KALAALLIT NUNAAT – Taking Care Of Business

img_0610It’s the question no one asked when they heard I’d be camping in the arctic in the summer of 2009.

Last April, seven years later, the same topic lay fallow on the fringe of conversations concerning my dogsled trip in Ittoqqortoormiit, East Greenland. It was barely alluded to, and never expressed in words, until now…


Q:  
Sooooo, what do you do when duty calls in the wild, high atop the world?

A:  You answer it. Otherwise, the whites of your eyeballs will turn yellow and 1, 2, 3 you’ll burst like a water balloon when it misses its mark and hits the pavement after being tossed from a five-story window, leaving itty-bitty pieces of yourself to be fill in the blank (’cause if I do, you’ll deem me a wack-a-doodle).

In all seriousness, the dogsled trip was very different from my first time in Greenland. Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, ARCTIC WONDER, CHILDHOOD, EVENTS, HOLIDAYS, HUMOR, ROAD TRIP, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

VALENTINES DAY IS NOT JUST FOR LOVERS

hunky valentine 2One homemade heart
trimmed in frilly,
white lace,

One arrow,
one promise
of a sweet,
warm embrace…

Once it’s notched,
drawn,
and trained
on his chosen bullseye,
Cupid first
blows a kiss,
and then
lets
it
~~~ fly ~~~

Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, EVENTS, HOLIDAYS, HUMOR, POEMS, VIEW FROM MY SOAP BOX | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

DID SOMEONE SAY CHOCOLATE?

aliceAlice Wetherby Pimms knew it was in the library. The beautifully scripted note written in her dead mother‘s hand said so. The child had checked all the obvious locations, though, and found nothing – places like inside her father’s green felt-lined desk drawer, the one he’d hidden the tarnished brass key to inside a book titled, THE KEY TO REBECCA.

 

400px-11britannicaYou’re probably thinking how conspicuous that might seem, rather like a toad wearing a hot pink béret on a sunny day, Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, HUMOR, SHORT STORIES, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

ODE TO RESILIENCE

img_3523Words fail
to make the leap from grey matter
to tapping finger tips on keys

they say
“It’s because of Mercury”
they say
“the planet is retrograde”
they say
“that makes it a poor time for all forms of communication”

WHEW
thank the planetary gods
it’s NOT my muse gone mute Continue reading

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iWONDER

As the sun sets behind this stretch of the Pacific Coast Ranges, a mountain chain that stretches from Alaska to central Mexico, I not only wonder,

sunset
but marvel at Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, ROAD TRIP, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

WOCKA – WOCKA! An Encounter of the Metaphorical Kind

img_2934The ageing comedian, known the world over for his slapstick parodies, brushed past me in the pre-dawn chill to take his place in the crowd queuing up to board the British Airways flight from Edinburgh to London. I have packing my warm jacket in my checked luggage to thank for our chance encounter. Had I not hung back to keep warm in the stairwell, I’d have totally overlooked him.

As it was, before I could react beyond the chuckle that stretched my lips straight and crinkled the corners of my eyes, the bobbing head, tucked under his signature pork pie hat, disappeared into the forward motion of the crowd. Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, HUMOR, ROAD TRIP, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

BEINN HIANT – My Everest

img_2461-2Highland sheep dotted the roadside under the pre-dawn sky. The velvet canopy looked like flocks of faeries had tossed fistfuls of glitter at the new moon only to have it stashed inside the Big Dipper and then purposefully strewn across the Milky Way by their extraterrestrial counterparts so that this tiny group of earthlings might stand in awe of the universe’s expansive beauty from the gravel car park at the foot of Beinn Hiant, Scotland’s Magic Mountain*, the highest hill on the Ardnamurchan peninsula.

The bulky behemoth’s size was clear from the patch of twinkling stars that it blocked from sight. The mountain is touted as being an easily manageable ascent in the tourist guides, but for the out-of-shape slug I’d recently become, I viewed watching the sunrise with my retreat companions after a seventeen-hundred-foot hillwalk more like an expedition up Everest. Continue reading

Posted in ADVENTURES, HOLIDAYS, HUMOR, ROAD TRIP, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes, VIEW FROM MY SOAP BOX | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments