You know when you think back on your life and there are a few days that really stand out, not just because really great things happened on that day but because you did something that may have changed the course of your life. One of those days happened for me in the Spring of 1987. We lived in a neighborhood that didn’t seem to have a lot of young families but our perception changed when Joe talked to a co-worker and she said she knew a lot of young families that lived very close to us. So I started to look around and noticed houses that I thought would have young families. Funny thing, there was one house that I would drive by that stood out to me. I loved the paint color and the hanging on the front door. One day, when I was particularly frustrated with our situation, I decided to take the task in hand. I walked up to the door, rang the doorbell and a darling woman answered. I told her that I lived in the neighborhood and didn’t know a lot of young families and she invited me to come walk with her group in the morning. She immediately embraced me into her group of friends and I never looked back. That darling woman was Linda Dunn and she has since involved me in so many great opportunities in life, including Community of Caring and Tennis & Tutoring. Literally, that one decision has been incredibly impactful when it comes to the direction of my life.
We started going to Sun Valley with those neighborhood friends shortly after we met them. When we were younger, we would try to get there every year but Joe and I haven’t been able to go for way too many years. Last weekend, we spent the weekend up there with these dear couples, The Dunns, Clements, Cahoons and Hogues who are so influential in my life. I look up to and admire each of them so much. They all have made service a priority in their lives and that has made them such great people. Our leader, of course, was Linda and she planned the trip, booking the condo and restaurants, organizing everyone. The irony of the prior sentence is that she tore her ACL a month ago and had surgery on it and so couldn’t ski. But Linda is not one to let something like that get in the way. We call it “Linspin” because she looks at a negative and turns it into a positive! She went to the local YMCA each day, while we were skiing, and biked and swam and made the best of it. She met us at the base of the ski resort for lunch with homemade sandwiches, fruit and cookies.
We skied for two days and the last day was spectacular. The sun was warm and the bright blue sky was food for my soul. I have to remind myself sometimes that it is ok for life to be this good. When I was skiing down the mountain, overjoyed that I got to spend my time this way, I was reminded of those chemo days when I was hooked up to a stand, waiting as medicine entered my body knowing that the following week or two would be spent dealing with this in my system. I remember those days laying on the couch trying to keep positive, letting my mind think about the time this would be over and I would feel like my old self again. And so, as I glided down the mountain feeling the rhythm of the skiis beneath my feet, I was overcome with gratitude and joy for being able to spend a day this way. Definitely, soul food!
Sun Valley- March 2013- Dailys, Kevan and Kathy Cahoon, Patti and Scott Clements, Lori and Arnie Hogue, Mike Dunn