Obligatory New Year post

I’ve never been much for resolutions. I have a hard time making myself commit to anything I’m not sure I’ll still be into in six months. (There’s probably a metaphor in there.)

Generally, if I’m put on the spot, I’ll resolve to drink more water. This is easy and everyone could stand to do it, but I never actually do. Would my life be magically transformed if I’d finish off a few Nalgenes every day? Probably.  Continue reading “Obligatory New Year post”

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How to make a resolution

“What a great New Year’s resolution!” says no one to me ever, “How thoughtful and creative!”

My hypothetical admirer is right. I’m great at making resolutions. I don’t want to brag, but I’ve been known to resolve such bold and commendable things as “Drink more water,” “Finish your damn thesis, already,” and, one I’m still working on, “Expend less energy on self-loathing.” (That one’s a work in progress.) Continue reading “How to make a resolution”

CSI: Yellowstone

I spend so much time thinking about the complex scientific properties of snow, marveling at its viscoelasticity and ability to conduct and insulate, pausing occasionally to enjoy a perfect (or even less-than-perfect) ski run. What I don’t take enough time to appreciate is the way snow can tell a story.

It’s just after 2:00 pm on New Year’s Day, and Bix and I are cross-country skiing into a thicket of trees in the Gneiss Creek drainage, about two miles from the Yellowstone National Park boundary. Nighttime temperatures have been dipping below -20oF, but now, just after solar noon, the sun bounces off untouched snow to warm our faces, still tender with windburn from yesterday’s outing.

Continue reading “CSI: Yellowstone”

2014: A year for less-is-more.

I rang in 2014 in a yurt, with a kidney infection. This is one of those stories that requires a little background information, and since I haven’t written much in awhile, I’ll begin with the last time I watched the clock strike midnight, which, in all honesty, was probably the same day in 2013. (That’s not entirely fair. I got up at midnight plenty of times in 2013.)

Continue reading “2014: A year for less-is-more.”

Alaska, continued! (A story in which, for better or for worse, I find myself back on the Last Frontier)

The Farm is identified by this often-driven-by sign, cleverly hidden by vegetation on the side of Farm Loop Road.
The Farm is identified by this often-driven-by sign, cleverly hidden by vegetation on the side of Farm Loop Road.

Spring Creek Farm sits on the outskirts of Palmer, Alaska, a small, rural community about forty miles north of Anchorage. In the mid-1930s, some two hundred-odd Midwesterners, mostly in their late twenties and early thirties, picked up their families and moved to the Last Frontier as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The Matanuska Colony has existed in various incarnations since then, and today, the sleepy township of Palmer is home to just under six thousand people and, still, plenty of dairy cows.

Continue reading “Alaska, continued! (A story in which, for better or for worse, I find myself back on the Last Frontier)”