Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hate becomes HOPE

Have I ever mentioned that I HATE cancer ?? Hate is a word I seldom use...but this week cancer has stirred that emotion within me.  Neuoblastoma a childhood cancer, took the last breath of a beautiful young girl whose life has touched the hearts of thousands of strangers, friends and family alike. After seeking the latest treatment available from the best cancer facilities in our nation the reality is "THE NEEDED" treatment has not yet been developed.I have talked to numerous women who have dealt with breast cancer, a nieghbor whose sister died of pancreatic cancer a friend who lost her husband to lung cancer..and the list goes on.

HATE is a powerful word.."to feel INTENSE, or PASSIONATE DISLIKE"

I hesitate to use the word because in our world today we see that emotion pointed from one human to another. The hate speech of one group against another is all to prevalent. Respect and Kindness seem to be traits that have been lost to many. Yet, I can write to you without any qualms that I HATE this disease that steals the lives of so many, way to early!

Having acknowledged that INTENSE emotion boiling within me, it then becomes my responsibility to deal with it. Sitting and allowing my anger and sadness to rule is of no help to anyone, especially me. So what do I do with that emotion?? I CHOOSE TO WALK!! I am not a doctor or a scientist.  I don't have the knowledge or ability to work within a hospital or lab to "find the cure". But I CAN walk. The 3Day Walk is a walk for breast cancer, but I walk with the hope that all research will have benefits for many cancers!

I know that I have shared with you many times that the reason I do the 3Day  is to show Thanksgiving for Life and the ability to walk.  It is a way for me to "Pay it Forward"  for the blessings and health I have today. To be a part of  bringing HOPE to others. That HOPE comes in the form of research which is made possible by the monies raised as thousands of people WALK; for thousands of others who DONATE. Together we become a team and the HATE can be replaced with HOPE. Respect for one another and Kindness to each other seems to find their way past religious or political differences as we work for a common goal. A "LIFETIME" for everyone. There is no room for hate of one another as we realize that this disease isn't discriminatory but could strike your family as well as mine.

One of the questions I hear often is, "What gives you the motivation to walk those hundreds of training miles?" Well, the answer is simple. Each year as I begin this journey and I listen to neighbors, friends, family and strangers share their stories , I know we need  research to find that CURE. The donations made to support the miles walked by thousands of participants make that research a reality.

I choose to channel the HATE I feel for cancer into "MILES OF HOPE" !!

Wanta join me?? Check out my web page: I'll walk the miles as you donate your dollars for those miles and together we WILL make a difference! 

Please leave me a comment with your story:)

Walking Strong Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime

Miles of Hope

3Day Walk

Tuesday, March 6, 2018



Why do I walk the 3Day? I walk it in honor of the 400 names I now carry
on my Tutu and for the new names I will obtain in my training this year.
Men,women and children who have been affected by the monster we call
cancer.The challenge is real. 60 miles is a long walk and the hours required
to train are many. It is a commitment I don't make lightly because once the
commitment is made the entire 60 miles becomes the goal. NO SHORTCUTS,
as those I honor, who fight this monster, are required to endure every hour of
treatment. So, in good health, I will walk strong in their honor.There are many
who do this walk and are not physically able to complete the full 60 miles.
They are on the trail, the research money has been raised (each participant
is required to raise $2300) and their commitment to that ultimate goal is no
different than mine. It's not a race, it is not a "contest" it IS hundreds of
participants with the same goal.

My reward comes in the name of HOPE. The HOPE that comes from each
research breakthrough from the monies donated. The HOPE I see in the eyes
of those who share their stories trusting that I care,and that each mile I walk
is in their honor of the friend or lovedone whose story they shared.
Today I carried my first new name home. It is always a humbling experience
as I acknowledge that the person I'm walking away from has opened his/her
heart and entrusted me with a story they hold dear.
When my phone 'pings' with the announcement "A Donation has been made"
no matter how large or small, my heart smiles, my steps seem lighter and I
uttera prayer of thanksgiving.for those who will be blessed by it. It never gets
old,routine or mundane.

It has been a couple of years since I 'hit the trail' and there have been several
times that I have doubted that I would be able to accept that challenge due to health issues. In December we came to Arizona to take advantage of the sunshine and stay active. After joining the Walkers of Palm Gardens for a couple desert walks, my husband, and most ardent supporter said, "I think you could do the 3Day again" Unknown to him I had made that same decision. (I love it when we think alike!)

I made the call, registration has been paid and the excitement of a new adventure stirs within me. I invite you to share your story and a name for the Tutu!! (No donation required) and as always you may join me as a 'Vessel of Hope" by making a donation on the link below.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Treasures and Values

Saturday is Coffee and Donuts at the South Hall! It is an opportunity to meet new neighbors and to plan the week ahead. It is also our day of adventure.

 It was a rare day in Arizona as it turned into a cool rainy day. In place of our planned hike we chose to check out some shops in a nearby community. After touring a consignment shop I found a corner Antique Store with a sign in the window  'Sale: 50% Off" . Well, I couldn't pass up an Antique Store but when you add the possibility of finding a sale it is even more enticing.
I was amazed at the quality and quantity it held. I had enjoyed chatting with the the lady who owned the store as I took a leisurely walk through her treasures. She spoke with a beautiful accent, though I couldn't quite place it.

 The door opened and she welcomed a couple who had come in from the cold to take a look around.

The owner announced to them that most everything in the store was on sale 50% off and for them to "Let me know if you want to look closer at something." The lady stopped almost immediately and said, "Yes, I would like to look at this silver compact." The owner graciously unlocked the showcase and while handing the item to the customer said "Now it it 1/2 off of  the ticketed one hundred and twenty five dollars but it could be yours for fifty dollars!!" The lady opened it up, looked it over and said, "No, thanks" to which the owner not wanting to lose a sale, asked, "What would you pay me for it today?"
After a short pause the lady answered, "Well, I was thinking fifteen dollars."
I turned around thinking, Wow that took guts, and didn't know whether to be impressed with her initiative or embarrassed at the insult the owner must have felt!
The owner, without a moment hesitation, casually took the compact back, opened the showcase and while setting it down responded, "It is not "used" it is a collectible....Starbucks, a cup of coffee and piece of pumpkin bread, you could get for $15.00. It is a collectible you know and I have investment. Thank you anyway."

I continued to walk through the shop and had to smile at the response. She had quite cleverly declined the offer of the customer while at the same time declaring the value of; and reason she had placed that value on the item.

Later in the day as I thought back on the incident I realized that each of us have "treasures" in our lives that we value highly. Some are tangible items, those we have on our in our homes, on our walls and shelves. Others are intangible.  As an example a few of my personal treasures would include : my time, energy and my family.

There are times we offer to share those treasures with others, only to find that they don't understand our value system.  We then choose our response to what we may interpret as lack of appreciation of that treasure by others .
 It is my hope that my choice would be to be gracious but strong. That I would be able to convey that the value I place on my 'treasure' is due to my investment and my investment is equal to the value I place on it.  At the same time I hope to accept that others may not appreciate my investment and we are both free to walk away.
May the experience of rejection never stop me from offering to share one more time.

The door opened, a new customer arrived, and the voice once again repeated,"Most everything in the store is 50% off. Please let me know if there is anything I can show you up close."

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Challenge to Simplify

Living in a small home, in a "retired community" is a new experience and brings with it many opportunities for learning and enjoying. Swimming, exercise class, pool, line dancing, writers club, Bible Study, potlucks, and Bingo to name a few.

Saturday is the day to plan your week. It  begins in the morning with coffee and a donut in the South Hall. Announcements of the weeks events and fellowship with new friends.
As the various activities are announced it becomes obvious there is 'something for everyone', those who would choose to 'watch' and those who choose to DO.  As one fella noted, "I don't eat dirt".  In other words, He will be a doer. :)
Tiny house or not there is cleaning and shopping to be done, only on a much smaller scale.
Having raised 5 children and sharing our home and table with many of their friends and ours; it has been a challenge, for years, to cook and shop for two. When we are in our home in Montana; with the possibility of family dinners or guests at any time, having extra food in the pantry and freezer is a "smart" idea..RIGHT?? Well, that's MY story and I'm sticking to it!!
Our son-in-law once ask our grandson, "If I was lost in the woods and had one wish do you know what it would be?" To which our grandson very excitedly replied, "NO, WHAT?" The answer..."Grandma's refrigerator!"
If you have followed my blog, or know me, you will know that I am ALWAYS up to a challenge. It seems to be a weakness of mine.
Currently my goal is "At the end of our 6 months in Arizona for the frig and cupboards to be close to bare. Striving to purchase only what we need from week to week." I have accepted this as a test of my innovative skills. Shopping and cooking have become adventures of their own. In reality it has become a fun undertaking, finding meals fit for two and creating new ways to make sure the leftovers are not 'left'. It has brought memories of years past when the budget required a plan and leftovers were rather known as 'recycleables" Meals were a sometimes a "WONDER" to be explored.

Enter the InstaPot!  It is currently the 'miracle of  kitchen appliances" and my newest friend. Because ANY challenge is more fun with a companion, RIGHT??  Having accepted this test I had created for myself it was time to get started. Menus are built, grocery list made and the learning has begun. "So good" as my Mom used to say. Seems she had a adage for almost everything..but THAT, my friend is a story to come.
Meatloaf, ribs, chicken, eggs, and even cheesecake have successfully made their way to the table. The pot seems to be endless with it's provision of  deliciousness. For this dweller of a tiny home the challenge is on, the frig is looking less like the source of weeks of nourishment and the cupboards hold mainly the needed ingredients for the menu planned.

The challenge is going well, the budget is looking good and the tummy's are full. It feels great to 'get back to the basics' and have time to take a WALK IN THE DESERT of Arizona! Truth is, I am kinda falling in love with the 'simple life' again, which seems to be my ultimate goal in this life called retirement.

 Henry David Thoreau once said," Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify."  Sounds like great advise to me! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"The Apple of his Eye"

While perusing the internet for InstaPot recipes  (because I may be a bit obsessed -oh, now I digress, that is a story for later! )I came on one for making applesauce. As I was reading through it the poster had listed all the best varieties of apples to be used. This sparked a memory of a story my Dad used to tell. Join me for a moment as I share a memory.

My Dad and Mom celebrated their 40th anniversary on the third day of February 1964 just 15 days before my 16th birthday and the day my Dad would pass away unexpectedly. My sisters had planned a celebration for them that would include the fellowship of friends and family covering those 40 years. Life had been filled with it's share of challenges during those years but many stories of laughter and love were woven among the sad and tragic. Being the youngest of 8 children, separated by as many as 23 years life was pretty different by the time I arrived, and certainly by the time I was old enough to remember. As a result I have only a smattering of stories to cover those early years.
My Dad and oldest brother and sister worked in the shipyards during the war. Daddy was older with a family to care for and Charlie was not accepted due to health issues. (He died at 21 of cancer) Betty was a welder. The stories were rarely shared of this time but Betty told me of forgetting to take her boots one Sunday. She had to wear her 'Sunday shoes' on her shift and got a terrible burn on her foot when slag fell in her open shoe. "I didn't ever forget my boots after that," she said.

Dad farmed with horses and Mom fed the crews in the early years. Later in their marriage Dad walked the logs on the pond of the saw mill, guiding the logs up the chain to be made into lumber. The family was always rewarded by Mom's gardening and cooking skills and the Sunday Dinner table was rarely set for 'family only.' Even tho the money was sparse the love and hospitality in our home never was. Our table welcomed family, friends, and strangers alike.

In those 40 years they lost 3 children. One to disease, one after only 3 days of life and one to a tragic accident. They lived through the war and the "Great Depression". But the story that everyone of us kids would remember and love the most was how they met.

Daddy was working as a farm hand in the apple orchards of western Washington and Momma was picking apples for that same farmer. Daddy would tell how he saw this pretty girl in the tree, and would continue to embellish the story. But he would always declare "I met your Mom when I shook her out of the apple tree." To which Mom would never disappoint him with her response of "Roy Selby you quit telling that story!" much to our delight.

It is one of my favorite tales as I remember his laugh, the twinkle in his eye as he waited expectantly for Mom's inevitable response.

To this day when I think of the fruit in the apple tree I know that without a doubt my Dad got the "apple of his eye" and the  "cream of the crop!!"

Keep your eyes open you never know where you might find a treasure!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Walking in the storm....

While scanning through my former blogs I found this 'draft' that I had never completed. It was started as I was in training for one of my 3Day walks for breast cancer. At the moment I am living in Arizona,  the 'land of sunshine' but am very aware of the clouds that can creep over our lives.  This spoke to my heart as I re-read it and recalled the day.  The concept of being a "Parter of  the Clouds' has been stirring in my heart the past few weeks so I thought maybe it would bring a challenge to another  heart out there! So here it is.....

I have made the commitment in my training to take my walking to the 'outdoors' as much as possible. There is something about breathing in the fresh air that wakes my mind and puts a spring in my step.  In the last couple days I have been reminded of the changes that can take place so quickly in Montana and I was reminded how it reflects life.

Yesterday I started out in cloudy overcast skies. As I continued to walk, the sun broke through.  An hour later I came out from lunch to rain. My commitment to the walk was made and the weather that lay ahead was was not a factor. Commitment is not determined by circumstances, RIGHT??  As I walked and the rain began to fall I had no place to hide. The chill of the storm had found it’s way deep inside my bones. When I arrived home the warmth of fire began to melt the ice.  
This morning the sky was blue, the sun was shining and my anticipation of a day to enjoy Gods' beautiful creation put a smile on my face.I quickly learned that although the sun was out and  the sky was blue that the thermometer showed little hope of a 'WARM sunshiny day.'
It is amazing the difference sunshine and blue skies have on the attitude and strength of resolve.

Isn't that how life goes? We can wake up to an 'overcast' day...something is nagging at our heart or head and the day seems a bit cloudy. As the day goes on we may find ourselves walking through a storm of blizzard proportions...the bank called to say your account is short, a loved one is going to be fighting a battle for life, your child is demanding an extra dose of know what I mean.
The chill of that storm makes its' way to the bone and stays with you for hours, day or weeks.

Then one day you awake to the sunshine. The clouds have scattered but the frost is still in the air. With the sunshine comes HOPE and the strength to press on. The boss offers an extra hour of overtime...a friend calls to offer love and support....or maybe you are just reminded of a scripture that promises understanding and hope.

Many times it is the touch or maybe just a word from family, friend, or a complete stranger that parts the clouds and allows that first ray of sun. Are YOU a “parter” of the clouds?? When your heart is nudged to contact a friend or speak to that stranger..JUST DO IT! The time it takes will be repaid in the joy renewed and hope restored that a simple gesture of caring can bring. A smile, a word, a hug, a phone call or a card sent are all tools to bring forth the sunshine from behind the clouds!

Listen to your heart and bless and be blessed!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

INSPIRATION is my word....

IT'S OFFICIAL...2018 has begun!

Three years ago as I was preparing for a 3Day 60 mile walk for breast cancer, my heart kept stressing the word HOPE to me. My commitment to the walk became based on that word. The research done as a result of  the monies raised for that walk brings HOPE to those diagnosed. It then became a goal throughout my year to share HOPE with as many people as possible. What fun it turned out to be.

Since that year; at the beginning of each new year I search for a "word" to become my theme for the year to come...I have carried HOPE and JOY in the years past and I begin this new year with 'INSPIRATION' as my word for the next 365 days! Do you notice they build on each other?

INSPIRATION: "The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative " ( a new body, attitude or lifestyle could be seen as creative )

Inspiration is something I will look for from others and something I will strive to give. There are many means of inspiration for all avenues of life. I am excited to look for people, words, slogans, and stories that will 'spur me on' to become a stronger, healthier more "creative" person. To learn a new skill or to complete a goal I have never accomplished and to become a source of INSPIRATION to others, in 2018!!


What is YOUR word??