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Warrior Dash 2011

Here is a photo of my sister one week ago.   She’s wearing a Pinkalicious crown because she’s a good aunt.    She looks worried because she’s looking at the Warrior Dash website.    She agreed to do the Warrior Dash with me just about a year ago.     Ever notice it’s easy to sign up for crazy things when they are far off in the future?

We were induced into this crazy event by a friends we trust.   I said yes.    I asked my sister.   She said yes.    She asked her husband.   He said yes.    I asked my husband.   He said no.       I asked my daughter if I looked like a Warrior right as I was getting ready to leave on Saturday.   She appraised my outfit and said, “Well Mom.  You do look a little worried.”

Here is a picture of the friends we trust before the event.  He is not really that much taller than her.   He’s standing on a very steep hill.    I point this out because the entire three-mile course was on a very steep hill.

We ran.   We climbed walls.    I was unduly proud of myself when I hauled my body up a wall with a rope.   Granted the wall had toe holds but still.   I have a rope burn on my elbow to prove it.    We dodged through tires.     We climbed cargo nets.    Did I mention we climbed walls ?  Five different obstacles involved climbing walls.    It stuck with me.  I’m still grinning.   We crawled under barbed wire.  We slid down a mud slide.    We jumped over fire pits.

This is not me.   It could be though.

This is us at the finish line.

This is my shoe at the finish line.   I wore these shoes every day in Rwanda.    My kind husband washed them for me and they look great.  I love these shoes.

This is us after we had a communal bath in the lake to get clean.   I still wrapped my car seat in a garbage sack and sat on a towel.

On the way home, I downed a bottle of PowerAid and ate the free packet of sunflower seeds.   I couldn’t stop grinning.   This whole event was fun.    I came in 487th out of 601 in my age bracket.  I actually climbed up a wall.   Did I already mention the wall?    You should sign up for something crazy and silly and challenging.    I feel like a Warrior.





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Two of my favorite people are my 4 year old daughter and my 90 year old grandmother, Lorenia Mattson.   They share an ability to speak the obvious truth, a love for Jesus and a great laugh.

Our daughter’s first doll, a somewhat flat baby who giggles when you press her belly is aptly named Laughin’ Baby.  It was her first baby because Grandma had the uncanny ability to see children grow and was frequently the first to applaud their new maturity while the rest of the family hadn’t caught up.  My first perfume, at the age of 12, came from Grandma.  Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson came in a bright pink bottle and frankly smelled like grapefruit bathroom cleaner but since Grandma asked what I wanted she delivered without mocking my choice and was the first to treat me like a young adult rather than a child.

My daughter has been taking piano lessons for a year mostly to honor the vision Grandma had of someone playing her mother’s piano.  The piano, after years of neglect, sat in Grandma’s garage for awhile looking abandoned and honestly beyond repair.   Grandma spent entirely more than the piano was worth to have it restored.  I think Grandma saw broken people a lot like that piano, worth a great investment and never beyond repair.

People ask my husband and me why our child doesn’t have a firm bedtime.  Usually I tell them it’s because I get home late and want to see her and she’s home all day so can sleep in.  I think the truth might be because I never had a bedtime, which has to be passed down from Grandma to my dad.     Any time the kids would go to Grandma’s to spend the night it involved dinner with lots of cheese, a few sitcoms for which Grandma would do commentary ” Kids, do you see what they are doing there on TV?  God doesn’t like that, don’t do it when you grown up”.   Then Grandpa would go to bed and Grandma would ask the question we were waiting for.  Do you want to play a game?  Of Course.   She’d break out Rook, Phase 10, Trianamos or Skipbo, poor some root beer into crystal goblets, give us a plate of cashews and frozen cherries and then settle in to soundly beat us at whatever game we played.  If by some amazing feat of luck we were winning, Grandma would start praying for good cards.  God liked to answer the prayers of a woman who trusted Him in big things and small because she rarely lost.  We’d finally go to bed late – around 1:00 am and we’d wake up in the morning to pancakes.  Life was good at Grandmas.   She was the first to explain the difference between rules that matter like honoring your parents, loving the Lord, helping people in need and reading your Bible and silly rules like bedtimes.

My 4 year old is clearly related to Grandma because they share favorite colors of pink, purple and anything golden.  Grandma also loved green and she and Grandpa had a huge garden, strawberry patch, and green house full of aloe Vera plants. Most kids want Band-Aids for owies.  We got stalks of Aloe Vera and a chewable Vitamin C.

Like all parents, we’ve been working on manners.  Grandma had a clear view on the importance of manners but it could really be summed up in one action.  Send a thank you note.  I received a thank you from Grandma for Christmas presents the day before she died.  It is framed in my office.   My daughter will not have the privilege of growing up with Grandma cheering her on.  But she does have a heritage to stand on that all the grandchildren share, one without pretense and full of joy.

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