In the last 5 years, I think so many of us developed coping techniques that we never imagined needing. This country has recessed, depressed and floundered. Many of us knew a version of poverty that we had never visited before. Every camp I know has been affected. So much has been lost.

As we put the pieces back and salvage what to take, an entirely new kind of inventory is taking place in many of us. Our needs have changed. It became a game not of existing but surviving. The house was on the line. The job security went away. And Grandma died! We all seemed to be going through hell at once or that's what it felt like up here. It was tragedy layered on tragedy.

Finally, the storm has subsided. This is the aftermath. It is time to slow down and get our strength back. For me, the next phase is healing and growth. Letting go of my home, my little sister, my job and my strength has had me on my knees in weakness which led to prayer. That led to peace. That led me here.

To stay sane in a prison camp during World War II, my grandfather practiced his pitch. He had been drafted to play professional baseball with the Buffalo Bisons when he came home to Medina, Ohio to find a draft notice.

He figured he would resume playing when he returned to the states. Being starved by the Nazis was not in his plan. He died with residual effects of malnutrition at 70 years old.

To keep from awakening the other prisoners, Grampa threw invisible baseballs in slow motion to keep his "pitch" alive. He said dreaming of the future was how he stayed sane.

For now, SD above 4000 feet


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