Happy 88th Birthday, Mom!

Yesterday, I had lunch with my mother, celebrating her 88th birthday two days early. Our conversation ranged back to her birthday memories of 75 years ago, December 7, 1941. Of course, that day, two days before her 13th birthday, the world changed. She spoke about how her family all gathered around the the radio and listened to President Roosevelt. That day would set a pathway for their lives as part of the greatest generation.

She spoke about how her future husband, my father, had delivered milk to her family that morning. I asked, “On a Sunday?” Yes, the Speck boys were up seven mornings a week, milking cows and delivering raw milk to homes in Rockport and Gloucester, MA. My dad often spoke about how he saw mom’s birthday gift – a bicycle – on the porch as he delivered the milk that morning before my mom received it from her dad

Back at the Speck farm, the family gathered around the radio also. In attendance was Chief Harold Tantaquidgeon, great-great-great grandson of Uncas, and a family friend. He was also working on the farm. Tantaquidgeon and the Speck boys would soon enlist. It would lead my father eventually on a path that included military service, college education in physics and nuclear engineering, and almost four decades of work for General Electric as a contractor for the US Navy building reactors for ships and submarines.

My mom also spoke of my grandmother, my dad’s mother, a proponent of natural foods and nutrition, who would travel to Boston on the train to learn from Gayelord Hauser. I hadn’t heard of him, but I soon found out why I saw my grandmother as years ahead of her time, and how I was influenced at a young age to eat well.

As we spoke of these years, and how the Speck farm eventually stopped functioning with the young men off to war and with the advent of pasteurization (Nana Speck would have nothing to do with taking the goodness out of the milk!), I soon realized that this all had only happened about 16 years before I was born. World War II had always seemed so long ago… but it was only a matter of decades before that these folks had lived through a depression and a world war.

And it was only a decade or so before that that my mom’s parents immigrated via ship from Scotland. My mom’s father and uncles had fought in World War I as part of the British Army and Black Watch.

Mom and Dad would settle in Saratoga County, NY, where I was raised, where Uncas had befriended early English settlers, where Tantaquidgeon had attended the premier of the original film Last of the Mohecans in 1935, where my dad would volunteer as a school board member for almost four decades, and where we had lunch yesterday.

At 88, my mother still lives by herself in our family home, feeling at home in this place with such a rich history and with so many wonderful memories… all from not-so-long ago.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Yoga and Skiing at Snowbird

That moment…

When you see the beauty of majestic granite mountains,

When you smell the fresh scents of tall pine forests,

When you touch the softness of sun-drenched powder snow,

When you hear the songs of awakening Spring life,

And you feel the exhilaration of your body flowing freely with gravity…

Is when you know you have found bliss –

And when you know you have arrived at Snowbird!


There is something about Snowbird that makes my spirit soar! Ever since I first arrived over 30 years ago, I keep going back. Maybe it’s just the feeling of being connected to the natural beauty of the mountains. Maybe it’s the deep connection I feel with the Earth. Probably, it has something to do with an acute awareness of feeling my life as it’s supposed to be… free and flowing and joyful.

I brought my family there. I taught skiing and riding there. I almost moved there.

So why lead workshops that combine the practice of yoga and the experience of skiing and riding at Snowbird?

Yoga heightens our sense of presence, our feelings of connection, and our awareness of what’s going on. When combined with the present-moment exhilaration of flowing down challenging mountainsides with beauty and like-spirited friends all around to support you, the possibilities are endless. All of your senses feel peace and become positively-energized at the same time!

And awe-inspiring experiences are meant to be shared.

For me, as a yoga teacher, a ski and snowboard instructor, and a personal coach, it is a heavenly way to bring smiles to faces and to help people feel something wonderful!

In April of 2017, we will welcome our Heart of the Village Yoga community to a one-week yoga and ski trip at Snowbird! Join us. You will know when you have arrived!

Spring is in the Air at Snowbird