Thursday, December 08, 2011


Gratitude... goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. --Henri J. M. Nouwen

Why is it so important that you are with God and God alone on the mountain top? It's important because it's the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved. To pray is to listen to the One who calls you "my beloved daughter," "my beloved son," "my beloved child." To pray is to let that voice speak to the centre of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being. --Henri J. M. Nouwen

Gratitude and Guts..there you have it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

On my mind...

Who Am I?

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were
compressing my throat,
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!

--March 4,1946

No, I don't live in a prison cell, nor am I held captive by anyone who restricts my movements. But I do live a life where the same people see me every day, walking to classes, walking to the library, going about my daily life- even those on Facebook who see my pictures and posts; they see a person, the one trying to portray myself clearly but often in the best light possible, as we all do. Yes, I am usually joyful and easily delighted by coffee, cheese, and good bread and live music.

But I am also a woman living in a body that doesn't quite look like I think it should; who isn't married like I sort of thought she might be; who feels orphaned because my dad has been gone 5 years; who hasn't committed to living in one location for more than a year since high school which tells the world I can't make up my mind.

There are good and bad qualities existing in this person, sometimes an assured demeanor that is only covering up a girl scared that people will reject her. But through it all, I stand firm (and sometimes shakily) in the faith that there is someone out there so much bigger than I am; a Savior who loves me and has proven his love to me time and time again. Whoever this person is, she is loved.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

On being an 'only'

Last night at a party, some new friends were talking about birth order and how it has affected their lives. When the question came around to me, one of my friends was shocked to hear that I'm an only child.

"How did you get to be like this??" was the gist of her response. She was flabbergasted, even though she only knew me through sitting next to me at an event a week earlier and asking me to come to this party. In studying counseling and having dated an 'only' for 3 years, she considers herself a little bit of an expert at reading 'onlies'.

It's true, I'm not the typical mold-fitter in this respect. Typical only children are more selfish, maladjusted and unable to make friends easily, like to be in control, dependent, and lonely. Now it's true that I sometimes don't empathize with people who are making stupid choices and this is a typical only child response of misunderstanding motive; but this is one of my few 'only' extremes.

It was a combination of growing up as an adult and having a sense of taking care of my parents in childhood (don't read too much into that, it's simply some of the ways I grew up and how little me saw the world) and after high school going to work at a camp. In camping, you don't have to wear the mask of 'fitting in' like you do in the non-camp world. You can, of course, but it's often seen and derided. Who really gets all dolled up every morning when they're camping with every hair in place and wearing spotless clothes? When you're living with people day in and day out, they see you in tons of different situations, moods, energy levels, and levels of intimacy. A moment of silence for the death of the acceptability of the scarf on one's head..

There are lots of aspects of this experienced as a week-long camper, but as a counselor it's zoom-focused. Being a person who loves the outdoors, camp brought out an aliveness in me. For the first time, I was with people who all had one goal: loving kids for Christ' sake and wanting to help them grow. That first summer on staff I was considered one of the young counselors (a new enterprise for little me, who always felt so grown up when with my peers) and was also one of the new counselors. I'd been a little leery of being 4 hours' drive away from my friends and family in Michigan, but being a camp counselor was something I'd always wanted to do. And this job providentially came into place through

So I took the leap. And in that huge cannonball splash I found out I was more extroverted than I realized. I was good with kids. I was invigorated by living outdoors. There were people like me out there and some of them were here; this is where my core friendships in early adulthood were solidified.

Anyway, how I got to be such a well-adjusted only child? God's grace and mercy is the short answer :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Playing in the northwest...

It's pretty wonderful living in the Pacific Northwest. The greenery, the city-ness of Portland, the learning environment I live in, and the church community I'm a part of are all blending so well together. The tough parts are tying in all the reading necessary and being wary of budgeting for the next couple years while a student.

Even walking about the neighborhood is similar to being in the woods. There is greenery everywhere! There's a park connected to campus, and the lots around here have a plethora of plants and trees. Even a palm tree, believe it or not. Maybe I'll take a picture on my next walk.

Walking in Seattle was very similar to here- in terms of greenery, hills, and rain :o)

Now I'm starting to really get involved in some of the life of the area, joining in a dialogue community of Zen Buddhists and evangelical Christians. We do dinner once a month and discuss how we're similar and how we're different. The ZenBuddhists are going to read Mere Christianity, and I'm going to read Living Buddha, Living Christ as well as a bunch of articles we'll all be reading. Should be a very interesting engagement that will push as well as pull. Already I stood outside after our first dinner with a new friend who can't wrap his mind around the centrality of Christ's reality for Christians, why it's so important that this man truly was human and truly lived in history. He told me that it doesn't really matter so much if Buddha or the historical figures of Buddhism really existed. I'm looking forward to understanding that more, and seeing him understand why Christ is so important to me.

I can't help but think about the verse that says: "Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:22-24) It really is foolishness without faith. You've got to have faith to believe in those crazy things the Bible says! But if it's not true, what's written in there, it's foolishness to believe it. And that's really what I think. If there hadn't been ways that God has wooed me to himself, and I hadn't received love from him (sometimes directly, sometimes through reading the Word, sometimes through others) I wouldn't be a student intent on knowing more about this God and trying to experientially know more.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I sort of miss my cargo fire pants from this summer. They were so...practical.

Now we're back to a rebirth of the business semi-casual in class.

This time seems to be going so very quickly. It's been almost a month since arrival in Portland, but I just got here.

The community (while I was a little concerned at first) is proving to be a good fit. There aren't as many new students on campus this year as there have been in the past, but there are 3 other singles brand new to this place, and together we make the 4 musketeers!

Today we studied the 12 communication tools. At the top are verbal, written, numeric, and 2D pictorial...whereas at the bottom are olfactory, temporal (time), spatial, and tactile. What's most interesting to me is that the lower one of these is on the list, the lower that means our awareness of it is - but coincidentally the higher it is in effectiveness. Obviously with food, I love the smell of food more than words- and it gives credence to the thought that the way to a man's heart (and mine, I'm told) is through the stomach (which really means nose, doesn't it?)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Morning Meditation

For a couple of my classes, there is a multiple-hour retreat required. So I have to spend time contemplating God, just him and me, FOR SCHOOL. Granted, it's a seminary - but still, pretty awesome.

This morning I was spending some time in worship while chronicling these first days in the realm of higher education again, and had a Paul-esque moment. He sometimes just goes off in praise and ecstasy when considering the riches of God's grace, glory, and mercy to him/us. It's a wonderful thing. When you're not in the same mindset while reading Paul's words, well, for me I get a little agitated that he's off-topic again. But what a great thing, just to be caught up in awe.

I've been meditating on the verses of the song How Deep the Father's Love and in particular these middle two verses:

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

-of course, in case you don't know them, the last two just bring it all home, so they're here:

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I wi
ll boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Amazing love, how can it be that he, my God, should die for me? Not that he needs me, but that he LOVES me.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Portland, NE style

Oops. I didn't post all summer.

Moving on...

All moved in to the apartment at Multnomah, and as ready as you can be for classes when I still can't remember them. In college I had the irrational fear (and nightmares) about forgetting a class and going over half a semester before realizing it. This place is small enough, though, that the professor would notice pretty quickly. That's good.


It's been a delightful summer working in the Wilderness of the Carson Iceberg with Silvia, who wrote this sweet little post for me: She Walked in Wilderness with Shovel. The title comes from my loathe of the shovel we had to carry for campsite decomposition if needed. You're supposed to carry tools in the downslope hand in case you lose footing and have to toss it away from you, and you're supposed to carry it down in 1 hand, and with the sharp/blade side down. sometimes I managed to secure it to my pack, but it was bulky and heavy...Not as bad as a rock bar, it helps me to remember. Those are 20+ lbs and not strappable.

My friend Heather assisted in the move up here by way of Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and Crescent City. Then when we got here, she had a good friend who showed us around. Most importantly on the trip, we shared a love of GOOD food. Oh, it's wonderful. Italian, Chinese, & Vegan in SanFran; local goodness in Crescent City; Spanish, Indian, Doughnut in Portland; and wonderful local brews everywhere.

In short, I think the Northwest and I are going to have a great time together.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Wilderness Rangerness week 1

Well, I've finally begun the new job. It's lots of paperwork and research these first couple weeks. But after that I'll be going on 4-day hitches into the wilderness, surveying and meeting with the few hikers who venture into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest area.

Talk about a mouthful. The bad news is there are still 7 feet of snow on the Sonora Pass, and that means it's pretty much physically impossible for us to go in as planned. It's been awhile since I wore snowshoes.

The library card count is now up to 5, I think. Sturgis, Kalamazoo, Shanghai, Cedarville, Mount Pleasant, and now a state capital one - Carson City. Somebody has a book problem. Today on the list are last week's Time magazine, possibly a movie, and possibly an Ilene recommendation.

Any other recommendations out there? After only 'working' for 10 hours a day while camping, there's a whole lot of light left for reading in the wilderness!

Just started Dakota by Kathleen Norris. Seems like an apt sort of genre for the present. Helps to inspire me to write more as well - or maybe at least to think about it more. And just finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Yes, it's true, we all should read it. I delayed, and delayed, feeling more averse the more it was recommended - it's that perverse opposite-doing bone in my body making those persnickety feelings rise.

So - recommendations?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Well, I'm in Portland now. It's been an eventful week, with 12 states crossed. That's saying a lot since it's not New England area! The least exciting was Minnesota, because it was long and much the same as Michigan and Wisconsin. My route went from Michigan-->Indiana-->Illinois-->Wisconsin-->Minnesota-->South Dakota-->Wyoming-->Montana-->Idaho-->Washington-->Oregon.

5th Ave!

I'll be here a few days before making the rest of the way to my summer position as a backwoods forest ranger in Nevada!

It's an exciting trip of a lifetime. And there were only about 5 minutes of loneliness in the journey. Guess I was peopled out. There was just so much going on around me, the landscape was completely delightful, and that helped. Probably knowing I was heading toward friends didn't hurt.


Was able to visit an old college friend in Seattle for a few days, and now am with a travel buddy who is from Hawaii and went to school in Oregon but we met in Shanghai. It's nice to be a little more at rest today, doing laundry and looking for storage for the summer so that my car begins to have a little more space in for a friend to sit somewhere!


It's difficult to choose a favorite image, but this one captures the opening to the badlands by hinting of a peaceful landscape but then opens up to magnificent cliffs and boulders, prairie dogs and muddy rockslides. If you want to see some multitudinous amounts of photos from the trip out west, check out my photo site: Flickr.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

so many times..

There were many moments the past few weeks I've thought 'I need to blog about this' 'I need to blog' or 'why don't I write a post?' and yet silence here.

Just too busy living.

Making plans, executing plans, enjoying moments- basking in friendships. There has been much journaling, of course. But for some reason it's not passed the 'let's put this out for all the world to see' inspection.

Yet today is the day. I get to watch white fluffy clouds in the blue sky through my sheer purple curtain, so this means the sun is shining; and I can at least pretend it's warm outside while I sit here in a blanket.

Someone cued the thunder right as I typed 'blanket'.

What a day.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

When it's Spring

When it's Spring, I can open the window in the morning to hear the birdsong
And long to be in a place by the water so that I could hear the spring peepers calling

When it's Spring, the sun comes back
And I can almost forget the darkness of winter

But there's snow in the forecast, and it has me wondering where I am; the upper peninsula or the lower? Certainly, upper peninsula snow at the start of April can be expected some years, but in Kalamazoo? It's a zoo alright. But it's colder in all of West Virginia than it is right here as I type, a good 7 hours' drive north of its southern tip. Definitely does not make that state any more appealing right now.

So comparatively is where I'll find the satisfaction. At least I'm not in Princeton, WV where it's 32 (6 degrees colder than Kalamazoo) and 28 degrees colder than their average high.

What a weird winter/spring it has been. Did the Farmer's Almanac predict this one?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Ad and Swag

So - on the left you may note a couple new widgets and redesigning - I went through the old links and updated them as well as added something called the Swagbucks widget and an ad space. Blogger has been bugging me to 'monetize' with their AdSense gadget, and it did me in. Sure, we'll give it a go.

Now Swagbucks on the other hand is not new to me. If you need to search for something and you're already here, use the nifty box I put there on the left for you, and my 'swagbucks' will increase! It's my search engine of choice. Before, I used Goodsearch, which donates a penny to the nonprofit of your choice each time you search, and that was nice enough, but such a little difference really. And the engine itself wasn't that great. Maybe it's better now, I couldn't say. Swagbucks has already sent me one $15 ITunes card and I could have another already if I wanted to. But I'm holding out for the big-league $50 REI giftcard. Love that company. It's really a gigantic outdoor coop. And I'm a card-holding member. They give a dividend of the income each year, and they're extremely environmentally friendly, moreso than I am.

:) Click away!

Friday, March 25, 2011


The beginning of this week, I felt a rumbly in my tumbly. Rather than going away, it developed into more symptoms: fever, hot-air balloon head, and wet cough. It's the cough that gets me every time. It almost makes me vomit, because the sensation is there even though my gut isn't repulsing anything.

Which makes me realize I'm like my uncle Ron. In my memory, he didn't much like doctors. Not sure if it was because they never seemed to be able to do much for his mother, or something else. For me, though, it's because I would have to build a relationship with a doctor. I would want him to know me, to get to know my symptoms, to well, in essence be a small-town doctor. But he/she won't be. And really, I just need to get over it.


For now, I have an entire weekend ahead of me which is essentially unscheduled and lots of sleep, water, soup, and rest will probably do the trick of curing me of the frog-voice.

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

wall of love

I believe this is my favorite place in this apartment. Looking at my 'wall', I always smile. And you know how often we all turn to the refrigerator, even when we don't want anything! When I see this wall, I remember:
-Cedar Campus, the place I never thought beforehand I would ever work at because I already had 'my camp'
-Aforementioned 'my camp', Pleasant Vineyard, and the wedding/reunion of staff at the Webel reception this winter
-China, the place which holds pieces of my heart halfway around the world, especially Clare
-Kentucky family like my little cousin Elaine who is getting married this summer! And my cousin Pam who got married last summer!
- international friends - it's so hard to keep in touch
-Who my ideal love mate is (won at Cedar Point in 1992! I knew who he was at the tender age of 9) "Your Ideal Mate doesn't let love become a habit--like breakfast. He goes on being romantic year in and year out..." I know, pretty awesome right? It gets better "...He's never too busy or too tired to listen to those little whispered confidences, and while he says 'no' to the other girls he says 'yes' when his wife says, 'Do You Love Me?'" Printed 1941
-Friends who have gone overseas like Mike & Gretchen and Adelle and the Kingly family; or gotten married this past year like Maribeth & Josh, Lance & Kristin, Mary & Adam, Matt & Carol, and Nick & Beka!
-When in the world it is that David Sedaris is coming to Kalamazoo, which means Jamie is coming to Kzoo, which means I really should start remembering before April 5
-and of course, what I can recycle! It's the first and most important layer of 'the wall'

It's a wonderful wall. A reproduction of my wall in the house I grew up in, where I put up over 200 photos on all 4 walls of my bedroom.

What's your most favorite place at home?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Goodbye Winter!

There are a lot of people, rather, a majority of people, who deride Michigan winters and Michigan in general. But there's something amazing about seasons changing when the last one was brutal. The sunshine out my window reminds me of hope, and the hammock on my deck reminds me there is another opportunity for hearing birds sing and experience the frozen ground melt into rich smells of varying hue.

We had a 70-degree day this week, which did much to dissolve lingering winter blues in my coworkers. Now all I need is to cut a hole into my office window!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Uncle Bill

aMAYFIELD — William Curtis “Bill” McGary of Hopewell Road, Mayfield, Ky., passed on peacefully at his home from Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Sunday morning, March 6, 2011, at the age of 83.

Bill was a farmer, devoted father and husband, and passionate local historian and storyteller.

William was born near Kirbyton in Carlisle County, Kentucky, on November 15, 1927. He was the eleventh and youngest child of Victor and Effie Dura Gourley McGary.

He farmed in West Kentucky across seven decades beginning as a young child on the family farm.

He began his education at the one-room Dewey Corner School. In 1941, Bill attended Cunningham High School and enthusiastically played on the school’s basketball team.

After high school Bill farmed for several years with his father, still working only with horses. In December of 1950, he volunteered for the United States Air Force. He studied at Boston University Aircraft School and served as a B-36 Electrical Specialist for the Eleventh Wing at Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas.

While in Texas he met his future wife, Betty Jo Evans. They were engaged at Palo Duro Canyon State Park and were married August 2, 1953, in Halfway, Texas.

After his time in the service, they moved to Petersburg, Tx., where he farmed cotton, maize, and other row crops for several years with Betty’s father and brother.

In 1965, they bought a farm in the Mayfield Creek Bottom off of Hopewell Road, where for the next four decades they added acreage and grew white corn, yellow corn, popcorn, soybeans, wheat, and canola. In later years, Mike Nesler was instrumental in running the farm as well as a small long-haul trucking operation.

Betty kept the books and managed operational details and Bill’s brother-in-law, Henry Wells provided assistance in various capacities.

Bill often enjoyed breakfast with local farmers and neighbors at the Longhorn Restaurant near Mayfield. He could always be counted on to spark up conversations with complete strangers, often to have a new audience for his stories, but just as often to make a personal connection with a fellow traveler. In 2009, he completed his memoirs of growing up in the Jackson Purchase Area entitled “William-Billy-Bill,” published by

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Betty; as was a son, Kenneth “Ken” of San Francisco, Calif.; daughters, Thana of Rutland, Vt., and Lawinna of Greene, New York. Lawinna and her husband, Joe Ingold, have three children, Evan, Loren and Liam. Bill is also survived by his sister, Adell McGary Hurt of Toledo, Ohio.

Bill’s siblings were Ava Boswell, Zela McGary, Vernice Wells, Theron, James Thomas (J.T.), Wilbur, Alda Brower, Adell Hurt, Learon, and Wilford.

Bill was a member of Open Door Baptist Church.

Visitation will be Friday evening, March 11, from 5-8 p.m. The funeral service at Byrn Funeral Home in Mayfield starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12. Burial will be at Highland Park Cemetery.

In memoriam, contributions can be made to Emmeaus Perpetual Cemetery Fund, c/o David Wells, 12272 State Route 129, Fulton, KY 42041, or to the American Red Cross, 1-800-733-2767.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


Rules., originally uploaded by sarah_laughingguts.

Oh, Engrish. Because we need a good sign this evening.

Don't push and squeeze.


Late last night I heard the message that my great uncle was receiving hospice care. This afternoon I received the message that my great uncle had passed away in the night. Uncle Bill battled cancer, has been married for about 57 years, has 3 children and 3 grandchildren; and still I cried when the voicemail told me his body is the only part of him here on earth anymore. He has finished his earthly race, and the rest of us left behind have to carry on without him.

That's what I feel the most when loved ones die that I know had accepted Christ' gift of life. I feel a tension that I'm supposed to be glad for them, and am jealous, even, but I sorely miss them.

Uncle Bill was a great southern storyteller (this coming from a northern girl). He was the youngest of 11 (10 lived to adulthood and now only 1 is still living), born and raised on a farm although he did manage to go to high school in rural west Kentucky, something only 1 of his brothers also did. The luxuries you get as the youngest, I guess. A bus started running when he was a kid, so they only had to walk 1.5 miles to the bus which took them the rest of the way to the schoolhouse. Our culture is so different now - I don't think many Americans would dream of letting their children walk a mile to go to school. We might even call it cruel and unusual.

A piece of history that lived on through him is gone, now, it seems. It will be ever easier to think that the way things are now is the way they should be, or better, because we deserve more. And we'll forget as a culture where we came from, sons and daughters of immigrants and revolutionaries and oppressed peoples, fighting against the grain to provide for our children and allow more of them to live longer, instead of seeing several of our children die as infants and a few, hopefully, to live to adulthood.

I am so glad for Uncle Bill's stories, that I could see that other world he grew up in and it's not just a story we learn in school, that we didn't always have cars and electricity and phones, and it wasn't really that long ago.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Towering, originally uploaded by sarah_laughingguts.

The beauty of an ice storm...when the sun comes out and before it all melts away into memory.

Iced Out

It's lovely to have friends all over. Yesterday there was a massive ice/snow storm that dumped about half an inch of ice and several inches of snow on my homeland. Not even sure there's power at my apartment. Which is why I'm staying put elsewhere!

Tried to talk my mother out of lunch yesterday since she lives an hour away, but we compromised and met halfway. It took us each double the time to get there.

The fantastic part is we're celebrating Washington's birthday today, and my employer has given us a paid holiday. So here I rock, holding a cup of coffee and bundled up with two great protector-dogs (what I mean is they bark at any old thing and sound vicious but they're really just 70-lb babies) while surfing for something on a steal from Dealnews...

Who's who in this goodbye between mother and daughter?

'I love you'
-'Love you too'
'Take care -- Call me if you need anything, OK?'

Happy President's Day!

Saturday, February 05, 2011


Another popular way to get around, which isn't so popular here in the US (although I wish it were!) is by train. Yes, it's slower than plane, but so much cheaper!

3rd bunk

This here is an image from the train going from Beijing to Ningxia

View Larger Map

Which was quite a trip!

This one is actually a subway ride in Shanghai taken by my friend Lance:


Touch being a love language of mine, it wasn't such a travesty to be squeezed into the subway while in China. It was a lonely time for me, seeing as how my father had passed away just months before and I didn't know anyone walking into this place. So riding the bus and subway were times of being near people- even though we weren't 'near' to one another. True, it has its downfalls, such as pickpocketing (which more than one of my friends experienced in China in large part because we were 'laowai', but hey, it happens)

Now here in the states, I'm not sure they understand how many people can fit on a subway car.

This clip makes me think of China, even though it's Japan...

You might not believe it until you see it. Have a peek.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

transportation my line of work, transportation is really important. Granted, I don't live in a small village where you can walk anywhere you need to be, or hop on a moving car/bike. Half the year, practically, our world is snowed in and biking/walking are not at all appealing options in subzero temperatures. (today, for instance)

But really, there are lots of ways to get around. I'd like to take a stroll down memory lane with you photographically.

There is the ever-popular biking option,

they ride like in China!
Yes, a mother and toddler are riding on the back of a bicycle with a bucket counterbalancing here. I saw this a lot in China, unfortunately there aren't any photos from that time I have taken. I got pretty decent at riding sidesaddle on the back when in China...can hardly believe that was 5 years ago...

Ever-popular way to transport wood, this is a little zealous in my estimation. At least it's dry season and there aren't massive amounts of mud to contend with on those dirt hills they'll be riding this wood through!

Bringing up the bikes
These folks don't let a few stairs deter them! Looked for a photo of massive amounts of people riding in Shanghai, but pretty much everyone has seen that picture by now. Not everyone has seen how in the cities stairs have a bike track on the sides and sometimes in the middle for people to carry bikes up, like this.

Africa 095
Even a white shirt and tie with black pants, there's no excuse for not riding around here :)

Well that's all for now. I'm going to go enjoy my state of emergency blizzard evening...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

for mom

So recently Lance & Kristen got married and had a photo booth at their reception. Typically a photo booth is filled by a couple friends or a couple, or parents and kids...or sometimes 6 crazy friends. They had props and everything, so we made the most of it.

It was great to see friends from years past all in one place again. The kind of moment you wonder will ever happen when you are saying goodbye to a set of friends at the end of a phase. Pretty delightful.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

winter update

So - I looked back to that post about winter excitement, and that has subdued somewhat.

While it's beautiful to see snowflakes and watching flakes fall from heaven, most of the time it has just been in the way of getting where I want to go. Ah well :) Such is life.

But in the next couple weeks, hopefully there will be some snowboarding in this future. There will definitely be some stalking of amazing bookstores in Traverse City, and a day of cross-country skiing followed by a day of questioning the wisdom of cross-country skiing.

Tata for now.