Thursday, December 20, 2007

Turkiye Ozluyorum

I miss Turkey. It has been a year since we have taken vacation and it has been amazingly refreshing to be away from the cell, internet and language issues…and yet, we miss our Istanbullu family and neighbors.
We have talked with them several times via sat-phone this last week and yesterday a group of neighbors got together to chat with the phone being passed from one to another until we got to touch base with everyone. It is nice to know that while vacation and getaways are important…the really is that there is no place like home.
Here are some windows into our week in Wales. Our days have been spent wandering the Welsh highlands and valleys, reading in our cottage and eating our way thru (I’m sure) several schools of the Irish Sea’s cod population. I am upsizing in the physical…and decompressing the cerebral.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Men in Skirts at Christmas

Family history comes with obligations...with the blood of Queen Mary and James I coursing through our veins we figured it was time for Stanley and I to have our Kilts freshened up and keep the family happy. While some of you might smirk at this ancient tradition and its "breezy" takes guts for a guy to wear a skirt and pretend he isn't.
The Stuff of Guts and Breezes

Tomorrow we will be on our way to the UK for our ancestral alterations and the holidays. This is our (now) traditional trip to this little village. We are looking forward to the solitude and the lack of cell phones, Internet and doorbells. Staying in the same fisherman's cottage for the 3rd year in a row the guide book describes our destination as "suicidally desolate" in winter. Just what we are hoping for.
We will update when we can and will be back online in early January. For now, from our family to yours....We Wish You A Merry Christmas from this side of the world to your side.

Steward Red Tartan

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Layers of History

Road Cut Geology

A long time ago I studied Geology at SDSU, for a time, I even thought that it could become my life's work. My professor was an older woman named Ann Terry and she had the ability to take a lump of rock and make it come alive, she will always remain in my memory as a teacher who opened my eyes and awareness to a whole new world. She instilled in me a passion and love for Geologic Science. I stayed with it just long enough to learn what I wanted before moving off to another "passion of the moment". Still...Professor Terry's love for how the earth has been shaped, eroded, transported, deposited and reformed over the course of time left a lasting impact on me and I find myself watching and analyzing the geographical landscape wherever we wander.
So far I have been able to refrain from passing on to you my under-educated (but nonetheless amazingly insightful) analysis of the world's geological features as we have traveled...until now.
Some months back we were skirting along Turkey's Black Sea coast when we came across this incredible road-cut and geologic feature.
Black Sea Strata

Limestone and Conglomerate

If you realize that all these "layers" had to be laid down flat in the ocean, as in a river or series of rivers moving a certain type of sand, rock or sediment over a period of time out to sea and depositing them in fairly uniform thickness..these pictures show an amazing history of upheaval and deposit repeated over and over again until tectonic, volcanic or some over catastrophic event raised these layers from the bottom of the sea to form the tops of the mountains.
The egg-heads could explain this more succinctly than I have...but to stand just a few days later in the foothills of Mount Ararat where history tells us a tremendous flood changed the landscape of the world and saved a generation or two of folks to continue our species, made me realize once again how fortunate we have been to Live, Travel and Wander of the Far Side of the World and stand in a place where history was made.

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World