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January 20, 2009


Ada (Mom/Grandmom)

I am righteously impressed by my adventuresome son and grandson!

Bob Wientzen

Great to read about ...but not sure I want to do it!


While not completely cut off from humanity, I get the same wilderness feeling when traveling in the western states. This was brought home to me when I returned to the desert southwest after a 7 year absence. As we drove the interstate, and I absorbed the mountain ranges and vast empty plains, I felt I had come home.

While I can live anywhere, there are some places that feed my soul just by existing. My husband and I love to go fishing in such areas. Again, while we are never far from civilization in the areas we frequent, there are moments when the illusion of aloneness, and the grandeur of nature, help me remember my place in the universe and in God's plan.

We cannot always live in our moutaintop moments but we do need them to put life in perspective and to refresh and renew.


A friend, who is disabled as a diabetic, sent me a link to your blog. He is an avid reader, but his disability keeps him from being a doer.
I may be nearly at a cusp of the reading and doing conundrum. I have had to slow down for a time to heal from skin cancer and the effects of sciatica and tennis elbow. Though I have always been an avid reader, my time to read is usually shortened by my work as a guide. Since I am away from home on trips to wild areas, when I get back home there are always a multitude of chores and other family obligations that keep me from reading, though I usually have a number of books sitting around to peruse during bedtime and odd moments. Maybe "talking books" would optimize my reading. The confines of age will eventually necessitate a return to my childhood years, when I put in large portions of time reading, unencumbered with obligations. But for now, though I may have to slow down from time to time, I will revel in the doing; sedentary activities will have to take second place.


Before I was diagnosed, in 1990, with fibromyalgia, I was an active kayaker, runner, backwoods camper. Then I became too ill to walk around the block. Cut to 10 years after diagnosis. I became aware of therapeutic horseback riding. If my two legs couldn't take me to places where cars can't get to, maybe four legs could. Well, I found my sport and my passion. Since then I've taken two wilderness horseback trips in the Colorado Rockies and ridden the back country everywhere I travel. Wanting to be the best rider possible, I quite literally read every book about horseback riding in our very good library. And bought some more books. And subscribe to a dozen horse e-newsletters. I even write two monthly columns for an e-magazine about horses.
Then there's that other delicious bit of reading and doing. When I travel, I always arrange a ride and I read as much as I can about where I'll be riding, the history, the environment and, best, novels set in the area.
This, for me, is the synergy between doing and reading.


My cycles of reading and doing typically center around home. I find a book with wonderful ideas for design, decoration, or storage and then I try out a few of them at home. There's definitely a pattern of feeling the urge to read (absorb) and the urge to purge (act on new knowledge). Sort of like breathing, I guess--in and out.


After living in southern Louisiana for 4 years, I became, let's say frustrated by the apathy of the locals regarding saving the coastline, or what is left of it.
I'm still puzzling over why they are so unconcerned. It seems the conservationist viewpoint books are all written by non-natives. I've come to believe that exploitation by the rich has been the norm for so long there, that they aren't aware that there's any other way. In some cases, if we don't get out there and experience these fast-fading places, we'll only be able to read about them. Books are wonderful, but they are a luxury of time. When we have it, they nourish us, but when we don't, we shouldn't replace doing with reading. You went to experience life. Now you can write about it, so others can read about it. I enjoyed your piece.


Delightful blog! I believe that reading and doing must go hand in hand so we can dream and experience all of life....like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, dawn and dusk, running and walking, pondering and being mindless...and as I have shared with my eight children, life is a combination of nouns and verbs! Don't just be either, be both!!! So, for my husband and I life alone is an adventure but sometimes it is kayaking at Sanibel Island and sometimes it is perusing a bookstore!

As a matter of fact, even though we live in Dublin, Oh, my husband's office is downtown Chicago so one of our favorite pastimes in the Windy City is to go to Starbucks, wander down to Levenger to find a great "find" and cross over to Borders to sit and enjoy a book!

Recently, when we decided to "do" instead of just "read" we ended up in Miami for a long weekend! Sweet time in Coral Gables...found the Starbucks, then the Barnes and Noble...but something was missing! As we enjoyed dinner, I said the only thing that was missing was a Levenger! :) My husband assured me there were only three stores, so he thought, in the United States and teased me to find the closest and he would take me! (Yes, after 25 years there is still love in the air!) And ta dah! I teasingly whipped out my trusty phone, looked up Levenger and found one an hour north of Miami at Boca Raton! :) So off we went on our adventure of Florida, in rental car instead of kayak, to find a Levenger!!! Thank you for providing a means of adding a little "delight" into the lives of those of us that love both books and paper! So far, the younger children are only allowed to "dream" by way of your catalogue but we are doing our best to woo them into being Levenger followers some day! :) Looks like our next adventure, though, will include a kid or two! May you continue to embrace and cherish both experiences of life...especially with your family! You will never reget it!

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