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February 2017 desktop calendar


Featured Image: In the reeds and cattails on April 1, 2016, at Crystal River, Florida. Read more

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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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August 2016 desktop calendar


Featured Image: 2016 photo from the ferry ride leaving Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Read more

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February 2016 desktop calendar


Featured Image: 2014 photo from our trip to Salt Creek Recreation Area in Washington. Read more

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October 2015 desktop calendar


Featured Image: 2014 photo from our annual trip to Fort Island Gulf Beach in Crystal River, Florida.

I hope you will enjoy this October image selection, featuring a scene from a 2014 trip to Crystal River. We are very happy to be headed back to this area for our 2016 Spring Break. Sunset is spectacular in this spot on Florida’s Gulf coast… and also on King’s Bay, where we’ll be watching the sun descend from our kayaks several evenings next March.

The calendar template used here is courtesy of Aloma Printing. Click the image above to download a high-res October 2015 calendar for your desktop, and please stop back soon to see the newest episode of “Rare Air.”

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Rare Air Episode 10 and September 2015 desktop calendar

Today is September 7, 2015 – the Labor Day holiday Monday here in America. As I understand it, this is a “day off” that was purchased through the efforts of hard-working, far-seeing, community-focused people who were passionate about many things. Together, they were determined to protect their core human rights, and those of their working-class peers, in ways that would benefit their entire generation – and others to come – for eternity. I see that Americans have been commemorating their victory for almost 130 years now, and as wonderful as it is to enjoy this spectacular gift, it’s even sweeter knowing that dedication to hard-work – and appreciation for it – are built-into our future.

Last spring, my own drives to do work and then to honor it led me to the interesting crossroads where “Rare Air” began. Suddenly, there are now 10 episodes, where each one represents a sort of holy meditation to me, while also hopefully holding some meaning for you. This new one was photographed last Saturday during an annual pilgrimage for our family, where luckily we’ve been invited to join a lovely group from Valle Crucis and Boone, North Carolina, a few hours’ drive away in Sapphire, at the one-and-only Camp Merrie-Woode. This classic summer camp for girls is also an idyllic getaway during the off-seasons, and every year when the fates align, we happily stream our ways there in late summer to play, feast, catch-up and make new memories together. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 9 and July 2015 desktop calendar


An original July 2015 desktop calendar appears below.

This time of year, whenever a perfect day comes along, I usually find myself fantasizing about being in one spot. You get there by parking at Julian Price Park, off the Blue Ridge Parkway a few miles away from Blowing Rock, North Carolina. That town is about seven miles away from Boone, where we’ve lived for the past 14 years, and where our kids have lived their whole lives, so far. Our adventures in our new home town of Asheville, NC, will begin in August.

Right now, Boone is putting on a wonderful show for us. There’s so much happening all around us. Everyone’s happy, healthy, having fun, and excited about what’s to come. 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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May 30, 2001: The Countdown Begins… Escape from LA, Part 1

All of this started playing out 14 years ago today – thought I’d bump it back to the top of this blog to rekindle the memories…

Escape from LA
by Roger Darnell

Wednesday, May 30, 2001: The Countdown Begins

As I sat at my desk at the end of the business day (night) on Tuesday, I knew I really needed to get some sleep to be ready to start loading the truck bright and early the next morning; surveying my office, though — still largely intact — it finally also sunk-in to me that I needed to get it packed, once and for all. Fast forward to 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning: I’d worked all the way through the night, the office was 98% done, the house was a scattered array of semi-packed boxes, furniture and closed boxes, all ready for the truck, and we were off to pick up the truck from Budget in Van Nuys on Sepulveda Blvd., the same place where we’d returned our truck from the 1998 move West. This truck was a little bigger — a sign that the move was a success? — and the car carrier, destined to transport our Honda Accord back across the country, may have been the same one we picked up from New Orleans on the previous trip. Beth had slept very little as well, so the recollection of truck-packing day is a little blurry. We were smart enough to request a couple of movers to come to our house at 9 to load the truck, and by 11, they were done. By 5 p.m., Read more

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