Tag Archives: relationships

The Geocaching Community for #WATWB

I started this blog with a Geocaching theme, although over the three-and-a-half years of its existence, it has strayed from those original roots. Geocaching, or the “global treasure hunt,” as it’s sometimes called, can be a metaphor for many things. For things lost and found. For the quest and the hunt. For “finding yourself.”

For this Blogfest post, I want to focus on the geocaching community, which is a group of some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. There are over 3 million geocaches hidden worldwide and an estimated 451,316 active geocachers in the United States in 2017. When we moved to California, geocaching was a great way for us to meet new friends.

My husband finds more caches than I do. To do so, he likes to go to some out of the way places, and this past spring, he and one of his friends managed to get their car stuck in the Yuma desert. A quick post to a Facebook group and local geocachers who were on the scene in Yuma came to the rescue.


They weren’t in serious danger, mostly inconvenience. But this story, Canadian geocachers rescue stranded camper in remote woods, is a great example of what the community can do in more dire circumstances. Without these geocachers out looking for their First to Find, Robert would have died.

Geocaching events are a rare place in which folks of different ethnicities, income levels, gender orientations, and political persuasions come together and share an activity and friendship (at least this is true in the United States; worldwide Geocaching is still heavily concentrated in wealthier industrialized countries). Geocachers also organize regular CITO (cache-in, trash-out) events to help clean up local parks and waterways.

The featured photo for this post is a picture from a virtual geocaching souvenir called the “World Turtle.” In order to earn this souvenir, I had to find 100 caches between June 27 and July 25th. I finished just in time, on the last day, by attending a lunchtime geocaching event. There were 13 souvenirs to earn in total, called “Hidden Creatures,” most of which were easier and required finding fewer caches than the turtle. I found most of them while I was on my trip to Europe. (I like the Hippocamp especially because, as a neuroscientist, I am reminded of the hippocampus!)

Hidden Creatures Geocaching Souvenirs, and the number of found caches required to earn them

The World Turtle was the most difficult one, requiring 100 finds in the time period. A turtle carrying the world on its back is a creation myth in Hindu, Chinese, and Indigenous Peoples mythologies. Here’s an interview with Roxxy, the artist behind this World Turtle. The geocaching community is truly a worldwide phenomenon, and I think appropriate for a “We Are the World” shout-out.


The We Are the World Blogfest seeks to spread positive news on social media. Co-hosts for this month are:
Peter Nena,
Inderpreet Kaur Uppal,
Shilpa Garg
Roshan Radhakrishnan
Sylvia McGrath
Belinda Witzenhausen


1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.

3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing good newst. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.

5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

We are the World Logo





Book Review: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of WingsThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started this book back in April because my mother recommended it from her book group and I wanted to talk about it with her. Of course by the time I finished it, almost 7 months later, her book group had moved on and she asked me, “what was that book about again?” It took me so long because I started it in the midst of reading several other books and I had to put it aside for a while. This happens to me more than it used to–the long breaks, the stopping and starting again–and I wish it would stop. I feel my attention span contracting, slamming shut like a big oak door that I have to push open again with great effort.

However you finally get there, this book is worth it. Continue reading Book Review: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Bird-Bid

I’ve been thinking a lot about communication within families lately. My kids are still at camp, so I don’t talk to them every day except to send them cat pictures and what I hope are encouraging words via Google Hangouts. This process has provided me with an opportunity to examine how well (or not well) I do on my end of it. Frankly, and a bit uncomfortably, I admit I feel like I’m struggling, and more so as they have grown up and entered their teen years.

Continue reading The Bird-Bid

What Makes You Feel Loved?

Last Tuesday’s question was interesting, so I’m going to keep doing these for a while on Tuesdays. This week’s Impromptu Promptlings question is, “What Makes You Feel Loved?

Gifts are nice. Pictures. I’ve been putting up pictures in lately in preparation for our housewarming on Friday, and in the process I’ve come across a collection of pictures my kids have given me for either my birthday or Mothers’ Day. This collection is a series of pictures of the two of them and they are usually accompanied by some craft item: a construction paper heart, one year it was clay, another it was a frame decorated with sequins. The decorations say “we love you!” That these projects were inspired and aided by our au pairs of the time, doesn’t take away from their ability to make me feel loved.

Another thing that makes me feel loved is when someone makes me a meal, serves it, and cleans up after it without my having to do any of that, or answer any questions.

I do appreciate big or expensive or complicated gifts, and I recognize intellectually that they are evidence of my being loved, but I don’t always feel that way spontaneously when I receive such a gift. I have not always understood why this would be the case, and sometimes felt awkward or guilty about not feeling more appreciative.

I’m starting to get an inkling of a reason why. If a gift is large, or expensive, or complicated (or all 3), it usually means I had to ask for it, even research it myself, and probably at least discuss it with the giver beforehand if not fully participate in the acquisition.

I was engaged once to a man who took me shopping for my engagement ring. I didn’t want to know how much the ring cost, but I found out. I didn’t want to witness the price negotiations, or have to choose the stone or the setting myself. If I was to get a ring at all, I wanted to see it for the first time in a gift box, or on a beach, or in a glass of champagne–somewhere other than in a jewelry store. It wasn’t actually that important to me to get a ring in the first place, which just compounded the awkwardness of my having to shop for it.

And yet, I also believe now that from my then-fiancee’s point of view, taking me shopping for the ring and asking me to pick it out was a very sure and true gesture of love on his part. It is what would have made him feel loved, were he in my position. This can be such a complicated question. While there were certainly other factors, I believe that this shopping trip was one of the reasons the engagement did not ultimately work out.