Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blogging Time

The day before I started this trip, I decided to launch myself into blog-land. With all the buzz of impending departure, there was not time for sober second thought. It was more like lets get this bird in the air, and I simply squeezed it in amongst a great swat of other things that I both needed and wanted to do.

Make granola for Andreas, enough for six weeks, Tick. Have lunch with Vanessa. Yum and Tick. Do check in with KLM. Tick. And so on.

Not that I hadn’t been thinking about starting a blog for some time, but for some reason I had always felt daunted. Often when I went out for a coffee or lunch with my friend Colleen, which is not often enough, she would shake my cage and say, You gotta have a blog. People will love it. One of the things that I love about Colleen is that she always has more confidence in me than I do. Yeah, well.

Colleen is a travel writer and her blog is at times heart warming, other times informative, and at other times it is just totally out there zany. I read them all, and when I am travelling it makes me feel as if I am still wrapped in the warm coat of her presence.

Some of my favourite Colleen blogs are the ones where she has included videos. There is one about her chickens named Karma, Confidence and Courage. I think that blog is called Chickens at Large. Or else, there is the one where a woman in St. Lucia is pitching her various hot sauces. She has a search engine, so it is easy to find these two amongst the hundreds of blogs that she has done to date. SEE: http://colleenfriesen.com/blog/

Another couple of friends, Kerith and Sarah also have a blog. I think of them every time I make excuses to myself about not being free to both craft and post another blog. One of theirs was both composed and posted while they were climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I kid you not. Kerith had a solar blanket draped over his backpack and used his thumbs and his mobile phone to keep us all in touch with their progress.

On top of this, Sarah climbed this mountain as she does everything in life – with one leg. The other was taken off decades ago thanks to the idiocy and immorality of a drunk driver. She was a child at the time, and had been simply riding home at dusk on her bicycle as so many of us have done. In the flick of a steering wheel, her whole life was thrown one of those major curve balls that we all hope and pray to never have to embrace.

Her blog is centred on the development of a new type of crutch that is so much more than a crutch that she has called it: Sidestix. They are the Ferraris of crutches and incorporate both Sarah’s imagination and life experience with Kerith’s engineering know how. For example, the top of the line shock absorbers mean that the shoulders of those who use them are protected. Think of what our hips get like as we age. Now imagine if our shoulders had to do the work of our hips. Bingo. Sidestix are the answer.

Of course Sarah being Sarah, this crutch is set up so you can clip on snowshoes, pitons, skies or anything else one might want. Not that I do any of these things myself with my two still reasonably good legs, but Sarah does and plans to continue even though she is now past the half-way mark of her first century. SEE: http://sidestix.com/journal/

There is one more site that I want to mention. Yesterday, my friend Morgan alerted me to a blog by his friend Derek, a friend I met only briefly at Morgan’s wedding, but whom I immediately liked.

Derek is forty something years old with a wife and two children. He is also living while dying from cancer. I reread his blog this morning while I was still tucked in bed at Linda’s house in Belfast, and I bawled my eyes out. Not only because this is all so sad, but because it is also all so good. Derek is not only living with dying, but writing about it with a grace and clarity that is a gift to all of us. Big time. SEE: http://www.penmachine.com/2010/11/endgame

Back down to earth here and my small little patch of it focused on the deeds and misdeeds of people 300 years ago, you can probably see how each of these three people are hard acts to follow – each in their own way – but I promise to post a few more blogs in the next few days. Whether they will turn out to be inane or whatever, at least I hope to honour the more than 2,500 of you who have so far climbed aboard in the past month – a number that totally slays me. I can’t believe this whole new world.

And now, I think I’ll get out of bed.


  1. Ahhhh...my dear friend Sharon. You never have to worry about having 'hard acts to follow'.
    You, my dear, are a force of epic proportions and a unique and humbling inspiration for all your steadfastedness in research, in dogging that bone of history, in your uber-Earthmotherness and for embodying love - to mention just a few of the many reasons I think you're grand.
    Looking forward to your return from the Emerald Isle :)

  2. Thanks for the mention, Sharon. I hope I can continue to write stuff that people find interesting and valuable in whatever time I have left.

  3. I believe you will. I will keep checking in and I suspect others will too.