Monday, September 27, 2010

one last thought on the 3 Day

I forgot to give you an update on Lauria, the young girl from Montana. She ended up walking only 10 miles the second day. Her blisters were unbelievably huge and then she sprained her ankle. She was not allowed to walk the third day, but was able to cross the finish line with the others. It was a pleasure to meet her and share her enthusiasm for her first walk.
The rain had stopped by 10 am and the walkers had a lovely, crisp day to walk. There was a threat of rain in the air all day, but no actual moisture falling on them. This is always a good thing, because Day 2 was very hot by Seattle standards and there were a lot of people with dehydration and sunburns.
Think about training for a 3-Day, it is one rewarding experience...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

day 3, Camp signage

Today was a short day but not without emotion. We arrived at camp in the rain, at 7:15, to dismantle the flags once more, pack them up and take them to the closing ceremonies site at Memorial Stadium in Seattle. This time I carried the 40 lb. sand bags on my shoulders, so I am now at least an inch shorter on one side, JK. But, seriously, it is amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. We only had to set up 15 flags and then about 15 wind "jammers", as I call them. I posted the photos from today with yesterdays post. OOPS! You can see we were right underneath the space needle, which was pretty cool, since I have never been that close to it. There was also an Italian Festival going on in the area, which is where I grabbed a meatball sub for lunch.
We saw the walkers starting to arrive at the finish line and they had that glazed look in their eyes, most were limping, but were so happy to be finished with the 60 miles, knowing they had set a goal and accomplished it and also raised at least $2300 for breast cancer research. By the way, the person who raised the most money got a special tent at camp with a heater, raised cot and mattress, larger tent and full recognition at the head of the camp site. She raised $44,000+! Amazing!
After we got back to our hotel we rested, I was exhausted and took a two hour nap. Some of the gals went to the Boeing plant and took the tour. They said it was very interesting. You can fit 75 football fields inside this plant!
Our last dinner as team California 2010 was at Ivar's for a delicious fish dinner.
Thanks to all who posted words of encouragement to my Facebook...I really appreciate your support.

day 2, Camp Signage Crew

This morning we did not have to get up at 3 am...but instead had to report at 8:30 am to our fearless leader, Josh! Our job was to once again remove the thirty-six 40 pound sand bags from the tripods, dismantle the 36, flags and poles, move everything 100 yards away and rebuild it all again. This "flag-tasia" is to inspire the walkers as they leave camp in the morning for their walk and then return again each afternoon. Today, the walkers are walking 21 miles. After this job we were dismissed and had the afternoon to play. In walking to where we would meet our ride, Marcia, better known as "Sis", I picked some wild berries and ate them...yummy!
For our play time, Deborah and the two Marshias went to Seattle to the space needle. Diane, Tzippy and I chose to stay at the hotel. I took a nap, blogged and rested up because all this lifting has not been good for my back...BUT I AM NOT COMPLAINING! I DON'T HAVE BREAST CANCER, SO I CAN DO IT THIS WEEKEND. After the other three returned from Seattle, we toured a lighthouse and then headed for camp.
We were off-duty from 10-4, when we would report back to camp to cheer on the walkers as they returned to camp. This was very emotional to see the women and a lot more men, returning back to camp. There were a few who really got to me...the 3 generation group of grandmother, daughter and grand-daughter; the woman who just finished chemo earlier this year, the women who obviously have had a! It is all very emotional and inspirational. I got to scan the walkers as they crossed the finish line so I was able to greet them by name and say welcome back to camp. I adopted my sisters comment from my post from yesterday..."forget Disneyland, 3-Day Camp is the happiest place on earth!"
After our cheering duties were over we had to wait until the last walker was in camp and then our work would start guessed it, moving the 36 flags!. Then we had to collect and dismantle all the wind masters...these are the placards, 2'x3', that are all over camp telling people where the medical tents are, the food, showers, etc. These wind masters are not light weight either, thus the name wind master, they can withstand the wind and not get knocked over. Deborah and Josh drove around camp in a mule and brought them back to where we were waiting at the truck, where we dismantled, and filed all the placards, lifted the wind masters into the truck and then our work was over. We finally finished around 9 pm and were back to the hotel and in bed by 10:30.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

first day, Camp Signage crew

Our day started with a 3 am wake-up call. UGH! REALLY, I am doing this again? But then a few hours later I am reminded of why I am involved with this walk when the walkers start arriving and you see the dedications to their loved ones on their t-shirts. Loved ones who are fighting this disease, loved ones they have lost and loved ones they want to prevent from ever getting this disease, not to mention the walkers who themselves have had breast cancer. Young, old, moms, grandmothers, men, sisters, all fighting. There are teams that come all dressed in a theme. There is the cupcake team, who decorate their tents to look like frosted cupcakes. There are the teams who travel from far away. And then there is the one lone husband who is walking all 15 walks in honor of his wife. WOW! That one gets you. I do not have a "personal" connection to breast cancer, in that I have no relatives with the disease, but I have way too many friends with this disease and a few have already lost their battle. That's why I put up with lifting 40 pound sand bags and getting up at three in the morning to work a 16 hour day, sitting and working in the rain.
Our job on the camp signage team was to make sure that the camp was well marked with where to get showers, medical attention and food, etc. Also, we were in charge of "Flag-tation", which is a beautiful row of flags with dedications to all, inspiration to all, and appeciation to all who walk, work and suffer for breast cancer. This is where the 40 pound sandbags came in. There were 36 flags and we put them up or moved them a total of three times (and that's just today) you can do the math on how much weight I lifted today. Toward the end of the day we did have some help from a few other men crew workers who did some of the heavy lifting for us.
Roberta, from Montana, is on our team. She is the only one that I did not know previous to arriving in Seattle. She is crewing and her young co-worker, Lauria, is walking. Lauria is walking because her aunt died from breast cancer 6 months ago. Lauria walked the entire first day, all 22.5 miles and never trained. Now this girl is not in shape, her feet are a mess, her hips hurt and she arrived in tears at the finish line. But these were not tears of pain, but tears of joy, because she did it! She walked 22.5 miles, she met new friends, she has the 3-Day in her blood now. She was so inspired by all the stories of people she met along the route, by the kindness of strangers, the cheers and hugs she received from the sidelines and also the cute firemen who were along the route to inspire them to walk a little further. At dinner she was so excited to tell us of her experiences from the day. A team of first time walkers heard her talking and realized she was walking by herself and they said, "not anymore, you are on our team now!" More tears of joy!
I hope you enjoy some of the photos. The weather was cold and rainy most of the day, but thank goodness I brought all the correct rain gear this year. I came prepared.
As I write this blog it is day two of the walk and the weather is gorgeous...we are on a break and I will write more later about today.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

first day, Seattle

We arrived and I have to say, what an event it was getting here. We arrived at Long Beach airport in record time...only to realize that Diane H. had forgotten here ID and credit cards. To make a long story short, they let her on the plane using a Costco card and a phone interview as her identification. Kind of scary, huh? Then there were 9 children on a plane that only sat 72!...and the plane was not full. But, those 9 kids were so really was a miserable flight. It's a good thing I am here for a charity event because this is definitely not a vacation...until tonight. We had a great dinner and then laughed hysterically about all that went wrong with the day.
Tomorrow we are going to do a little site seeing before the work begins on Friday.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the Ya-Yas are hitting the road

I'm heading to Seattle to work the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer. My first experience with the walk was as a "walker" 10 years ago. My sister and I both signed up without knowing the other was signing up. We walked from Santa Barbara to Malibu, 60 miles in 3 days, and it became a passion of mine to stay involved with this group. 2000 was a trying year because my dad was dying from metastasized prostate cancer, so to be involved with this walk with my sister was a very emotional and gratifying experience. 10 years later, 7 more "walks" under my belt. This will be the third time to crew the walk. 2004 was another emotional year because several of my friends were newly diagnosed and so they came out to surprise me as I was getting ready to leave for New York. Here they were recuperating from different stages of breast cancer and they were coming out to SUPPORT me. This is what the Ya-Yas are all about! The Ya-Yas are my friends, Tzippy, Deborah, Diane, Kim (RIP) and Marcia. We met through the walk and have remained friends all these years. Through the years people come and go in your life. These gals are true friends. We named ourselves the Ya-Yas after the movie The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood a few years back. Breast cancer has touched so many of my friends and I like that I can do something to make a difference, even if it is putting up a sign at camp to let the walkers know where the showers are located (you have to have walked 20+ miles in one day to appreciate what a welcome site those showers are). We work long, hard days to make the walk as comfortable as possible for the walkers. We choose a different city each year to work/walk. I have walked or worked in San Diego, New York, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Atlanta and Philadelphia, sometimes more than once in each city. To tell the truth, I would rather be walking and hope to find a group to train with and walk again next year. But for now, it's working on the Camp Signage team for me.
So, it's off to Seattle we go.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

di and Doc’s random last thoughts on France…

Beaches with soft white sand and huge rocks in the water…hydrangeas everywhere in all colors…I love the way French women dress. They always look put together, finishing their outfit with a scarf or belt, except the old ladies that wear way too much make-up…too many people smoke, especially young women=sad :(…weather can change every 15 minutes from sunny to rainy…people are so friendly but most refuse to speak English even if they know how…the kindness of Couchsurfing friends is endearing…to be able to Skype and see your loved ones across the world is very cool…wish we would have gone to see the towns of Quimper, Concarneau, and Carnac…lots of men wear red pants…wish I knew how to pack lighter, so our suitcases were not so huge…business class lounge is a great perk when flying long distances when you have a layover or need to be at the airport 3 hours early…sitting in a café doing nothing is very relaxing…Pelforth beer from England is a new favorite…meeting and making new friends in a foreign country is an added bonus of traveling…we wasted time staying in Vannes, we should have stayed another two nights in Port Launay and then another night in Paris…lots of men use “hankies”…many red-haired children, especially in Cancale…too many men wear hiking sandals…the dialects of all the different areas are interesting…surfing in France was an unexpected surprise…most people are very helpful…we spent too much time in the car getting to places…shorts+pants=shants, not an attractive fashion statement…Cancale was better than expected…Port Launay was like a fairytale site…wish we had walked along the oyster beds in Cancale…all cars in the US should be diesel…some tourists really dress like “tourists”…days on vacation go way too fast…Paul ate beets and liked them…broken camera doesn’t have to ruin vacation, as long as it’s at the end of vacation…talking with a young woman who works for the International Red Cross was very enlightening, she’s training to work in areas of conflict…sometimes other people’s idea of a good restaurant is not our idea too…almost putting gasoline in a diesel engine could have been a disaster, but we were saved by another kind Frenchman…Paul liked wearing a scarf and hat and looked good doing it…taking the train into Paris instead of driving was one of our best last minute plans…everyone should be required to close their sunshade on the airplane…taking a wrong turn can lead to a beautiful, scenic drive…some things in guide books are too “touristy”…here is one thing I learned from this vacation; it’s ok not to see every museum, monument, historic site or beach when visiting another country. It’s ok to drive aimlessly, get lost on a walk or just spend time in your room or a café relaxing. After all, isn’t that what vacations are for?