Friday, January 28, 2011

Books I like to Read

Alice Walker - the old stand by of how to live and how to write.
Marc Reisner - Cadillac Desert - a class book on living western and western water issues
Anything by Alice Munro - the ultimate short story writer and writing about the most ordinary subjects
Natalie Goldberg - one of her writing prompts in Old Friend from Far Away: Write your life story in 10 minutes. It's amazing what you write about when limited by time; you cut to the chase quickly. It makes you remember what is important and what events have shaped you.
When Raccoons Fall Through Your Ceiling -  a handbook for living with wildlife and a must read.

But the best book, my third favorite book after Angle of Repose (Stegner) and Gone With the Wind, Cowboys are My Weakness by Pam Houston. My favorite story in the book, Jackson is Only One of My Dogs. You should read it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Outdoor Life and Profound Experiences

What life experiences stand out as profound, unusual, or turning points? A great question; one that prompted me to write my book of stories about living in mountain towns.

My first hike was in 1988 when my boyfriend at the time took me on an overnight hike to Mount Lafayette in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I’ve written so many stories from many different perspectives about that first pivotal hike. It changed my life. Once I hiked that first peak, I wanted to hike every peak I saw in the distance. Those days I was running from everything, but hiking a high peak made me feel like I was accomplishing something. I knew that I would be climbing mountains for a very long time. I loved the work it took to get to the top of a mountain.

I loved the views once I got there, that maybe only a few people saw. I loved the companionship of hiking with a friend and the ensuing conversation on the way to the magnificent view. I love the flora and the fauna and the wildlife, I sometimes encountered.

The second profound moment of my life was driving out west, to Colorado; just me, my dog and the open road. I wanted to be a westerner since I was 17 and at 33, I became one. I wanted to know everything about being a westerner: the landscape, its pioneers, its natives, its artists. I fell in love with the landscape, the pioneer history, and the artists of Colorado. I love the adventurous spirit of the people who choose to make a mountain landscape their home.

There are more stories to share and to write; most of the good stories happened when I opened myself up to each experience and just let things happen. Most of them happened while outdoors, or participating in outdoor experiences like hiking, biking, running or skiing. It’s a good life; this outdoor life in the mountains.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ice Skating, Hockey, and a Winter Place

When you grow up in an outdoor place, snow and ice sports are your existence in winter. I grew up in Plattsburgh, New York, just miles from the Canada border. Some call it “upstate”, some call it “the north country”. I love all those names.

I remember snow storms that never ended, playing in snowplowed snow piles, and ice skating. We weren’t a skiing family, in winter we sledded and ice skated.

When I got older I took ice skating lessons at SUNY Plattsburgh's ice rink. I learned how to do figure eights on one skate, how to do a sit spin, and other fancy tricks. I even had a cute little ice skating skirt.

It's a good place to be from; a good place to remember.

FVHA Youth Practice

I’ve always wanted to get back to ice skating and wanted to learn how to play hockey. I just may be able to now that the Fraser Rec Center completed their rink.

The ice rink opened in December 2010.

At the Fraser Valley Sports Complex in Fraser, Colorado there is a 40 acre park just a mile outside of downtown Fraser on county road 5. The ice rink is partially enclosed and it’s NHL sized. I think I might just start skating again.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Snow Day on the Fraser River

All Winter Long the Willows Wait by Aleksandra Lachut

All winter long the willows wait,
Nor more nor less than willing,
Glad to be, but just a bit
Entropic in their chilling.
Life longs ever for rebirth,
Awake to its long sleep,
As willows need their leaves for breath

The Fraser River, on a snow day, today, in Fraser, Colorado.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

"I never intended to have this life"

I never intended to have this life, believe me-
It just happened. You know how dogs turn up
At a farm, and they wag but can’t explain.
-The Resemblance Between Your Life and a Dog by Robert Bly

No, I didn’t intend to have the life I have. But do any of us, really? I always thought I’d be living in northwest Montana; maybe someday I will. I love these lines from Robert Bly.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Writer in Residence; A Poem

With a flick of a gloved hand
a dusting of snow sprays off the green picnic table
that comes with a view of the craggy peaks
of the Rocky Mountains
And at this movement
become writer in residence
On top of East Peak

a new tradition for the holidays
a hike to East Mountain with my dogs
pen and paper
commemorate the tradition
give thanks

While sitting atop the world
watching the landscape
red lodgepole pines, Fraser River Canyon, Continental Divide
sage, wildflowers - buried under snow

And, as writer in residence
there is always a place
to be

KL 1/7/11

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fraser River Project

The next three months I’m dedicating time and energy to learning everything I can about the Fraser River.

I want to know everything and understand everything about the river: it’s origins, water diversion history and potential new projects, the organizations that protect it, the people who love it and play in it.

Three months.

Do you know someone who has a great story to tell?

Are you an advocate for saving this river?

Tell me your story. Tell me what the Fraser River means to you.

Over the next three months I’ll be taking pictures of it: at different locations, at different times of the day, just to watch it, to have it part of my life, to understand it, to save it.

Email me and tell me your story or send me your pictures; it’s important

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"where people love him and will happy to see his face"

Lake Wobegon Days. "Some luck lies in not getting what you want, but getting what you have. which when you think about it, it is what you would have wanted all along had you known..he starts out on the short walk to the house where people love him and will happy to see his face.”

I love this book, I love this quote.

I read this book in 1988 as I travelled through Wyoming and Montana. I find that over the years this quote still holds true. After all my travels all over the world and this country, there is still nothing better than walking into a house where people love you and are happy to see you; perhaps after many years away, a few months, or even just a few days.

But the first line, “Some luck lies in not getting what you want, but getting what you have” and maybe re-reading it again, just a few days after the new year which makes me feel a bit more reflective and a little more sentimental, gets me everytime.

"Some luck lies in not getting what you want, but getting what you have”

When I re-read this quote, I think about Wyoming and Montana, two places where I thought I would live, but never made it.

Some day, maybe.

For now, this outdoor place is enough for me. I get to walk out my door to trails: skiing, hiking, and biking trails. It’s a good place to live. Sometimes, that is all we need to know.

Happy New Year