Monday January 11, 2016

A Wild Summer

By Karen "Smitty" Smith Crawford

I was an UDSAP '97 member and it was a wild summer!  I think we had to replace the brakes on all 3 vans at least once!  The fellow UD community members I shared my time with were amazing people as well as Sr. Nancy Bramlage and Bro. Tom Pieper and Dave Campbell.  What amazing role models!!!  

The children, families and elderly we shared the summer weeks with were life changing and I'll never forget sitting on the Pennington's porch and chatting about life.  The letters we received to support us and encourage us meant so much as well as the Dairy Queen night with an ice cream treat!  Pickle Fork swimming trips, showering in the rain with Laurello and watching Chief WannaPooPoo and Marie work their magic.  Reading the walls of the house and thinking about the other people who were lucky enough to experience an immersion event like this and thinking how lucky we all were.  TJ?  I had never met anyone like him and I've never met anyone like him since.  And what he wrote on the wall still gives me goose bumps. 

The whole experience made me conscious of resources in a variety of ways and also the value of simple human relationships.  When Sr. Nancy picked me, I just couldn't believe it.  And when I went home from the summer, I was so lucky.

I will sometimes break out in song in the shower... "I love the flowers, even the daffodils... I love the fireflies when all the lights are low..."

A big thank you to UD for providing college students the chance to experience something that comes along once in a lifetime.  A big thank you to the mentors of the program for their time, love and guidance.  A big thank you to my community that summer.  

Karen  (Smitty) Smith Crawford '97

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