My Dad on Father’s Day

I am not a shopper. I usually need to ask someone where to buy a particular item. There are stores I have never set foot into, and I am okay with all of this. But lately I feel overwhelmed with “What to give dad for Father’s Day” ideas in the few places I frequent: coffeeshops, gas stations, restaurants.

I am not shopping for a card or gift this year for my Dad. He died last October. Why is it this year there are gift and card ideas always in my face when I do not need anything? I used to work hard in finding the right and best card for my Dad. I struggled figuring out what would be the best gift for him because I always believed he got what he wanted himself. Yet, I eventually did find card and gift and send it off in time for Father’s Day.

My Dad, on this date, while not physically present continues to be carried in my heart. I have written many a note to him in my mind, thanked him for the gifts he has given me all these years, and can only appreciate the fact he had been in my life for so many years!

Happy Father’s Day!

Read, Read, and Read!

Reading is important for many reasons:

  1. You are one person who can interact in your life with any type of person you read about: poor, wealthy, happy, sad, successful or not, and get strength or insight as you move yourself forward in your own life when interacting with people or in the situation yourself. That’s why I love biographies!
  2. You can learn new facts … not that you’ll necessarily remember them, but you know you can return to the reading material when you need the facts again. That’s why I love reference books: encyclopedias, dictionaries, textbooks.
  3. You can be buoyed in spirit, or not, dependent on the happy, hilarious or sad reading material. That’s why I like comic books, cartoons, survivor stories, soapbox tales.
  4. You can be motivated to better your personal health. That’s why I like books about food, exercise programs, the science of good health…mental, physical and emotional.
  5. You can be challenged to achieve a goal you set for yourself. Would it be climbing a mountain, swimming or trekking across vast distances, playing on a team or meeting your own personal goal? I love books specifically about mountain climbers and you will find your area of adventurers, athletes, explorers or humanitarians accomplishing great things and be motivated by the individual too. That’s why I love autobiographies, travel and adventure books!
  6. You can love, or like, some reading material. You do not have to like any or all that I like or love. It does not matter, simply read what you wish and you will determine what you will want to read more of, and it no doubt will change as you age…I believe, as I continue to read.

I read this quote:

We read to know we’re not alone            – by William Nicholson, Shadowlands

Reading does allow us to think about what we read. All brain activity is important from young to old, and especially as we age. This quote allows me to realize I am simply one person on this earth while I read about so many different people, places and ideas! How terrific is that?

It is wonderful to read! Take time to read! Today…

A Memorable Hour …Kili or Bust!

6:45AM, July 14, 2002. An hour of my life I will never forget.

I am on the side of Mount Kilimanjaro, trekking, with a goal to reach its summit by sunrise. The trail is all crushed stone. I am no geologist, but I tell myself it is shale from uplifting and colliding continents, or was it debris thrown from the volcano? Yes, that’s right… Mount Kilimanjaro is actually a stratovolcano with three distinct volcanic cones. Whatever, I tell myself, that is all just science. Right now, I am climbing the 19,341 foot African mountain! Who would have ever thought!

I am cold, somewhat confused, knowing only to put one step in front of another. I am meeting others on the team at the summit come sunrise. The summit: Uhuru Peak at sunrise. It almost becomes my new mantra. Uhuru Peak at sunrise. It joins my most often mantra of “climb the mountain”, used at times when not even climbing actual mountains.

The shale pieces on the trail are now warming up with the rising sun. As a result, each step forward, higher, and with great effort becomes a sliding back routine. The shale bits are not holding steadfast as during the night hours when literally frozen in place. Am I climbing up this mountain or moving backwards? I am hoping for more forward than back movement. I am tired and thinking I should be on top very soon.

I create a rhythm with my trekking poles. I dig into the shale bits and step higher and forward. I see I am moving forward because the sun has begun to rise. I am behind the rest of the team. It is no longer their headlamps that I see ahead of me, instead just their backs. Damn, they seem so far from me, yet we are all on the same mountain. I will get there when I get there. No time or place here to give up. Climb a mountain at your own pace; yes, I will.

It is now approximately 7:45AM and I arrive at Stellar Point. Many people think this is the high point, yet it is not… but this was the hour of the climb I will never forget. I continue to the peak…. an amazing moment when there!

Writing 12: Share Outdoor Areas With Me!

The only way people will enjoy and protect an outdoor area is to get out in it and use it; however, I do draw the line on certain activities not being the best. Trails for hiking and mountain biking seem to do okay in the shared space, just as I enjoyed snow-shoeing and cross country skiing. But as soon as I hear and then see snowmobiles, dirt bikes or any motorized vehicle I will admit I become a bit crazy. It may be from a long-held memory and reaction when almost run over by a snowmobile while cross-country skiing!

I think it best to keep the quieter activities on one side of outdoor areas and the noisier, fast moving vehicles on another side…. horseback riders, you’ll have to tell me where you feel best. But for me, please protect our outdoor areas and let me enjoy it safely and in peace; this is all I ask!

Another Cup of Tea and Another Memory!

Let's recall another backpacking memory!
Let’s recall another backpacking memory!

Remember our winter Adirondack backpacking trip? Which one, you ask! Oh my gosh, we had some crazy times! How about the time we cross country skied in a few miles, set up a tent, cooked dinner on our backpacker stove, and relaxed in our sleeping bags while reading a magazine together. You held one side of the magazine while I held the other side, until our fingers were to cold and we would take a break. Once fingers warmed within our sleeping bag, we flipped the magazine page and read a new section. Tedious, but the way to do it that night since we had already read our own material other nights. Teamwork, always! Let’s have another cup of tea and recall another fun time!

Writing 10: what a sight!

image There is a beautiful national seashore in this area. Lots of green trees and shrubs, a variety of colorful wildflowers, and swampy dark-colored waters. Hikers, mountain bikers, people on horses can share the area with me today, but it is this crab that my focus concentrates on as it sits on a barnacled rock.

I think it’s cute, and if crab “looks” we’re on a scale of 1 to 10, maybe even a 10! It is colorful, and does not side step away as I slowly approach and have a seat on another barnacled rock. It has dark legs and also reddish colored claws. I think one of his eyeballs is looking at me, yet when I wave a hand nearby there is no blink!

I could have focused on a wildflower, but there were many. And so this crab, which there were many to, caught my attention. Don’t you think it is cute?

Writing 9: writing and not writing…

I write to express my thoughts, note observations, send a message to another, or just to see the magic that can happen with words on a page. There are times I write each day and other times I will not write for awhile. And when that break happens I seem to notice it is because I was so busy with other activities. The up-side though is there are things then to write about! The mountain biking, hiking, visiting a new place, seeing friends in their hometown, etc. You’ll not see that writing always appearing on Facebook, but the writing does happen. (Nothing against Facebook, but it is not my diary.)

I do not need to do anything everyday….except eat, sleep and be happy …. and maybe a puzzle or two, physical activity, and one of my flash writing times. Reading helps my writing. Taking photos and closely observing what goes on around me helps my writing. Talking with various opinionated people helps my writing. And all these additional things in my day simply makes my life interesting! So, writing is a piece of my life to be done while I have time and to return to after a break. It’s all good!


A Letter to Leaders….

Dear Leaders,

Yes, you as the leader of a family, team, environmental group, political group, school, church, or whatever organization you are a part of and designated leader, please read on. I simply want you as a leader to meet your responsibilities in a timely fashion, within budget, with concern for the people who look to you as their leader, and with justice.

I am tired, unimpressed, worried that our institutions are becoming out-dated, old, bankrupt, and with no concern for fellow man and woman. Our world needs leaders motivating others to operate at their fullest potential. Are you doing that?

Money is not the answer. Leaders need to create a work space that is healthy, supportive, fair, and with a vision so all know why it is important to support the organization you are leading. Happiness and inner fulfillment reap big dividends.

Leaders, go to work and work! Leaders, make decisions that will keep your organization fiscally responsible. Leaders, care for your people as though they are family…in a broad sense they really are! Leaders, be fair to all and when you seem to find it difficult, imagine you are walking in that person’s shoes!

Leaders, I applaud those who do the work at the highest level it can be done. Thank you!


A member of some wonderful teams with super leaders.

Social Media to Inspire a Post Idea?

Oh come on now! Wherever we turn we are bombarded by social media…television and radio talk hosts, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Yes, they could inspire a post idea; however, I flash-write my 15 minute writings in a notebook and spare the world from those writings in my blog. I hope I am doing the world a favor, yet there are others who feel we need to know every thought they have. Not me! Save your thought. Instead, sit down and string a few thoughts together into a full conversation with more than “x” number of characters.

But since this is a writing assignment, here goes. A Tweet from BluMarTen: “In our universe a star explodes and dies every second and there’s you, worrying about work tomorrow.” Okay, that tweet has a fighting chance for me to consider it respectable. It is sort of up there with don’t sweat the small stuff…easier to remember and just as important. Inspired? Glad to know, let’s talk…