Monthly Archives: November 2016

Galveston, Port of Storms

Galveston history makes for a strong role model in challenging times.  The Galveston hurricane of 1900 is still counted the deadliest natural disaster ever to strike the United States.   After a night of battering wind and waves, survivors found much of their thriving city demolished if not washed away.  Islanders had no contact with the mainland, no water, lights, fuel, or water.  Many had no shelter.  Food and clothing were scarce.  The task of disposing of over 6,000 bodies was so gruesome that men had to be forced at gunpoint to take part, and whiskey was allotted to ease their anguish.  After dumping the bulk […]

Suffering Sweetness

After a walk in a Minnesota park I glanced at my shoes and started tearing my clothes off.  Ticks were swarming my laces, storming my socks, and breaking ground on my shins.  The battle was epic.  In Florida, mosquitoes ravaged my legs right through my leggings until I looked like I’d been kick-boxing cactus.  In Newfoundland, heavy clothes helped, but blackflies left knots all over my neck.  Then a Peruvian butterfly garden specimen perched on my arm and begin shoving its proboscis at my skin…drinking my sweat? Steve may be right about my being a bug magnet.  My parents used to call me “Sweetness” which sounds nice, but I’m beginning to suspect it […]

Bridging 4

I’m a bridge walker which is nothing like a street walker.  I just love bridges. I’ve walked the Brooklyn, Sydney Harbor, Royal Gorge, Multnomah Falls, London (in Lake Havasu) and pretty much every other bridge I could get my feet on. But until Steve and I walked the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge outside Taos, New Mexico, I’d never seen a bridge equipped with a phone offering on-the-spot suicide counseling. Ten of those hotlines were spaced along the Rio Grande Gorge’s span. Why is suicide such an issue there?  A Taos Pueblo tour guide told us that young American Indians are two to three times more […]

Dog Gone 2

In search of attractions to add to our Deep South itinerary, I came across a coon dog cemetery.  I like dogs and cemetery strolls, but I think it’s enough to know that this coon dog cemetery exists. If you’re thinking of adding it to your list, Labor Day might be the time to go.  An annual festival includes Bluegrass music, hickory smoked barbecue, decorated graves, and a Liars Contest telling tall tales.  No, really, it’s true!

Quest Blessing

The Denver Aquarium seemed like a good place to find audiences interested in hearing my Stirring Sea Secrets presentations, and it is, but when I contacted the education manager there I found I’d stumbled on a motherlode. Colleen Shipley’s standards for volunteer enrichment programs are stringent. Every driblet of information in my hour-long talk had to be cited to respectable sources. My terminology needed updating too. Starfish and jellyfish are now sea stars and sea jellies because they aren’t fish–the very sort of nitpicking I needed to bolster my confidence and credibility. Colleen’s passion for education keeps her running hard, but […]