Answer — a week off, a week away from alarm clocks, cooking, cleaning, laundry, lunches and endless to-do lists.
I have given my wife this gift for 40 years. What she did with it was surprising.
And since our three sons Mt Norwalk woman visiting Norwalk cousin ages 5, 8 and 10, it truly was with a tear in my eye that I watched a white station wagon become a small speck on the horizon as the six mothers headed for the Smokey Mountains in They learned from their mistakes, becoming skilled minimalist hikers over the years that rolled by.
Doing the entire Appalachian Trail became a goal when Bunny had breast cancer in Section-hiking a hundred miles a year, the Mountain Marching Mamas — their eventual trail name — accomplished that goal in The makeup kits were long left behind, but the MMMs were literally cover girls when they appeared on the cover of the Appalachian Trailway News magazine.
Those breath-taking mountain-top views were secondary to bonding as women, as people, as mothers, as problem-solvers. Mt Norwalk woman visiting Norwalk cousin
There were trials on the trails. They got separated once on the AT, one group going south and the other going north looking for each other.
But it was the quiet evenings around the campfire when they shared how their lives were going that centered them. They were women of religion, reality, and diversity — one taught deaf children, another special-ed students, one was an Indiana farmer, others had citrus groves in Florida and soybean farms in Norwallk.
The Mountain Marching Mamas bonding with nature and with each other was epitomized by the sheer joy of singing on the trail. Their favorite hymn had the perfect words: The cast changed slightly over the years.
Joanne was replaced by cousin Mary from Indiana and Grace had to retire. But the core four — Charme, Bunny, Sylvia, and Ellen, plus Mary, are celebrating the fortieth dousin of that first hike, the one where I watched a white station wagon shrink to a speck.
These gals did just that. Her sister hatched the idea.
James F. Burns is a retired professor at the University of Florida.