"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Tuesday, July 16, 2013



How else to describe my dear friend and former co-news hound, Amy, who -- just days before turning 52, and with a serious heart condition -- hiked up to and reached the peak at Skamtilden, a mountain outside of Tromso far north of the Arctic Circle in Norway!

Yes, Amy and her husband, Paul, who live in Colorado, made the 14-mile hike that took from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and included a 3,000-foot elevation increase from start to peak.

"I never thought I'd hike a big mountain again," Amy noted in her Facebook status update late last night. "But like the docs at Mayo said, 'Hike any mountain you want; just go slowly and don't let your face turn red.'"

Amy also noted that their guide let her set the pace for the rigorous climb, and when they returned the guide said the and Paul had finished an hour earlier than most of her hikers!


I am, and always have been, in total, unequivocal awe of Amy's never-ending energy and spirit in all things she accomplishes!  And especially this hike! I am so happy for her!

Stark truth be told, however, this was not the Facebook status I really wanted to see at 6 a.m. on a Tuesday when I -- only four years older than Amy and, to the best of my knowledge, with no serious heart issue -- was having a hard time mustering the most minuscule bit of energy to roll out of bed and trudge 14 steps to the coffee pot in a flimsy effort to get my day going.

Though sincerely ecstatic for Amy, I was -- and I am ashamed to admit it --  feeling equal parts envy (over her youthful spontaneity and daring), depression (over my lack of physical and athletic prowess throughout my entire life), and my usual morning sloth (but I don't wanna schlepp groceries todayyyyy...).

Groaning, I pulled myself up, donned my bifocals, and leaned on my non-bursitis-prone shoulder.

"Honey, you will never believe what Amy did," I whined to my husband as he removed his sleep apnea mask. "She and her husband hiked 14 miles to the peak of a mountain north of the Arctic Circle in Norway and back...and they don't even look tired. Not a hair outta place. My gawd, we are such slugs..."

"That is not entirely true," John mumbled, patting his hand around the nightstand in a feeble attempt to locate his bifocals and hearing aid. "We once upon a time, if you recall, hiked the Point Ann Trail at Pikes Peak in  McGregor (Iowa). Pikes Peak is one of Iowa's highest elevations, my love. Do you remember that?"

I glared at him.

Do I remember that? How could I forget? It was our third anniversary.

What was supposed to be a five-mile romantic jaunt through a beautiful woods to a breathtaking scenic overview turned out to be a muggy, pain-inducing 10-mile round trip march.

And the scenic overview?

Point Ann, as it turned out, was nothing but a leaning telephone pole, to which we clung as we peered down through a tangle of Mare's Tail and wild marijuana to witness a cloud of dust rising from an old granary that was dumping corn into a barge docked on the mighty and muddy Mississippi River.

By the time we returned -- dizzy and delirious, knees throbbing, throats parched -- we had no choice but to spend our anniversary night sacked out on the bed at the illustrious no-tell Village Motel, knees packed in ice, sipping water and weakly nibbling on cheese and crackers.

Our anniversary wasn't a total fiasco, however...the Village Motel was equipped with air-conditioning and (their wording) color cable. Yay!

"Oh, and honey, did I tell you about my other former-reporter friend, Jeff?" I called out to my husband as he ambled from the bedroom to the coffee pot in the kitchen. "Get his: He is only a few years older than me, and I saw on Facebook the other day where he and his daughter repelled down the freaking Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis!"

John contemplatively sipped his coffee.

"Well, I once lowered myself through our basement window and then pulled myself up the basement steps to the kitchen so that I could retrieve our keys we had locked in the house," he offered.

And that's when I went back to bed.