Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fueled by Commitment

It has been three days since I crossed the finish line...60 Miles in 3 Days!!  With a feeling of tremendous satisfaction I completed a commitment made nearly 7 months ago and renewed many times to friends and family who showed their support financially and emotionally. One hundred and eighty cancer patients who have, or are, fighting the battle for a lifetime (Some who fought valiantly and lost) I carried with me, names imprinted on my walking shirt a promise made to "take them with me across the finish line."

I trained hard for seven months in order to be prepared for the challenge I knew was ahead. After the first day I realized how thankful I was for the months of training...but worried it wasn't enough. For the first time since my commitment a little voice began to 'speak the words of doubt.'  Those of you who have followed my journey know that your support and those 'Winks from God' have been my inspiration and motivation. Friday was no different...I arrived at camp to find several letters and cards of encouragement waiting for me, my phone 'pinged' with countless messages of love, pride and ' you go girl' from friends and family. Hugs and love from strangers topped the day.  The doubt was dispelled and the assurance that nothing would come between me and that finish line returned! I began to recognize the power of the faith placed in me and the commitment I knew I had made to so many.

The second day brought with it it's own share of hills and challenges. I found myself in the role of encourager to many as they fought their own battles with doubts, exhaustion and blisters.  My strength and joy seemed to return with each step as I again began to recall my reasons for being here and  the commitment I had made. As the sun set on day two I found my commitment renewed, motivation restored and myself 20 miles closer to the goal!

Day three arrived with the promise of a shorter route and a celebration to be shared with my 1200 fellow walkers at the close. It also arrived wet and windy. Mother Nature threw her last hurrah in the final four hours on the trail. The skies opened to pour a deluge of water on the  parade of pink and winds strong enough to be called 'tree trimmers' by the weatherman hurled their forces in an attempt to slow or even stop our progress.
At the beginning of the storm the most brilliant rainbow appeared reaching from the horizon to a fluffy cloud the shape of a cotton ball floating above. It seemed to hover over the trail for several miles. It served as a beautiful reminder of a promise from God and provided the feeling He knew exactly where I was at that moment in time.
Before me lay the opportunity to proclaim victory over all the obstacles and doubts produced by the challenge of the route.With that opportunity came the reminder that every step was fueled by a commitment I had made  and  that my walk was meant to bring Honor and Hope to so many!!

As the last hill came into sight, lined with people in all shades of pink and carrying a variety of noisemakers. Family, Friends and Strangers giving HIGH FIVES and hugs of congratulations. Tears of joy overflowed as the realization of a mission accomplished began to set in. After a time in 'holding'  we filed onto the field to our closing ceremony. 1200 walkers celebrating the end of 3 incredible days with one goal in mind...bringing an end to breast cancer !! As the song "WE ARE FAMILY" reverberated  from the speakers we hugged, cried and celebrated life...our own and those whose lives would be changed and given HOPE by  the three million dollars we had collectively raised.

 The commitment I made 7 months ago and renewed often to friends and family proved to be the fuel for the motivation to see the end of the most amazing life changing adventure of a lifetime!

I owe gratitude and thanks to so many but the support of my husband through the hundreds of miles walked in training,  seeing his smiling face and sharing a hug and tears of celebration at the end of my journey was a gift beyond measure! The arrival of our daughter and family for the closing ceremony was priceless :)

Get ready San Diego 3Day  we will be coming your way Nov. 21-23 of 2014 for the challenge you lay out....

Monday, September 16, 2013


In 3 days I will take off on the most incredible adventure of my lifetime! I will endeavour to use this blog as an avenue to keep in touch with family and friends.  Because of the length of my walk each day  I will not get to my updates until the evenings..but I will carry your love and support with me ALL day!

Excitement is running high and my 'to do' list IS getting shorter. Because we are taking the motor home and planning to extend the trip a couple weeks the list is a little more complicated :)
Each day continues to present me with a new reminder of why I made this commitment. I walk each mile in honor those who are fighting their battle with cancer. My walking shirt carries 180 names of those you have shared.

Early in my journey  a young man told me that his personalized  license plate was "time is money". I told him I was in training for my 3day Walk and that "I would supply the time and miles but I need help with the money." I had no idea at that time the harvest those miles on the trail would produce. I am delivering to Seattle  $3540 to be added to the grand total, for research, education, and provisions. All because of YOU and your willingness to provide the money!!

Because this has been a life changing event in my life the adventure will not end in Seattle!! I have signed on to 60 Miles in San Diego 2014! My niece is joining me and we plan to "Rock the Walk! "
 Decide now to join me by committing to give support through "time OR money" Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime :)

Walking Strong
Laura  (Grandma M)

Sunday, September 15, 2013


The first "picture" that always comes to mind with the word ANTICIPATION was a time when I was about 6 years old and my parents had promised a trip to town. We lived in a very small community and a trip to town meant shopping at the 88 Cent Store ( Dollar Stores! Does that make me old?). A visit to the auction for my Dad and brother and a bowl of Chinese Noodle Soup with Daddy and Momma.  Daddy had responded to a call and had gone to help a neighbor in need. In my eagerness to be on the road, I set on the back of Mommas red fabric couch, in front of the big 'picture' window watching for the approach of Daddy's car and the promised adventure.

Next comes the time when I found myself several blocks from home after the sun had slipped below the horizon. Shadows danced in the dim light coming from homes and the occasional street light. My mind began recalling all those scary movies I had watched and mysteries I had read and I found myself contemplating the danger behind every bush !

Then came the day in the doctors office when I was diagnosed with breast cancer...She quickly made an appointment with a surgeon. As the day of the appointment neared I anxiously awaited his plan of attack and the detour my life would take in the weeks and months ahead.

Amazing, isn't it how the same word, in different forms, can conjure up such different memories. Bringing with the memories a tear of disappointment,  a tickle of nervousness in the tummy, or a smile at the prospect of adventure.

In 5 days I will embark on the one of the greatest adventures and challenges of my lifetime. I will spend 3 days walking 20 miles each day with an incredible group of men and women.  The community will be bathed in pink and the shared goal of all is to bring Hope and Help to those battling  breast cancer.
My anticipation has taken the form of contemplation with all that lies ahead and what it means to me
and many others. The opportunity to be involved in something that effects so many lives is totally overwhelming. Add to that the fact that for me, every step is a miracle, the excitement and eagerness becomes hard to contain.

In 5 days I will mark the beginning of a challenge I took on 7 months ago. It promises to be a culmination of hard work, over a thousand miles of walking, creating a circle of friends and the humbling honor of representing nearly two hundred cancer victims whose names I will carry with me.

But wait...this looks to be the prelude of more to come! In November of 2014 my niece Pam Smith will join me to once again walk the 60.  So now, I share with her, the anticipation of all this adventure promises in the joy of bringing Hope and Help to others.

What are YOU anticipating???

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Catchin' God's Winks

God's Winks.... 'coincedences in life'

Countless times I have looked at my life and 'sighed' with the harried schedule of it all. That was acceptable and expected when the house was full of children, I found myself helping my husband in the fields, and the normal, everyday household chores beckoned. But now, I'm retired, everyday is a Saturday, according to friends. The golf course, recliner, and pampering should be the order of my day..RIGHT??


'Amazed' is how I look at my calendar as the weeks and months approach. Life is not slowing down as  one would expect at retirement age. Time seems to be flying at break-neck speed and I sometimes struggle just to hold on.

So it is with awe that I see how a very time-consuming, demanding, commitment is teaching me the greatest lesson of my life. "Slow down, reach out, stop and take time to touch a life, listen, and be touched.!"
Visiting with a fellow walker on the trail, having dinner with a friend in the middle of a long walk, lunch with an older person who needs someone to' lend an ear.' In short ...tossing the schedule to the wind and delighting in the new design for my day. Recognizing those 'Winks' from God and basking in the knowledge He is working in me!
If I had no other benefit from the commitment to to Walk 60 miles in 3days this lesson alone would be worth it all. Add to that the fact that I have an opportunity to be a small part in bringing Big Hope to so many beyond words.

Make a choice today...slow down...pause..listen to that friend or stranger who crosses your path and be aware of the 'Winks" in your life. You will be astonished how much more rich your life will become.

Walking Strong...and looking for 'Winks'

Friday, September 6, 2013


Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo BakerWhere we write for five minutes without editing and see where it takes you, using a word Lisa has chosen.The word today is RED...GO

Several year ago I turned 50 and was now eligable to join the ranks of the "RED HATS" A group of friends and strangers who have all reached that milestone and are anxious to gather for some fun and silliness :) The only rule is that there are NO rules!! 
At the time, I had a very dear friend who was a widow in need of an excuse to just get out and enjoy life a bit. We made a date, purchased our first hat and found that nothing says "Fun" like a red hat :)
I am now the 'Queen Mum" of a group of nine women. Once a month we gather for a dinner together,sometimes a concert or special outing but ALWAYS a hug and laughter. Our heads covered with a creative Red hat (the bigger the better)a purple shirt,and bright and flashy accessories we join with a single goal. FRIENDSHIP 
I have found that as time passes and the demands of life change the greatest nugget I can mine is the companionship and support of another woman...but wait..isn't that true of any stage of life? Don't we always desire the fellowship and support of another "sister'? 
So if you have not quite yet reached the 'red milestone' go ahead purchase a pink hat and lavender shirt and have yourself some fun and turn a stranger into a friend!