Tag Archives: High Five

Weekly High-Five Report: A Birthday for Bubbles

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Bubbles Birthday Cards so far

Since I have the World’s Best Dad, I can understand the love a daughter has for her father. A woman’s father is her #1 guy, the model her mate will have to live up to, the one she wishes she could be if a Y chromosome snuck in somewhere. So when I heard about Sarah Shattuck’s plan to blitz her father with birthday cards on his 75th birthday, I was intrigued.

Here’s the scoop, straight from the blog she created just for this occasion:

First, three things you should know:
1) My Dad is turning 75 on February 14, 2012.
2) He has one of the greatest laughs on the planet. You know that full body silent laugh?
He’s a pro.
3) My family has created a scheme to fill his birthday with laughter and you can help!
Here’s the plan. I’m asking friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends to send birthday cards to Bubbles. New cards are great, as are reused (truly, cross out your name and write his, then cross out Grandma’s and write yours if you wish).  Cards that are funny, sentimental,  tacky, colored by toddlers etc— whatever strikes you would be most welcome. What we’re going for here is volume—both in cards and the resulting laughter. We’re shooting for at least a 1,000 cards with postmarks from at least 25 countries. Scratch that– we were shooting for 1,000 cards from 25 countries, but we quickly doubled our goals, then upped them again.

We’re shooting for at least 10,000 cards from at least 50 countries.
My Dad is a character. He loves people, and he loves jokes, and surprises. Which is why we think this is idea is right on! (Anyone who has gone by the name Bubbles since age 7 must be a character, right?!)
Are you up for sending him a card? Can you think of others who like spreading a little love, like laughter or have great fathers and families? Please ask them to join the fun and send a card!
Please send cards to:
                   Bubbles
                   P.O. Box 426
                   Oxford, MD 21654
Anytime after February 7th is great, but don’t worry too much about timing. Early is great, as is late!

Thank you for your support!

Honestly, you should go check out the cards that are streaming in. And since today is Bubbles birthday, here’s a special shoutout to him and a high-five to Sarah for blitzing her #1 on his 75th. Bravo Sarah. High-five Bubbles.

Weekly High-Five Report: Older Gentlemen that Respect their Wives

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Last week at the Mayo Clinic, while John was getting his yearly post-transplant check-up, I walked around the campus drinking coffee, sat in waiting rooms flipping through dog-eared copies of Home Magazine and played Scrabble on my Kindle.

I also observed the people.

It’s no surprise that Rochester, Minnesota is full of older people. Some are there for annual check-ups, others are having that lump looked at, still others are dealing with much bigger issues. One afternoon, while I stood near the entrance of the Kahler Hotel across from the Clinic, sipping my Starbucks and warming my face in a sliver of sunlight sneaking between the tall buildings, an older couple arrived in a cab.

Clarence Hull, John Kircher, Kim Kircher

My Grandfather, the world's greatest gentleman

At first glance I could tell these two had been together a long time. After the driver deposited their single bag on the curb and left, the man looked at his wife and smiled. They were there for a visit to the Clinic. But they didn’t rush in to the hotel lobby right away. Instead, she looked up at the glassy Mayo Building and sighed. He followed her gaze, perhaps thinking about the early blood test in the morning that either she or he would endure. Maybe they were both wondering what the doctors would find. This might be the eve of a pivotal moment in their lives.

“You okay Ma?” He took his hand from the luggage handle and reached out for hers.

“Oh sure,” she nodded. But she didn’t smile.

“You sure gal?”

Now she smiled. A lifetime of understanding passed between the two.

I searched the ground for a private piece of curbside to look at, suddenly feeling like an intruder. I backed a little to the left, still keeping my face in the sun and sipped my coffee, trying to look anonymous. I was enthralled.

The couple could have been my grandparents, who celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary a few years ago before they both passed away. 75 years together. Can you imagine that? They’d been through a lifetime together.

The woman took his hand. “I’ll be okay,” she said. “As long as I’ve got you.”

I looked away. The couple stepped forward and the automatic doors of the hotel swooshed open and swallowed them.

I wanted to follow them and give them a high five. Way to stick it out. Way to stand together against the worst that life has thrown you. Way to make it this far.

I hope their check-ups went well, that the doctors didn’t find anything too alarming in their blood work. I hope they’ve now returned to their lives.

Perhaps I admire older couples because I hope that John and I will be an older couple someday. I hope that we both live that long. Someday if I have to face a scary appointment, John will be there to hold my hand and give me a high-five when we get through the worst of it together.

Weekly High-Five Report

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This next week is a big one for me. I’m attending the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association Conference this weekend. Last year, I met my editor and agent there and within a little over a month I had a book contract.

At the conference last year, a group of us started talking about fear. We asked ourselves collectively, “What activity or experience would be most frightening to you?” One answered rock climbing, another said sky diving. One even looked at me, shrugged, and said the thought of strapping on skis and schussing down the slopes scared her more than anything else.

“What about you?” My new friend, Lorraine, asked. “Is there anything that scares you?”

I thought about it. I’d tried most of the activities the group had discussed, and quite frankly I didn’t find them too over-the-top scary.

“Improv.” I said. The thought of standing in front of an audience and trying to make them laugh makes my palms sweat.

So when Lorraine told me that she does Improv, and that I should join her, I smiled nervously. I’m a writer. I communicate best through the written word. I don’t, to be honest, even like talking on the telephone. I’d much rather have time to contemplate my words, to massage them into just the right meaning and phrasing, in order to evoke the proper response. And, of course, in order to avoid sticking my foot in my mouth.

So when Lorraine asked if I wanted to co-present a workshop for this conference on using Improv skills in boosting one’s writing career, I’m not sure why I wholeheartedly agreed. But here it is. This weekend I will teach others how to promote themselves and their writing through Improv skills. The workshop is aptly titled, “Self-promotion for the Introvert”.

You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with the weekly high-five report? I’m getting to that. You see, I’m crossing two things off my “scary-list” this week and that’s pretty high-fiveable, in my book. I’m confronting my fears of Improv and I’m talking about self-promotion. It’s almost a dirty word around our house, so just invoking the idea of promoting one’s self is pretty scary. But it’s a necessary evil in modern publishing.

I have a blog and a Facebook fanpage, an Amazon author page as well as a twitter feed and LinkedIn account. Oh, and I just got on Google+ just in case that becomes the next big thing. But what I thought at first was just murky self-promotion–a necessary evil in a world with low-budget book marketing campaigns–has turned into something else entirely. I’ve stepped into the Community (with a capital C) that bloggers always talk about. And funny thing is, I’m liking it. I’ve met people here and felt the support of friends and cohorts. It feels like one big high-five.

So with that in mind, this weekly high-five report is about conquering fear. High-five to me for crossing a few things off my “scary-list”.

Below, is a time-lapse video of some beautiful Patagonia scenery. For whatever reason, time-lapse videos are the new black. Everyone’s doing them. But this one is especially lovely. And the music isn’t bad either. So here’s some visual high-fiveability:

Patagonia Time Lapse Video from Adam Colton on Vimeo.

What about you? Have you crossed anything off your “scary-list” lately?

Reach Out and High-Five Someone

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High-fives aren’t just for frat boys anymore. Anyone can do it. Whenever you accomplish something unexpected, something glorious, a single moment of celebratory awesomeness–you hook a 30 lb. salmon, you lay down 30 perfect tracks through 2 feet of powder, you drop into the pocket on a glassy wave, you bite into a crispy-perfect grilled cheese sandwich–these moments are all high-fiveable.

Kids learn to high-five at a young age. And well they should. Learning to stoke the fire of appreciation for life’s brief moments of glory is a skill we should all learn early and practice throughout life. Also, high-fiving is contagious. Like a sneeze, the power of high-fiving is subtle and yet powerful. It makes us feel good.

There are very few rules to high-fiving. The only one I can think of is this: don’t leave a fellow high-fiver hanging. No matter the reason, even if the hanger is a tool, it is simply bad etiquette and bad high-five karma to leave someone hanging. Anyone. You never know. You might be out there, wanting to celebrate your triumphant balance across the slackline or your first time up on a surfboard, and someone could leave you hanging. I’m telling you from experience, it doesn’t feel good. It stinks. Any time you see someone with that goofy look on her face, her palm held up in the gimme a high-five pose, do her a favor. Even if you don’t think her feat was all that awesome, give her some skin. It’s the kind thing to do.

In preparation for this post, I kept track of all the high-fives I hit lately. Here are a few: I high-fived a fellow ski patroller after agreeing that skiing on 4th of July weekend was a new kind of awesome, I shared a high-five with nine-year-old Sasha, my teammate for the fourth of July dinghy race (even though we came in dead last), I high-fived my five-year-old niece, Alicia, just because (hint: kids under 6 don’t need a reason to high-five, just an invitation).

Every time I hit a five, I felt better, lighter. High-fiving is a way of saying you think this is awesome and so do I. Here’s the thing: high-fiving makes it awesome. By reminding ourselves of our small triumphs we actually elongate them, stretch them out a few more moments. So don’t be afraid. Reach out and high-five someone.

Now it’s your turn: Keep track of your high-fives this week. My unscientific study showed more high-fives occur between 5pm Friday and 10pm Sunday than any other time of the week. However, if you live with young children, you’re in luck. They high-five every day of the week, and like I said, never need a reason. Think about it. When was the last time a 4 year-old didn’t give you a high-five when you asked for one? So keep track of your high-fives and report back here. How many can you get?

If you haven’t checked out their website, the High Fives Foundation, you should. They offer fundraising and awareness to snow-sports athletes that have suffered life-altering injuries. If that isn’t high-fiveable, I don’t know what is.