Sunday, November 13, 2016

Now What?

Now What?

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What was your first reaction to the Presidential election results?

By cartoonist Damien Glez
Florida had fallen before I retired near midnight. I slept fitfully and arose at 0425. The news was sobering for one with an intense dislike disdain for Trump. I am unable to excuse, justify or overlook his hateful spew. 
His comment about Senator (and former POW) John McCain, “I like people who weren’t captured,” is unconscionable. 

And while he claims to be a Christian, Trump admits he has never asked for God's forgiveness. "I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don’t. …When I drink my little wine and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness.” Um… yeah - maybe. I wonder if he knows what the little wine and little cracker are about?
I wondered why my Christian friends voted for him; so I asked. My Aunt said it was simple. “We stand for the sanctity of marriage and life. That’s it. God can use any vessel and we will pray for Trump.” Clear - I can respect that. Another evangelical friend said, “She was more of the same. We want change. But I am a little uncomfortable with the thing he said about John McCain.” A little uncomfortable? I’m outraged! Are you? When I asked my Dad’s remaining sibling and devout Baptist about it she said, “Well I can’t vote for a Socialist, I won’t vote for Hillary so whose left?” These are people I know and love. These are people I trust.

His Twitter tirades are sophomoric, a one-sided dress-down of the Pope, current and former US Presidents, Governors, Congressional members, journalists, newspapers, actors, private citizens, people with disabilities, people of color, in essence, anyone who has breached his very thin and chemically tanned skin.1 Why doesn't his total lack of civility matter? Character matters. Temper tantrums and tirades, by-the-way, are behaviors of the emotionally immature. Ask yourself - what is the developmental age of children who tirade? Two to… eight?

By illustrator Thomas McClure
When he was caught on tape  - the braggart boasting about “grabbing women by the pussy” - I was not shocked. It is completely consistent with his public persona. And 100 hours after airing his closing ad - a blatantly antisemitic, national ad - he’s inviting us to come together and heal?2    אױ װײ = Oy vey!

This is Trumps list of On the First Day To-Do’s:
Repeal every Executive Order enacted by Obama.
Obamacare: repeal and replace.
Recognize Israel: the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen are over.
Recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US Embassy.
Constitutional amendment to impose term limits for all members of Congress.
Announce plans to renegotiate NAFTA.
Label China a currency manipulator.
NATO has to be re-jiggered… for the better.
Hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal workforce through attrition.
Make sure the middle class gets good taxes.
A five year ban on congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.
Withdraw the US from the TransPacific Partnership (TPP)
Begin swiftly removing criminal, illegal immigrants from this country.
A lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
Day one - we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall.
The Muslim ban …has morphed into a extreme vetting from certain areas of the world.
A special prosecutor to look into Hillary Clinton.
A complete ban on foreign lobbyist raising money for American elections.
We’re gonna get rid of ISIS. We’re gonna get rid of them fast. 3
A pretty ambitious list - with some real pearls we are likely to see him walk back in the near future.

Now what?

The proletariat rose up and spoke - they did and they didn’t. Voter turnout hit a historic 20-year low with only 55% of voting age citizens casting a ballot. Clinton won the popular vote so when Trump claims to have a clear mandate - he doesn’t, he has just under 27%. He got the electoral college but he did not get the majority of voting Americans - and clearly - he did not get me.
A righteous rebellion against elites. I agree; citizens are tired of a system that enables the rich to get richer while the middle class foots the bill. Most of us can support that change but Trump’s hateful rhetoric also made a home for racists, sexists and xenophobes of every color: homophobes, Islamiphobes, immigrantaphobes, etc. …and that scared many of us/me.

By cartoonist Michel Kichka
We on the Left tend to paint Trump supporters with a broad brush as racist and xenophobes. In this post election week I have come to realize that people were drawn to Trump for many reasons. 
There are those hoping he will make good on his promises and bring back coal mining jobs. With the rise of fracking, a (theoretically) cheaper and cleaner source of fuel, only the uninformed would hold that pipe dream. 
Some look toward his promise to renegotiate NAFTA resulting in the return of industry and factory jobs to the rust belt. Experts say that job loss in recent decades was due to automation, not Mexico, and that to claim otherwise is naive or deceitful.  AND, if we got serious about renewable energy, the rust belt and its machinist workforce could rise again. 
Others hope he will “drain the swamp” as promised. How would he do that? The President has very little power to fire elected officials. Further he will need those alligators because, if he hasn’t noticed, the President can get very little done without Congressional swampees.
True conservatives hope for smaller government. Trump’s proposed federal hiring freeze and attrition could kickstart that movement.
Evangelicals aligned with him out of truth to their faith tenets. I get it.
Still others hope he repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA was a start, not a final product. It needs many tweaks. 100% of us will use healthcare in our lifetimes. Citizens need access to affordable healthcare without exclusions for pre-existing conditions that allowed insurers to cherry-pick insurees to keep prices down. 

What’s difficult for people to understand is that we pay for people who don’t have health insurance through our taxes. And we pay at the highest price-point - when they are in crisis and seek care in the Emergency Department. Healthcare is not cheap but the absence of healthcare can forebode financial ruin.
By cartoonist JJ McCullough

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter, will support Trump saying "It's very important that the American people coalesce behind the president.”4 He also says we “owe him our respect”. 
I beg to differ - respect is earned. Trump has disrespected large swaths of our population and others around the globe; he will need to make amends to earn my respect. An sincere apology would be a good start and I’m not holding my breath. That would be inconsistent with his public persona. …surprise me Donald.

Dave Chappelle, the African American host of SNL said in their first post election show, “I’m going to give him a chance. And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too.”

Van Jones, CNN commentator, spoke of Whitelash in an impassioned address during the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Later that day, he was more circumspect. “More empathy and understanding can keep us from needlessly inflaming one another, and this should create the conditions for a better understanding of our differences. Deeper insight can only help all sides.”
Talk (and listen) to someone with whom you don't agree. Ask questions about anything that doesn't sound right to you. But don't just fight back. Try to listen. In fact, before you respond at all, carefully repeat back what you hear -- just to make sure you truly understand the other person. Then share your own views and feelings. Be passionate. But be compassionate, too.”
In the week preceding the election, Van Jones went to Gettysburg and met with Trump supporters. He invites everyone to watch The Messy Truth and converse.5

  I know families torn asunder by this election. To them I say, neither candidate is worth it. Do not let an outsider disrupt the sanctity of your familial circle. Apologize, acknowledge your differences, agree to disagree, express support and get back to love. Find a way back to love.

I’ll leave you with a posting from Rick Hanson, a psychologist who teaches essential inner skills of personal well-being, psychological growth, and contemplative practice. This from his blog:
Last, I've found it really helps to have perspective. Without minimizing one bit of whatever is awful, it is also true that humans like you and I have been walking this earth for nearly 200,000 years. I see the trees, the land, the ocean - all of it here before me and lasting long after me. Empires rise and fall. Sometimes the center does not hold - in a body, marriage, or nation - and still. And still people love each other, go out of their way for a stranger, and marvel at a rainbow. Nothing, nothing at all can change this. We keep putting one foot in front of the other one, lifting each other up along the way.6

I will personally continue to live true to my core values: spreading Aloha in the world, striving to find grace and graciousness, filling my time with music, writing, daily exercise, key relationships and meaningful work. You?

1 - For the ongoing and updated list of Twitter insults, go to:

7 - Cartoons

Sunday, October 30, 2016



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This piece is from my private journals and was penned nine years ago - shortly after I moved into my Folsom house and before I knew my neighbors well. When I shared it with Marcie and Kurt some years later, they laughed until they cried. It is reproduced here with their expressed permission. Be advised it contains profanity.


The teenagers next door are enigmatic and fascinating creatures to watch. Both Mom and Dad are runners and appear to have a commitment to healthy eating and fitness as evidenced by a collective BMI below 105 for the entire family of five ...or maybe its just good genes.

Weeks before Christmas, I sat backwards on the top rung of my sixteen-foot extension ladder, coffee-breaking during the annual stringing of festive lights, when Mom and Dad returned home.
Lorin!” Marcie hollered, “Congratulate Kurt, he just ran the CIM!” She was his biggest cheerleader; their bond seemed easy and mutually acknowledging.
“Wow Kurt; that’s awesome! How do you feel?” I called down from my perch. I was genuinely interested having completed several marathons myself. We chatted briefly, me staring down from roof’s edge, he shading his eyes to peer up.

The covalent bond of DNA bequeathing a long, lean frame dominated their union and left little doubt that all three were their father’s children. The eldest, a girl, was long, lithe, lovely like her mother and tipping twenty. She sourced a constant stream of handsome, young suitors and drove with the reckless abandon of youth. 
The boys might be handsome beneath their veil, an unkempt, dirty-blonde, crop of curls. They appeared equal in height and age though one must be older lest they were… twins? Santa had previously delivered boxing gloves with which they pummeled one another in the front yard -amid the cheers and jeers of their friends. Avid skateboarders, they jumped curbs, lifts and rails in our cul-de-sac well into the night. 
That is… until one son inherited a car. It had been his sister’s until she bought one, now it was his. He spent hours parked outside my kitchen window — loving his car. And when I mowed, I gave him the opportunity to move, sparing a dusting of yard debris on its polished paint.

One day, I emerged from my house to find Number-1 son washing his car and spewing profanities across its roof at Venerable-father.
"Get out of my f___ face!" he roared, "I don’t want to talk to you right now!” I froze. Venerable-father’s voice was low; his words inaudible.
"I told you to get out of my f___ face!” Venerable-father retreated into the house and I followed suit.

I was shocked, appalled and contemplated my varied reactions and responses. What would I do if my 17-year-old said that, SHOUTED that at me?
“He shoulda beat the living shit outta him!” one of my co-workers offered vehemently.
“I don’t think so,” I countered, “That only teaches him to resort to violence when he is frustrated and angry. No, I’m sure that is not the answer.”
“He was wise to avoid a Jerry Springer moment,” Lucia said. She had raised three exquisite children, one of whom, between pre-med semesters, wiled away his working hours in the Emergency Department with us. Lucia had earned the right to weigh-in on this subject. “Nope, get him where it hurts; restrict his car.”
I noticed his car lovingly parked, stationary …for weeks.

One afternoon, having regained privileges, he drove in with his twin and two friends. I watched through my kitchen window as they loitered affectionately around his Honda, stroking it, petting it, caressing it — loving it. It was then, in the last lingering rays of daylight that they turned up her radio and let her rip:
Why? I wanna fuck a dog in the ass.
I wanna fuck a dog in the ass. Why?
They pranced and danced, encircling the Honda in a single-file, Kokopelli line - laughing, singing, pausing to rear up and shout in unison, “Why?”
I wanna fuck a dog in the ass.
I wanna fuck a dog in the ass. Why?
I wanna, I wanna…

A small smile seeped across my face. “Teenagers,” I shook my head and whispered in the immortal words of Mr. Spock, “Fascinating.”

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Church

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St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

The Catholic Church is arguably the largest church and curator of art in the worlds - both old and new. They include acquisitions accumulated over millennia, the crown jewels of which reside within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica (SPB) is breathtaking with its soaring ceilings decorated in mosaic murals and larger than life, marble statuary. The Vatican Musei is filled with tapestries, paintings, carvings and curios to delight and enchant. Collected from every continent save Australia and Antartica, one could argue few were spared the sticky fingers, sleight of hand, and long reach of the Catholic Church.
Egyptian Obelisk
While the unmatched pillars of St. Peter's Basilica point to different quarries, they also tell the tale of booty, the pillage and plunder of other temples. Egyptian obelisks are the smooth, vertical stone columns that taper as they rise to a pyramidal top. Some are intricately carved, others are smooth as glass. Rome contains more obelisks than all of Egypt. They stand in silent testament to the human cost, carnage, enslavement and suffering of others.

Bernini's David - Borghese Galleria
 The coveting Cardinal Borghese (nephew of Pope Paul V) used position and power to take what he desired. Extortion and death were his modus operandi; trust blood was shed in the conveyance of his priestly duties. He used church tithings to commission and “acquire” works for his personal pleasure.
This tale was recounted at the gallery  -  "Pope Paul V willingly assisted his nephew's efforts to obtain the art works that aroused his interest. Through the influence of his uncle, Borghese secured the cooperation of the parish priest in arranging to have Raphael's famous Deposition stolen from the Baglioni family chapel in San Francesco, Perugia, for which it had been commissioned a century before." 1 When the chapel in San Francesco protested, Cardinal Borghese sent them copies - not one but two. The original Raphael however, remains in the Borghese collection.
The Villa Borghese was built to house his collection and continues to do so as a enviable, modern day museum. Perverse justice prevailed later as the family was forced to sell part of the collection for pennies on the Lira during the Napoleanic Wars. When Napoleon was defeated the art was not returned because justifiably, it had been sold not stolen. Some Borghese pieces must now be enjoyed in the Louvre.

Michelangelo's David - Musei Academia
The Medici family rose to power as merchants in Florence. Their family spawned two Popes and countless Cardinals. They too amassed great fortune and wealth through powerful and papal position. The family held sway over Florentine politic for hundreds of years. The last known Medici was a barren woman who bequeathed the family fortune to the city of Florence with two stipulations barring the sale and/or movement of their treasures. So the extensive collection now occupies every square inch of the four-story Galleria degli Uffizi, for all to enjoy.

Its difficult for me to reconcile the opulence and splendor of The Church with the squalor of the tithing peasant. I thought the same two years ago when visiting the lavish churches of northern Europe. Of these private art collections amassed by The Church; some works were commissioned, many were taken by force, coercion and extortion. It's difficult to stand in awe and overlook the human cost of these collected works. 
Michelangelo's Pietá. SPB, Vatican City
At the same time, I acknowledge we must thank the Catholic Church for patronizing the likes of Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, Caravaggio and more. Without patronage these masters may not have nurtured their proclivity or perfected their craft to produce in abundance. Had the Catholic Church not subsumed the “pagans” and their Pantheon, it would surely have been dismantled for parts.

One of my friends asked if I was spiritually moved by my Vatican tour. Sadly, for many reasons, I was not. It was easy to admire the work of the Masters, relishing their gifts and simultaneously difficult to dismiss the Church’s many means of acquisition.  One can point to the times - that is how it was. We too, after all, are not without sin. Some of our own founding-fathers owned slaves and treated them harshly. We can hardly judge them or the Roman Catholic Church by today’s standard. But what of more modern and continued abuses of power?

What of the Nun run mother-baby homes in Ireland: thousands of babies sold, and unmarked mass graves?2
Today, a headline would read: Nuns Trafficking Children to US.
   What of the double perpetration of pedophilia within The Catholic Church - the physical perpetration and subsequent denial and protection of perpetrators lasting decades? I laughed heartily when, in the early years, a papal spokesman had the audacity to call it “an American problem”. (I confess I resorted to obscene name calling; perhaps including even his mother and horse.)
What of the Bishop of Bling Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Germany accused of renovating his residence and other church buildings to the opulent tune of €38,500,000 (almost $43 mil) in 2013?3 (To his credit, Pope Francis acted swiftly, dismissing Bishop Elst and preaching against a Roman Catholic Church hierarchy he accused of being "overly insular and too often led by narcissists." Bravo! But I ask; has the power structure within The Catholic Church changed?

Lest I sound completely disgusted and cynical, I harken to a recent conversation with one of my youth pastors. Pastor Grant retired last year. We sat on a lanai just yards from the pounding surf of Oahu's north shore and discussed my absolute disillusionment with organized religion.
"Christ was very inclusive," I said, "And my experience of the church is not. Each sect harbors exclusionary criteria and their own special brand of we're going to heaven and you're not. It’s tribalism, pretty ironic and downright hypocritical. And how does one follow a doctrine when there is evidence of atrocities, secreted by leadership, that continues into the modern day?”
Wise man he, Pastor Grant spoke of the organization of the church versus the good people that comprise the Body of Christ - a distinction I found helpful. Admittedly, there are good and faithful people who are the flesh, blood  and bone of every church. That being said, doctrine that excludes, dismisses and diminishes others is not my cuppa and I believe is against Christ’s own teachings. And aren’t those offending nuns, priests, bishops, cardinals and Popes also part of the Body of Christ?

What is the practical application of one’s spiritual beliefs? How do we live consistent with our inner faith - and do we? Do I?
Am I kind and compassionate? Or do I use harsh words and knowingly cause upset? Am I thoughtful? Do I treat others with respect and dignity? Do I allow for their world view and self expression - even if it differs from my own? Do I apologize when I hurt others? Do my loves feel loved or judged?

In his book Generous Orthodoxy, Brian McLaren draws you toward a way of living that looks beyond the "us/them" paradigm to the blessed and ancient paradox of “we." He rates ‘orthopraxy’ (right behavior) over ‘orthodoxy’ (right thinking).4 Ah - me likey! The Chinese extol 'wu wei' (right action).

As I point fingers and cast aspersions at The Church, I notice the three fingers pointing back at me and think…
My support of Roe v Wade and a woman’s right to choose is perhaps ultimately no different than the cruelty of nuns in Ireland’s mother-baby homes albeit justifiable by todays standard. While I do not consider myself a single issue voter, when it comes to Roe v Wade - I am. I will defend a woman’s right to choose every - single - time.

Not every woman wants to be a mother. Not every man wants to be a father. Because we can (for which their is GREAT societal and biological pressure) does not mean we should. 
Societal inequities are unjustly foisted upon mothers. Did you know that on average, women earn 79 cents to a man's dollar. But mothers earn only 73 cents. And according to the National Women's Law Center (with numbers drawn from the U.S. Census Bureau): "Compared to white, non-Hispanic men, mothers of color fare even worse: African-American mothers make 53 cents and Latina mothers 47 cents compared to white, non-Hispanic fathers.” Not that the reasons to remain childless are economic - though they could be; and why not? Who are we to judge? Why should we foist motherhood upon those who don’t want it?
Women spend decades and 3/4 of their reproductive lives avoiding pregnancy. By age 45, more than 1/2 of all American women experience an unwanted pregnancy.5
“It wouldn’t force them to be mothers,” says a male friend, vehemently opposed to abortion. “It would force them to give birth.” And then what of the unwanted child and the rise, yet again, of backstreet abortions? Its a very complicated issue; I don’t pretend to have answers.

As an aside - during his highly entertaining albeit offensive (meant in every definition of the word) campaign, Donald Trump said to a breastfeeding mom “You’re disgusting.” Really Donald? With two words, he demonstrates his disdain for women, mothers, and his absolute cluelessness to the commitment of mothers to get them and their “screaming babies” to his rallies. Rather than applaud their Herculean efforts on his behalf; he derides and ousts them. Bigly interesting; donchya think? But I digress.

I am not childless by choice though I am infinitely happy in my circumstance. (Sometimes this seems important to disclose as I have felt judged for my childlessness.) Oh - you’re one of those women who chose career over family. How selfish. 
I am a barren woman - it seems we comprise about 10% of all women - and form what Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) calls the Aunty Brigade. I like being part of the Aunty Brigade, it has afforded me many opportunities. And Aunty Brigade is a far more powerful context than blaming, shaming, even amputating a woman’s hands, no less, for a barren womb.
Then why do I support Roe v Wade? Because notice that in all societies, women are the primary parent, they raise the children. I think they should have a say in the matter. Men certainly do. We have a long history of valuing the lives of men over women and we are at the tip of the iceberg in understanding what it means for women to have full authority and autonomy over their bodies and lives.

The Last Supper tapestry, Musei Vatican.
Having just returned from the Sistine Chapel and standing in awe before Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement, I admit my take on Roe v Wade may be flawed. Yet, I am immovable, implacable, entrenched and happy to remain so.
I recognize the harshness with which I judge organized religion and the Roman Catholic Church, and I appreciate my dilemma. Its an uncomfortable place. Hence - I write. I write to disentangle, to unpack and pull apart. I write to examine its parts and hope to find clarity. I write to understand - as if knowing will make a difference.

Ultimately, I see that my likely path is to accept that - this too, is so.



Saturday, May 21, 2016

Baconz Trust

Baconz Trust

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In a two-hour appointment with my attorney this week, I finalized my trust. As we reviewed the codicil, tears welled and spilled over. Um… you know me, I’m clinical and controlled. I was surprised, even embarrassed by the display; apologizing as I requested a tissue. 
I know, I know; I’m a little behind the power curve here. My contemporaries  completed this onerous task years ago. But you know, sans kids - who really cares about my stuff anyway? While I enjoy it; its just schtuph! Give it away - throw it away. The cold, hard facts are, having failed in my biologic duty to extend the genetic thread, memories of me will pass in a generation. So it goes.
However, in the years following my divorce, I’ve actually amassed an estate worthy of dispersement. Begs the question how much more I might have, had I not squandered 20+ years in a marriage but… I digress down a tunnel with no cheese. And since I have no direct descendants, no lawful heirs and am flying to Europe not once but twice this year… it was time.
…My sister, my niece and nephews; their inheritance flows to their children should they pre-decease me - and the Yosemite Conservancy.

@ his 96th BD Party
My Uncle Bill threw down the gauntlet and set the example. He was a tiny, quiet and unassuming man, and he set a high bar. In the weeks preceding his death, he called each of his family members to express his love. “I never told you that I love you, how much I love you and that you have been the best family.” A single man without children, when he died on Super Bowl Sunday in 2011 at 96 years, he left a generous inheritance to each of his 58 siblings, nieces, nephews, greats and great-greats too. (To read of my amazing Uncle Bill, scroll to my blog entry of March 2011.) His gift was magnanimous, unexpected, and generative for me in looking beyond my first and second degree relatives, turning an eye toward the greater good.

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. ~Joni Mitchell
T Roosevelt and J Muir @ Glacier Pt, Yosemite
Why Yosemite? Because its breathtaking beauty inspires and invites and encourages and beckons and allows and delivers and coaxes and wants and calls and gives and deserves. If we allow, these wild places tap within us that which is real and primal and free. In Yosemite I quickly remember myself and the true nature of my life. Bless Teddy Roosevelt for his love of the wilds and crafting their protection “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people” as inscribed on the entrance gate at Yellowstone.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 allows the President to protect America’s wildlands and historical sites as national monuments. It has been used by sixteen Presidents from Roosevelt to Obama. Only three Presidents did not use the Act, they were (no surprises here) Nixon, Regan, HW Bush. You might be surprised to learn that Bush 43 did utilize the Act in the last weeks of his administration to establish three marine monuments that protect some 125 million acres of habitat, history, and beauty in America’s Pacific territorial waters.
The Marianas Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, and Rose Atoll marine national monuments are a treasure of coral reefs, whales, sea turtles, dozens of bird species, hundreds of varieties of fish, the deepest spot one can go without burrowing into the planetary crush, and weird thermal formations that support the toughest life forms on Earth.
"W" penned the the largest endowment since the Act’s inception. Congress too has the power to declare national monuments, and has done so 40 times. Congress has also redesignated 32 national monuments as national parks. 

More recently, we are discovering these places of enormous and enduring value are not so big and while preserved, they are like island unto themselves. They do little to protect the migration corridors of the animals who inhabit their surrounds and are encroached on all sides by people and pollution. Yet, it never fails that every time a President protects a wilderness, there rises a great outcry from corporations and people poised to fillet it wide for exploitation.
President Roosevelt's words, though uttered 100 years ago, remain relevant and true. "It is high time to realize that our responsibility to the coming millions is like that of parents to their children, and that in wasting our resources we are wronging our descendants."

Uncle Sonny in 2013
On the eve of his birthday, it is fitting to remember my Uncle Sonny. We had a conversation over pig's feet (as we were wont to do), in the last year of his life. In many ways, I was closer to him than my own father - and I adored him. “I’m looking for ways to build wealth for my family," he said. "I have plenty of money but I’m looking to build a legacy of wealth that renews itself and lasts well beyond my lifetime.” I was struck by his generosity and long look toward the future. His words continue to inspire me.

And so, with a stroke of my own pen, I, like Teddy Roosevelt and most US Presidents that followed, add to the sacred lands and rich endowment entrusted for all Americans. I join the LeConte Society, that cadre designating Yosemite Conservancy in their estate. While it is not so great a gift,  Yosemite will share equally in my estate - as a rightful heir.
Those who know me, know my love for our National Parks. In my retirement and before I retreat to my home in the middle of the sea, I intend to visit the half upon which my eyes have yet to gaze. I am missing large swaths of the midwest and northeast. Having lived in Alaska, I’ve covered much of that ground. Lucky me!

I recently hosted a group of single, childless friends to remember a single, childless and fallen companion. We shared remembrances, discussed aging alone, community connection and involvement, and creating a life that supports healthy aging. Without the common defaults of spouse, kids and grandkids, I see healthy aging as a deliberate and created act. Visiting National Parks is part of my healthy aging strategy. Adopting a National Park catapults me into something much larger than my small, everyday walkabout.

Within National Parks is room - glorious room - room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve. ~ Enos Mills, naturalist and force behind the Rocky Mtn NP
What are your healthy aging strategies? I’d love to hear.

ps ~ contact me for an excellent and economic trust attorney.