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When we march…

Today, Beth, Ann, Grace, Claire and Amelia are in Washington D.C., for what I am calling the “monumental” Women’s March on Washington. They are among many of the people I admire most in the world, standing there together in D.C. – while thousands and thousands more of “us” are uniting in solidarity in cities across America.

Why do we march? Today’s Women’s March on Washington sends the new presidential administration this message (among many others): Women’s rights are human rights.

While I am not there today physically, I am fully with my people in spirit: I stand with them today and always. And for my part, here are my answers:
. I support Read more

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Rare Air Episode 18 and January 2017 desktop calendar

An original desktop calendar for January appears at the bottom of this post.

For Beth and me, our conjoined “life before kids” began in about 1989… and before leaving Central Florida for Southern California on New Year’s Day, 1998, we toured the Sunshine State from top to bottom. Just before Amelia arrived in 2001, we returned to the Southeast. Since staking our claim in the Blue Ridge Mountains and welcoming Riley in 2003, we and our kids have continued to experience Florida as tourists. Read more

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A very special Throwback Thursday


This photo was taken on Feb. 9, 2002… 13 years ago, when Amelia was about six months old, and we were enjoying a family dinner at our home on Rocky Creek Road. We were joined by our other local family members, including Great Grandma Theresa Julien, Grandma Ginny Martin, Grandpa Bill Martin, Ann Kiefert, Chuck Bowling, and their kids Grace and Claire. I’m pretty sure this was one of the first dinners in this home, which was brand new at that time.

Although we moved from that home “into town” back in 2008, it was so special to us – holding priceless memories of both Amelia and Riley’s earliest years, and many of our own defining life-choices – that we could never bear to part with it. So, we have rented it out all this time, miraculously, to one family. Last weekend, Read more

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Let’s keep the world beautiful

We are very proud to be joining 10,000 like-minded friends in Washington, D.C., next Sunday (“President’s Day” in America), to be part of a peaceful demonstration. Why? For me personally, I can say for sure that a key reason is the deep emotional connection that occurred in me when I watched the above ad, and another more famous one named “The Crying Indian”, as a young boy about 42 years ago. “Keep America beautiful,” it requested of me, and on some level, I have been trying to do that ever since. Now more than ever, we are aware that the Earth’s interconnected ecosystems cannot withstand all the pollution we can throw at them, and what impacts one area plays out worldwide. This is just the beginning of an ongoing discussion, as you know, friends. We hope you will join us, in DC or where ever you are, in this common and most imperative cause… to keep the world beautiful.

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Thanks friends

Originally published in November 2011. After joining in the November 6, 2011, demonstration against the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline in Washington, D.C., we have been celebrating good news for the past two days. Courtesy of Professor Harvard Ayers, Ph.D., co-author of “Arctic Gardens: Voices from an Abundant Land,” it’s my pleasure to share the following news about KXL.

“A landmark decision was made yesterday by Mr. Obama — HE PUT OFF ANY DECISION ON THE KEYSTONE XL TAR SANDS PIPELINE FOR 12-18 MONTHS, probably killing this horrible project for ever. The incredible forces lobbying him to approve it LOST!!! There had been huge threats from the boosters of this project. But in the end, our President came through for common sense and for the average person. Mainly, the questionable environmental study — by a company closely attached to TransCanada, the project pipeline company — commissioned by the State Department was the reason for this decision. Questions about Climate Change potential as well as inevitable spills of this pipe-corroding, toxic tar sands oil were two of the major considerations. Does this great victory have larger implications for concerns with the environment, climate, etc.? Yes!! No matter how much money they plow into lobbying for a terrible idea, there can be sanity in the end. Cooler heads prevailed.”

Professor Ayers also shared a request from The Sierra Club asking us all to send a thank you message to President Obama for putting the brakes on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Here’s where to find the template for sending that message if you share our appreciation: http://bit.ly/ThankBO

Cheers friends!

November 6 2011

Keystone XL Pipeline Demonstration on November 6, 2011.

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Bluebirdsongs for Grace and Claire

Back in May, 1998, Beth and I joined most of her Kiefert and Julien families in Tallahassee, Florida, for the wedding of her sister Ann and Chuck Bowling. I married into my wife’s family back in 1992, so I was very much at home with everyone gathered, as we all enjoyed an unforgettable weekend together with Chuck’s family, and their many friends who joined in the fun. The day before their wedding, Ann and Chuck invited us all to join them at one of their favorite places: The Birdsong Nature Center. Located in Thomasville, Georgia, just above the Florida-Georgia border, Birdsong is a 565-acre preserve of wildflower meadows, forests, ponds and swamps. Home to a dazzling array of birds and wildlife, it’s pretty much heaven on Earth. We all learned a lot that day about nature, about Chuck’s father’s ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat … and a neat program where the center provides essential nesting homes for Bluebirds. So naturally, when Ann and Chuck’s daughter Grace was born, we decided to sponsor a Birdsong Nature Center Bluebird home in her name. And since my mother marked so many special occasions when I was growing up with the added gift of an original poem, I wrote this one for our first niece. Read more

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