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Communing with Nature in West Virginia

As many of you know, Susan at Toddler Planet, is going in for surgery tomorrow to remove lymph nodes under her arm where her breast cancer has recurred.  Instead of talking about Susan’s cancer, we’re going to talk about Susan herself, and her favourite thing–science–as part of Team WhyMommy’s Virtual Science Fair.

Which is easy for her because she is a brilliant astrophysicist.  But I am a lowly MFA who still insists that Pluto is a planet because the new categorization breaks up my mnemonic device (“My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine” doesn’t quite work and sounds as if my very educated mother has whipped out a sexy Rob Marshall film).  How was I going to celebrate science in a way that honoured Susan instead of embarrassed her with my complete planetary ignorance?

Josh gave me a special day (do you do that in your family?  Declare a certain day your special day where you get to choose everything?) to celebrate the book (thank you, by the way.  More news is coming soon, I promise.  I’m just waiting for some things to be set).  So I picked going to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  My intention was to go out tonight and look at the stars, but I realized that I could combine hiking in Harpers Ferry with a nature talk.  And turtles and rapids, while not up in the sky, are certainly part of science.

We spent the day talking about why rapids occur in the river, and why water levels are higher in spring than at the end of summer, and facts about bees (did you know that they fly close to the ground when they are about to die?).  And that’s how we celebrated Susan and sent out love to her and a lot of hope that she recovers quickly from surgery, that the cancer never comes back, and that she can go back to inspiring us to be women who embrace science rather than run screaming from it for many many many years to come (many more years of inspiring us; not many years of us running screaming).

And I think my day is best captured in pictures since I couldn’t bring all of you with me.  So a slice of West Virginia…


1 TasIVFer { 04.06.10 at 10:27 pm }

Love the turtles! I spend much of the long weekend bushwalking with my husband and dog; just great!

2 Flying Monkeys { 04.06.10 at 10:47 pm }

What a wonderful way to honor her. I love turtles too and I also hope her surgery goes well and her cancer can be gone forever. I’m going over to take a peek at the links now.

3 Kristin { 04.06.10 at 11:11 pm }

What a truly fabulous way to honor her. The pictures are gorgeous. Your day sounds amazing. And, I hope and pray Susan recovers completely.

4 Lavender Luz { 04.06.10 at 11:52 pm }

I’m holding space for Susan.

And, I probably don’t need to say how much I enjoy seeing these photos. I hear John Denver now.

5 Battynurse { 04.07.10 at 12:04 am }

Sending healing thoughts to Susan.
Great pictures too.

6 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 04.07.10 at 6:02 am }

I realize this isn’t the point, but ChickieNob’s hair looks beautiful.

You could change the Nine in your mnemonic to a noun.
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles.
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos.
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Napoleons.

7 a { 04.07.10 at 9:53 am }

Excellent celebration of science. Great pictures too.

8 magpie { 04.07.10 at 12:51 pm }

Beautiful photos, lovely post for Susan, and I’m totally with you on Pluto.

9 HereWeGoAJen { 04.07.10 at 12:55 pm }

Lovely post and pictures.

How about My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos? Or something else Nice?

10 JessicaAPISS { 04.07.10 at 1:47 pm }

Great photos, beautiful words for a great cause and a beautiful friend.

11 Kate (Bee In The Bonnet) { 04.07.10 at 3:21 pm }

I like the idea of giving each other special days. And your special day seemed just lovely. Great photos, and it looks like it was a gorgeous day to get out and hike. And that hike seems like the perfect way to honor a scientist. I will be sending healing thoughts out into the world for Susan.

12 Beyond the Garden { 04.07.10 at 5:02 pm }

I spent my honeymoon in Harpers Ferry. I loved the pictures and wish Susan the best. Also, rapids would just be silly in the yard.

13 Stimey { 04.07.10 at 8:44 pm }

Wonderful! I think turtles make all science better. I kind of regularly make a fool of myself around Susan because I of my scientific (non)prowess. And, yes. Poor Pluto. I still count him too.

Thanks so much for taking part in the science fair!

14 Bea { 04.08.10 at 7:37 am }

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Up Napalm.
My Very Educated Mother Juiced Seven Ugly Nectarines.
My Very Educated Mother Jaywalked Sassily Up Ninth.
My Very Educated Mother Just Sang Unother Note. (Ahem.)

I’m not sure you’ll be forgetting your planets in a hurry after these comments…

Great way to honour Susan. I hope everything goes well.


15 Calliope { 04.08.10 at 9:50 pm }

beautiful photos. Sunbathing turtles always make me smile.

16 Susan @WhyMommy { 04.08.10 at 10:28 pm }

Harper’s Ferry in the springtime (or Fall) is one of my absolute favorite places to go, just to be in nature, to listen to it, to hear it whooshing by, just to feel a part of it. Beautiful post — and I’m so glad you got to go celebrate your new upcoming book! (HURRAH!)

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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