Been sitting at the dining room table which I have taken over as my 'desk' for a bit working on THE plan for the "Heading to Georgia" or "Another 1000 miles Trek." But before I get too far into that thought I would post my own little 'State of the Calendar' report.
If you read the back of the calendar, I'll wait while you find yours.
(What calendar? The Walking to Maine one. If you didn't get one but meant to, do let me know and we will work out something so you can appreciate January's picture before moving on to February.)
But if you turn it over you will notice it states clearly A) it is a fundraising calendar and B) I am not good at fundraising just for me. 1/2 dollar from each calendar went to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Green Mountain Club and the Barry Kelly Ruth Nichols Hope Scholarship. So from each one sold in 2015, $1.50 went else where. Money has been delivered to the ATC & GMC, I am still in conversation about how to best get funds to the Barry Kelly Ruth Nichols Hope Scholarship.
Hiking through PA I got advice from 'Bag of Tricks' a Trail Angel who believed in giving back. Among other gems was this one that stuck with me. "Give back, however you can after you finish give something back to keep the Trail going." His idea was rather than complaining about a section of the Trail that frustrated you, figure out what you could do to make it better for those you came after you. In one way this explains why sending funds to the ATC as the overarching conservation group makes sense. The mud of southern Vermont and the difficulties with the Trail south of highway 9 explains why I sent money to GMC which cares for the Long Trail. ( Don't worry I included a letter which clearly let them know my frustrations with the mud pit aka Trail.)
The Barry Kelly Ruth Nichols Hope Scholarship, a scholarship awarded each year, to an A.R.H.S. student who's life has been affected by cancer, might be more difficult to explain but you see Ruth was family. She was an amazing musician, music teacher, great mom, and inspiring. The last time I had saw Jonathan and Ruth, they were talking about their plans after retirement, the coming adventures. Her death as well as the deaths of two friends I considered mentors convinced me last year that not everyone gets to go on adventures when the time is right.
Sometimes you pick up the calendar and make it right for you.