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    • #16526
      Bailey Vincent

      I write this post from a new space today: The Beach. I grew up on the beach (lived the first half of my life in South Florida) and am a water-baby through and through… but between the expense of travel, the pandemic, and the many surgeries in the last couple of years, I feel like I have barely seen water.

      (Let’s pretend I don’t live on a lake and see lake water every day, shall we?)

      Water is my happy-element. If I see it out my window, I wake up earlier, breathe better, stay calmer. Perhaps it IS my upbringing, but I will always consider myself a “water person” and a “warmth person”.

      My partner, on the other hand, is a snow and ice sort of guy, and would choose mountains over sand any day of the week. We have lived in the mountains together and I love it too, but I can only travel so far north before my landlock anxiety sets in.

      Question: What element do you connect with most? Water, fire, air, earth?

      If you could choose between snow and mountains, or sand and sun, which would you choose?

      PS: I feel like most CFers love salty air and sun (perhaps because we were once recommended it for treatment), so I won’t be surprised if we all choose that option!

    • #16533
      Timothy Bransford

      Snow and mountains, or sand and sun… Fact is, I must have it all.

      I spent my childhood on a small island in SE Alaska on the edge of The Misty Fjords. Pacific Ocean on one side, mountains rising in the back yard. Salmon, eagle, bear, raven, deer, ptarmigan, ancient cedars, towering sitka spruce, moss, muskeg…this was my playground. However, I wanted to see the outside world so in 1976 I left my home and enrolled at university in Seattle.

      After university, I worked as a U.S. diplomat living and working in foreign countries. I was intrigued by the developing world and those were the countries I chose to work in. Unfortunately, they were also extremely polluted environments (airborne soft coal/dust storms/fecal matter/etc) and this had a dibilitating impact on my lung quality.

      At 33, I was medivaced from north africa with what was assumed to be be severe tuberculosis. Massive hemoptosis, raging fever, freightening weight loss. Although unable to culture TB because all I produced was blood, I managed to survived that situation with the serendipitous intervention of cipro (one of the 4 meds I was given for the suspected TB infection). My second medivac was 3 years later from Nicaragua. Same symptoms. Upon arrival at Walter Reed Medical Center it was pretty obvious that TB was not the problem. Thereafter, a long shot sweat chloride test confirmed that my issues were, in fact, CF related…my foreign service career was over.

      Time to forge a new path. Alaska was out because I needed a CF center nearby. So, I looked at all the options and chose Seattle. It has been my home since. Why?

      Every day I breath the cleansing air of the vibrant puget sound. Across the sound I waits the Olympic rain forest and her snow capped mountaintops. To the north of this temperate rain forest awaits the tangle of the San Juan Islands. To the south I see the magestic Mount Rainier. To the north rises her snow capped sister Mount Baker. 45 miles to the east I am embraced by the Cascade mountains. Over those mountain passes I drop into the high desert sage and sand of Eastern Washington.

      Drive 1 hour in any direction and I commune with one of the many forms of mother earth. And my soul and spirit are nourished by her. I live the moments of my life here. The past informs me but the present sustains me. The future? Well, why worry when you can be happy.

      The ramblings of a 65 year old CFer.

    • #16538
      Paul met Debbie

      I agree with Timothy. Containing for 60 % out of water, this obviously is my main element. But I also live of the earth and cannot do without air for longer than 1 minute either. Fire is not an element but a process (actually there are only processes, all is moving and interacting) and the fire in the sun is also reason we are all alive. Impossible choice. The real answer would be Aliveness, it contains all of the above plus the unknown factor of wholeness.

      I vividly remember the summer holidays spent with my family when young. We combined a stay at the Italian Riviera with mountain climbing in Austria. It had all the elements that I learned to love.
      Debbie and I spent a 5 months honeymoon on the isle of Tenerife. It has the best climate in the world and also contains all in one: sun, water and clean air, a magnificent nature with green lush forests in the North, a huge (10×7 miles) volcanic Caldeira in the middle (of the ancient Cañadas volcano, currently towering 12000 ft as El Teide), warm beaches in the South and impressive cliffs in the West, all bathing in the locally mostly warm and calm Atlantic Ocean. We explored every nook and cranny of this little piece of paradise that has it all.

      And let’s not forget the most important element: Love ❤️

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