Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Finally, a 3-Day non-photo recap

Yes, there were blisters--but they were small and manageable and are now faded in my memory.

I've put this post off because--well, I was busy and it takes thinking. But before other things fade in memory, here is this rather disjointed offering.

I want to talk about two young women I met on the walk. To me, these two carry the spirit of the walk. Unfortunately, I don't know their names. I'm really bad at getting names. But they will not fade in my memory.

As a solitary walker, I connected up with Judy who was on her own the first morning, and we teamed with Jennifer who could not find her team. I walked with them through the morning, but their pace was too fast for me to keep up with all day, and at dinnertime I was looking for a place to sit in the dining tent.

I joined a young woman from Los Angeles and we talked a bit about the day. No, she was not on a team. Yes, she was participating by herself. She had flown in the night before for the walk.

With a walk in San Francisco Bay Area and the largest of the 3-Days in San Diego, why did she choose to come all this way to Seattle?

"I chose the walk that was on my birthday weekend."

She was finished with her dinner and went off to do other evening things the eve of her 30th birthday. And I sat in awe.

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Next morning, I met a young lady whose name I thought was Elizabeth. Later when I was looking for Elizabeth I couldn't find her, and I think I got her name wrong. I'll call her Elizabeth here now.

Elizabeth was wearing a "bib" (like competitors wear in a race with their number) with her team name--"Army 3-Day Walkers". But it also said "One day to 47." I asked her what that was. The next day, she said, would be her 47th birthday.

Here is her story. She had come from Maryland, and was part of a team of seven from her Army post who had planned and prepared for this walk.

Four of her team had been deployed and the other two had not made their fundraising minimum.

Although walking on her birthday weekend was part of her plan, she was there now as a solitary walker rather than with a group of friends to celebrate.

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If either of you should see this--please contact me through the e-mail link on my profile or leave a comment. I have something for you. Finding someone among a group of 3299 people is not easy if you are as crazy as me not to get names.

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Meeting up with Kim from Seattle Daily Photo was heartwarming. This happened on Sunday morning as she met me at the cheering station along Green Lake. I did not realize how important a team is until I did this walk on my own this year. Kim and I had not met before other than through our blogs. It was like old home week with no hesitation for a big hug. We chatted for a while while I doctored my blisters before heading out again. Thank you Kim for being there for me.

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On Friday after I had sent Judy and Jennifer on their speedy way, I walked for a while with another Kathy. She, as well as quite a few others, had asked me about my backpack. I had made it with my pink ribbon quilt block as the flap. Kathy is the owner of Parkland Parish Quilt Shop in Tacoma, and was part of a team of employees and customers who were walking. I haven't been to her shop, but have many friends among my quilting connections who are frequent shoppers there.

Kathy was a reminder of the support that I have had in my 3-Day walk from my quilting friends. They are far and away the most caring and generous of people, and my biggest donors for this year's walk. I owe Kathy the pattern for the block. I will get those out to you soon. If there are any other quilters out there who would like the pattern, let me know either by e-mail or in the comments.

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Let's see, what else? For the week after the 3-Day we volunteered at the Visitor Center at Ohanapecosh. When I was out with the ranger one day, she mentioned to a visitor from some distance that I was a volunteer and had done the 3-Day the previous weekend. The tourist said she had seen us. They had been visiting in Seattle on Sunday and had seen the walkers along the waterfront, then, when they went up in the Space Needle, had had a bird's eye view of the closing ceremonies.

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Okay, so what's it all about?

This is October. I have not made my blog background pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year because it has been pink for my whole 3-Day preparation. But hey there--think about it. Breast Cancer kills! and it can be presented. Get your mammogram! Get informed! Get involved!

That's what the pink ribbon of walkers seen winding through Seattle by anyone in a small plane that day were saying.

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I have a dilemma. We have made the decision to join my brother and a group of his travelling friends to do an Alaska cruisetour next year. It is the same time as the 3-Day Walk in Seattle.

So where shall I walk?

4 comments:

CrazyCath said...

Oh wow you do such a fantastic job. Such good friends found and met up with along the way. You are an inspiration.

But your dilemma? Sorry - that HAS to be your call.

Thanks for sharing this. I absorbed every word.

PERBS said...

Thanks for the rest of the story! I enjoyed reading about the new friends you met while walking. Glad your blisters are all gone now.

I can't help you on the walk for next year. . . just know there are many. I heard they had a one day walk on a Sunday in Portland this year.

diXymiss said...

Wow ~ what an eXperience this must have been! I'll confess, I teared up with each set of pictures you posted and again with this recap. I see so much courage in these images and stories. Blessings!

PS ~ what are your alternate (location) choices for neXt year?

AVCR8TEUR said...

What interesting people you met during your walk. I should think about doing this in my area next year.

As for your dilemma, I would go with your family and walk the following year because you get to spend some precious time with your family or you can come down to SF and walk here if it's on a different weekend. ;D