Heather Lende's blog

Thirty Feet and Counting

Yes, the pensive Spring sunshine warmed us yesterday, but today we are back to the very punctual snow. The latest 2.1 inches puts us over the 30 feet mark for the winter, and it is still snowing. At least when the sun comes out it is warm, and we are gaining more minutes of daylight (about 5) each day than inches of snow. (I hope.) In other news, tonight at 7 in the high school the debate team will debate the resolution, "In the U.S. current income disparities threaten the American Dream."  It is sponsored by the local We The People group and there will be a discussuion to follow.

A Change of Pace

I spent most of my thirties and forties moving as fast as I could-- running, cycling, snowshoing-- and rearing five children. Then at 45 I was hit by a truck, which slowed me down in lots of ways. But that was seven years ago, and I have been steadily picking up the pace, with both work and play. Then two years ago I became a grandmother, and now I have two grandbabies, with one more due this spring. They all live within walking distance of my house. If I wasn't going to be running a marathon anytime soon, I figured I might as well add a puppy to the mix.

The Secret to a Long Good Life?

I have been helping an elderly friend of mine with her obituary. (She'll be 89 next month.) She is very artsy and intelligent and loves opera, literature, and especially Shakespeare. She also appreciates fine art, and is a bit of a painter. She is a widow, and has no children, so she wanted to be sure that when her time comes the paper will get her mother's maiden name right and all the important dates and events correct. She assured me that she feels fine, but that she intends to begin her memoir and couldn't see starting that project until her obituary was in my apparently capable hands.

Spring Break, Alaska Style.

Happy first day of Spring! We now have as much daylight as Mexico, and gaining, and when the sun shines, the wind stops blowing, it's warm enough to ski in shirt sleeves, and your friends are singing happy songs on the "snowfa," why would you want to be anywhere else?

Sunday's Thought: a Buddhist Gatha

In,

Out,

Deep,

Slow,

Calm,

Ease,

Smile,

Release,

Present moment,

Wonderful moment.

Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh recommends using this gatha, or meditative prayer, when walking, by matching the steps with the words and our controled breathing. He says that when we breathe in this way the mind is calmed, and when we breathe out like this we are at ease.  "When we have practiced well, with each step we dwell in mindfulness, and we leave our seal of peace and happiness on the land."

Spring break in Mexico?

Spring break begins this afternoon at 2pm. And it is snowing, again. (In choir last night we learned that we are just three inches from 30 feet.) "It's not powdered sugar," JJ said this morning watching the snow fall. "I want to get on the ferry and go to Mexico." That's when Chip said, "The ferry is full, and besides, it doesn't go to Mexico." The good news is that we can see Mexico from here, sort of,  and even walk there if the snow plows quit.

It gets worse

The young man who was injured in the avalanche that took the life of his guide has died. He was 26 years old and his friends say the Californian was a real nice kid  who smiled often. It was hard to listen to his skiing buddy talking about the event on the radio this morning. You know-- how much fun they had, how great the skiing was the day before, how shocked they were by the avalanche, how helpless they felt as it cracked and thundered, how hard it was to wade in waist-deep snow toward the beeping beacons on the victims.

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