What is it that makes a snow-capped mountain jutting up into a clear blue sky from a sea of rolling green hills empirically beautiful? Or the sound of soft waves as the tide comes into shore intrinsically peaceful? A landfill covered with rotting garbage inherently unattractive and an abandoned (or active, if you ask me) strip mall decidedly depressing? After all, no one looks at a river polluted with discarded plastic and says, Wow, that’s really beautiful. Or do they? Who determines what is naturally beautiful and what is not? Continue reading →
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
This quote, from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., became my mantra yesterday as I navigated my way through Latvia’s beautiful Gauja National Park at the Cēsis ECO Trail 81K race. And though I could never fly, I ran as fast I could when I could and walked when I needed to. And, at times, I even crawled, just to keep moving forward to the finish line. Continue reading →
Last weekend, M. and I had the chance to visit Stockholm with our dear friend, L., who lives in another part of Sweden. Just an hour’s flight from Riga, Stockholm was the perfect place for a quick summer getaway. Spending two days in a place barely qualifies as visiting, but with a tight work schedule and limited time, we made the most of this opportunity to get a small taste of Sweden. Continue reading →
The combination of lemon and poppy seed became one of my favorites shortly after I started my very first job following graduation from university. I worked in downtown Washington, DC, and it wasn’t long before I discovered that the cafe on the first floor of my office building sold delicious, jumbo lemon poppy seed muffins. Continue reading →
Some days are diamonds…. Some days are rocks. – Tom Petty
I ran a marathon today. With no spectators, mile markers, or bands along the course, it wasn’t a typical marathon. Just me, my race pack, a few good snacks, and some tunes for 26.3 miles (an extra tenth of a mile for good measure). It was a one-woman marathon, and the farthest I have ever run on my own and not as part of a race. Continue reading →
When I lived in Des Moines, Iowa, my perfect Saturday morning involved a long run, followed promptly by a stop at the downtown Farmers’ Market to pick up a Dutch letter. Made of flaky puff pastry and filled with almond paste and brown sugar, the best Dutch letters come from Pella, Iowa’s famous Vander Ploeg Bakery.