The Blog

Doors and Windows

i Aug 1st No Comments by

We all know the saying “When God closes a door He opens a window.”  Although this can be sometimes construed as cliché or maybe even corny, the events of this summer have proven this phrase to be completely validated as nothing but true.  This summer has been an on-going series of doors and windows.

The first door – Our son, Luke, walks into the kitchen and runs an “idea” past his Dad and me.  “I’d like to take the summer to hit a golf ball across the country.”  What?!  That’s impossible!  CRAZY!  Why?  The window – to bring awareness to and raise funds for underprivileged kids to go to and complete high school.  Tremendous!  But as a Mom, I could only see rows and rows of doors for this one lovely window.

The Big Front Door – Risk and safety.  Clearly only the “what could happen” flashed into my mind.  What if you’re attacked by an animal or bitten by a rattlesnake?  What if you’re on someone’s property and they come running after you with a gun?  What if you hit a car?  What if a car hits you?!  What if you run out of fuel or breakdown in the middle of nowhere (the desert) and have no cell service?  What if we can’t find you?  What if you get sick or hurt and can’t get help?

More doors – How will you travel – logistically speaking – transportation – route – budget.  Who can go with you?  (Safety in numbers.) Can this be done in one summer so you can be back in time for law school?  How will you pay for it all let alone raise funds for the school?  Selfishly, how can I be without you for a whole summer?

So over the next 10 months we discuss… and plan… and discuss… and plan.  We listen to Luke’s thoughts, ideas, dreams.  We try to provide positive parental (and sisterly) feedback and insight while still holding a realistic line.  Because, clearly, no matter how great of an idea this is and for such a great cause, this is still CRAZY!

Time passes, plans fall into place and Luke’s crazy odyssey begins.  All of the doors are lined up and as the journey progresses, the windows begin to open.

The Windows –

  • Logistics – An old friend and a perfect stranger come to our aide.  A friend of Joe’s from college contacts us and donates funds to purchase a camper for the Team to live in over the summer.  A neighbor puts us in touch with the owner of our local John Deere distributor who in turn provides a John Deere Gator fully equipped with all the safety bells and whistles, spare tires, etc.  Without the generosity of these two people, the entire journey may not have happened.
  • The Team
    • Nick – Luke’s cousin.  Nick dedicated his summer to embark on this journey with Luke.  As we live on opposite sides of town, we unfortunately don’t get to see Nick very often.  This summer has allowed us the blessing of spending more time with him and getting to know him better.  What a nice window!   Nick is a great person, with a very big heart.
    • Kevin and Tyler – perfect strangers and now new friends.  Very last minute (about three days before the start of the trip) Kevin and Tyler were presented the offer to join the journey from a production and video perspective.  Two guys from L.A. who don’t know us, don’t know what this endurance journey will bring put their faith into Luke and the mission and have been a blessing ever since.  Their talent is abundant and because of them, we have tremendous recordings of this once in a lifetime trip.
    • Mark and Kate – Longtime friends and business peers.  Marketing and public relations require people of special talent.  Personally, this is a very solid door for me.  The skill of social media, print, e-communications, public connections, public relations, fund raising and then making all of these things actually happen, is well beyond my imaginable capabilities.  Mark and Kate possess these talents and many more.  I am very grateful for their superb skills and for their dedication to Luke’s cause.  They have made the Get On The Green window shine!
    • The opportunity to see our country.  Joe and I have been fortunate to have seen a good deal of our United States.  We hoped that this trip would afford Luke and his team the opportunity to see much of it as well.  What we didn’t know is just how much they would see.  Seeing our country from small county roads, fields and farms is very different from seeing it from an interstate at 70 MPH.  Not only did they (and we, when we would meet up with them throughout the summer) see the country, but they touched the country.  Many times, they were completely (except the circles around their eyes from their sunglasses) covered in road dust.  What an opportunity to see the country in this way!  We are a very blessed people in our beautiful United States!
    • The people – We anticipated that Luke would meet many people on this trip.  We hoped and prayed that those he came across would be kind and receptive to him as he passed through.  We had no idea that our hopes would be completely blown away with the extraordinary graciousness and generosity shown to Luke, his team and to us, his family, as we participated throughout the journey.    So many well-wishers, donors, helpers, kind hearted faithful people.
      • Bob and Shirley from Fillmore, CA – Bob and Shirley helped us through some mechanical difficulties in the middle of their orange grove.  Before we left, Shirley picked a bag of oranges for us and sent us on our way with hugs and prayers.  I returned home from that trip on Mother’s Day night only to receive a phone call from Shirley wishing me Happy Mother’s Day.
      • The Kniepkamp Family from Pinon, NM – where to begin.  The Get On The Green Team was stranded with a blown tire and locked brakes on a remote dirt road in New Mexico.  There was no cell reception and they were miles from anything or anyone.  Luke and Nick drove the Gator almost 30 miles to find a phone to get help.  Not only did they find a phone at the Kniepkamp’s residence, but they found a new and extended family for all of us.  This family took in the entire team providing food, water, shelter, showers, mechanical assistance, transportation – on and on.  As if that’s not enough Joe, Anna and I show up, and they show us the same kindnesses!  Honestly, I fully believe that the Gator and the Kniepkamps saved Luke’s and the GOTG Team’s lives.  I cannot express enough my eternal gratitude!
      • President George W. Bush – what an honor!  Kate really hit it out of the park when she was able to arrange meeting in Dallas for Luke with President George W. Bush.   The GOTG team and our family were also able to participate.  President Bush and his staff couldn’t have been more receptive and gracious in welcoming us and meeting with us.  He is a kind and strong person whose life is focused on his family, his country and his service to others.  We thoroughly enjoyed our conversations with him and will be forever grateful for his time and his support and prayers for Luke’s mission.
      • Many others – It’s overwhelming to me the kindness of people.  We’ve all had such wonderful encounters with so many along Luke’s path: The first person in Ventura, CA who stopped on the street to give Luke a $20.00 bill.  The owners and staff of Crystal Air Country Club in Llano, CA who gave the team a place to camp, dinner for all of us and bungalows for Joe, Meaghan and me.  Mandy, her twin boys and Father on the driveway of their farm in East Texas whose 10 minute introduction and discussion resulted in a generous donation. The staff of many golf courses and churches who welcomed Luke and the team and allowed them to make camp and spend the night in their parking lots.  All those along the way who prayed for the safety of Luke and the team.  The many donors who have generously contributed to the cause.  Your generosity is very much appreciated.
      • More than just golf – Yes, Luke’s plan was to hit golf balls across the country and raise money for kids’ high school scholarships.  The window that opened from this plan was the opportunity for Luke to learn firsthand about running a business.  Operations, finances, employment, scheduling, marketing, public relations, fund raising – I don’t know of many 24 year olds who have this direct opportunity.  Luke has taken this all in and has done very well in this endeavor.  I couldn’t be more proud of him!
      • My daughters and my husband – Not that I didn’t already know how wonderful my girls and my husband are, but I have certainly been granted a window to watch the interaction, the support and the love and dedication they have given to Luke and his mission.  Their commitment and constant work of logistics, communications, marketing, etc. is impressive.  Again, I couldn’t be more proud!  I am very blessed.
      • The Kids of Providence Cristo Rey – As Luke’s From Tee to Shining Tee mission is not yet complete, we don’t know what Luke’s impact of donation may be.  Our hope is that there will be many windows opened for these kids from Luke’s efforts.

Unknown windows – Luke’s journey is nearing its end.  In less then three weeks, he’ll be off the road, home and back in law school.  Life as we have known it this summer may slow down a bit.  Although, who knows what opportunities will result from Luke’s long summer.  One thing is sure, Luke’s never-ending drive, ambition, generous heart and zest for life will no doubt provide all those who love him and are close to him many more windows.  Thank you, Luke for the opportunities you have given to so many!  I’m so very proud of you!

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