Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Debra - "I WANNA DO THAT!"

Before I get to the things I "wanna" do, I should say a word or two about why I've been so quiet lately.

I had an accident on December 13th. About 1/2" of the end of my middle finger of my right hand had to be put back on/together. And it was broken. Typing has been an issue for me! We think and hope that all will be well in time. Although there is every possibility that healing will take a while and that the final result may not be as spectacularly attractive as it once was. There is a little lawsuit and the attorney doesn't want me discussing the accident.

Suffice to say that the "i" and the comma! are typed with the middle finger of your right hand. And then there is the ten-key pad. That has been impossible. I'm hiring extra help to get me through the end of/first of the year.

So...I haven't been ignoring you but constantly backspacing to correct the "i" and whacking the finger keeps me pretty quiet online.

The accident and the sheer number of things I can't fully do in the last 3 weeks (try putting on socks or tying shoes and forget quilting or taking this picture left-handed when the button is on the right-hand side) had me thinking about how we should have experiences and embrace life NOW and not tomorrow. We should cram it all in while we can. The smallest things can derail your plans. Don't give chaos a chance to "reign" in your parade.

My uncle, Mike Martin, has been grabbing hold of life and strapping in for one heck of a ride since he retired. He's one of those guys who spent his life outdoors. Former President of the Forestry Association of America, did forestry consulting, managed timber, and owned a number of sawmills. He's always been in good shape. In 2008 he made the trip to base camp. That's the base camp at EVEREST.

He became so interested in the plight of the sherpas there that he's beginning work on a foundation to supply some of their needs like water treatment facilities. And he's talking about signing on to one of my husband's company's humanitarian missions. They go built schools and small local hospitals. All volunteer and that means you volunteer your cash to get you there and back!

One of the other things my uncle has done is sponsor a leg of the whooping crane migration. "Huh?" you say. This is real. They imprint the whooping cranes in Canada on an ultra aircraft. Then they fly them down to the United States along a route which will be "their" migration route. My uncle sponsored a leg of the journey that went over his home county. And he's wheedling his way into the good graces of the organization so that he can maybe fly a leg of the migration next year!! Here are some pics of him in the aircraft and then of the birds following the plane across Hardin County, Tennessee.

When it snowed on his farm he had his wife tow him up a big hill which we now call "Manbone Mountain" and he skied down it. This was recent, not ten years ago!

And they are planning a return trip to Everest. He just got back from some conservation work in one of those South American wilderness areas. I think they boated up a river while charting trees or something. Sound like a snooze to me but this is something he wanted to do and by golly he made it happen. He devoted his time and money to it.

He was going to drag us on one of these adventures but my mother (she's 11 years older than him) said, "Dude, you can drag me onto a cruise ship in the Greek Isles but that's as 'back to nature' as I'm getting." So, this summer my bestest, favorite uncle in the whole world is taking his girls on a cruise to the Greek Isles. (Mom, Sis and me) I definitely wanna do that.

But there are a lot of things I wanna do. And my husband thinks he wants to do one of the humanitarian trips. We're making plans. We're going to stop saying, "Wouldn't it be neat..." and instead we're going to say, "How can we make this happen now?"

What do you guys have planned? How are you going to get involved in your life and in the lives of others this year? Do you have big dreams or small dreams? Both are okay! Right now I want to stop saying I'm going to put together a quilting book and I actually want to plan, execute and get those quilts made this year!


Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Sorry to hear about your hand. I hope it heals well. What is my dream. Well, I hope to open my own bookstore. That is in the cards for when my husband retires his business 5 years from now. I've totally supported his efforts, then it will be his turn to support mine.

Other than that, we want to go to Europe and travel for a couple months. Hard to take the time off when you own your own small business.

Right now, we are enjoying life as it is.


Candace said...

Both my husband and I had favorite relatives who waited all their lives to do what they wanted -- nose to the grindstone, eye on the pension, work at the same job for 30 years types who had great plans for travel and new experinces after they retired. Except accidents and illness and life (and death) intervened and they never got to do anything they'd planned. So the DH and I made a conscious decision early on not to wait.

As a result, we've crissscrossed the United States 18 times in 38 years, chasing job, adventure, and experience. We've lived in a schooner anchored in Ala Wai Harbor in Hawaii (7 mos), a loft in Greenwich Village (3 mos), near the base of Mt. Bachelor in Bend, OR (nearly 18 mos), with stints in Dallas, San Diego, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, and 10 other places in between.

We've taken meandering car trips (my favorite way to travel!)all over the U.S. (three weeks following our noses through the grand and beautiful Southwest remains a highlight) and traveled internationally to Puerto Rico, Paris, Milan, Tortola, Austria, Singapore...

We've gone whitewater rafting, blue water sailing, scuba diving, and hot air balloning (which I highly recommend). For his 60th birthday, the DH trained for six months and climbed Mt. Shasta (I opted out of that one!)And we (mostly me) have taken classes in anything that sounded interesting or intriguing -- belly dancing, welding, Chinese cooking, line dancing, landscape design...

Now that the DH has retired, we live in a mid-sized Indiana town and are content to stay home and just be. Mostly. Except... I made a career change a few years ago and am busier than ever. And we are planning a trip to the Black Hills country next summer. And I still want to see Australia one day. And the DH still wants to raft the Grand Canyon...

Keri Ford said...

Ouch, Deb! I would send you chocolate, but I fear you'd curse me soundly every time you tried to open one!

The hubby and I are also ready for baby #2. We’ve been ready. Would already have the sucker, but baby #1 really took my body through the ringer. The doc is still trying to get me straightened out (baby #1 is 21 months old).

I know the hubs would enjoy a second income (he helped get our tax receipts together and noticed ALL my writing expenses :). I'd really like to reach publication this year.

Cross country traveling and seeing the world is definitely on my list, but not at this time. I want to do all that when my kid(s) will be old enough to remember everywhere we go.

Cindy Gerard said...

Your poor little pinkie looks so sore, Deb. I don't know how you manage to write! Hope you get healed up soon.
Your Uncle sounds amazing! And a cruise to Greece? Oh. Wow!

Playground Monitor said...

We lived in Europe in our 20's courtesy of Uncle Sam and the Department of State. The DH's job required lots and lots of travel and I would go with him when possible. That's how I happened to be in Austria when I got pregnant, and in London when is found out I was pregnant. It's been a little harder to gallavant around with kids, but we did our share of traveling with them. The DH and the boys are definitely more adventuresome than I (i.e. hiking on the Appalachian Trail and white water rafting) but I'm game for travel. The DH and I are heading to Curacao for a nice warm sunny week at the end of this month.

Your uncle sounds awesome. And EVEREST! How cool is that? I'm hoping when the DH retires we can start to do some mission-type work.

Sorry to hear about your finger. I hope you have a full recovery. And once you can tell us, I'm curious as all get out. ::grin::


My verification word was everi -- is that two of Everest?

Anonymous said...

Wow Deb. Sorry about the finger! Your uncle sounds like a keeper! I wanna go on the cruise, too!

(verification word is PARIC, but at first glance I thought it said "PANIC" LOL)

Anonymous said...

Owee, Deb.
I had surgery on my hip right after our retreat in October. (Remember the Tulsa retreat?)Chinese splits in the koi pond caused a tear in my hip's lining.

We're going snow skiing as soon as I can get my hip strength back. I was hoping for this winter. March, maybe. But it's slow going.
May have to wait until next year. But we're going!

Michele Hauf said...

wow. Your post makes me realize I don't have any plans beyond right now. I'd better get dreaming!

Helen Brenna said...

Deb, your finger sounds extremely painful. You're a trooper for hanging in there and typing anyway!! Can you still flip people off? 'Specially the folks you're suing? lol

I need to not only get dreaming, but start making those dreams happen. I've been all work, work, work lately. Yay to 2009, baby!

lois greiman said...

Deb!! I looooovvve him. I'm so there. Went shooting with friends the other day to see what the kick of a big scoped rifle feels like. Am planning to try dog-sledding this winter, cuz I love the idea. And the Grand Canyon...this is my year to do it. I'd love to raft while I'm down there but money... Maybe all I can afford to do is walk.

But...I'm really interested in your humanitarian efforts. What's the scoop with that??

Debra Dixon said...

Robin-- A bookstore sounds like a dream to many of us. All those lovely books, but also such hard work! I'm so glad your hubby is on board. What a great way to trade-off support.

Debra Dixon said...


Exacly! Those ar experiences you couldn't have had if you waited. That's what my finger reminds me to do.

Getting involved is a good way to go through life!

Debra Dixon said...

Michele-- You've been cranking out some books so you've been busy.

But definitely look up! I wonder if my son is a workaholic because he saw his dad and I, and thought that's what you're supposed to do--find work you love and focus!

Even if we love what we do I still think we need more dreams.

Debra Dixon said...

Keri-- Baby dreams are excellent. Hope the doc clears you for gestation soon. (g) Being published is a good dream and with a baby at home maybe you're already on the wild ride.

Debra Dixon said...

Cindy-- My uncle is a great dude. And we're all hoping everything lines up for Greece! I'm supposed to be researching it right now.

Debra Dixon said...

Cindy-- My uncle is a great dude. And we're all hoping everything lines up for Greece! I'm supposed to be researching it right now.

Debra Dixon said...

Marilyn-- Two of Everest? (g) And yes Everest is cool. He trained forever. And when he came back we had him do an actual slide show presentation of his trip to about 30 people and it was fabulous.

I said, "What's that big structure beside the trail?" (It was a long shot looking back down the trail.)

He said, "Fire wood." Yes! there was sooo much that it looked like a two story house. Because so much of the heat comes from wood.

Debra Dixon said...

Cyndi-- Panic? LOL! Now that's funny when your blogs tell you to panic.

Debra Dixon said...

Susan-- Tulsa's retreat is an all time fav! Why were you doing Chinese splits in the koi pond?? Did the algae make you slip/slide?

Bummer that you may have to miss skiing. Can't you do the bunny slope?

Debra Dixon said...

Helen-- Because the splint's so wide that finger stays in front of the others so it looks like I'm always pissing people off!!

And get dreamin' girl!

Debra Dixon said...

Lois-- Dog sledding would be very cool. I can see doing that!

My husband works for UTi which is a global transportation, supply chain logistics company. One of the executives wanted to do some good and convinced the company to reassign him to a humanitarian division. They pay his salary to keep the effort going and provide office support but everything else is volunteer and donations.

They try to work with their local offices around the world to pinpoint their efforts in a region. The local office (which can still be some distance build location) helps with logistics. Often they have to bring in all the building materials.

When my Uncle wanted to work with the sherpas to improve their lives and community, we scheduled a conference call with our guy so my uncle could learn how these projects work and what the pitfalls are.

Did you know the sherpas have no real medical care up there? No medical insurance and they all plan for the day they can't haul anymore. You should have seen some of the loads. It was unimaginable. But they trudged on...UPhill, up steep grades. Everything has to be carried into base camp.

lois greiman said...

Hmmm, Deb, but I don't get it. What do they DO?

Debra Dixon said...

Lois-- Oh!

I believe it started with the Indonesian Tsunami and just continued with other areas.

They discover what an area needs for basic services and then they build it.

The last thing they did, they took a doctor with them and for two weeks while they were building "whatever", she did free medical and set up a little temporary clinic.

Let me email hubby for the newsletter and website. He's the one who wants to get involved and facilitated the conversations with my uncle and the company. I just hear about it from him. Should have thought of the getting the real info last night!

GunDiva said...

Debra - I'm so sorry about your finger. I cut the tip of mine off in a metal shearer several years ago, was on some heavy duty pain killers and thought it would be a good idea to watch the Avs in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Bad idea! I forgot about my finger, courtesy of the pain meds, got all exited about a goal, jumped up, clapped my hands together and damn nearly passed out from the pain. I can't even imagine trying to type in your condition...but you've obviously been taught how to type properly...these kids now use the H&P method and it wouldn't bother them at all to not use their middle finger!

Lois - how was the rifle shooting? When I worked at the gun shop, I never turned down the chance to shoot anything that came through, so I've gotten to shoot some really cool guns :)

As far as dreams - travel. I waited until I was 30 to leave the continental US and regret it. I've promised my kids that next year (gotta save up) we are going to Europe; I don't want them waiting until they can "afford" to go on their own. At least they'll have one over the pond adventure under their belts!

Christie Ridgway said...

Ouchies, Deb. Sending you mending vibes.

Your uncle sounds so cool. I am not all that ambitious. No Everest for me. (Read that Kraukauer book and it was close enough.)

More travel is in my sights. I'd also like to live in Hawaii for a time. I've visited often and I just would enjoy an extended stay, I think.

flchen1 said...

Yikes, Debra--hope everything's healing well and fast! But what a fabulous uncle you have! I like that reminder to seize the day, but I think I have to start small--instead of stacking up all these great recommendations for the TBR, I should start reading them starting today!

Helen Brenna said...

I almost got killed once dog sledding, so, Lois, you and I need to chat girl.

Cindy Gerard said...

Lois - you actually see more of the Grand Canyon when you hike it than when you raft it. Don't get me wrong, the rafting experience is GREAT (really cute guides :o) ) but hiking it is indescribable. It's so beautiful.

Debra Dixon said...

GunDiva-- Clapping? Yikes! And I'm an old school typist. :) All fingers are employed.

Taking your kids over the pond is excellent! And your right about it being something important to do. Exposure to the rest of the world shapes our perceptions.

Debra Dixon said...

Christie I would love an extended stay on one of the islands. I so enjoyed it when we were there for an RWA conference and my niece has been back many times since that first trip.

Debra Dixon said...

flchen1-- Yes! Start reading today. No regrets. Dive in! (g)

Debra Dixon said...


They just built 6 classroom, pre-secondary school in Prek Ta Nong Community in the Kampong Cham Province of Cambodia.

It's the UTi Charitable Foundation and their motto is "Delivering better lives."

I'm going to email you their recent newsletter. The website is "intra-company" so it's not open to the public. They don't solicit donations the way some charities do with a website, etc.