Friday, May 31, 2024

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

 Imagine this:

It is the first day of January in 1916, and you are trapped on an island of ice in Antarctica.   It is cold and you are hungry.  Returning from a trip across the ice, you are on skis and are almost back to camp....

Suddenly, and without warning, a giant head pops up from the ice! You run as fast as you can and shout for help! The animal - a sea leopard- springs out of the water and comes straight after you! It almost reaches you when suddenly, it goes underwater again, in the slushy part of the ice. You have almost made it to the side of the ice floe when the sea leopard's head comes right up in front of you!  The animal has tracked your shadow across the ice. One of your mates has heard your screams and has a rifle.  The animal tries to bite HIM but he gets a shot off and kills the creature. When they bring the carcass of the sea leopard into camp, it measures 12 feet long and they estimate it to be about 1,100 pounds.  They give the jawbone to you as a souvenir, it is nearly 9 inches across.


The above story is a true one and it is one of the accounts in the extraordinary book : "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing.  Perhaps you have read many books about Ernest Shackleton or maybe you don't know one thing about him. Either way, you should read this book! Alfred Lansing's book was published in 1959 and he had been able to interview many of those who had been on this expedition and to also study their journals. (What wonderful writers they all were, and so very good to include so many of their own words in this book!)


  Led by Sir Ernest Shackelton, the polar expedition had set sail on August 1914 for Antarctica on the Endurance.  It became trapped in ice and finally sank on Nov. 21, 1915. You will be filled with admiration for Ernest Shackleton, I promise that you will! Here's the thing: you will like ALL these men on this trip, you will! It is a truly wonderful story of survival and of the power of being positive.  I don't think I am giving anything away by telling you that ALL SURVIVED! Did you know that many major corporations now have classes that follow the leadership techniques of Sir Ernest Shackleton? It's true! 

My friends, I have read a great many books of non-fiction in my life. THIS book might possibly be one of the best.  This should be an example of how to write, not just non fiction but how to write, period.

As I started to write this post, I recalled how much I loved giving book reports in school and how much my classmates enjoyed them. I always had to start my report in front of the class with a true "hook" for the guys who never read books unless they had to do so.   That is what made me think of opening with this account of the sea leopard! I hope you will understand my line of thought.

Of course, I could tell you a lot more about this book and what happened on this expedition to Antarctica, but I want you to read the book!

ENDURANCE: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing.



On the cover of this book, that is an actual photo of the ship stuck in the ice!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

C's Caverns Concert Critique!

 Last week, our son and daughter-in-law went to a concert. Not just any concert, it was in a cavern! Now, I was just a WEE bit worried about it since there was severe weather predicted for that area, including a tornado watch. (They live in Chattanooga, Tennessee and The Caverns are in Pelham, Tennessee.) The cave itself is perfectly safe. You are inside a cave! It was the journey back that had me worried.

 Even though it rained on them, the worst of the storm came after they were safely home. Thank Goodness!  (I once asked my Daddy when did parents stop worrying about their kids. His reply? "Never!").

They had gone to see a British band called "Slowdive". Christopher has written about it on the Audio Phix site! Now, this type of music is called "Shoegaze" and even though I can't say that it is my cup of tea, C. wrote about it in such a way that I....well, it just blows me away, truly it does! Please read it if you can!  I know you all think I am just a proud Mama, and of course, I am but I also really appreciate a piece of writing that shows true passion!   You may read it just here! 

He also tells you about the venue itself, which sounds so interesting! Richard and I haven't been there yet but hope to see it one day with Christopher and Sarah!

If you happen to look at this post and the link no longer works, if you type in Audio Phix and Slowdive into a search engine, you should find it! 


So, how are you all doing these days? Richard and I have been very busy, but we still try to get out on our walks! I was so pleased to find this blue-eyed grass beside a trail! That dear little blue flower pleases me no end! It really isn't a grass, but a tiny iris! Isn't that something? It is a native and if I had my way, it would be everywhere! 

The bright yellow flowers below are in a pot on our porch! We think we got them from the lady on Main Street in Conyers last Spring. I say "we think" because, honestly, we don't remember! However, when we walked past that same house recently, we saw these flowers blooming in her yard. We believe that it was a bonus plant for us when we bought the swamp sunflower from her!  These yellow flowers are evening primroses. We also see evening primroses at Panola Mountain, they are just a different variety.  I love them both!

 From Panola Mountain, you can see Stone Mountain on the horizon! It looks like we are in the mountains here, but I assure you we are not! This is Metro Atlanta and there is a busy, busy Interstate Highway between where we are here and Stone Mountain! AND tons of airplanes going overhead from THE busiest airport in the world. (Not kidding!)  Never mind, I only show you beauty on my blog! LOL!

Even though Richard and I don't get out much, I do love looking at places that others are able to visit! My friend in Germany has been visiting the Black Forest and you really must look at her posts! Oh my, how much I would love those hikes! OH! And where they stayed, in that comfy room! I could just sink into those lovely chairs! You may see them just here.

(I said "them", that links to just one, but look also at the ones before that one too, if that makes sense!)

Goodness me, I am advising you to link on some things here, but I promise you, it will be worth it! You will read about a well enjoyed concert in The Caverns in Tennessee and also, go on a hike in the Black Forest of Germany! 

You're welcome!