Last Saturday was a beautiful sunny day for the Walk for Hope, which is a benefit for MaineGeneral’s breast care program. This year Team Good Eater—my daughter Shannon, our friend Alice, and me—really outdid itself. Thanks to the outstanding generosity of family and friends, the three of us raised $1,215 for the breast care program, and this surpassed what we raised last year—$1,075. Holy guacamole! As I wrote ungrammatically in a recent email to Shannon and Alice, “We done good.” Many, many thanks to all who donated to Team Good Eater.
Team Good Eater was joined by Alice’s husband, Joel; my husband, Clif; our friend Debbie Maddi; and the two dogs, Liam and Holly. (Shannon’s husband, Mike, had to work. We missed you, Mike!) We walked with well over 1,000 other people—men, women, children, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sisters, daughters, sons, and brothers as well as many dogs. What family hasn’t been affected by breast cancer?
In a mass of pink, we flowed from the Sam’s Club parking lot and walked the trail at the University of Maine at Augusta. We saw many people that we knew, and the mood of the walk was as fine and as beautiful as the day. I am always impressed with how upbeat the tone of this walk is because, let’s face it, there is nothing upbeat about cancer, breast or any other kind. Cancer is always scary, even when it is treatable.
But on we all went on that golden October day. Many of us—including me—have already had breast cancer. Others were there to support the ones they loved. Down the hill we surged, through the woods at UMA and back up the big hill to Sam’s Club, where we were greeted by cheerleaders, complete with poms-poms. I must admit, I have never been cheered before, and it felt great. When I mentioned this to the cheerleaders, I got another loud and enthusiastic cheer.
After the walk, those who had walked for Team Good Eater came back to the little house in the big woods for a hearty meal of white chile stew, bread from Slate’s bakery, and a salad made primarily with greens from Farmer Kev’s garden. For dessert we had a moist and very tasty German apple cake that Alice made.
Oh, we were all good eaters. The three-and-a-half-mile walk whetted our appetites, and at the end of the meal, there was only a scraping of soup left in the Crock-Pot. I made the soup from a recipe I found online, but I fiddled with it so much in the making that I can now call it my own and share it with you. It’s a hearty stew that tastes even better if it is made the day before.
I served the salad in a pink drizzle bowl that belonged to my mother. Somehow, that bowl seemed very appropriate. Pink is the chosen color of most breast cancer organizations, and my own mother had breast cancer, too. She did not die from it, and she faced it bravely at a time when the breast cancer epidemic was just getting started—1974—long before there were any support groups to help women deal with this terrible disease.
I walked for her as well as for myself and for all women who have had or will have breast cancer.