Friday, January 07, 2011

Vowing I am going to do more frequent shorter posts. Can't believe another semester has begun. Classes begin today. Where did 2010 go? I hope 2011 is better health wise - I am optimistic it will be.

Sent in the review to VOYA for Jennifer Pharr Davis' Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail - a memoir/trail guide about her trek up the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine when she was 21. Not one I would have self selected but I am glad I read it. That is one of the joys of reviewing - you experience books you would not have chosen on your own.

I loved the spiritual snippets in the book but my days of camping and hiking are long over so the trail descriptions weren't quite so enjoyable. We did a lot of tent camping in, as well as to and from, Alaska. Most summers we drove home to visit family in Upper Michigan. Even a grizzly tearing a small backpacking tent open above my face with Mic next to me as an infant didn't stop us from camping with the kids, but we moved to a larger tent and then to a truck camper but the bears in Alaska are known to tear the backs off campers if they smell something they want to eat so it really wasn't so much about what you slept in as how you cleaned up after you cook.

Davis didn't like to cook with the small backpack stove so she ate packaged food during her nights on the trail. We had the luxury of larger camp stoves but still ate a lot of granola bars! Becoming Odyssa would be a great graduation present for a college graduate who wants to experience the Peace Corp, hike the world, or go on some other type of "quest" before settling down into a job or going on to graduate school. Even though it is a female perspective, I'd have given this to Mic to read as I think much of his trip to and hike through New Zealand was to do just that - find himself. He'd graduated from college at 20 and wanted to travel a bit before starting graduate school. He was an old soul and very insightful, even when he was a little one. His early observations often amazed me as he seemed to know and feel so much for one so young. Mic was a joy as a son, as a child, a teen, and young man and I feel blessed to have loved him for the 20 years he had on earth. He may have passed from this world, but I will always be his mother. I remind myself daily that he still lives in my heart and always will.