Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Moving On

Two hundred and thirty seven times I have put up a post for you to read.  There have been thousands of page views.  Readers have logged on from Russia, France, New Zealand, England, Singapore and, of course, the USA. Including the two years during which I wrote a blog for the Weyerhaeuser intranet, I have written at least once a week for four and a half years.  I have enjoyed my blog and the research and discovery it has provided. But now, it is time to move on.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of my graduation from Springside School.  I contributed a personal statement to our class  memory book.  I include it here.  You have come to know me well through my posts.  This short biography will fill in some detail. 

A girl ties the sash on her tunic.  She has practiced hard and made the team.  She walks out onto the field.  She is my avatar.  She has been coached, and judged ready by Phyllis Vare.  What better preparation is there?  Opportunity waits.  So it has been with my life.

After Springside, I finished my education, a BA and an MBA.  I married and moved to Seattle.  I bore two children, a daughter and a son.  I went to work right away.  With 9 other women, I founded a state chartered savings bank.  We named it “A Woman’s Place”.  We did well.  I worked in both private and public sectors.  I was elected to the board of the University of Washington Medical Center and served for many years.  I divorced.  I started playing soccer.

I was appointed to serve as the US Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator for the northwest and Alaska.  I coached my son’s soccer and basketball teams.  I travelled to Alaska, doing EPA business and in Ketchikan I met Ed Fisher.  Ed was President of the Ketchikan Pulp Company.  We fell in love.  When my term with EPA was over we married. 

I learned to fish, to back down a boat ramp, to splice line that is fouled with kelp, and to shoot a gun.  I moved to Ketchikan to manage a company owned by Tlingit Indians.  We owned large stands of commercial quality timber.  My children graduated from college.  They came to Ketchikan in the summer and worked as kayak guides for cruise ship passengers.

 I moved on to my own consulting business which took me to mines, forests and oil fields around the State.  I was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service.  I supported politicians, managing the southeast Alaska campaigns for several.  My children married and started their own families.  I served on the Board of the Ketchikan General Hospital.  With others from rural Idaho and eastern Washington State I joined the founding board of LifeCenter Northwest.  We became licensed to procure organs for transplant, making it possible to fulfill the wishes of donors in our rural service area.  With dog friends I founded the Ketchikan Humane Society.    I started taking piano lessons. 

I accepted another appointment to public service as Commissioner of Environmental Conservation for Alaska.  My husband had been President of a number of companies, our careers crisscrossing the State.  We moved to Juneau together and both served in the Governor’s cabinet.

I was recruited by Weyerhaeuser, the timber industry giant in Washington State.  We moved to Puget Sound.  I took up sheep herding with our aging Border Collie.  Two years ago I retired.  I started Taekwondo, working toward Black Belt.  We added younger Border Collies.

My daughter and her family have settled in Anchorage, my son with his wife and children in Placerville, CA.  Ed’s sons are in Ketchikan.  His grandchildren are marrying and having their own children.  We have 10 grandchildren.  The oldest is a veterinarian in Wasilla, AK.  The youngest is my son’s 3 year old son.  We still own our house in Ketchikan and keep our boat there. 

I am satisfied.  I have played offense and defense, spent some time on the bench, made some shots and scored a few goals.  After fifty years on the field there is still opportunity waiting. 
Thank you for reading.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mother's Day Redux

Last year I wrote about lambs in my Mother's Day message.  This year, again, we helped our friend with her sheep.  She had 122 lambs who needed attention.  I cannot tell about it better than I did last year.  This year, I punched the ear tags. Here is what I wrote last year.

Perhaps one of your friends will ask for your help with baby lambs.  At about two weeks of age, they need a shot of selenium and an ear tag.  Their long tails need to be docked and the boys, well, the boys need to be castrated.  These procedures require separating the lambs from their mothers (briefly).  You will be assigned a job.  Catching the lambs requires good hand-eye coordination and the ability to hold a squirming baby with four hooves.  (The boys are easier to catch than the girls, who are wily and fast.) Holding the lamb for the procedures requires strength, patience, knowledge of several "holds" to steady the necessary lamb-parts, and the ability to hold a squirming baby with four hooves.  Applying the ear tag requires experience with gripping a tool such as a hole-punch and squeezing steadily while the squirming baby tries to pull ear from pinching object.  Injecting the selenium requires good enough eyesight to see the millimeter markings on the syringe in bright sunlight while the squirming baby tries to pull away - period.  Docking the tails requires experience gripping a tool against the pressure of an expanding rubber ring with a steady hand while the squirming baby becomes frantic.  Castration is like tail docking, except you need to be able to count to two.  The entire undertaking is not for sissies.  The lambs complain bitterly.  The boys, especially, lie on the grass and make pitiful noises.  The mothers are inconsolable.  Behind the fence, they pace wildly bawling for their babies.  When the gate is opened the reunion is spectacular.  Mothers running to and fro.  Babies forgetting their indignities as they listen for just the right baaaa.  And then quiet.  Just the muted sound of rich mothers' milk going down.

Worth Reading

Kevin Williamson is a roving correspondent for several publications, a columnist, often on economics and society, and a theater critic.  You may not be familiar with his work.  I think this piece published in the New York Post is worth reading.  The title should lure you in: "Its the end of the world as we know it (and that's great)".

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Derby Trivia

The track was sloppy yesterday.  Horses and jockeys covered in mud. This was the seventh timesince1876 that the National Weather Service characterized the track as "sloppy".  There have been six races on "muddy" track.  The coldest running was in 1940 when the temperature was 36 degrees.  The warmest Derby Day was in 1959 when the temperature reached 94 degrees.  In 1989 sleet was recorded two hours before post time.  And, in 1918 2.31 inches of rain fell on race day.  (That was one of the six days on which the track was recorded as "muddy").

1957 was another record breaking year. Derby Day, May 4, saw the coldest high temperature (47) and the coldest average daily temperature (42).  The wind blew 20 - 25 miles per hour all day.  Also that year, the Dodgers' Jackie Robinson retired from baseball rather than accept a trade to the New York Giants.  Buddy Holly recorded "That'll Be the Day". Larry King made his radio broadcast debut.  The first rocket with a nuclear warhead was fired in Yucca Flat, Nevada.  And, Iron Liege won the derby on a fast - and cold - track in 2:02.2