Biiiiiiig Skyyyyyy

Just a mile or so south of yesterday’s skyline pic, I captured this beautiful sky. MooU was originally an agricultural college (I am not fluent with its history) and there are big fields like this one to the south of campus. It was pretty darn cold when I took this pic but Mr. Golden Sun was shinin’ down on us. After a weekend of sun followed by warmer temps and some rain, all that snow we got last week has pretty much disappeared. That is *usually* typical in the SE Lower Great Lake State as we get into late February and March. Not always so in the yooperland…

You do *not* want to know what I did at work today. Let’s just call it untangling gnarly html to try to make it support assistive technology.

Instead I will tell you about this year’s Quiet Water Adventure Symposium Weird Encounter. I have a Weird Encounter most years. This year I went to a presentation and sat down in the front row. There were two empty seats on my right and three or four on my left. These were folding chairs. A man and his wife arrived and he asked if the two seats to my right were taken. I said they were not and they sat down. The man (in the seat next to me) immediately started man-spreading to the point that I had to angle my legs to the left. Um, nooo, I do not want your leg touching mine…

Somebody somewhere behind us asked a question and this caused my man-friend to pivot to look back at the questioner. In the process of doing this, his hand was kind of on my KNEE, which fortunately did not last long.

Then… The host was about to present an award to the presenter. As he was leading up to this, My Guy suddenly asked meeeee, “Are *you* getting the award?” Whaaaaaat? Meeeeeee? Nooooooo. Oh man.

As the presentation began, I was thinking what I should do. I was NOT afraid of this guy. Not at ALL! But I didn’t really want to be sitting that close to him for the next hour. Heck, I don’t even usually like to sit that close to the GG, fer kee-reist. So. Do I shift my butt over one seat to the left? Or do I just endure the boor and his leg. And then. 30 seconds into the presentation, he and his wife… LEFT!!! Whew!!!

You may be wondering what it takes to win this particular award. What it does NOT take is a baggy old day hiker / occasional kayaker who likes a shower in the morning and whine after the hike. What it DOES take is a woman who takes a solo kayak ride down the west coast from Alaska to Mexico, planning and preparing for MONTHS before hand. And make no mistake, she did have some outside support along the way, some of it arranged and some serendipitous.

What does this woman do for her day job? She runs(?) a non-profit org in Chicago that works with inner city youth, getting them out on outdoor adventures as part of an effort to give them some tools to gain confidence and help overcome the obstacles they face in their lives. She dedicated her presentation to three former kids in her program, all of them dead via gunshot. I am in AWE of the woman who won the award.

2 Responses to “Biiiiiiig Skyyyyyy”

  1. Margaret Says:

    That is an impressive award winner; I feel pathetic in comparison. Although I do feel that I’ve made a difference in many people’s lives, I’m currently fairly self-absorbed. I don’t like being in too close physical contact with strangers. It’s uncomfortable and distracting.

  2. Tonya Watkins Says:

    Seems it would have done the dude some good to hear about the award winner and her accomplishments. However, I relate to your relief when he upped and left. Ugh, “man-spreaders.”