Archive for Work and Adventure

We Need the Newseum…

The University of Montana’s School of Journalism, established in 1914, is one of the oldest accredited journalism programs in America. My mother was one of its first female graduates in 1928, and though she never worked as a journalist she inspired me to be a writer and would be proud to know her granddaughter is a mid-career writer, editor, and freelance journalist.  

It’s not surprising then that we, as a family, are staunch supporters of the First Amendment and its important role in maintaining a free and open society. Unfortunately, our current president, thin-skinned and notably ignorant of the country’s founding principles and documents, views the press as “the enemy of the people.” read more

Admiration and Hope…

As the year draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly of the previous twelve months. So much of our public discourse has been devoted to the ugly that I decided to end the year by shining a light on a few friends whose accomplishments and attitudes I find especially admirable. As I reflected, I was reminded of the serendipity of life – that random events and minor differences can alter the course of a life. Where you were born, when you were born, whether you inherit good genes or bad, are lucky or unlucky all play a part and remind us to focus and live in the present. read more

Laugh it Off…

I feel like the fabled frog in the fabled pot of hot water. I know it’s getting warm and there’s a danger my frogish ass will get cooked if I don’t get out of the pot… but where’s my lifeline?

Here’s my problem: The heat of impeachment is rising. Congressional committees are working through the night. Both parties are stewing in their juices. Temperatures are climbing, voices more strident. Articles of Impeachment have been drafted, and pundits are frothing at the mouth, and just this morning, Rudolph Giuliani returned to the White House to report on his latest escapades in Ukraine, and they’re all driving me crazy.  read more

Berlin, 30 Years Later…

The Death Zone

We were euphoric. On October 3, 1990 I walked through the Brandenburg Gate, the barrier dividing West Berlin its other half in the East. It was the official day of German re-unification. A year before, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall had been breached, and within months the Soviet Union imploded, the Cold War ended, and the West declared victory for its values and the institutions of liberal democracy.

In the 1970’s and 80’s I lived and worked in West Berlin. And, occasionally during those years I would make a wrong turn while looking for an unfamiliar address and end up facing The Wall. It was always disarming. I was living an ordinary life – except that I couldn’t walk, bike, or drive out of the city without running the East German gauntlet of checkpoints, blockades, and restricted rest stops. Life seemed normal enough – get the kids to school, go to work, shop at the local supermarket, hang out in trendy bars and cafes, and run in the Grunewaldwith the wild boars. For the most part it seemedlike a normal life. But… there was always The Wall. read more

Replacement Parts Needed…

’94 Grand Cherokee

October was a month of good news and bad news – all longevity related.

For the past ten years, the service manager at the Jeep dealership has offered to buy my Jeep Grand Cherokee. I bought it new in 1994. It has 200,000 miles on the odometer and once hit a deer at 70mph in the middle of the Nevada desert. The service manager says he’s never seen a car so well maintained. That’s the good news.

The bad news is, even though I love my Jeep, it’s reached an age where the manufacturer no longer stocks replacement parts. When something goes wrong, it’s not easy to fix it. The onboard computer tells me my windshield washer fluid is low, my rear taillight has failed and my 4WD switch need service. None of these is fatal or true, but the parts are unavailable. My trusty Jeep is living on borrowed time. read more