Good people and ‘muddin’
I have now visited 13 countries in the past 12 months and each one has made me love the world and it’s people more and more. This is a lovely feeling to have as a couple of years ago I wasn’t the biggest fan of the world I was living in.
I have met some pretty amazing people on my trip so far but the welcome and generosity I have experienced in the states has been unbelievable. I thought I’d share a couple of stories from my time in Idaho which made me very sad to leave on Monday.
I went for a haircut in the town near where I was staying the other day (my first since my head shave in March…scary) and I was chatting to the hairdresser about what I was doing and why and she told me that her husband had gone through prostrate cancer a few years ago. Thankfully he survived and I could tell how much she loved him by the way she spoke of him. It was so lovely to hear. When I went to pay she told me not to worry about it and that I should use the money for something else on my list. I was really overwhelmed by this gesture and even more overwhelmed when I got home and received an email about how our little conversation had inspired her.
I was then invited to a BBQ by a friend of the people who own the barn I was staying at. A wonderful guy called Tim had asked me round to eat with him and his family. What lovely people. Straight away they made me feel like I was one of the family. We ate and chatted and then went out to their garden that they had made on the hill and played Croquet. This little garden is surrounded by miles and miles of fields and is just absolutely beautiful. They literary live in the middle of nowhere. I loved it!
Before I knew it Tim’s step daughter Emily and her friend Bea announced they were taking me ‘muddin’. I had no idea what muddin was but apparently it’s a redneck tradition and today I was honorary redneck so it had to be done. Basically ‘muddin’ is when you take your truck and drive through mud and puddles with the aim of getting your truck as dirty as possible. What they didn’t tell me was that it would involve skidding and swerving along public dirt roads whilst they were screaming their heads off. To say I was scared was an understatement! Here I was, someone who’d fought and survived cancer twice about to die from….. ‘muddin’! Afterwards it was the best thing ever of course but at the time I questioned the sanity of everyone in that truck including my own!:) I wished I had taken my camera now. You guys would have loved it…especially me screaming. Such fun! Afterwards Emily and Bea took me to watch without doubt the best firework show I’ve ever seen. A free show organised by a billionaire who has also opened up a free centre for people with cancer.
The following day Tim and his family, invited me out on their boat and we lazed around the lake all day in the sun whilst I tried to perfect my redneck accent for when I officially live there. (The secret is to take the ‘g’ of everything…muddin, huntin, runnin).
Tim and his family also gave me some cash to help me on my way. I honestly didn’t know what to say when they gave me it. I told them I didn’t want it and that they should put it towards something they want to do but they insisted and said they loved what i was doing and that I could put it towards petrol to get me to where I needed to go next. They told me that I was now family and that they hope I come back to visit them one day. I left after lots of hugs wondering what I had done to deserve all the good fortune that has come my way.
When we were playing croquet on the hill I was smiling to myself thinking isn’t life crazy. How on earth did I end up here? I’m in the middle of Idaho, with these wonderful people and playing croquet on a hill. If someone had told a couple of years ago when I was consumed by fear and sadness that life would not only lead me here to these fine people but that I would once again find myself loving life as much as I do, I’m not sure I would have believed them. I’m so glad I took a chance and made this trip trip happen.
Thank you to Nicole (the hairdresser), Tim and his amazing family and Brian and Chaleen whom by letting me use their barn made it possible to visit this wonderful town and it’s people.
I’m now back East and in the nations capital, Washington DC for a few days. Two more weeks until I volunteer at the Hole in the wall gang camp!!!!
I wonder if Barack is free for a cuppa? I’ll give him a knock!:)