Firemen, Shoes and Tattoos

– After finishing the 2nd day of walking and while I was relaxing in my tent, I thought I’d bring out the tattoos I received and put them on my arms. I had a wet washcloth ready so that I could apply them successfully to my right arm. One “tattoo” was a pink ribbon with sparkles on it. Cool! So I put it on my arm and then wet it with a washcloth and applied pressure. After about 20 seconds, I removed the washcloth and the “tattoo” fell off. I tried again with more pressure, and the same thing happened. I did this about three times before I realized it wasn’t a tattoo, it was just a sticker. After I laughed at myself (maybe a little too hard), I put the sticker on my cheek and there it stayed that whole night and for the rest of the next day. The other temporary tattoo worked wonders.

– I really enjoyed the last day. Although my knees and feet were hurting, I knew I’d be walking through Berea, Ohio. It’s where I went to college and it’s where I go for choir. I also knew I was close to the fairgrounds; our final stop of the walk. Before I could hit those areas, though, I had to have my left knee wrapped up, because it was too much of a painful nuisance.

The bandaging helped a bit. It helped get me to the next small cheering station – the Olmsted Falls Fire Station. Oh yeah. There were firemen waiting for us, but since I was walking by myself at the moment, they were all mine. Oh my. My only regret was that I didn’t take a photo of them for all of you. I might have had a selfish moment or maybe I was too lazy to take out my camera, or subject the gentlemen to my giddiness. One fireman with sparkling, beautiful eyes, offered me pink lemonade. As I gazed and drooled, I readily accepted. My friend said later that they probably could’ve offered me arsenic and I would’ve accepted. Then I stayed and chatted with the heros. One of the quieter ones had dark eyes and short, dark hair and was extremely cute. Another charming gentlemen joked with me and asked, “So, what are you going to do after the walk? Do some yard work?” I joked and said I’d do some more walking. Regretfully, I had to eventually move on. As I met the crew member who helped me cross the street, I gave her a look and she said, “Why do you think I volunteered for this corner?” Oh, and the ladies who arrived just after I did turned down the lemonade/arsenic the firemen offered! What is wrong with them??

– Anyway, I finally made it to the fairgrounds. A guy offered me a slice of watermelon, which was so refreshing I thought I had gone to Heaven, and a very pink cheering station welcomed me with screams and high fives. I was then led to a tent where I could get my “victory T-shirt”. I hobbled over to the tent where I received more cheers, my beautiful T-shirt, a pink rose, a lollipop and a hug from a volunteer. It was then that I just about lost it emotionally. I then hobbled off to my own little area under a shaded tree and collapsed (and texted my friend).

– While we chilled until the last walker stepped over the finish line, I heard some great dance music, like “The Humpty Dance”.

– We eventually had to get set up for the closing ceremony, and we started to walk six people to each row, towards the place to be. I heard a woman in back of me say, “I don’t know how to walk straight, anymore!” It made me laugh, because most of us were either limping or walking a little slower. Then a lady in front of us asked if any of us where first-time walkers. She said that there would be a certain part of the ceremony where we’d all take off one of our shoes and raise it up in the air to support the cancer survivors. I looked down at my feet and had to decide which foot could survive shoeless for a few seconds without too much pain. I’m so glad the lady warned us, and at the same time I thought it was a nice tribute.

– We did raise one of our shoes. My brother, who was there with his wife and one of my nephews, along with my mom to support me, mentioned later that he was thankful for the breeze, until we took off our shoes and held them up. “We were downwind of that, so…thanks.” Lol.

– After the ceremony, I had to pick up my luggage. My brother drove me as close as possible to the luggage drop-off point, and then my sister-in-law and I went out to find my stuff. She picked up the lightest part of the luggage, so I dragged along the heaviest part. We couldn’t find my brother’s car, and it seemed many people had red cars…like my brother. Everytime my sister-in-law thought she saw the right car, she’d stop and say, “Noooo, that’s not it. Huh.” Mind you, I was pretty much done with walking. Then she stopped, irritated, and said, “You know…it’s been a long day and I’m tired.” I bit my tongue. Eventually we found my brother’s car because he had pulled aside for us. My sister-in-law and my brother ranted at each other and my sis-in-law swore heartily. Eventually we went to McDonald’s for dinner, and it was exactly what I needed. I feel sorry for my poor brother sometimes. Although he can be a cranky jerk at the wrong times, he is very generous and funny.

Thumbs up if you’re tired and finished with this whole thang!

The older lady there was at the camp each day to hug all of the walkers and was there on the last day. She was awesome. We all needed it.

At the end of the closing ceremony, someone raised the official flag, which was very important.

These were all souvenirs of the event. I loved walking down Front Street in Berea, because so many people were there to cheer us on. The guy who sold some 3-Day pins was there, and that’s when I decided I’d spend some money on some fun pins and gifts.


6 thoughts on “Firemen, Shoes and Tattoos

  1. Wow! That really puts it all into perspective. Congratulations… again! I love the buttons and the stories. Sounds like such a fantastic time. How wonderful to have accomplished that. Tara you rock! I lost my mom to breast cancer… so for her and for myself… a heart felt thank you!

  2. Dooooooood! You are the coolest! I love that cute picture of you giving thumbs up :-) You should feel so proud of yourself!
    The way you feel listening to your bro and his wife interact sounds like the way I sometimes feel when my oldest son and his kids’ mom interact…I want to implore her to stop being so naggy! But I bite my tongue.
    Oh…and firemen? *sigh*

  3. Silly Rabbit: Thanks again! I’m so sorry about your mom. There have been so many people, including my own family, who have been affected by that particular cancer.

    Laura B: Thanks! :) I felt very accomplished when I walked to that finish line. I do wish I had taken a photo of the the firemen! My brother and my sister-in-law are quite the couple. It’s like they feed off of each other’s temper tantrums. Strangely enough, I think it makes their marriage more durable. It makes their teenage boys and everyone else around them a nervous wreck, though.

  4. Thanks Churlita! I was very amused about that tattoo incident. :) I feel like I walked a generous chunk of miles!

    FW: Thank you so much! The firemen were very motivational, and I’ll be they didn’t even realize! :)

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