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Sharry Miller
Valdez, Alaska
I'm a creative soul living life in Alaska.
Interests: I love trying new things and have played with fiber arts, quilting, fused glass, stained glass, lampworking, and a variety of other art forms. I'm also a budding adult athlete (after a childhood of inactivity) and indulge in bicycling, triathlon, hiking, skiing, and occaisonal attempts at running. I also enjoy reading nearly anything and writing about my experiences (hence this blog).
Recent Activity
This past few days I spent my time at the Westgate casino in Las Vegas, normally never an inspiring proposition, but this week I was inspired. I was attending the biennial Nature Photography Summit of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). About 300 student, amateur, and professional photographers had gathered to socialize, learn, share, buy gear, and be inspired. I was told that this was one of the smallest summits in years, and, as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2019 at Sharry Miller
Often when I start to focus on something, that something begins to appear in front of me more often, surprising me with synchronicities. Of course, those things were there to begin with, they just slipped by me unnoticed. I worried a bit when I decided my focus word for the year was going to be fear that I might be conjuring things I didn't want to conjure. Is my life going to become more frightening... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2019 at Sharry Miller
Choosing a word to define the upcoming year has become a popular New Year's activity over the past decade. Typically, these words are intended to focus the individual's attention on manifesting something they want to foster in their life: gratitude, creativity, love, or other positive attributes. To jump on the bandwagon, I, too, decided to choose a word to focus on in 2019: fear. According to Merriam-Webster's online site, the noun fear is defined as... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2019 at Sharry Miller
6It’s my birthday, the last healthy one of my life. Or so The Blue Zones website tells me. Blue Zones, if you’ve been missing out as I have for the past few years, are discrete populations that are known for unusual longevity, and especially for having an unusual number of centenarians. Dan Buettner is the author of a book by the same name and giver of TED Talks, and he led teams of scientists to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2018 at Sharry Miller
It was like a minor miracle: the first time we applied for a permit to drive our own vehicle into Denali National Park, we got one. I have a friend who's been applying for 20 years and never gotten one. Normally, the only way to get back into the park is on one of the official National Park Service tour buses, but then you're subject to where they stop and for how long. In their... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2018 at Sharry Miller
Okay, I wasn't really lost. I just didn't know how to get to where I wanted to be. I should know better. It was the first hike of spring. Let me start at the beginning. Cold nights followed by warm, generally sunny days have given me the idea that spring has finally deigned to make an appearance in Valdez. I've put almost 100 miles on my bike in the past week - a truly wonderful... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2018 at Sharry Miller
In retrospect, it was fun, and that is decidedly the definition of Type 2 fun. Are you familiar with the three types of fun? I'm not sure who came up with these designations, but someone determined that: Type 1 activities are fun while you're doing them. Think riding go-cart riding, skating across a smooth lake - all those things that make you say, "Whee!" Type 2 activities maybe aren't so much fun while you're doing... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2018 at Sharry Miller
I'm reading Montaigne in Barn Boots by Michael Perry. Near the end of the book, the 51-year-old author writes, "It seems somewhere around my current life stage, people make one of two moves: Some stiffen, dig in their heels, and attempt to block the future; others reinvigorate life by blending it with the spirit of youth." Like Perry, I am working to achieve the latter. I consider myself a reasonably active person, and I enjoy... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2018 at Sharry Miller
One of these days I'll learn that if I say, "It'll be fun to try to get to...", it really means that I'll be dead tired after a failed attempt to get wherever it was. Today was one of those days. After a failed attempt at a winter hike up Hogsback a couple of weeks ago (I needed to go a few miles farther and about 2000 feet higher than I did), I decided it... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2018 at Sharry Miller
I was totally shocked when he said he was in there with me. I was sure he’d be at the other end shaking his head at me.
Toggle Commented Jan 28, 2018 on Ice Tunnel Adventure at Sharry Miller
"Yeah...when's the last time you did anything outside of your comfort zone?" I had to actively keep my mouth from falling open when I heard my daughter's sarcastic voice say this to me. Me. Have I failed to live my philosophy of "if it makes me nervous I should probably do it"? I don't think so, but perhaps. Of course, she could just have been a teenager trying to show off in front of her... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2018 at Sharry Miller
I am counting today as my first day of "gainful unemployment." I made up that phrase because I'm too young to retire, I am no longer working a regular job, and I have no intention of sitting around doing nothing of utility, whether to me or others. So, I am not retired, I am gainfully unemployed. Technically, my last day of work was December 19, 2017, but since we immediately went to Hawaii for Rowan's... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2018 at Sharry Miller
After two years of prevaricating and just a week of post-ordering waiting, the Isvidda ice skates I ordered for each of us finally came in yesterday. This afternoon, finally done with my work, I asked Thane if he wanted to go for a walk. He suggested that we go skating instead. I knew I married him for his brains! (sometimes) The skates are simply blades with bindings into which ski boots clip. This system means... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at Sharry Miller
On August 20, after not nearly enough training, I completed my first marathon. Now, let's be clear: I did not run this marathon. I walked the entire distance. 26.2 miles in 7:02. A very brisk walk for a very long time. I hurt everywhere. My quads, my feet, my calves, my flabby underarms where my skin chafed against the straps of my Camelback water bladder pack. Everywhere. One of the first things I said when... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2017 at Sharry Miller
How many syllables does a Haiku have? I couldn’t remember while I was kayaking on Robe Lake this afternoon, but I was inspired to compose one or two or three to the wonders of autumn. Ah, yes, 17: 5, 7, 5 per line. Kayak rests in reeds. Paper rustles all around. Dragonflies dancing. There were many dragonflies out today, rustling like paper among the reeds and probing the water with their abdomens. I’ve been trying... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2017 at Sharry Miller
Mom at the Trädgårds Föreningen rose garden in Gothenburg, Sweden. Not surprising for a Wisconsin girl, my Mom's family on both sides hails from Sweden. All of her grandparents were immigrants to the U.S. with last names like Olson and Johnson. As a result, traveling to Sweden has been a life-long dream of Mom's. Now that she's 73, and knowing she'd never go on her own, I decided it was time to fulfill that dream... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2017 at Sharry Miller
As our group of 11 women walked down the Wagon Trail in Valdez, someone commented on the number of bear scat piles we'd seen. I hadn't thought it was that many, six or so in two miles, but I suppose if you're not used to them, that's a lot. Another asked if we should be worried. I replied, "None of them were steaming, were they?" Later that evening, at the final dinner for this Adventures... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at Sharry Miller
When I was 13, I got a beautiful book that still inspires me, even though I haven't seen it in years. It was coffee table sized and replete with gorgeous photos. The chapters alternated technical information about camping and backpacking with essays about specific hiking areas across the U.S. I could spend hours reading, planning, and dreaming. Alas, I never brought those dreams to fruition. I have always loved the idea of backpacking, have always... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2017 at Sharry Miller
As the mother of a teenage daughter, I often find myself not frustrated with outbursts of teen angst, but rather jealous of her. She’s a wonderful young woman with so much potential that will carry her wherever she wants to go in life. As I start the second half of my life, I’m envious of her beginnings. Just a little. I’d never want to be 15 again, trust me. Recently I’ve been jealous for another... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2016 at Sharry Miller
In my last post I mentioned that I wasn't in as much pain as I was after my last surgery. That truth was really brought home today. After hours of tedium slaving away one-handed on my computer, I couldn't take it any longer. Bluebird skies, 60 degrees - does fall get any better? I needed to get outside. I've been on a couple of 2-mile walks with Christina this week, but they were slow and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2016 at Sharry Miller
Tomorrow it will be exactly one week since I had rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder and just over four years since I had my left shoulder done. I have high hopes for as great a success this time around. In the meantime, I am now, as I was then, consumed by pain. No, don't feel too sorry for me. I don't mean that I am always in pain, but rather that it is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2016 at Sharry Miller
Today was predicted to be one of the first nice days in three weeks or more, but it wouldn't have mattered. I was determined to go hiking somewhere...anywhere. I had three potential destinations picked out, each one a bit further north. I was prepared to go beyond the downpour. Under the circumstances, I was happy to take the closest of the three options: climbing Big Odyssey, a mountain in Thompson Pass. I invited Tim to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2016 at Sharry Miller
Wow, it has been forever and a day since I wrote anything here. I am sorry. Mostly for myself. I always took such pleasure in sharing a bit of my life here, and I've missed doing so this summer. And what a wonderful summer it's been. I've had many great little adventures while getting out and about in Valdez. As usual, I had grand plans for traveling around south-central Alaska to go backpacking and biking,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2016 at Sharry Miller
I traveled with Adventures in Good Company. They only do trips for women. This spring I traveled to Nicaragua with them. They're a great company.
Watermelon weaving monkeys? Huh, what? just amused me to leave out the commas. While Wednesday, March 16, did indeed bring us watermelons, weaving, and monkeys, they were totally unrelated. Before I get to any of those things, however, I have to share the delight of early morning at Laguna de Apoyo, our home for just one lone night. Someday, I'm going to live in a place where I can get up and go for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2016 at Sharry Miller