September 23, 2008

Getting back up to speed

I spent the weekend in Jabez, Kentucky, at the Kentucky 4-H Leadership Center. Talk about a small town: my GPS, purchased specifically for this sort of thing, had never heard of Jabez. It was the ideal location, though, for the Becoming an Outdoors Women event sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. As always, the weekend was carefully programmed and well-organized. My favorite class was Boating Safety and Security. After half an hour or so of on-ground instruction, we (my two classmates, the instructor, and I) headed for Cumberland Lake, where each of us got to spend time driving the boat. It was a sunshiny morning and beautiful out on the clear water. My other two classes were tree identification and reading maps and compass -- but you're never as outside as you are when you're on the water.

This event had the highest attendance of any in years: 120 people, half of whom were tere for the first time. Everybody is concerned about whether there will ever be another gathering. The volunteer co-ordinator, Beth Spivey-Minch, retired after this weekend, and no word has come down from Fish and Wildlife as to what will happen next. If somebody were put in place immediately, it would probably be six months before an event could be scheduled. The earliest we might meet again, then, is spring -- and that's if somebody emerges soon. It's disheartening to think the commissioners are unconcerned about continuing a program that makes the outside world accessible to Kentucky's women.

In any case, I"m back home and trying to get up to speed. Tonight is the third Zombie University class. I've finished reading the textbook for the class, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks. Tonight, we start discussing possible costumes for the play, which takes place in the late 1960s. Darn. I knew I should have kept my fringed leather jacket.

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