Dan’s Wednesday Quote of the Week #22 – Everyone

Guiding philosophy of Bambi Vincent, Phoenix, Arizona

What if everyone did that?

Ms. Vincent explains, Every little action (or inaction) can be judged by that credo. From leaving (or picking up) litter, to one’s behavior driving a car, to kindness or rudeness – each thing alone may be insignificant, but …what if everyone did the same?

Dan and the Voices in His Head – KGUA #45

For the April 19, 2021 KGUA radio Morning Writer’s Hour, we are asked to free write about what that voices in our head are telling us. 

Yo, Danny Boy.  Sup?

I gotta say it’s been a tough year.  All this coronavirus stuff.  But, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

What!  That’s the best you can do, that tired old cliché.  There’s got to be more stirring around in your noggin!

Okay, here’s a thought.  In the main, I think too many Americans don’t give a rat’s patootie about other Americans dying from the coronavirus and that’s why they bristle at the restrictions.

Whoa.  You know, over half million have died.

Oh, no question.  But after 14 months Americans have done the math and like their odds.

Back up.  Explain that one to me. 

Think about it. There are 340 million Americans.  If 600,000 die from the coronavirus, that’s less than two-tenths of one percent who go to the Great Beyond.

And if that’s the calculus, people think why mask, avoid restaurants and concerts, and miss out on big weddings?  They just don’t care because they think it just ain’t going to happen to them.

While I chew on that, got anything lighter to end on?

No, I don’t.  Can you believe that Americans were really paying that much attention to their seventh grade math teacher!

Words – 201

Dan and Hannah Hike Locally at the Fuller Forest Preserve in York, Maine

Finding outdoor alternatives to working out at our local gym, Hannah and I discover the Fuller Forest Preserve right here in town.

From the center of town, take Lindsay Road, cross Sewell’s Bridge by the York Golf and Tennis Club.  Take the gentle right onto Southside Road.  After a half mile, take the first left onto Bartlett Road, and voila, the extensive trailhead parking is to your right within 0.3 of a mile.

Thanks to the generous donation of the Fuller Brown family to the York Land Trust, York has the first stages of a forest trail at its doorstep.  As a conservation area, this 220 acre parcel is part of 1300 acres of contiguous undeveloped lands in southern York County. 

Let me give you a little background of how this land came to be set aside for the public.  In 1986, Marion Fuller Brown founded the York Land Trust.  In 2017, her heirs sold this acreage at a bargain rate to the York Land Trust and then donated some of the proceeds back to the YLT.  They are our local version of Warren Buffet and MacKenzie Scott (Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife).

This trail stump was criss-crossed by a chainsaw to let precipitation in to help decompose it.

Evidence of a recent wind storm that fell conveniently to the side of the trail

Currently, the Red Oak Trail is 0.75 miles through forested wetlands and remnants of coastal agricultural of a bygone era.  With new wood plank puncheons over swampy areas which are fed by seasonal vernal pools, we hike among the oaks, maples, and firs just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean.  For you Ice Age buffs, this land was under a mile of ice during the last Ice Age some 11,000 years ago.

With Hannah in the foreground, volunteers build another wood plank puncheon over low lying wetlands.

Encountering pickleball friend Gary working on a new set of puncheons with another volunteer this mid-April Tuesday, we see the beginnings of a new trail all the way to Dolly Gordon Creek.

The next trail is beyond the two volunteers.

In April 2021, the less than a mile trail takes just twenty minutes of ambling.  Come back this fall and surely next spring to see the fine trail work of the volunteers of the York Land Trust.

Hannah is a real cut-up.

For more information about the Fuller Forest Preserve click here.

Returning to the trailhead.
Check out the twists in this pine.

Five days later we hiked the Red Oak trail with our friend Karen. The picture below is of the same tree that trapped Hannah.

More Hannah and Karen on the same puncheons where the volunteers were building the day we hiked.

Karen and Hannah on the trail after an all-day rain storm two days ago.

Dan’s Wednesday Quote of the Week #21 – Platinum Rule

Rather than the Golden Rule “Treat others as you wish to be treated,”

what about trying out the Platinum Rule?

Treat others as they wish to be treated.

repeated by Kristy McCray, Columbus, Ohio

Ms. McCray says, Treating others as they wish to be treated requires a willingness to learn about others’ lives… The Platinum Rule can be useful for white people in this era racial justice, because it asks us to stop centering our own experiences as the norm. Instead, it asks us to consider how others may experience the world in ways that are unfamiliar to us and be inclusive of experiences that are different from ours.

Dan and Establishing His Voice Thanks to KGUA rado – #44

For the April 12, 2021 KGUA radio Morning Writer’s Hour, Mark has asked us to free write about what we learned about ourselves by writing in the KGUA writers’ group. 

My writing for KGUA gives me a voice, a chance to be heard in a world that just can’t stop talking, to paraphrase the subtitle of Susan Cain’s book, Quiet (2012). 

As a shy kid, I sat back and let others rule the roost.  I think of a shy person as someone who is overly worried about what others think.  That certainly was true of me.  Many of us want to fit in, belong, and be accepted.  I took that need to the extreme and was a casualty of my unfortunate need to please.

In my understanding, shy is different than introversion.  Being introverted is to find meaning and energy in pairs and smaller groups rather than large.  Though shy, I value the intimacy of my introverted nature.

Still afflicted with shyness into adulthood, I slowly began to heal, thanks in large part to writing.  Writing has helped me find my voice, both on the page and in my life. 

Having KGUA writers in my life each week reaffirms that I have something to say; that I have value.  By “publishing” my free writes each Monday over the air, KGUA offers me both an audience and a chance to connect with others.

Thank you Mark and Peggy.  Love, Dan

Dan and Hannah Hike Locally on Cutts Island in Kittery, Maine

On an overcast mid-April morning, Hannah and I head to the Maine coastline to explore the Cutts Island Trail on the Rachel Carson Nature Preserve in Kittery.

Though 70 degrees filled our Saturday past, today Monday, it’s a blustery 48.  You may not know it, but April in Maine is a tempest, a volatile lover.  Driving south from York on coastal Route 103, we turn left on Cutts Road for a few hundred yards to a stop sign.  At the junction of Sea Point Road, we veer left over the small bridge, within sight of the modest trailhead parking on Cutts Island.

Chauncey Creek at the trailhead

The trailhead is at the lower left of the map. The “YOU ARE HERE” on the map is when we were nearly to the Salt Marsh on this 1.8 mile round-trip trail.
Hannah on the puncheons, albeit during a dry spell

Pulling behind a van with Oregon plates, we have before us nearly two miles of flatland trails along Chauncey Creek on to the Salt Marsh.  The forest ahead is a collection of brown pick-up sticks of fallen oaks, maples, and pines among the healthy trees ready to leaf out.  In a month, the softness of green will bracket the trail and calm the winter beast within us all.

The stone walls suggest a bygone era when men were men and women were women and stone walls were made of real stones.
Chauncey Creek at high tide
Dan on the trail hiking in his LL Bean zip-offs and his Merrell hiking shoes. He’s nothing if he’s not trendy.

With a trail of soft dirt that is easy on our feet, we head out on level terrain exploring to see if this is a suitable trail for our grandsons, Owen (8) and Max (6).

Signs directing us at junctures of the trail tell us of quite the American hero, Rachel Carson. 

As an American biologist, Rachel Carson wrote on environmental pollution and the natural history of the sea.  Her book, Silent Spring (1962), was the spark for the modern environmental movement as well as five alarm fire for the need to control pesticides, including DDT.  A graduate of Chatham College in Pittsburgh, PA, incidentally where my mother earned her B.A. in French and Latin, Ms. Carson in the prime of her life was weakened by breast cancer and died of a heart attack at 56 in 1964. 

Trail’s end

Chatting up the Oregonians, fully masked thirteen months into the Covid-19 pandemic, we learn they are vandwellers traveling the country.  Vandwellers!!

Following this encounter, I think how appealing it would be to travel the Lower Forty-Eight in a van as William Least Heat Moon described in Blue Highways (1982).   Staying wherever we want for as long as we want.  Hiking, visiting family and friends as modern day free-spirited, albeit upper middle class, hobos.  Of course, I would be doing this alone since Hannah wants no part of van-ity.

Even with all our stops to read the informative trail signs, we are back at the trailhead in 50 minutes.  Have hiked with Owen and Max before, we know this hike will easily take an hour and a half as they climb trailside logs and boulders, scamper down to the water’s edge, and throw whatever is close at hand.   

Can’t wait.

What do you know, during a “24 Hours with Owen and Max,” one month late (mid-May 2021) Hannah and I brought the boys to Cutts Island.

We assisted Margo (someone I just asked if she needed help) with her kayak from the car to Chauncey Creek.
Owen and his Omi as the leaves start filling in.

Meeting three others, we were fortunate that they lent Max (in the picture) and Owen their binoculars to see the birds of the marsh.

Bunny ears are always a popular photo option at the end of the trail at the marsh.

And yes, I occasionally make the cut of the photo editor.

Dan’s Wednesday Quote of the Week – Light – #20-

Tony Finau, professional golfer who came in 10th in this past week’s Masters Tournament (2021)

Let me take you back ten years. Within 24 hours, Tony’s mother Vena died in a car accident at the age of 47 and his wife Alayna gave birth to their son Jraice. The confluence of those two life changing events made Tony realize his purpose.

My purpose in life is to be a light in the world.

Dan and His Word One Year Later – KGUA #43

For the April 5, 2021 KGUA radio Morning Writer’s Hour, we are asked to free write about the word of how you’re feeling at this moment one year after all hell broke loose with the pandemic?   

It’s travelIt’s capital T which rhymes with V which stands for Vamoose!  Yeah, I am ready to take to the road, fly the friendly skies, and hike the healing outdoors of America’s trails.

Thanks to our KGUA friends, Scott and Tree, we subscribe to Outside magazine.  Scouring this adventure journal from cover to cover, I learn about newly opened trails at Cobscook Shores, four hours north of us on the coast of Maine near the Canadian border.  We’ll be cooking there for three days in May.

When Au Canada does allow its citizens to cross the border, I’ll hike up the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park with my UNH friend, Bill, a decent guy from the Great White North.  

This can’t surprise you that I’ve already booked a Jet Blue flight to the Golden State in September to reconnect with the trails of Sequoia, Yosemite, and Redwoods National Parks.

Two weeks later, Hannah and I will travel to New York to celebrate in style the wedding of our niece Kara, my brother Richard’s kid.

With a hunger from head to toe after being derailed by the pandemic, I am hoping for a winter return to Santa Barbara and a spring week in Utah with our daughter Molly’s family. 

You see, Hannah and I have no time to waste while our good health reigns.  In our 70s, we know the truth of this outdoor equation: Travel = Hope!

Words – 237

What’s your word? Respond with a comment below.

Dan’s Wednesday Quote of the Week – #19

I can’t care about your education more than you do.

Professor Dan Garvey, mentor of mine in Experiential Education at the University of New Hampshire during my doctoral years; he also is a past President of Prescott College in Arizona.

One, for me, this doesn’t apply to my elementary school students when I taught in Anaheim, California or Tempe, Arizona.

Two, nor does it apply to my middle school students when I taught in Somersworth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine.

Three, high school? Don’t know. I never taught high schoolers.

Four, college. I feel there is an implied contract between teacher and student. As a professor of pre-service teachers, I will make classes engaging, personally meaningful, and experiential. The students’ part of the contract is to come fully prepared to participate actively and think creatively.

Any thoughts?

By the way, in my understanding, rather than lecturing, experiential education is providing students with experiences that are active and approximate the learning that students will use in their post-college lives. I taught this way because that is how I learned best.

Dan and Name Calling – KGUA radio #42

For the March 29, 2021 KGUA radio Morning Writer’s Hour, we are asked to free write about name calling.  But for me, I have a twist.

It’s always a twist with you, Dan, Mark and loyal KGUA writers must be thinking.  Well folks, that’s the beauty of what Mark has created for us KGUA writers.  He gives us a starting point and we find our own path.  If only my schooling had been that way.

My name calling came to light in the last few years.  We both were new students at the U, by that I mean, Arizona State University.  Three thousand miles from home, it turned out we went to high school five miles apart in north Jersey, though we never crossed paths then.

Bonding with the other out-of-staters of Irish Hall, we hung out at the main fountain at the crossroad of campus, during basketball games on the Apache Avenue courts, over burritos and iced tea at the Dash Inn, and on weekend evenings having a good ole time with our buddies on Camelback Mountain.

Eventually, we both moved back East to follow our passions, he as a photographer/magic maker on wedding days and me as a teacher/relationship builder in the public schools.

He and his wife would make an annual pilgrimage to Maine and for awhile we vacationed together for a few winter days on Sanibel Island on the west coast of Florida.

So my name calling comes easily when Rich and I finish our phone conversations.  Good talking with you, my friend

Words – 224

Climbing Mt Major in New Hampshire with my friend, Rich

Circa 2018 with Dan, Rich, Amelia (Big Steve’s widow) and Gale at an Arizona State mini-reunion after cornhole ()