Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ice, Ice, Baby... and a Check #IceBucketChallenge

My first thoughts about this #icebucketchallenge phenomenon was "the what? for why?"  I just was not getting it. Why were people dumping ice on their heads? And then I heard the rumblings of it being for charity, for the ALS foundation, which does research about ALS (also, or perhaps, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and supports families of those who suffer from this debilitating disease.  Got it. But how does dumping ice on one's head help?  I figured, the folks at ALS would probably rather you not dump the ice and instead make a donation.  Or if you really wanted to be freezing cold, still write them a check.  Either way, had nothing to do with me. None of my friends were doing it so surely, this craze would pass before it showed up on my Facebook page.

Then I got that "ping" that someone mentioned me on Facebook.  Right above a picture of my soaking wet friend.  Met by the full amusement of my family.

First, let me say how much I dislike being cold.  Summer is my favorite season.  The only good thing that comes from winter is really cute boots and excuses to crochet and knit lots of fun scarves and hats.  And my birthday.  And Christmas.  That's about it.  Okay, and the surprise of snow cream. But that's it.

A couple weeks ago, we were on vacation and went up to Portland. I tipped a foot into the water and nearly screamed it was so cold! to be the middle of August. But we were in public on a full-of-people beach.  That was my entire Maine water experience, I spent the rest of the afternoon happily sitting in the sand.  And in a moment of tourism-craziness, we also went to the Frost Bar in Boston, pretty much because it was named "Frost"- how could we pass it up?  I lasted about 30 minutes in the below-freezing bar and then I was aching to get out.  So, yeah, I don't like the cold.

But while all this ice dumping was going on, I looked at the website a bit to find out more. What was ALS, and, ahem, who is Lou Gehrig?  I had heard of him, was pretty sure he was a baseball player and knew this disease lead to terrible, life-ending effects, but honestly, didn't know much more than that.  I read a little bit and gained more understanding of how it slowly degenerates your nerve cells.  I think this blog post on about what a family thinks of the challenge really explains the effects quite clearly.

So, in the middle of my day, my kids filled up a cooler with ice water (note to self - next vacation, be sure to put everything away), gathered another neighbor child to laugh along with them, and insisted that I stay in my dress because my friend who had challenged me, also wore a dress.  You'd think peer pressure would've worn off at my age, right?  They really enjoyed pouring that ice over me; I did what one does when being doused with freezing water - screamed in my drenched hair and dressed. And made a donation to

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