Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Year Out

One year ago, today, August 18, I returned to Washington Island from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Our six children were with me. We flew from Seattle to Green Bay and reunited with Joe at an close-to-the-airport hotel named the Settle Inn. Joe arrived in the Green Bay Shuttle, after making passage on the Lake Michigan car ferry, the Badger from Ludington to Manitowoc. We had been apart for five months with me enduring the transformation of a bone marrow transplant. Joe held my face in his hands. He promised to never let me go. He is keeping his promise.

What has happened in a year?

Our house in Michigan sold after five years without an offer. We purchased a twenty-five acre farm on Washington Island with three barns and a bedroom for everyone.

Though we had a difficult winter with the move and concerns with my recovery, we met the mountain of re-opening Bread & Water June 15. I am engaged in ministry with an all-teen (no one over 16!) staff operating the cafe, lodging and kayak tour business. More than opening, with help from Billy, Neil, Anne and Joe, we upgraded the commercial kitchen, created an apartment that sleeps eight and made other improvements.

The 1918 home where we were living, my great grandmother's house on Island is being restored by volunteer Sue Dompke and opened July 4th as a Butterfly Museum with munching caterpillars inside and monarchs hatching for release. Emily Dompke serves as naturalist and docent for the museum supported by L.A.U.N.C.H., Inc and encouraged by Irene Mostek, the home owner.

The Washington Island Canoe and Kayak event, www.washingtonislandcanoeandkayakevent happened again in June! with the winning marathon racer time circumnavigating Washington Island in 3 hours, 29 minutes.

Joshua was chosen for the All Star team and made history by hitting a first-ever home run out of the Little League park.

Micala turned 14 and is planning a solo trip to New York to visit cousin Hannah.

Shammond is the yard man and in charge of driving the riding mower over the farm expanse.

Korrina invites sleep overs and creates her own paper dolls.

Kayla tends the animals and is looking forward to her horse, September 1.

Steven became a creative cook at Bread & Water.

The best part of summer was visits with friends and family. Jin, Braydon, Emily, Gary, Sue, Tina and the Ervins, the Klingenberg reunion, Nate, Billy, Neil, Anne, Joe, Lynette. Marianne and Mark, Hannah, Becky and Mary, Alison, Charlie, Gary and Devonte. And, our growing friendship with Sue, Autumn and Emily.

The long and short of this is gratitude. I am a walking miracle.