Tag Archives: mountains

15 Minutes at a Time


Sunrise on Powder Bowl

Last week at the Blink Party, a man asked me a question at the end of my presentation. He wanted to know if now that my husband is well and we are back to our life at Crystal, do we still live in 15 minute increments.

A fine question.

Since my 15-minute strategy helped me get through a difficult ordeal, the real question is whether the same outlook can offer value when life doesn’t hang in the balance. And I think it can.

Living just 15 minutes at a time isn’t simply a method for getting through a hard time by breaking time down into smaller increments. It also helps you savor the good stuff. Even when life is full of what’s supposed to be the easy part, it can still be hard to slow down. The good stuff can easily be lost in the busy-ness of the to-do list and the frazzle of everyday life.

Sunset on Mt. Rainier

I believe that the universe gives us experiences in order for us to learn. But if we don’t glean anything from those lessons, we just might have to repeat them. I’ve never been one for remedial learning, and I do not want to go through what John and I did four years ago. Living life in smaller increments helps me remember to cherish what could fall through the cracks.

Besides that, a life in the mountains forces me to slow down and appreciate my surroundings. Whether the wind is lashing against the ridges or the sun is setting Mt. Rainier on fire, the view is too stunning to be ignored.

Perhaps that is why I’m still here, why the city makes me a little crazy after a while. I long for the pristine certainty of the mountains. Or maybe I just can’t stand running errands, and the mountains aren’t a place for that.

So yes, I still live life 15 minutes at a time. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dirtbag Diaries: The Love Letter Film


A husband and wife, Fitz and Becca, follow their dream of traversing the high Sierra, climbing peaks, new and classic, napping on granite and sleeping in flowered meadows. The first week, a phantom cell phone rings in Fitz’s pocket, and he wonders if he can truly leave the city behind. Each day, they strive a little further, add the “okays” up to one triumphant “yes.” Eventually he declares his “mind has never been lighter.” By the end, Becca asks, “Can the mountains really cure a person? Bring two people closer together?”

I think mountains can cure a person. They can bring two people closer, remind them how to open themselves to what is. What do you think? Do the mountains make us better people? More like ourselves? Better husbands and wives? Or do they just provide a momentary respite amidst our otherwise chaotic and concrete-born lives? Check out their website here.

Hello world!


I figured that I might as well get on the blog bandwagon, so here goes.  This blog is dedicated (for now, who knows how these things evolve!) to showcasing my husband’s success over a rare liver disease and the cancer that snaked its way into our lives.  John needed a liver transplant, but the cancer meant that he couldn’t get one.  Except, that is, for patients at Mayo Clinic.  Thanks to the awesome doctors and surgeons at Mayo, he just celebrated his second post-transplant anniversary cancer-free.  We have always been adventurers, spending our lives in the mountains, oceans and sky.  When he got sick, it was the lessons I learned in the world’s remote and treachorous places that helped me get through the darkest moments of the journey, most importantly to calm down and breathe.  My memoir, THE NEXT FIFTEEN MINUTES, takes the reader through the year of his diagnosis, where I searched for salvation in the oddest places.  See the link to the first few chapters of the memoir, which is awaiting publication.  Also, leave comments and let me know how you have learned to cope with life’s turning points, both large and small.