Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Returning to work one year out from transplant, I put one neuropothied foot in front of the other and felt that just showing up and getting through the front door at Bread & Water was accomplishment enough. Two years from transplant, I became more daring.  With help from volunteers, family and craftspeople, we tore out a closet in the flagship lodging room at Bread & Water and created the first wheel chair accessible bathroom in a lodging unit on Washington Island.  We tore the siding off the Main Road front of the Bread & Water building and hired Kirby Gunnlaugsson to mason the facade of the building with Island stone from ground to roof.  We ripped and hauled away the broken and uneven concrete apron in front of the building and poured patio for outdoor dining.  We updated and remodeled the kitchen in the Carpe Diem apartment.  We created a Paddling Museum with a fresh concrete floor.  Blue stain makes the space look like ocean as we reclaimed 400-square feet that used to be office and storage.  Expenses for these initiatives went onto my credit card with hope that the summer season could pay back the expenditures.  When my credit cards maxed out, I took a loan on the equity of my car.  One friend viewed me as "out of control" and quit coming by.  Many toured the dust clutter of remodeling, shook their heads and said "it can't be done."  One said "get more help."  Another quipped "start in one corner and finish one project at a time."  Many nights I awoke in the dark and wondered how to get through and could not go back to sleep.   The summer season is coming to a close now at Bread & Water.  From Memorial Day to Labor Day, I worked seven days a week.  The bills are paid.  The projects concluded.  Cancer is mandate for living large.  Why wait?  

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