Archive for the ‘adventure’ Category

An Astronaut's View

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on EarthAll I can think of is those astonishing photos from the ISS (International Space Station). Seems I clicked "like" immediately on visuals posted by Col. Chris Hadfield while he was up there. I watched his YouTube videos, singing with kids, giving science lessons and patiently answering for the hundredth time how astronauts use the bathroom in a weightless environment. (That question must get SO old!)
Space Oddity is bookmarked because I listen to it whenever I need an attitude adjustment. It always works. There is something about music delivered by a floating guitarist while the earth passes by the window that just stirs my imagination, adjusts my focus and makes my heart happy.
Same can be said for reading An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by - you guessed it! - Chris Hadfield. He is a surprisingly modest person, incredibly focused and determined. He says the same about his wife, to whom he gives plenty of credit for his career as an astronaut.
  • When in my life have I ever raced outside to see a celestial body pass by? (Now - I subscribe to Spot The Station - which tracks the ISS!)
  • Why did I find the astronaut evaluation process interesting?
  • What is it about space travel that reels me in?
How did I become so hooked on space? Maybe it was my brother, who taught science, and had his classes create capsule mock-ups to learn astronomy, geography and science all rolled into one fun but painstaking project. Maybe my choice of reading material has something to do with it; I'm racking up these astronauts turned authors:  Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut by Mike Mullane and Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys by Michael Collins.
And just maybe it was Col. Chris Hadfield's frequent Facebook posts (with great photos!) while he was on the ISS that ignited this fascination within me. My friends know I am a hopeless Trekkie, and I've never missed seeing a Star Wars release in the theater.  YouTube is full of astronauts now, and I always have to look. Even the book promos are funny.
Hadfield's book is chock full of his self-depreciating humor, his "don't-do-what-I-did" way of helping adjust a viewpoint and his hard-won ability to encourage those around him. I was encouraged just holding his book in my hands. To be my best self. To work toward my dreams and make them reality. To trust the good and be ready for the worst at the same time. You might be surprised. This book is an enjoyable read.
Don't just take my word for it. See Carolyn Kellog's "Ten Awesome Things List" about it in the LA Times.
Trying to remember the original 1972 Space Oddity by David Bowe? Click here for a refresh.


Friday, June 10th, 2011

My recent change of residence has created a phobia within me…fear of cardboard boxes. Strange? Perhaps. But as I am living it, I can tell you, it’s my truth.

The definition of a phobia says it’s a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger to the person owning it, where panic, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, desire to get away are common symptoms.

The overflow of unpacked moving boxes hidden in my closet is driving me crazy.

I tiptoe past the door, but still hear their contents calling to me, begging for freedom

I’m filled with empathy.  But are they planning a coup?

A strange trembling overtakes me. I struggle to breathe yet feel the heart palpitations increase. I feel the fear and panic.  There’s only one solution…

I must flee, leave the house…run, run, run...go have fun!

Okay, I may be gone for the day, but who knows what will develop while I’m gone.

Is there a chance the shoemaker’s elf friends will take piety on me, drop by, unpack ‘all that stuff’ and find just the right place for each item?


I’m just going to have to confront my phobia head on if I want to conquer its hold on me.

OKAY! I can do this…but tomorrow

Moving Update

Friday, May 27th, 2011

With hope and humor in my heart, here's the scoop on the move:
Boxes, boxes everywhere.
They must be opened, do I dare?
A surprise or present? Not so true.
Just lots of work for me to do.
Boxes, boxes all about,
Stacked in tiers and rows no doubt.
I must get busy, get work done.
When will I have fun in the sun?
It's finding new places for all my stuff,
and that, my friend, is kind of tough.
I promise, I promise, that's my vow
To empty the boxes, just not now.

Holiday Feasts

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Confession time. Last month I missed my turn on the blog. I was supposed to post the Monday before Thanksgiving, but I guess I was having a little too much fun with my son being home from college to remember things like blogs.

Youíd have thought Flash could have stepped in and helped me out, but heís still off in a snit somewhere because Iím writing about a boy named Zach instead of him right now.

Anyway, I was not baking pies and basting turkeys. I was packing my long underwear, hiking boots and polypropylene socks; preparing to drive eight hours to Moab, Utah. For four or five days every year we celebrate Thanksgiving by hiking in Arches National Park and the surrounding area.

We climb to the top of slickrock buttes that look impossible to scale, wade through freezing water in slot canyons, and argue over which wash will take us where we want to go. We stay in dumpy motels and eat our Thanksgiving dinner at Dennyís.

Thatís because we donít need a traditional Thanksgiving feast to make our holiday complete. We feast on togetherness, Godís amazing creation, and adventure. Many people think weíre a little crazy, but we wouldnít trade our annual Moab trips for all the turkey and dressing in the world.

Now itís the Monday before Christmas and Iím packing again. The last two years we left for a vacation on Christmas Day and skipped Christmas dinner, too. This year is a little more traditional. Weíre going to spend three days with extended family. I think weíre eating ham.

Great Migrations

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Check this out! Whenever I think I can't get through hard times, or things don't make sense around me, I remember these amazing animals. And they do these incredible journeys, full of drama and purpose,† every day of every year. Life does makes sense -- at some cosmic level, there is amazing purpose and design and always, incredible adventures.

It is all right here for us to remember and believe.

Tune in Sunday night, but you can check out the preview here.

On the Road With Su Baru

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Who is Su Baru? and Where has she been?

Hooked at first sight. The flaming red head stood out in the crowd of her peers. Her classic style drew me to her. She became the ward of my household. So lovely to look at, delightful to drive, she was all Iíd ever need. On the home-front she made quite an impression, so much so she was welcomed with offers of travel.

Her first adventure took her from the eastern plains of Colorado across the Rocky Mountains to the western slopes. ìLoved the mountain towns and the west-ness of Durango.î

Next, she was lured to a trip to the wild, wild, west territory of Denver for a few weeks. She says, ìIt's a nice place to visit, so much history and so many tourist things to do. Just a little too busy for me.î

Then came the short day trips up and down the Front Range and the cities and towns along I-25. †She attended many soccer games but I overheard her say, ìI prefer the serenity of the plains known as Evans.

She sometimes wondered if she were homeless...but alas she found her way.

Right now she's†reacquainting herself with parking space #4 on Ponderosa Court, and seems quite content. It's going to take her a few days to adjust to†her "old" schedule but she promises to bring her driver to visit writing colleagues every week possible.


Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Last week my husband and I participated in an interactive dolphin program in Cozumel, Mexico.† I learned a lot about dolphins, myself, and my fellow humans.† The day was overcast and the wind was blowing so hard that the organizers offered to give us our money back, but none of the ten people in our group backed out.† Two people in our group could not swim and spent the time clinging to the fence that was our cage in the ocean.† There were other dolphin encounters that were far less strenuous and we swimmers were amazed that anyone in their right mind would shell out big bucks to cling to the cage.† Go figure.

Our dolphin, Regina, kissed me, let me shake her fins and lay in my arms.† Next, I swam through the choppy waves with a boogie board and waited until Regina came up behind me and pushed me (her nose on my feet) what† seemed near the speed of light through the water, creating a huge wake.† Lastly, I swam out in the water and Regina came under me with her belly facing upwards and let me take hold of her fins and gave me an unforgettable ride. After that, we humans went into a pen and petted a manatee.† I, who once lived in Africa, was amazed that his fins and toe tails looked remarkably like an elephantís foot as did his mouth and his hide.† The trainer said the closet relative to the vegetarian Manatee is the elephant. †This amazing mammal is in grave danger of extinction due to motor boat collisions.

I swam next to Marie, a seventy-eight year old, from New York. She had come to Cozumel with 11 other women; all who elected to stay behind on the cruise ship.† Marie was spirited and fearless. †When I jokingly commented that 78 must be the new 65, she responded, ìWhatever.î †It was striking that this woman was in the water, living it up, while the much younger Pakistani women sat on the dock and watched their men folk have all the fun.

The dolphin encounter was an emotional experience for most of us and a delight.† As I age, I am following Mariaís example.† I zip-line, swim with Dolphins - experience whatever comes my way. †We canít change the number of our age, but we can avoid being paralyzed by it.† So much of aging and life is colored by oneís attitude.