My Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

By | September 19, 2019

I apologize to the world.

Yes, I know that statement sounds really stupid. But hear me out.

I know that I often rub people the wrong way. I can be thick as a brick and not realize when others find my presence or my behavior grating. I have often been so needy and so focused on attention-seeking behavior that I’ve taken situations that should have been about others and tried to make them all about me, me, me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve interacted in a social setting or work setting with others only to come home and realize what a total jackass I had been.

For most of my life, I’ve been the guy you don’t invite to the party. The guy who causes you to abruptly change the subject of conversation when he walks into the room.

I get it: I’m annoying.

I wish I’d had this epiphany sooner. But it wasn’t until I spent quite a few sessions with a therapist back in 2012-2013 that I realized how in need of getting myself under control I really was. I’ve worked very hard on anger management and self-awareness and focusing more on the needs of others.

I don’t think I do a very good job in this regard, but at least I’m trying.

I’m not an alcoholic; I hardly ever drink these days. I’ve never done illegal drugs. I don’t have a gambling problem — in fact, I don’t even buy scratch-off tickets, let alone take trips to Vegas. From time to time I overeat, but I’ve never gotten to the point of having stacks of empty donut boxes next to my bed, and in any event, I’ve lost 50 pounds this year (yay). I sometimes spend money on stupid things I don’t need in the vain hope that they’ll cheer me up, but I don’t compulsively buy things with no rhyme or reason. And so on.

So when I say I’ve spent plenty of time reading materials from twelve-step programs, you might go “why?”

I grew up in a family where my father basically treated his kids like resented houseguests who’d overstayed their welcome. He literally never had a kind word for any of us. It’s pretty obvious to me now that my father should never have had kids, but like a lot of people, he didn’t figure that out until it was too late.

Dad had some very strange ideas about proper child-raising; he constantly reminded me not to take pride in things like having above-average intelligence, because I’d done nothing to achieve it — it was something I’d been born with and hence I had no right to feel special about it. He went to great pains NOT to compliment me or praise me for scoring highly on gifted-and-talented tests and assessments because he didn’t want me going around bragging.

I wound up pathetically desperate for attention. I’d act out in hyperactive ways in elementary school and, surprise surprise, had absolutely zero friends. Never did homework, either, all the way through high school. There was no incentive to do well in school; Dad wouldn’t have treated me any better if I had. I ate lunch at a table by myself all through middle school and most of high school, absurdly lonely but having no idea how to make friends or get positive attention.

I wised up a little bit, socially, by the time I finished high school and managed to become a class clown of sorts. But that didn’t translate into anything worthwhile; I never had a girlfriend, never went on a date. (It’s not like Dad would have let me have the car to take a girl out on a date, anyway.)

I somehow got into college and kept right on being an infuriating ass. I was the poster guy for “does not, can not, LEARN”.

And so it goes. I wound up in a career where “being paid attention to” is at the center of everything: I’m a corporate trainer, and from what I understand, apparently a reasonably competent one, in that I’ve managed to keep my current job for 21 years and counting. I get to run my mouth and be the focus of attention ALL DAY LONG.

<sarcasm>Woo-hoo! Score!</sarcasm>

(How did I ever get married? I was desperate and the woman who became my wife was equally desperate. We were both people who left a trail of pissed-off acquaintances wherever we went. We were perfect for each other. How we’ve lasted 22 years is anyone’s guess.)

I’m addicted to attention.

Yes, I know how sad it is that I work out my daddy issues by trying to get people to look at me, listen to me, notice me.

I know it’s not going to change anything in any substantial way; no matter how much me-me-me I do, it’s not going to bring my father back from the grave and get him to say “I respect you, son” or “Good job, son.”

I don’t think there’s a 12-step group out there for “attention whores” (pardon the expression). But if there was, I imagine I’d be there week after week going “Hi, my name’s Jay, and I’m an attention whore.”

As you probably know, one of the core concepts of a twelve-step program is taking an inventory of oneself and one’s flaws and then working to overcome them. Another core concept is making amends. I’ve been working pretty hard for the past seven years on the first part there — to the point that I think I’ve come to annoy those people who can’t entirely avoid interacting with me with endless talk of exactly how awful I am, and in what specific ways my awfulness expresses itself.

It’s the second part that’s so hard to do: the amends.

When you’ve driven people crazy your whole life through aggravating, maddening “acting out”, it’s not exactly easy to contact someone and go “hey, I’m really, really sorry for being such an asshole that time”.

Especially when the act of reaching out is itself an attempt to get attention.

The best, most effective “amends” I can think to make is to basically just disappear, as much as I can, as much as my still-needy ego will let me.

I used to do a lot of social media — now my Facebook account is completely devoid of content, to the extent that I don’t even have a profile photo. I still tweet a little bit now and then, but usually think better of it a day or two later and scurry around deleting everything.

Most of the time these days I just want to be invisible, to go unnoticed, to just completely drop off the radar. If I didn’t want to follow a few organizations and pages on Twitter and Facebook, I’d delete the accounts for good and save you all my presence. That said, from time to time I deactivate both accounts for a few weeks or months; no one ever notices me gone. I only maintain the furrs.org blog itself because once in a while it’s vaguely enjoyable to do a bit of writing; I’m well aware that you can count the number of people who read this crap on the fingers of one hand (but I thank those of you who do).

And at the end of the day, I’m also well aware that the act of writing and posting this long-winded garbage is itself a cry for attention. But I’m only really writing it so I can pin it to my Twitter and Facebook profiles in case someone does wonder where I’ve gone. I doubt anyone will come looking for me, and as a result read this, but if they do, well… I apologize to them too.

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Wafflemania

By | September 11, 2019

I don’t do Facebook much — that’s why I tend to be ignorant of news like “oh, alligators ate my left leg a month ago” until everyone else on the planet, up to and including the pool guys in cities a thousand miles north of the alligator line, knows the story.

But I do find a few things about Facebook’s content amusing. One is the Employees-of-Waffle-House closed group I somehow got added to. Every day is a soap opera like you would not believe.

People get into actual flamewars over whose manager is right about the order in which waffles and biscuits are supposed to be called to the cooks. And whether it’s even acceptable to make pancakes using waffle batter:

“OUR NAME IS NOT ‘PANCAKE HOUSE’. WE DO NOT MAKE PANCAKES!!!”

vs

“Hell, if it keeps the three year old who wants a pancake happy, we’ll cook him a damn pancake.”

Cue 900 follow-up messages taking every conceivable side of the issue. Including whether the aliens at Area 51 are somehow manipulating American waffle production for their own purposes.

It kind of makes you wonder what other closed employee-only groups there are out there — is there a group for American park rangers to bitch about things like the bear in the hat and necktie who keeps stealing picnic baskets? Or a group for Starbucks employees to bitch about the customers who complain because their latte is precisely two degrees too hot, with graphic descriptions of the tortures the baristas would like to subject said customers to? Or a group for pool guys to vent about all the alligators they’re finding in pools lately and how it’s not due to global warming, but rather, due to changes in pool chemical formulation?

Alligators, man. What are you going to do?

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September 13, 1997

By | September 10, 2019

Carole and I tied the knot on a sultry North Carolina afternoon just shy of 22 years ago — September 13, 1997.

That date was picked because:

  • it was the night of a full moon and we thought that was romantic in some strange way
  • it was a week before my 30th birthday and I was semi-determined to be married before the odometer turned over

One could make a case that having an outdoor wedding at 5:30 pm on a Saturday in September was asking for trouble — if I recall correctly, the temperature was in the high 80s and in any event, the moon wasn’t even visible from the patio next to the carp pond at the Sarah P Duke Gardens. By the time we were all legal and everything, all our guests were pretty hot and uncomfortable from standing around, and perhaps as a result, we wound up with a lot of uneaten food at the reception; no one seemed to have much appetite.

On a positive note, though, Carole’s grandfather did not fall into the carp pond in mid-ceremony, though there were certainly enough people in the audience who fully expected him to do so. He’d crept around to the back side of the carp pond, slippery rocks and all, with his camera, intent on getting some shots from that side — only to wind up windmilling his arms trying to maintain his balance. Carole and I could have stripped naked mid-ceremony and danced the lambada and I don’t think anyone would have noticed; Grandfather Odum had upstaged us.

In any event, I suspect that if people had been in a betting mood, there would have been some money put down on “it’ll last a year. Maybe.” You’ve probably all been to weddings where you just had the sense that the marriage was doomed before it started, that both the bride and the groom would, in short order, be spending their evenings at various dive bars irritably tossing back shots and griping about what a jackass their ex was.

Somehow we’ve made it through. I have no idea how. I’m a jackass. Carole’s a jackass. We’re both jackasses. I guess we deserve each other.

We never had kids — this is kind of a sore subject with Carole, who hates hearing me moon on about how I wish we could’ve. But anyone who knows us knows what terrible parents we would have been. We’re just one eyestalk each shy of basically being mutants, and no kid needs to grow up with that much crazy in their life.

Things have, somehow, worked out.

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The onset of darkness

By | September 9, 2019

The morning after the New England 3-Day, I find myself feeling tired, depressed, and kind of pathetic. I worked my tuchus off all weekend and now it’s over and I have nothing to look forward to for a very long time.

This year has been kind of about

work
work
work
Trip to NC over Memorial Day Weekend
work
work
work
Trip to NYC to see “Hamilton” and “Wicked”
work
work
work
Walk Twin Cities 3-Day
work
work
work
Crew New England 3-Day

but now the foreseeable future for a long way out is:

work
work
work
work
work
work
work

No vacations planned, no special events to look forward to, just a long Vermont winter and the onset of my usual I’m-so-pathetic-and-everyone-hates-me blues.

Major depression is a real illness and mine happens to be drug-resistant and very hard to treat.

Past experience has shown me that the smartest thing to do, when my depression starts to get bad, is to simply delete/deactivate my social media accounts. No one ever notices my absence, no one ever reaches out to say “hey, you’ve disappeared, how are you??” And that’s perfectly understandable. People are busy and have their own lives, and no one would put me on their list of top ten (or twenty, or fifty) friends.

And pulling a vanishing act has one major thing to recommend it — if I don’t even have a social media presence, I can’t use it to do pathetic, lonely things on those days when my depression is really out of control. And that means “fewer things to regret doing later.”

So if I do kinda drop off the surface of the Earth here in a few days or weeks, it won’t be because I’ve cried “goodbye cruel world” and jumped into a pond.

It’ll be because it’s the easiest way to avoid embarrassing myself worse.

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The Boston “Sweep Van Experience”

By | September 8, 2019

So, Carole and I spent the weekend in a 12-passenger van driving around Boston and environs; Carole was navigator and I was driver. We served as “Sweep Van B” for the 2019 New England Susan G Komen 3-Day. We had walked in the Twin Cities 3-Day a few weeks ago, and this was kind of our chance to pay back the incredible work of the Minneapolis/St Paul 3-Day crew by serving as crew ourselves in Boston and environs.

We had a theme for our van and everything! We chose “Under the Sea” as our theme, decorated our van with fun underwater props and decorations, and even dressed as though we were on an underwater expedition — Carole as a mermaid, and me in snorkeling gear. Carole got a lot of attention because her costume really did look pretty snazzy. I was just a weirdo in a shortie wet suit, mask, and snorkel who occasionally put fins on when I was standing by the van cheering walkers passing by. (I did not drive with the mask actually over my eyes; I’m not a complete idiot.) We passed out lots and lots and lots of Swedish Fish candy and the walkers we gave lifts to were surprisingly very glad to get them — apparently Swedish Fish are a lot more popular than I’d previously realized.

We had a playlist of underwater-themed music (think “Octopus’s Garden” and “Under the Sea” and stuff like that) to blast out the windows of our van as we drove the route — playing music loud enough to be heard by the walkers is meant to help them know you’re there and available. It’s frustrating as heck to realize too late that a sweep van just drove by you and you didn’t notice in time to raise your arms over your head in an X to signal for a lift. The music didn’t work as well as we’d have liked: Boston traffic is loud. Carole had to spend a good bit of time leaning out of her passenger-side window flat-out calling out to walkers who looked especially tired, “You okay? You okay? You there — you look marvelous!”

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Was it fun? Well…

Serving as sweep driver for three days in Boston-area traffic was exhausting. The proverbial aggressive Boston driver is not a myth — I cannot tell you how many times I carefully signaled a lane change and had a car barrel up and cut me off. When you drive an event vehicle at a 3-Day the organizers emphasize safety, caution, and so on, and so on. And then they tell you what to do if and when you get into an accident, give you paperwork to document what happened, tell you who to call and in what order… and wait for the semi-inevitable “oh God” moments when someone does side-swipe three parked cars or worse, actually has a fender bender with another vehicle.

I very much did not want to be That Guy, the one who had to call in to 3-Day command with a “um, so…” call from the scene of an accident. But as a result, I spent all weekend gripping the steering wheel for dear life, ready to make emergency evasive maneuvers as needed. My hands literally hurt tonight on the drive home from Boston. Carole served as navigator and an extra pair of eyes and she was worn out from the stress.

But … I didn’t wreck, didn’t scrape any other vehicles, didn’t run into anything, didn’t run over anyone. As I joked at one point, I call that a win.

The 3-Day is a positive, life-affirming experience most of the time. But then there’s having to drive five miles out of your way because you missed a turn and you can’t get safely turned around what with traffic and one-way streets and all that. Repeatedly. It was especially aggravating the first day as the route took us through the narrow winding streets of Charlestown and the North End, with traffic so bad that on occasion it took us a half hour to circle back to a point on the route three blocks behind us where we’d been informed that walkers were waiting for pickup. (By the time we got there, of course, the walkers had either given up and kept walking, called an Uber or Lyft, or, if they were lucky, been able to flag down one of the other six sweep vans as it came by.) We heard repeatedly that walkers simply didn’t see any sweep vans on Friday — we were just lost in the hurlyburly of Boston traffic.

One nice little detail from the weekend: we heard from several walkers that they didn’t realize that Carole and I were actually a married couple crewing together because we were being too nice/courteous/civil to each other as we drove around, even when things around us were absolutely crazy.

I. Am. Not. Kidding.

Our passengers were those walkers who were tired, sore, injured, etcetera (or who really, really needed to get to a bathroom). All lovely, pleasant people, a pleasure to serve and ride and talk with. We were honored to serve them. Many of them are breast cancer survivors, and every one of them cared enough to raise at least $2,300 in order to walk in the event. So there was that. Awesome people. Inspiring. Getting to be of service to such people was why Carole and I wanted to volunteer at the event. We got to see a few old acquaintances when we did stop for a few minutes at pits and even gave a couple of them rides, and that was nice.

But then there’s the downside — missing out on all the other parts of the 3-Day. The unfortunate thing about long hours spent in a sweep van is that you really miss out on a lot of the 3-Day experience; you don’t get to spend much time at pits or at lunch other than when you’re dropping off walkers, and you don’t get to visit with the people who don’t need a lift. You wave as you drive by them, and hope you don’t miss them signaling for a ride, but you don’t get to hear their stories or find out what motivates them to walk.

In principle, we could have done some of the socializing on Friday and Saturday evening at “camp” (the evening events and walker accomodations were in hotels this year, but we’re used to calling the event site “camp”).

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That was the theory, anyway.

However… Carole and I were assigned a hotel two miles or so from the two main event hotels — just luck of the draw. Our hotel was right next to the vehicle lot, which was convenient, but it meant that we had to shuttle over to “camp” if we wanted to take part in 3-Day evening stuff. The shuttles were vans like ours, driven by crew like us, fighting traffic back and forth the whole way between hotels, just like us. What sounded good in theory (shuttling people to camp from our hotel and back again) didn’t work out so well in practice.

We did go over to camp the first night (Friday), but shuttling to the “camp” hotel where all the 3-Day festivities were being held took an hour, and after dinner we were too tired to function. We waited for a half hour for a shuttle to take us back to our hotel but the shuttles were all stuck in Friday night traffic, so we walked back. It was faster.

On Saturday, we didn’t even bother going back over. My day had started at 5 am driving hotel-to-hotel shuttles (in much lighter traffic, admittedly, than at dinnertime on Friday) before starting our sweep van work, and by evening, I had no gas left in my tank, so to speak. We simply weren’t up for another hour shuttling back to camp and another hour shuttling back so we missed out on the honor ceremony and other aspects of camp life. We had dinner near our hotel and then we crashed for the night.

I don’t think anyone missed us when we didn’t appear at camp on Saturday night. We certainly didn’t get any messages saying “hey, where are you?” and that’s good, in a way. I used to be very obnoxious, if I do say so myself, about getting noticed at a 3-Day, wearing my pink hard hat and doing a lot of rah-rah social media posting before and during the event. When I look back on all that, all I can think is that making such a spectacle of myself, well intentioned or otherwise, detracted from the real purpose of the event, celebrating those fighting breast cancer and remembering those we’ve lost. If I’ve managed to become sufficiently invisible that most people don’t even know I’m at a 3-Day, then I guess I’m doing something right. It’s not supposed to be about me; it never should have been.

I should give credit, by the way, to our awesome sweep captains, Melissa and Ryan, who got to spend their weekend sitting at a table back at the camp hotel, up on the sixth floor next to the medical area, watching our transponders move around a map of Boston on their laptops and fielding calls and texts from us and from other 3-Day crew as to who was where with how many walkers and who was available to pick someone up at such-and-so location. They had things very well organized and kept our crew of seven sweep vans (two crewmembers each, driver and navigator) busy.

The most important detail from the weekend, though, is simply this: the 1200+ walkers and crew who took part in this year’s New England 3-Day raised $2.9 million dollars for the fight against breast cancer. That’s a serious chunk of change and Carole and I are proud to have played a role, however small, in making it all happen.

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“Michael” from “Google”

By | September 3, 2019

Today I got a call from “Google” letting me know that my Google Business account might not be Verified.

Gasp!

Carole had mentioned having gotten quite a few answering machine messages from someone at Google about our “Google Business” account.

I had no idea what Google wanted, but supposed it might be an annual re-verification that our phone number was still supposed to be tied to our listing, or some such (and that the real purpose of the call would be to try to pitch us an advertising package).

In any event, I know from long experience that if there’s one thing Carole hates, it’s having to play back long answering machine messages after a long day’s work. I promised her that since I’d be working from home for a few days, I’d definitely take the call when it came in.

So … today around 4 pm, our land line phone rang.

Warning sign #1: the area code and exchange were the same as my home number — 802-434-####. I thought “hmm, maybe this is one of our neighbors calling”.

So, I picked up.

Warning sign #2: It wasn’t one of our neighbors. It was a recorded voice telling me that my Google Business account MIGHT NOT BE VERIFIED and to press 1 to be connected to someone who could help me.

That was when I went “hey, hold on”. If it was really Google, they’d know if my account was verified. And in any event, they wouldn’t be spoofing my local exchange.

But I pressed 1 anyway, just to see who or what I got.1I know that was a bit of a mistake; in so doing, I confirmed that there was a real human at our number, willing to press buttons and so on.

What I got was a guy with a thick accent identifying himself as “Michael” who asked who he was speaking with. He was calling from a very loud room of some kind — I visualized a boiler room call center like the ones 419 scammers are usually depicted working in. In the background, I could hear loud voices of other “Google agents” talking to their marks.

And here’s where I screwed the pooch, as it were: I HUNG UP.

Like an idiot.

I’ve always admired the people who keep phone scammers tied up for hours. THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ME.

Sigh. Perhaps “Michael” will call back tomorrow. I miss him already.

 

Parenthetically, Carole and I do have a Google Business account listing, even though we don’t actually own a business. It’s just our house, listed as a business called “Carole and Jay Furr”. I set it up a while back under the name “Otter Lodge”, describing it as a retreat center for those who enjoy metasyntactic variables or some such. I figured it’d get ignored; it was just me screwing around.

Well, one rainy Saturday night, we had someone actually show up at our front door, asking if there was a “lodge” there. I assume they were looking for a place to stay. I apologized and said “no, no, this is just our house.” I felt really awkward about it.

When I shut the door and told Carole what had happened, she gave me a very hard look, arms folded. I immediately went and changed the listing from “Otter Lodge” to “Carole and Jay Furr”. We haven’t had a lot of contacts regarding the “business” since then.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. I know that was a bit of a mistake; in so doing, I confirmed that there was a real human at our number, willing to press buttons and so on.
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Song Suggestions Needed

By | August 24, 2019

Carole and I are signed up to be “sweep” crew for the 2019 New England Susan G Komen 3-Day (September 6-7-8). You probably know what that means — we’ll be driving a van along the route each day, picking up walkers who are too tired/blistered/sore/etcetera to continue on. Sometimes people just need a lift for a little while, sometimes they’re done for the day. Either way, sweep crew are there to boost their spirits and cheer them up, not just to provide a ride. With that in mind, sweep crews always pick a theme for their van, something jolly and cheerful. We’ve picked “Under The Sea” (because, of course, Carole is actually a sea otter and all that).

I’m going to wear a dive suit, mask, and snorkel (in all likelihood a shortie dive suit, not a full body-covering suit; that’d get really hot) and Carole’s going to dress up as a mermaid. I’ll have fins and stuff to put on for those intervals where we’re just parked alongside the route cheering walkers on — obviously, I can’t drive with fins on. We’ve got decorations for the van all picked out, candy that fits the theme, etcetera.

But the one thing we’re still working on is music. Sweep vans often hang or mount a speaker on the outside of the van and play happy music as they drive the route — that way, you know from the approaching music that a particular sweep van is making its approach to your tired little knot of 3-Day participants. I am adamant that I don’t want generic “sea” music — people keep suggesting Jimmy Buffett stuff. I like Mr. Buffett’s works as much as anyone, but his oeuvre is beach and sailing and so forth … stuff that happens above the waves. I want music that connotes our theme: under the sea.

Hence this post — I’d love suggestions from the Internet hive mind.

Ideas we’ve had so far:

  1. “Fins” — Jimmy Buffett (okay, one Buffett song is allowed)
  2. “Under The Sea” — Little Mermaid soundtrack (and by other artists as well)
  3. “Octopus’s Garden” — Ringo Starr
  4. Theme from “Jaws” — John Williams
  5. “Yellow Submarine” — The Beatles
  6. “Once In A Lifetime” — Talking Heads
  7. “Wipeout” — The Surfaris
  8. “Bottom of the Sea” — Matthew Nathanson
  9. “Low On Air” — 77 Bombay Street
  10. “The Beautiful Briny Sea” (from “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”)
  11. “Down To The Bottom Of The Sea” — They Might Be Giants
  12. “Cowtown” — They Might Be Giants

… etcetera

 

Thoughts?

Suggestions very much appreciated.

You can leave suggestions as a comment to this post, or click here to send an email.

 

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Green Mountain Horn Club performance in North Hero

By | August 10, 2019

The Green Mountain Horn Club has been a thing here in Vermont for several decades, changing in membership over the years but always managing to come together every few months to put on fun French Horn-only performances for our legions of admiring fans.

We did a performance recently in North Hero, Vermont at a little roadside venue called Island Arts (North Hero is one of the town-sized islands in northern Lake Champlain). We had assistance from a piccolo player (for the “Stars and Stripes Forever”) and several drummers from the talented pool of Vermont percussion players. Four of our horn players also brought their Wagner tubas — brass instruments that look like skinny, stretched-out French horns — to use for three numbers. It was a fun evening and I’m grateful to our legendary conductor and organizer, Charles Mayhood, for putting the whole thing together.

Jay sat on a blanket in front of the band and did his best to film the performance on his cell phone, but predictably had a few “oops”-es along the way. Fortunately, a cameraman from Lake Champlain Access Television was also present, to film the performance for later broadcast, and just the other day the video went up on their website. Enjoy.

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Send us mail at the 2019 Twin Cities 3-Day

By | August 1, 2019

Carole and I will be walking in the 2019 Susan G Komen Twin Cities 3-Day in three weeks (August 18-20).

Those of you who have taken part in past 3-Day events know how nice it is to walk 20 miles and then get to the 3-Day campsite and find letters and postcards of encouragement sent by friends and family and other supporters. Those of you who haven’t might not know that — so here’s information about how you can do that if you want to. 😀

Send a Letter

Getting mail on event can provide a big boost to a participant’s spirits. Take a few minutes to write a note which will brighten their Komen 3-Day experience! We’ll have a P.O. Box open for two months before the event. Send your letters, and we’ll bring them to camp for the participant to pick up.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day Camp Mail
ATTN: [INSERT NAME OF PARTICIPANT HERE]
P.O. Box 50714
Mendota, MN 55150

Mail must be postmarked no later than August 6. Envelopes only, please. No boxes or large packages. Any mail that is not received by the 3-Day by August 13 or retrieved by the participant by September 2 will be destroyed. Please note: This address is not the actual location of camp, but a P.O. Box for mail delivery only.

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being… Light

By | July 30, 2019

My diet and weight loss efforts are paying off. I started off at 255 lbs and I am now somewhere below 209 lbs. My goal is to get back down to 180 pounds, which is where I was last time I went on a big diet and got myself back in good shape … almost 10 years ago.

Back then, I was also in the habit of shaving my head to show solidarity with those suffering from breast cancer. I managed to freak out a few people who saw my skinny, bald-headed frame and thought I had come down with some horrible wasting disease.

However, I wasn’t able to keep the pounds off due to depression and bad eating habits and lack of exercise. I’ve been stuck in the 240 pound to 250 pound range for several years. My former primary care physician retired three or four years ago and my current PCP has only ever seen me at my obese, 250-pound level. She’s a nice lady and I like her a lot …but she’s been almost a little too tactful: trying to manage my high blood pressure through one medication after another and saying very little about how maybe I should lose weight.

I am really, really, really looking forward to walking into her office in a few weeks or months and doing the normal pre-appointment weigh in and totally freaking out the nurses and then my PCP when they realize that I’ve lost 70-plus pounds since they last saw me.

Everyone should have a goal. That’s mine.

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