Check Under the Hood

I bought a 4-door silver Plymouth Fury in 1979. I bought after being without wheels as a college freshman and relying on others for rides. Dad decided I needed to learn how to change a tire, open the hood and “check under the hood.” To this day I’m not exactly sure what I was checking for other than if there was enough oil and if it was clear. I went through the motions to make him feel better about sending me on the highway, praying I’d never have to really use the lessons he was teaching. Luckily, I’ve only been stranded once hoodand it wasn’t for anything under the hood. It was a flat tire fixed by a kind farmer on North Dakota’s Interstate 94.

“Check under the hood” has stuck with me but the meaning isn’t as literal as the initial lesson taught that hot August afternoon on the farm’s gravel driveway. Instead it’s come to mean maintenance and protecting one’s investment. And as I age, holy smokes, I’m doing a lot of “checking under the hood.” So much so that some days I’d like to invest in a new model, one with fewer maintenance issues. And, I’m not talking about the vehicle either. Rather my body. Relate?

Today my annual physical is much like a 100,000 mile vehicle check. It takes a whole day and involves looking at everything from front to back to top to bottom. What needs further testing? What needs repair? What needs replacement? Question the recommendation. Get a second opinion. Make another appointment. See a specialist. Extract a part. Import a part. Sticker shock! Yikes! You get it.

Despite all this, I keep “checking under the hood.” I drive my vehicles until the wheels fall off-that’s a whole ‘nother story. Warren Buffet and I share that in common-if it ain’t broke-why replace it? Begrudgingly I schedule annual physicals, dental appointments and other wellness exams each time hoping to leave doing my best impersonation of a smiling Mary Tyler Moore tossing her hat jubilantly in the air celebrating life and all its glory.mtmoore

“You’re gonna make it after all”…just keep “checking under the hood.”

Copyright. October 2015. Linda Leier Thomason

All Rights Reserved.




Breast Cancer Survivor Pleads-Get Checked!

October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The 5-year relative survival rate is 100 percent when breast cancer is detected early in the localized stage (American Cancer Society). Please schedule your mammogram today.

(Guest Contributor- Deanne Leier)deanne

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I’m urging readers to schedule their mammogram and to encourage loved ones to do the same. For some it may be a matter of life and death. The earlier the cancer is found, the better the outcome.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 39. Doing a breast self-exam, I found something I questioned and at my scheduled mammogram, it was confirmed-I had breast cancer. Most people think age 39 is too young to receive a cancer diagnosis. However, in my family it appears that the magic number, or should I say the “unlucky” number, is age 39! My grandmother and mother were both 39 when they were diagnosed. Understanding my family history and being very diligent about having a yearly mammogram saved my life.

I cannot stress enough to all women out there-Let the month of October-Breast Cancer Awareness Month- be your reminder to schedule a mammogram, sooner rather than later. Some women may think it’s not worth the pain to get this done. From my experience I can share that the minimal pain from a mammogram is nothing compared to the surgery and 8 rounds of chemotherapy treatments that I had to endure. Minimal pain for peace of mind or immediate treatment is worth it. Schedule your mammogram today.

pink logoAll too familiar with breast cancer, 4 of us founded Pink It Forward. Two cousins and I have fought and beaten breast cancer and my daughter, Kayla, has witnessed it. We all have a passion for raising awareness and are dedicated to helping those in need. When we learn of someone fighting breast cancer, we assemble a care package and mail it, hoping it provides comfort during the fight. If you, or someone you know, is going through treatments, please visit and submit a request. We will take care of the rest from Fargo, North Dakota!

Wondering how these care packages and programs are funded? Pink It Forward currently receives funds via free-will donations, Pink It Forward merchandise sales and Pink It Forward sponsored events.

We are thankful to many communities that invite our organization in and allow us to share our mission. This has allowed Pink It Forward to visit with those who have received our packages and learn about their journeys.

Click Pink It Forward and then “Donate” to make a donation.

Thank you for scheduling your mammogram and encouraging others to do the same. Thank you for visiting our website and for supporting our work of caring for others with breast cancer.

If you’d like to leave a message for Deanne or her non-profit (501c3) organization, you may do so in the comment box below. Donations are accepted through their website.