My best friend Laurie and I were tucked in our sleeping bags and resting comfortably in our tent. The northern Idaho campground was blanketed in silence, except for faint pops and crackles of campfires at neighboring campsites.
Laurie had drifted off to sleep and I was close to it when I heard the sounds of something approaching our tent. I sat up and held my breath, involuntarily. Outside I heard snorts. Laurie heard them too. The rhythmic breathing of sleep had stopped.
When I say that I heard “snorts,” I’m not referring to the kind of noise you make when…
Why do we move away from the things we know are good for us?
After over a year of uncertainty and loss, I’m activating an internal refresh button and hitting the trails. It’s been way too long. Last year I stopped making excursions into the natural world, even though doing so had made a positive difference in my state of mind and physical health for most of my life.
Spending time outdoors was a daily happening
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve “gotten away” from stressors by being outside on a trail in the trees. This carried over into adult…
Walking is the thing that keeps me connected to the better part of me. It’s how I return to a more balanced mental and emotional state. It’s how I connect to a spiritual state.
Walking soothes me and it inspires a sense of wonder. When I walk or hike in nature by myself (or with a canine companion), I feel whole.
Wandering in a natural environment, like a forest, is how I connect with the universal. It’s how I realize the interrelatedness of things. Through walking and hiking, I tend to appreciate life much more than when I remain stationary.
Thanks to the politicians in power, Idaho is on the verge of decimating the state’s wolf population. In 1995, thirty-five wolves were released into Central Idaho’s wilderness, a recovery effort launched by the federal government.
The state government was against the reintroduction of wolves in Idaho. Due to lack of cooperation on the state’s part, the Nez Perce Tribe accepted the responsibilities of local management for five years, under the oversight of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
In 2011, Congress delisted wolf populations in Idaho, Montana, northern Utah, eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington. This removed them from protections…
Have you ever had someone you don’t know make a disparaging remark to you because you wear a mask? That happened to me last week. Before that, it was just dirty looks from barefaced strangers.
I live in a red state — one of the reddest: Idaho. I wish I didn’t but due to family obligations, I am staying put for now.
You may have heard about the recent mask burning protest at the state capitol in Boise. It made the national news. …
Now days I refer to the week-long campout with my Girl Scout troop as idyllic. I was ten and for me it was heaven on earth. Well, except for the rescue mission that took place in an outhouse, that is.
That was a bit dark, literally, no windows, only vents. And it was smelly, despite the vents. Yeah, that part was more hellish than heavenly.
During our campout, we hiked, swam, and sang songs, like “I Met a Bear.” And we worked on skills like knot-tying and fire-building to earn badges. (For those who don’t know, badges are awards earned…
How car decals brightened a few moments of my day during pandemic isolation
Been feeling a little isolated this winter? Not making many in person connections — face to face, or I should say, mask to mask? Yeah, me too. So I was surprised that I felt a closeness, a kindred-spirit-like connection, with a perfect stranger, a person more than six feet away from me.
We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.
~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I am trying to be more…
My eyes darted over to Matt. He stood close by, at the kiosk next to mine. With eyes narrowed in concentration, he watched my boss Dan. Instead of greeting passing shoppers and trying to lure them in for a look at merchandise, Matt watched Dan with laser-like focus.
“Don’t come over! Don’t come over!” I kept chanting in my head. My hands wrung the pen I held. I did not want the two men to meet, and for good reason.
I’ve worked retail off and on for years. It can be boring, but that wasn’t the case when I worked…
Buster the Boston Terrier was in bad shape. The injury could be fatal, broken in half and busted, again.
I love dogs, all kinds of dogs, big ones, little ones, purebreds, and mutts. So I guess it’s not a surprise that I came to care about a concrete dog by the name of Buster.
Buster is the pet of Annie, a feisty 103-year-old who lives in a memory care facility, where I worked as a receptionist before the pandemic hit. The centenarian suffers from dementia. Yet, Annie is clear about the things she cares about: wearing her wig, putting on…
You never know what will become a cherished memory
There were six steers in the small pasture. There were five of us. After squeezing through the barbed wire, we stopped and stared at the cows staring back at us. The cattle stood still, immobile like statues, except that their ears twitched off flies as the buzzing pests alighted again and again.
Betty took the first step and the four of us followed. Without saying a word between us, we moved toward the others, the cows. We spread out in an attempt to surround them. Our hands held small combing tools…