It’s going to be a fun (sneaky) year

My friends.

A lot has happened since I last wrote in this blog.

I’m now a State Representative for New Hampshire – which is keeping me preeety busy. It also means I haven’t been writing much. But I love writing my stories and I didn’t spend all that time on this blog just to see it die. And I miss you, my reading friends. I really do.

I had an idea.

Today is my birthday. It’s a big one (hint – it ends in a zero and comes after 50) When a woman reaches a certain age, it’s time to do something significant. And while being a state representative is certainly significant, I also wanted to do something fun. And nice.

I’m going to play a game.

I got a deck of 64 game cards called Sneaky Cards and I’m going to play the game and write about it during my 60th (ack, I said it!) year on earth. Each card has a good deed to do to others (Ex. play the largest game of tag, find a favorite new song, decide on a secret code word and give the card to the first person who says it, leave a generous tip etc.) once I complete the objective, I pass the card on. I “win” the game by getting rid of my cards.

I plan to write about the adventures of each card and you’ll be able to follow my year of “playing it forward” right here on this blog, where I’ve already shared so many life lessons.

So Happy Birthday to me and let the games begin.

 

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Long Walk 2018 – T minus 3 days

T minus 3 days till the Great Long Walk of 2018 takes place. This year I’ll be walking from the tip of Cape Cod to the Sagamore Bridge at the base of the Cape (about 68 miles total – I’ll be adding a few small detours from what Google Maps says.)

 

I’ll be walking alone for this one (not worried, there aren’t too many roads on the Cape so people will see me), but I’m also not going to be stupid. Yesterday I purchased a whistle and I’m going to be carrying a metal walking stick. (I’d like to say that it’s for protection but I’m also sure that I’ll be using it on hills and at the end of the day.)

I went back and forth on shoes. For the 2016 walk I wore sneaks and I shredded the tendon on the top of my foot (from walking on the roads’ inclines for so many miles.) I came very close to having surgery on that injury.

For 2017 I switched to hiking boots and ended up with 9 of the most painful blisters I’ve ever had -truly impressive.

The Cape is relatively flat. I’ve decided to go back to sneakers for this one (Saucony – which fit me well) and I’ll be packing bandages for any blisters that may occur. The goal is to walk 14 miles a day which may not sound like too much, but remember I’ve already gone beyond the time when my docs said I wouldn’t be able to walk anymore and would need a total knee(s).

This is why I continue to walk – because, for now anyway, I can.

And I will continue until the day that I can’t.

The weather isn’t going to be that great, rain is predicted for 3 of the 5 days I’ll be walking. I’m not afraid of getting wet, but cold is not my friend so I’m trying to figure out a layering system that will work. My last two walks were in the middle of August and as a result I’ve only done this in hot, hot, weather. It might be nice to have it be a little cooler (as long as it’s not frigid.)

And even though there has ever been only one bear sighting on the Cape (people think it swam over) I will keep the bear bells on my pack.

One can never be too careful when it comes to bears.

I will have access to the internet and will be making regular updates on this blog and on Facebook.  (https://www.facebook.com/wendy.thomas1)

I will also be updating on Twitter @WendyENThomas with the hashtag #LongWalk2018

 

Shoo bear. 

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2018 Big Walk Announcement

This year, I’m trying to juggle a few things (for one I’m on the ballot for State Rep for Merrimack, NH) but I still wanted to get another big walk in.

Unfortunately, my regular walking buddy – Griffin is bowing out this year.

But I’m not.

So on Friday September 28th, I’ll be walking from the tip of Cape Cod to the base (Sagamore Bridge.)

It’s about 68 miles and I plan to do it in 5 days which means about 14 miles a day. My knees are bothering me a little more this year  (damn that age thing, but I’ll keep doing big walks for as long as I can) but as the Cape is relatively flat (compared to New Hampshire) and the weather should be cooler, I think it’s totally doable.

Although I may have a few people joining me on various days, for the most part I’ll be walking alone.

Not in the least bit worried. I have a support team who will be keeping an eye on me and I have found the people of Cape Cod to be nothing but supportive and friendly. I plan to bring notebooks  – I’ll take tons of photos.

And I plan to talk to many in order to hear what their stories are.

So that I can share them with you.

As an aside, when I entered my start and stopping destinations in Google Maps, this is the route it gave me for my walk.

I’m good, but I’m not that good. 🙂

 

 

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Lesson 1572- Life lessons I want my kids to know

More views from the Cape. (and a big announcement in the next post) There is beauty everywhere.

Teal Vans on a black and white checked floor. Sublime.

On the Cape there is art everywhere – you simply have to look for it

Even the beaches are interesting.

Weathered pier at Provincetown.

People hide treasures all over the place. This Buddha was tucked within a garden.  Cape Cod is an incredibly tolerant place.

Need to calm down? Follow this view to the ends of the world.

Evening walk with my daughter on the beach.

The weather changes quickly on the Cape. When we arrived at this beach it was sunny. Within a few minutes we were told to get out of the water. A few minutes later we were told to evacuate the beach. A minute later we were told to run. Respect the weather.

These are the last photos from our family vacation, but check out the next post to see what’s coming.

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1571- Life lessons I want my kids to know

More views from the Cape. I miss early morning book reading on the porch with a cup of coffee, taking sandy shoes off by the door, and going to the beach at a moment’s notice (who wants to go for a swim?)

This is a painting that someone did on plywood, I could gaze into it for hours.

The Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. When I was young and my family vacationed on the Cape, my very clever parents told us that they’d wait at the bottom of the monument to take a photo of us waving from the top. By the time we climbed and then descended those hundreds of stone stairs we’d return to the cottage ready for an afternoon nap. Such smart parenting.

Obligatory, multi-colored kayak photo.

 

If they have anything in Provincetown, it’s a good sense of humor.

Flowers in August on the Cape.

More flowers.

Finally, you never know what you’ll find in the sands of the Cape.

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1570- Life lessons I want my kids to know

We just back from a family vacation on Cape Cod. It’s the one week of the year that we all go barefoot, drink cold beers in the afternoon, read books in the early morning, talk together for hours, and basically learn how to breathe again.

I thought I’d share a few views from our past week.

Not smelling this one.

The entire family visited the Edward Gorey museum. Filled with absurd, bizarre things and a twisted sense of humor, it’s right up our alley.

Didn’t wear anything but flip-flops on my feet for the entire week.

Fisherman knots and nets were everywhere reminding us that much of our food came from the ocean right outside our front door.

And here you go. I pretty much existed on sweet, sweet clam (strips), fish, and oysters (yes I like raw oysters) all week. Add a Cape Cod Blonde Ale and I was as happy as, well – a clam.

 

I’ll post more photos from the Cape later this week (including a thunderstorm beach photo that looks like end-times are here.)

 

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1569- Life lessons I want my kids to know

This is a love letter of sorts.

Years ago, before I was even married, I picked up a buttercup yellow Life is Good nightshirt. I’d always been a tee-shirt sleeper kind of gal and this certainly fit the bill (while giving me the necessary modest protection advocated by my mother if I ever needed to evacuate my home in the middle of the night.)

That nightshirt has seen much over the years.

A rescued greyhound that had to learn how to trust me after being horribly abused. Eventually he felt comfortable enough to sleep on my bed.

A boyfriend who then became a husband.

A move into a new town, a new house.

Baby, after baby, after baby, after baby, after baby, after baby.

My nightshirt and I got up countless times in the night to sooth a child awakened by dreams.  “Hush, little one, there are no monsters here.”

Countless times I nursed infants in that shirt. The raised fabric cradling my babies. I’d hold the bunched fabric under their chins. “Yes, you like butter” I’d coo.

As my kids grew and learned language and colors, they called it my “sunny” shirt when I came into the room. Comforted by the reminder of sunlight, a new day coming with the always positive message of “Life is Good.”

As I’d leave their room to go back to my bed, they’d be reminded one last time by the image on the back of every mother’s prayer for her children – Life is Good.

Life is Good.

My kids are older now. Some have moved out, more are planning to.

My nightshirt has done its job. It’s filled with holes and is kitten-fur soft from all the wear, held together only by memories woven through broken threads.

The colors have faded into a dim recollection of what they once were.

I really should retire it.

But it’s those memories that cause me to hesitate.

Because even though threadbare, it holds a message that I will always want my kids to hear.

No matter how old they get.

No matter how old I get.

Life is Good.

Life is Good.

Lesson Learned – Always remember your mother’s prayer for you –

Life is Good.

Life is Good.

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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