Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My nephew Justin

This past weekend, the Mallorys had a family gathering at the cottage to celebrate my nephew Justin's graduation from college as a Paramedic. The theme for the day was medical games and there were two teams. To begin we had to come up with a team name and team cheer. Our name was The Heart Attackers and the other team was Epinepherine Rush. We had a rap cheer which was a big hit. It was raining but weather has never stopped a Mallory.
For the first game we had to throw balls into a long red tube while blindfolded. The balls represented medication and the red tube was a vein. A seeing person directed you but I am sure our patient would have died. The next game was an example of team work. All team members except the caller were blindfolded and held hands. The caller then yelled out directions and the teams raced around an obstacle course. Everyone then moved indoors to eat nibbles and do a medical crossword. Having a science and medical laboratory background I thought it would be easy but I guess I have been out of the field for too long. Abbreviations were the most difficult. Dinner was chili and sausage with salads followed by a really nicely designed cake and ice cream. Justin's mom treated us to a powerpoint presentation of Justin growing up. He loves ice and rock climbing and there were some fabulous pictures of his various trips and adventures.
Justin leaves for the army on Monday. He will be in training for several months before being shipped overseas. We are proud of him and pray that he returns safely home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kayaking under the full moon

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to do something new for the summer so I signed up for a moonlight kayak on Georgian Bay. I had done some sea kayaking years ago in the Baha but that was when the kids were very young.
I travelled to Snug Harbour on Georgian Bay and met my fellow kayakers 6 strangers about to go on an adventure together. I was paired with Lindsay. We headed out towards the east with the wind in our faces and me struggling to keep the boat on a straight course. I thought we should be singing camp songs as we paddled along but no one else was inclined so I hummed away to myself. After about a half hour we turned to the west and watched a breathtaking sunset sink into the horizon. The wind had died down and we silently slid through the water in silence. It was time to live in the moment, be thankful for small blessings and enjoy being alive. The moon slowly rose behind us and the few clouds that had been in the sky disappeared. The stars twinkled overhead. We paddled past Snug Harbour and turned into a bay. At the furthest end of the bay an opening appeared to the east as if by magic and we followed the path of the moon on the water through a small channel back to Snug Harbour. The next day I went out and bought my own kayak, paddle and life jacket - in pink to discourage borrowing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Making use of opportunities

Sometimes opportunities only present them selves once. I have learnt from experience that life can pass you by unless you jump in at the last minute. To that end, this weekend I was given the opportunity to learn how to drive an old dump truck. Not something I would normally embrass but who knew when that opportunity might present itself again. I am not particularly good at driving a standard car so a standard dump truck with extra levers was going to be a challenge. My son, Adam, was very patient with me and stayed with me while I set up my routine for dumping dirt on a road. In the end, it was fun to sit up high and bounce along the road. I mastered all the important levers and even learnt how to start the fussy engine. People say that trying new things keeps your body and mind youthful. What's next?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Updated website

I spent the morning with our webdesigner updating the website. We have added a few new things to promote our speaking engagements, deleted a few things that were old news and started a section on our next great adventure Mt. Vinson in Antarctica. I will be doing some research over the summer and adding to the Mt. Vinson section. Today, I learnt that Mt. Vinson was first summited in 1966 - not the long ago.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Do televison and movies desensitize people?

I know there has been arguments against television and movies for years. There have been lots of books written about it. We didn't have a television because both Dan and I were mesmerized by it. If we started watching something we were there for the evening and did not get anything else done. It was a time waster and we did not want our children to waste their childhood. As for the argument that it desensitized people I think that is true or at least it was for one of our children. I remember taking Adam to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs when he was about 8 and we had to leave the theatre. He always asked to be excused from movies at school until grade 3. In their teen years a friend gave us an old black and white television but it was never used much. Now, there is a television of sorts in the unfinished part of the basement of the house which is rarely watched. There is no television at the cottage and hopefully there never will be. We do watch videos.
I have disciplined myself to leave after the first 10 minutes if it is a junk movie so it better catch my attention early. BBC and nature videos are favourites.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

News from Mt. Everest

A friend of mine from last year, has just returned from summitting Mt. Everest. He made some interested comments about the mountain in his last e-mail which I will share with my readers (I am still a bit skeptical that there are any readers now but I can always hope and I enjoy posting the blogs). Dale is a professor in the States who has climbed several mountains himself and with some of his students. I think he does studies related to physical fitness and high altitude. He commented in his last e-mail that climbing to the summit of Mt. Everest was a lot harder and more technical than he anticipated. He also said that he was surprised the there were not more deaths on the mountain. He was in Base Camp and saw the avalanche that killed a Sherpa in the Khumbu Icefall this year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

2009 - 5 death's on Everest

The latest death on Mt. Everest is a 29 year old Canadian from Calgary who summited without oxygen and died of hypothermia during his descent according to Everest News. The mountain has taken 5 lives this year. My condolences to all the families.

I am sure when people hear about a death on Everest they really wonder why people climb it. I do not really have an answer to that. Many years ago, George Mallory was asked "Why do you climb" and he replied, "If you have to ask the question you will not understand the answer". I think his answer is very true. I do not think i could explain why we climb. I think we look at things as an opportunity and a challenge. You never want to look back at life and wish you had done something and now it is too late.

On a happier note, a hiking companion of mine from 2008 successfully summited Mt. Everest this year. I am anxious to hear his stories when he returns to the U.S. Congratulations Dale Wagner on your safe ascent and descent.