grandie j and friends have been busy building a bunker fort
every digging tool, even the snow shovel, is in play
lots of work and fun ahead.
“hold the fort! i am coming!”
-william tecumseh sherman
by following the grandies through the rows and fields
then found hot air balloons
followed their colors
past the moon and the trees
saw their beautiful flight and landing
all on an afternoon spent among things raised from the earth.
“imagination is to love what gas is to the balloon-that which raises it from earth.”
– letitia elizabeth landon
fifteen months old
back to the baby book we go
another precursor to my future
pretty accurate then and now.
not so much the running.
“walks and runs real well. understands almost anything you tell her. climbs on everything.
also started kissing at 15 months.”
– my mom
“once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight,
or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
– e. e. cummings
Membership to one of the most exclusive clubs in the world takes place around a short red and white striped pole in Antarctica. Only those who endure an atmospheric difference of 300 degrees Fahrenheit are granted entry.
To join the elite 300 Club, residents at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, where on winter days the outside temperature dips below -100 degrees, must bare it all. It’s an odd tradition, one that comes with a high risk of frostbite in rather sensitive, traditionally clothed areas.
To join the exclusive group, the scientists must first spend time in the station’s 200-degree sauna. Once they’re fully cooked, they dash outside (at a brisk walk, because running is dangerous) wearing nothing but shoes and an optional neck gaiter to circle the ceremonial South Pole marker, which is hundreds of feet from the station. They then get back into the steamy sauna, which helps thaw their outsides while a bit of alcohol warms them up inside. Those who complete the challenge even earn a commemorative patch.
Though the thought of a naked scientist racing across the ice in dangerously cold temperatures to circle a pole may seem simply absurd, it’s actually a beloved ritual. The temperature only gets low enough a handful of days each year, giving the wacky tradition an almost ceremonial feel. Participants are usually cheered on by bystanders who use flashlights to guide them to the pole during the perpetual winter blackness.
The marker isn’t even the true location of the South Pole. Antarctica is blanketed by massive chunks of moving ice sheets that move about 30 feet each year. The ice’s inability to sit still makes pinpointing the world’s most southern spot with permanent precision impossible.
Finding and marking the accurate geographic South Pole is an annual (fully clothed) New Year’s Day tradition for those staying at the station. Every year since 1959, South Pole residents erect a new temporary marker at the spot and retire the old one into a display case inside the station. The ceremonial South Pole remains where it is, flanked by the flags, awaiting the next group of winter scientists hoping to join one of the world’s weirdest clubs.
“we take to the breeze, we go as we please.”
― E.B. White
story credits: Atlas obscura, kerry wolf
photo credits: martin wolf – national science foundation,
craig knott – national science foundation, alan light
in the midst of the polar vortex
a call goes out
a friend offers to drive us all to the movies
preston- holding down the fort at the theater
sells us popcorn, beverages, and tickets
menu offers a movie combo of cocktails and popcorn
the movie was great
the company was great
felt like we were skipping school
to just have a day of fun
we forgot about the polar vortex outside
we laughed and cried
we’ll never tell who chose which beverage:
coffee, tall soda, sippy-cup ‘o wine.
choose your own adventure.
everyone needs someone who will call them and say,
“get dressed, we’re going on an adventure.”
my car and i
have happily traveled
100,000 miles together as of today.
who knows how far we’ll go from here?
‘there is but one earth, tiny and fragile,
and one must get 100,000 miles away
to appreciate one’s good fortune in living on it.’
(Major General, USAF, Ret.) is an american former astronaut and test pilot. selected as part of the third group of fourteen astronauts in 1963, he flew into space twice.
dear friends, j and b, walk in michigan
getting ready for the big walk.
they leave tomorrow –
i wish them both the best of luck on their journey
and look forward to their tales from along the way
knowing they will return somehow changed forever.
the portuguese way/caminho português
The Portuguese Way (Spanish: Camino Portugués, Portuguese: Caminho Português) is the name of the Way of St. James pilgrimage routes starting in Portugal. It begins at Porto or Lisbon. From Porto, pilgrims travel north before entering Spain and passing through Padron on the way to Santiago de Compostela.
The Portuguese way is 227 km long starting in Porto. The way from Porto was historically used by the local populations and by those who arrived in the local ports.
In the contemporary period, most pilgrims are foreigners, and of the total number reaching Galicia between January and October 2017, only 4.27% were Portuguese. Roughly 30,000 pilgrims per year walk this path.
Arrival of queen Elizabeth of Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, after finishing the Portuguese Way around 1325, after the death of her husband, Denis of Portugal.
“a path is a prior interpretation
of the best way to traverse a landscape.”
-rebecca solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking