Thursday, May 28, 2009

Laura's anniversary comments

A year ago on May 27, 2008, the entire family was on pins and needles wondering where Laura was and if she was alive and safe. She lost radio contact with everyone when the battteries in her Sherpa's radio died. For over 12 hours everyone wondered and waited. The most anxious moments in a parent's life. Here are Laura's thoughts a year later.

Laura: “It feels really good to be the youngest Canadian female to make it to the top of the world. One of the best things that has come out of this opportunity is the chance to inspire fellow young people, and other women. I don’t think it has really changed my life at all, but it has changed the impact I am able to have on others and that is the greatest reward.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First Anniversary Quotes

A year ago today, Dan, Adam & Alan stood on the top of the world. What an extraordinary year it has been: a year of personal growth, family and friends; a year of presentations, interviews and blogs. We hope we have inspired, encouraged and motivated people to make their dreams real. Following are quotes from the summiters.

Dan: "The height of Everest has only been exceeded by the high that we experienced from all the attention and well wishes over the past year."
Adam: "Following this year's summit attempts has rekindled vivid memories of our expedition. It is time to start to dream again."
Alan: "A year seems like a long time but whenever I talk about our summit day my heart starts to pound and it all seems like it was just yesterday."

Keep dreaming!!!

Advantages of a Small Cottage

In 1982, when our first son Adam was born, Dan and I built a small one room sleeper cottage on the lake where he spent summers as a child with his brothers and sisters. Almost every weekend throughout the year when the children lived at home we ventured to the cottage. Even now that they are adults, the cottage has an allure. In fact, Laura is living with a friend and the dog at the cottage now and working for the summer nearby.
The cottage is 12’ x 16’ and it has been the source of our family’s enjoyment for many years. Everyone questions how we ever lived in such a small space for so long but doing so has had its advantages. The small size of the cottage meant that most of the time people were outside enjoying nature and getting lots of exercise. It also meant that going to the cottage was a bit of a camping experience both summer and winter. All our children can make a meal over an open fire even in winter. They know how to stay warm, how to cool off, and how to find their way around in the bush. They have built something new each year to entertain themselves – tree forts, rope swings, ski jumps, bicycle jumps, a hot tub, log buildings, etc. (maybe that is why both Adam and Alan decided to become engineers). In hind sight, I think having a small cottage helped everyone prepare for their Mt. Everest adventure.
Now with some hesitation, we are preparing to build a bigger cottage in preparation for an extended family someday. I have to keep reminding myself that it is a cottage and it should be rustic. The important part of cottage life is the sharing of experiences not the building.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1924 Mt. Everest postcards

Climbing of Mt. Everest is a huge financial undertaking. Every climber hopes to recoup at least some of his or her investment after the climb through lectures, films, pictures, advertising etc. To do this you need to capture public attention before, during, and after the climb. In 1924, before the age of television and the Internet it was hard to keep the public's attention focused on people climbing Mt. Everest. To solve this problem, Captain John Noel, the expedition photographer, came up with a unique idea for the time. He publicised the expedition by advertising in a daily newspaper that he would send a unique expedition postcard from Mt. Everest's Tibet Base camp to anyone who sent in their name and address. There was an overwhelming response to his ad and thousands of postcards were sent from Base camp back to England. At the bottom of the postcard he advertised the film he would be producing about the climb - Noel's way of recouping some money.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Living without a television

In some ways our family is unique. The children grew up without a television in the house. That meant that we played a lot of games and spent a lot of time outdoors. I seemed to be entertaining the neighbourhood for many years. All the children gathered at our house after school to bake, play hide and seek, run races and make crafts.
We spent the summer at the cottage playing in a huge sandbox - 8 ft. x 8 ft., swimming in the lake and cooking over an open fire. We picked wild strawberries and blueberries to make fresh pies, kneeboarded and skied 2 or 3 times a day and built a tree fort in almost every tree. Friends were invited up. It was like summer camp at the Mallorys.