Walking, yes, indeed! How one Presbyterian makes each small step a leap for humankind.If Betty Dee Black should ever tell you she's going Out for a walk, don't hold dinner. Betty's previous walks have taken her the length and breadth of North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. . Her next one will take her around the Great Lakes Great Lakes, group of five freshwater lakes, central North America, creating a natural border between the United States and Canada and forming the largest body of freshwater in the world, with a combined surface area of c.95,000 sq mi (246,050 sq km). .
You could say it all began with the creation of Sam McGee. Sam is a macaw macaw: see parrot.
Any of about 18 species of large tropical New World parrots (subfamily Psittacinae) with very long tails and big sickle-shaped beaks. Macaws eat fruits and nuts. parrot that became a part of Betty Dee's life 25 years ago. Since her first marathon walk in 1992 -- through the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. to Florida -- Sam has accompanied her, perched (where else?) on her shoulder. Since then, the dynamic duo
Dynamic Duo (다이나믹 듀오) is a Korean hip hop duo, made up of members Choiza and Gaeko (former members of the trio, CBMass). , accompanied by Betty Dee's life partner Victor Fast in an RV, has also walked across Canada Across Canada was an afternoon program that formerly aired on The Weather Network. The segment ran from early 1999 until mid 2002. The show ran from 3:00PM ET until 7:00 PM ET. (1995) and hiked and biked (we're not sure if Sam remained perched on Betty Dee's shoulder while she biked) to the Yukon Territory (1999). The trip to the Yukon had special meaning for both woman and bird, with a visit to Dawson City where Robert Service, the bard of the North, wrote his most famous poems, including The Cremation cremation, disposal of a corpse by fire. It is an ancient and widespread practice, second only to burial. It has been found among the chiefdoms of the Pacific Northwest, among Northern Athapascan bands in Alaska, and among Canadian cultural groups. of Sam McGee.
Betty Dee's walks usually have two purposes. Each time she sets out for the open road from Samia, Ont., she raises money for a cause. For her trip to Florida, it was leukemia. When she walked across Canada, she was accompanied by 42 students -- one from each of the 42 public schools in Lambton County. Each student raised money to fight a disease that had affected a family member. Betty Dee's trip to the Yukon, surely one. of the more visually stunning of her journeys, was on behalf of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), founded in 1918, is a volunteer agency and charitable organization dedicated to assisting the integration of the blind and visually-impaired of Canada into mainstream society, to improve their condition, and to prevent .
Wherever her feet take her, Betty Dee also takes time to talk about another experience she cherishes -- the Alpha program, described on its Canadian website as "a 10-week opportunity to explore the validity and relevance of the Christian faith for our lives today." She became involved with Alpha three years ago after attending an event in Detroit with her minister, Rev. Dr. Ray Hodgson, of St. Andrew's, Sarnia, and his wife, Rev. Joyce Hodgson, minister of Laurel-Lea-St. Matthew's, Samia. She has been a vocal convert ever since.
It may be presumptuous pre·sump·tu·ous
Going beyond what is right or proper; excessively forward.
[Middle English, from Old French presumptueux, from Late Latin praes to add that Betty Deehas a third purpose -- the pure pleasure of it -- but why on Earth would anyone do so much walking if not for the pleasure? There should be a sports shoe endorsement in it. Incidentally, if you're wondering, Betty Dee prefers Mephisto and Nike shoes, which must put her feet into conflict at times. Mephisto was one of the chief seven devils and tempter of Faust. Nike was the Greek goddess of victory. ("Aaaa, c'mon. Don't be a sap. Take the day off." / "Do not listen to him. Victory is within your grasp.")
Betty Dee's next project, the walk around the Great Lakes, has a very apropos ap·ro·pos
Being at once opportune and to the point. See Synonyms at relevant.
1. At an appropriate time; opportunely.
2. acronym: HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). It also reflects her concern for the environment. "We envision a future in which ordinary Canadians and Americans will join hands in the protection of our 'Great Inland Fresh Waters,"' begins a publicity flyer for Project HOMES The flyer refers to the people who live on the shores of the Great Lakes as the stewards and protectors of the habitats for fish, animals and birds, and of one-fifth of the world's supply of fresh water. By the way, Betty Dee's sense of responsibility toward the Earth runs in the family. Project HOMES was the brainchild of her grandson, Carl Mitchell, an environmental scientist who teaches at the University of Toronto Research at the University of Toronto has been responsible for the world's first electronic heart pacemaker, artificial larynx, single-lung transplant, nerve transplant, artificial pancreas, chemical laser, G-suit, the first practical electron microscope, the first cloning of T-cells, .
This time around -- and this time the walk really is around -- Betty Dee plans to plant trees, "the lungs of the Earth," wherever she visits. The beneficiaries will be mainly schoolyards and churchyards, but Betty Dee, a hairdresser by profession, is also including a sentimental favourite -- the lawns of hairdressers who operate out of their homes. The hike around the lakes will be divided into two parts -- the first between August and October of this year and the second between April and September 2004. (More information is available on the website www.projecthomes.com.)
Asked about future projects, Betty Dee says, "You never know." One thing for certain, her feathered companion, Sam McGee, will be there to join her. His cremation is a long way off -- macaws frequently live to 100. On the whole, Betty Dee says, citing the effect of the Alpha program on her life, she plans "to pay attention to God."