist friend who truly made my day by drawing a picture of me. This picture has been hanging on my refrigerator so that I can look at it every day and smile. I love her use of color and how she paid attention to detail. Notice the little birds sitting on their nests and the flowers on the bushes. Pink is one of my favorite colors so I love the dress. And I love how she drew me. Tall and slim, with the greatest hairdo and look at that smile on my face ~ it is just like the one I have every time I look at this picture. Thank you, dear artist friend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This Phenomenon called Facebook

I joined Facebook a few months ago mostly out of curiosity. My children all had FB accounts and I would watch over their shoulders when they were at my house checking their FB accounts. They showed me the friends they had re-connected with and the games they were currently playing. I was mildly curious and then one day my good friend, Pam, joined FB and requested to be friends with my daughter. Pam was on Facebook ? Now I was even more curious. Of course, Pam doesn't always know what she is doing on FB such as the time she reprimanded one of her adult children on FB and he had to remind his mother that she couldn't do that - it is one of the unspoken FB rules - no disciplining children via FB. Pam openly admits that one of the reasons she is on FB is to spy on her children. But we all know she is joking. Sort of. My favorite Pam FB story though has to do with LOL. Pam would write LOL on many posts and at times it seemed odd that she would be laughing out loud when people were posting rather sad news. And then one day Pam's FB status stated: 'OMG. I just found out what LOL means. I thought it meant Lots of Love. I had no idea it meant Laugh Out Loud. I am sorry if I offended anyone. ' And when Pam, in her lovable, giggly Pam way called me and we discussed the LOL situation, she stated that she felt that LOL should be changed to Lots of Love because it makes more sense. I informed her that I'm not sure how we would go about changing the whole world's understanding of those three letters: LOL. I do know that when I am with Pam I LOL a lot and I have LOL for her.

So with the help of my daughter I went about setting up my account and then I waited. I became friends with my children and Pam. I tentatively asked another person to be my friend and held my breath while they decided if they would accept my invitation. Yes! They said Yes! They'll be my friend. I feel loved. I feel wanted. I feel accepted. I feel like I am back in 7th grade. Oh great.

I continue to collect my friends on FB and we have had some wonderful reunions. I found some dear college friends who I have missed dearly and we are now planning a real person reunion. I actually get teary at times when I read messages or updates from these wonderful people. Even though many years have passed, our friendship is still alive and treasured.

I stay connected with people within my own community which is wonderful yet at the same time I realize the importance of having real life social interactions with these friends. Face to face. Hugs. Handshakes. Real LOL.

And most recently I have started connecting with many people who went to high school with me. This has been an interesting journey and at times has caused mixed emotions within me. I was never one of the popular girls. But it didn't really matter because I had a strong core group of friends who accepted me for who I was, friends to laugh with, friends to have adventures with, friends who supported me through those very difficult years. We were never invited to the popular kids parties, and at times we were teased and bullied by some of the popular kids. My self-confidence was low, at times non-existent, and most days I walked through the halls of school praying I would make it through the day without any verbal or physical abuse occurring. I am the woman I am today because of my past. I work hard to support the underdog. I will not tolerate bullying. I want everybody to play nice in the sandbox. I am a fierce protector of my loved ones.

And now thirty five years have passed. Reconnecting with people who didn't really know me. And I didn't really know them. People who might never have spoken more than ten words to me throughout my high school years. Maybe they were shy. Maybe my protective shield kept them away. People who have written kind words on my FB Wall. People who are reaching out to me. People who had many of the same self-confidence issues as I did although I couldn't see that at the time. People who had difficulties of their own but I couldn't see past my own issues. People who have experienced lots of life over the past 35 years. And because of Facebook I have the opportunity to finally have friendships with these people. And when we get together for our 35th reunion I will party like a rock star with my high school classmates, my high school friends, after all these years.

I have heard the complaints about Facebook. It is a time sucker. It can be addicting. But it is also allowing people to reach out and reconnect. It is allowing friendships to flourish. It is allowing the world to be that much smaller, that much friendlier. And that is a good thing.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes !

These first four pictures were taken one year ago when my twin grandsons were born.

And now they are one year old !

I have truly enjoyed my first year of grammiehood. Looking forward to celebrating many more milestones and creating many more memories. Happy Birthday !

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