"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

where's emily?

Most recently, truckin' along through the Sierras in a blizzard, if 20 mph and second gear for 3-4 hours can be called "truckin'." Celia noted that on the bright side, we fared a lot better than the Donner party. True. Slid around a little but stayed on the road. I learned how to attach and remove snow chains. I was taught growing up that snow chains are for people from California who don't know how to drive in the snow. It wasn't so much that I don't know how to drive in the snow (though I've had fewer opportunities since moving to CA), but that my vehicle apparently has the traction of a hockey puck. It's probably good to spend more time reviewing the weather in advance of a drive through the mountains after Thanksgiving.
We were returning from a holiday visit to our friends Wendy and Betsy in Flagstaff, AZ, where it was stunningly clear (though cold) during most of our visit.

It was an excellent visit even though I was way out of my league in the card games: they play a solitaire-like game called "Nerts" that reminds me a lot of "Flinch" except that playing Flinch with Grandma years ago I seem to remember winning now and then. Go figure. Walking in a big open park in Flagstaff we saw a tarantula. Unfortunately I didn't think to take a picture of it. Sometimes a thing will grab your attention in such a way that you don't step back and record it. I wasn't walking along thinking, what should I take a picture of? I was a little bit tempted to touch the tarantula, as I am always tempted to try to catch a (nonpoisonous) snake, frog, or lizard I encounter. The spider had such an interesting furry texture. At the same time, however, it was a very spidery spider and missing my cats was ultimately insufficient reason to try to befriend a wild tarantula. Wendy and Betsy have a dog and two cats so I shifted my affection for the animal kingdom to them instead.

Prior to the Thanksgiving trip I was invited to be on a relay team in the Sacramento International Marathon on Dec. 4. All the fun of participation but only a 5-mile run to the finish. Couldn't say no to that. I am trying to get the most out of the marathon experience by avoiding excess preparation. Hopefully I'll get at least one run in between now and the event so that I can remind myself that I know how.

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