At the end of December 2017, I attended the New Ways of Knowing Meditation and Writing Retreat. Backed up to Joshua Tree National Park, it’s no wonder we heard coyotes each evening and saw rabbits (galore!) and quail each day. We even found what looked to be emu or ostrich footprints.
The charming facility (it’s colorful interior Mary Engelbreit-esque) boasted a stationary red bus that became our symbol for staying on track. If we found ourselves getting sidetracked from the task at hand—writing—we’d say, “Get back on the bus!” I’ve since printed and framed this photo. Standing sentinel in my writing studio, it serves as a tangible reminder to stay focused.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Doing online research, I found, “Though it’s recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, it’s not a public holiday in any country.” It went on to say, “In the United States it is a festival of romantic love and many people give cards, letters, flowers, or presents to their spouse or partner.”
The guy in the photo? That’s Len. He’s my sweetheart; the guy I’m still head over heels in love with after almost thirty-eight years of marriage. We’ve been through ups and downs, thick and thin, better and worse, sickness and health, joy and sorrow… many of the contrasts that relationships can experience, and we’re still going strong.
A few years ago I posted the ingredients for our long-term success. They bear repeating:
Self and mutual respect
Quality individual time, balanced with quality together time
Individual hobbies, balanced with mutual interests
I can’t begin to express the excitement I felt when Certified Professional Coach, Sarah Jordan, invited me to be her guest to launch Season 4 of her wildly popular podcast series. This season’s focus is TAKE CARE.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside the head of a transformational life coach…
If you’ve ever wondered what a coaching session might be like…
If you’ve ever wondered about the business of forgiveness…
…this podcast is for you.
In the first six minutes and forty-five seconds of this podcast, Sarah takes care of some necessary housekeeping with her regular listeners; then I jump in. She’s amazing, and I hope you’ll become part her tribe at sarahjordancpc.com.
Zipping along through the Gold Creek Wilderness Study Area in Oregon, Len and I drove past a roadside tree and then looked at looked at each other quizzically. “We’re those shoes?” we asked in unison. “Let’s turn around!”
Pulling off the road, we saw perhaps a hundred pairs of shoes had been slug up into the tree. Almost all of them tennis shoes, most of them nice. Mind you, we’re in the middle of nowhere. Someone would have to drive a long way out here—on purpose.
Click on photo to enlarge
A bit of internet research reveals that slinging shoes over telephone pole lines could mean anything from exuberance at passing a sexual milestone, to gangs marking their territorial boundaries. I also learned that the Southwest has a similar practice of placing boots upside down on fenceposts by the side of a road. And in the military, some soldiers pitch their boots over wires when leaving a post. But I didn’t find a single thing about slinging shoes into a tree. Particularly a tree in the middle of nowhere.
Ifyou’ve pitched your shoes in a similar manner, why?
Walking back home from the Boise River, Willa and I paused in front of the Fish and Game Department when we heard the tch, tch, tch, chatter of a squirrel. As I turned to say hello, it twitched its tail—a signal to others that it was uneasy or suspicious.
While assuring it that we were friends, not foe, another squirrel popped its head out on the other side of the tree— the stately oak now looking like it had squirrel handles—to confirm the first squirrel’s admonition, “Monsters! We’ve been invaded by monsters!”
And while double vision isn’t typically a pleasant experience, in this case, it was. Quickly dubbed Jekyll and Hyde, these two held the now famous “Squirrel Handles Yoga Pose” long enough for me to snap the photo—all the while tch, tch, tching a dire warning to others lest they end up in our evening stew.
As a dyed in the wool minimalist, when Courtney Carver came to Boise on her Tiny Wardrobe Tour, you can be sure I was in the audience.
Famously coining her wardrobe lifestyle “Project 333,” Courtney wears 33 pieces of clothing (including shoes/accessories) for 3 months (a season), and then repeats the process for the next season, and so on.
I wear 25 pieces of clothing (including shoes/accessories) for 6 months (fall/winter) and then repeat the process for the next two seasons (spring/summer).
And while this certainly isn’t everyone’s ideal, for people who are interested, but leery because it sounds difficult, it’s not. In fact, it’s fun and oh so liberating! I had to laugh when Courtney explained it the way that I describe it to people, “It’s like Garanimals for adults.”