Sunday, January 1, 2017

Burn your candles

Greetings on the first day of 2017. We are having what one of my friends calls a "burly winter." The mail has not gotten through, and the interstates have been closed. The trails look like the picture above. Yes, that is a trail. I sank to my waist. In snowshoes.
I like it, though. This is the first time I had a few days off from work (5) and I didn't travel anywhere to go on a hike. I tend to think I am wasting vacation time if I don't travel. Weird, I know. While I cursed the irony that made Phantom Ranch a balmy 60 degrees this year (last year we shivered through 20 degree temps), it's been actually nice to stay home. I have recruited several friends to snowshoe and hike. Like I have mentioned, many of them are retired or underemployed, so they have time during the week to get out.
It's back to work next week, but it has been a glimpse of the holy grail, retirement. Someday!

The other day I skied with a friend who is battling cancer. When people complain about how awful 2016 was (I don't really think it was), she just smiles and I can tell she wants to say something, but doesn't. She is too nice to remind us that we are lucky to be here. How can a year be bad if you made it through, still on the planet?

I have been eyeing my possessions in preparation for a big purge, and I came upon a candle I love. It shows the Round Island Light, a favorite lighthouse of mine. It sits on a spit of land near an uninhabited island near where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron  mix. I spent many summer days canoeing or boating to this place. There are a lot of memories with this lighthouse. I never burned the candle because I liked it so much. But...

Life can be short. Burn your candles, friends.

18 comments:

  1. Good advice....even the Foster Creek one?

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    1. " My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night. But oh, my friends, and ah, my foes, it gives a lovely light." Emily Dickinson

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  2. I have decided for this year I will try and live in the moment more often.
    I tend to let thoughts of getting back to the woods consume me all winter long and I end up over planning and living my summer before it even happens. I sometimes drive my husband nuts with all the talking about getting back to the mountains. I'am not one for New Years resolutions ( never have been ) but I will try this out. Yes Mary life is short so live it and enjoy it to the fullest and burn those candles!!!

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    1. I do the same thing, particularly with my PCT hike planning. I caught myself thinking about one in September. Now these need some level of logistics and I need to schedule leave from work but I do not need to be that future focused! Thanks for a great reminder.

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  3. I'm loving all the snow we're getting this winter! It's been a wonderful ski season already. And I'm with you - burn those candles now!

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    1. Can't wait for some happy skiing posts!

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  4. Love! I think this is my favorite post. :)

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  5. A great reminder to take some time and enjoy the now! I always question whether I should burn the candle now, or wait to burn the candle at a later time that may (or may not) be better. I guess to put it more in real-world terms...do I go backpacking this weekend, or should I do real work so that in the future I can do more backpacking on my own terms. It's hard to know the right balance, obviously working 100% of the time doesn't work, but neither does playing 100% of the time (at least while I have to work). I always second guess the decision, but perhaps today I'll burn the candle :)

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    1. I do the same thing...the balance is really hard. I have so much comp time saved up...saved up for...?

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  6. Great reminder. Burn those candles!
    Not that I don't have an 'emergency candle' but I do think it's important to spend less time 'waiting' for...whatever. Making 'now' the perfect time, is mostly a matter of framing I think.
    I used to have two ceramic cats that my sister bought for me. They were unpainted, unglazed, ready for me to paint and I never did. I was always waiting until I was more skilled, for a time when I could do a 'really good job' and looking back that was a mistake. Perfection too, is a matter of opinion, and acceptance.
    While I don't have any candles I've been 'saving' I will nonetheless burn candles tonight, just because they are beautiful and warm and symbolic of so many things. I've been using my solar Luci lanterns, but I only used candles before I got them, and it will be nice to have that warm glow in my tent on a chilly night.

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    1. Now is the perfect time. (Luci lanterns are such a great invention)

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  7. Ha. I'm a cancer patient too and I really think 2016 sucked. In no small part because I got frickin' cancer.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear this. In my friend's case, she is several years out from her diagnosis and each year past the normal life expectancy with her type is a victory. So she is in a different place. I wish you health in 2017.

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  8. I love the end of this post: Burn your candles, friends. Good advice!

    You guys are having an epic winter ... not so much here in NM. We are awaiting a storm tonight and I'm hoping we get a lot!

    BTW, I just caught up on your author blog, and since I can't leave comments there (HA!), I'll leave them here:
    -Congrats on the advance!!!
    -I didn't come up with a "working title" until I finished my book. Now of course I'm a little attached to it, but I expect it to change!!

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    1. I'm curious to know your title! I wish I could have comments on that blog. Too much spam.

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  9. As each year passes I appreciate more that I can burn my candles no matter what the weather, even in the deep snow and cold of winter! Mary, your blog posts are motivational and good reminders to embrace each day!

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