Published in ATTN:
Don’t get me wrong: I love going home for the holidays. I love gorging myself on sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, feeling justified in hunkering down and doing absolutely nothing, and most of all, that feeling of time being on hold—as if everything is simply and beautifully still as it once was. But there are also some things that I don’t love about these family visits: having to decide where to spend them given my parents live on opposite coasts, or when grandma inevitably asks when I’m going to start popping out babies, or when dad reminds me how tough a field journalism can be. (“You could still decide to go to medical school!”)
“Holidays can be a source of misery or joy,” Jane Isay writes in her book, "Walking on Eggshells: Navigating the Delicate Relationship Between Adult Children and Parents." And, Isay explains, the holidays can be especially tense for young adults—because it’s a time of being caught between adulthood and childhood identities.
Isay, who is now at work on her fourth book on family dynamics (called "Unconditional Love: A GPS for Grandparents"), knows just how tricky and complicated those relationships can be. We got the chance to talk with Isay about handling them as a young adult, what happens when 20-somethings go back to their childhood homes for a holiday visit, and tips on how to keep the spirits high and the drama low while you’re there there. Here’s what she had to say.
Published in RootsRated.
If you have ever rock climbed—and even if you haven’t—chances are you’ve heard of Alex Honnold. Sprung into global fame by his free solo (rope-less) ascents of epically difficult routes like the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome and El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico, Honnold, 30, has climbed all over the world, from crumbly desert towers, to big granite walls, to big mountains.
In his new book, Alone on the Wall, co-written with author and climber David Roberts, Honnold recounts the stories behind his big feats—which, he hopes, will show the world that despite his radical audacity and superhuman athleticism he is, in fact, a real person.
Now at the start of his rapid-speed cross-country book tour, which is coming to Seattle onNovember 19 and December 3, RootsRated got the chance to talk with Honnold about writing Alone on the Wall, his biggest climbs, and whether he ever still gets scared while climbing. Here’s what he had to say.
Published in Smithsonian.com
Austria is a country defined by mountains: Well over half of its landscape is shaped by the iconic Alps. A night spent in Innsbruck, the capital city of Tyrol (the state in which Austria’s highest peaks are found), is full of constant reminders of the summits above: crisp mountain air, cool temperatures, the sound of periodic rock fall. Many Austrians spend their weekends and holidays exploring the higher climes. They hike past lush alpine dairy pastures and pristine lakes in the shadow of rocky spires. And at the end of each day, they enjoy a hearty meal, hot shower and night’s rest at a scenic hütte (hut).
There are more than 1,000 hütten scattered through the Eastern Alps, most of which are associated with either the Austrian Alpine Club or German Alpine Club. While a summer hiking in the Austrian Alps might sound like the sort of vacation best suited for serious adventurers, the clubs were founded in 1873 with the mission to make the peaks accessible to all. As Henrich Stenitzer, a prominent club member, wrote in 1912, “The alpine clubs have unlocked the majesty and beauty of the high mountains for the masses, giving countless numbers of people the opportunity, without prohibitively demanding effort…or exorbitant costs, to become acquainted with the Alps.”
Published in Jungles in Paris.
The “Twelve Apostles" of Australia's southern shore push upwards from the surf as though reaching for the heavens. But these dramatic features of the Victoria Coast, some 140 miles southwest of Melbourne, are of course non-living figures, sculpted – and destroyed – by the processes of the sea.
The rock stacks are collectively called the "Twelve Apostles," although there were only nine of them when they got this name. They are made of limestone that is millions of years old, and which was itself formed from petrified dead layers of microscopic marine creatures. In previous geologic eras, these golden towers were part of the terrestrial bluffs behind them. But as the Southern Ocean's Antarctic waves pounded the cliffs over millennia, all but the sturdiest bodies of rock eroded away. The result was these freestanding spires, some of which stand more than 100 feet tall. Other impressive rock structures lie beneath the ocean's surface here. An architectural network of underwater canyons and arches contrasts with the solitary uprightness of the Apostles—and houses abundant fish, crustaceans, and seals.
Though they have endured for millions of years in a marine environment so inhospitable that it is referred to as “Shipwreck Coast," the Apostles are far from invincible. Their number went from nine to eight in 2005, when a fateful wave sent one crumbling into the sea. But these acts of demolition belong to the same process by which future Apostles will be created, as the constant tidal pull causes new pillars to emerge from the shoreline bluffs.