DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - On thirteen-year-old Laura McKinney's last day of eighth grade, her father, Frank, walked her to school. While the two had taken the fifteen-minute walk every day for a decade, something was different this time.
"Are you sad yet?" Laura asked her father.
"Not yet," Frank answered, as they started their journey.
The two took the walk every day, even when they were running late. And even when Mother Nature's fury placed obstacles in their path.
"I remember when the hurricanes of '04 and '05 came through, how long did it take us to get to school?" Frank asked.
The two say they stepped over fallen debris, weaving through blocked areas, taking about 45 minutes for their usually brisk walk.
When a bridge was under construction, they found another way.
"We took a rowboat and we put it in the water and we rowed to school, but that only lasted for like a week," Laura said.
The ten years have added up to more than 1,650 walks for daddy and daughter. At seven blocks each, that adds up to a distance of more than 1,000 miles, Frank says.
The walks have meant talks. Dad and daughter say, they learn a lot about each other and themselves.
"I learn something from him every day, when we walk to school, what a good person he is, truly, and it means a lot that he takes time out. It shows a lot of character in himself that he spends time with me," Laura said.
The pair has picked up a stone, a shell, or an object every day. The items have been put into boxes and Frank plans to make them into a keepsake for his daughter.
Frank has written a book for teens titled, "Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle," based on their walks.
"I wouldn't, I just wouldn't miss it for anything."
Frank suggests every parent find a way to make the walk with their child.
"Drive to the last half mile, get out and walk your child," he said.
When Frank was out of town, Laura's mom would walk her. The family says Laura has never ridden in the backseat of a car on the way to school.
Now that Laura is headed for high school, the family says they will start a new tradition. They plan to take the walk every May 16th, even if the family moves from their current residence.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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