'Ohana Means...

'Ohana Means...

by EMILY ORTON

May Day Epilogue:  The 6th-grade king showed us Aloha at the May Day –Lei Day celebration.  Then, his family showed us 'Ohana.  

In the strange way social media works, a May Day attendee posted a video of Lily and the king on Youtube, our friend texted me a link, so I commented on the video with a link to our Facebook page.  Within 24 hours of Lily crashing the court, Erik and I were texting with the king’s mother, Julia.  His grandmother asked, “What are they doing for Mother’s Day?” Whatever we were doing, we changed our plans and arranged to join the king’s local extended family.   

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If Your Friends Jumped Off a Cliff...

If Your Friends Jumped Off a Cliff...

by EMILY ORTON

If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you follow them?  If you are in Hawaii, the answer is probably, yes.  One of the most popular spots is on the south side of Waimea Bay, on the North Shore of Oahu.  A black monolith rises 30’ up and pushes 20’ into the Pacific.   That’s where our family, including Rob and Maddie – who have become family – decided to go cliff-jumping.

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It's a...Book!

An author friend says, “Writing a book is like having a baby with a square head.”  

We’re excited to announce the co-conceived, co-written memoir of our family’s year at sea.  It will be available in 9 months. 

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 We’re so grateful for our amazing agent, Emma Parry at Janklow and Nesbit, and thrilled to be partnering with Shadow Mountain Publishing to deliver this baby.  

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Wendy and the Surface

Wendy and the Surface

by ERIK ORTON

My favorite part of the class was to lay on the ocean floor and stare up at the surface.  The light shimmered across it, the same way the water sparkled from above, but with a muted, quiet kind of beauty.  I was taking a scuba certification class and I was swimming along thirty feet below the ocean’s surface for the first time in my life.  My body drifted with the surge in unison with the school of yellow fish.  I looked a sea turtle in the eye as it swam toward me.  We stayed below for the better part of an hour.  I was in another world.

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Lily & the King: A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

Lily & the King:  A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

by EMILY ORTON

Lily noticed the performers were all barefooted on the grass stage. She slipped her shoes off and asked if she could go on stage too. Points for taking her shoes off but—No. I explained these kids had been practicing for months to perform for their families. Maybe after the show we could ask about going onstage. Big tears formed in her eyes and she buried her face in her hands. I hoped the dance and music would revive her smile soon.

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Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

by ERIK ORTON

El Capitan is 3,000 feet tall, the largest single monolith of granite on the planet.  Climbers come from around the world to attempt an ascent.  It rises straight up from the Yosemite Valley Floor and dominates everything else.  The most prominent line runs straight up what’s called The Nose, the corner where the East and West walls meet.  This is what I wanted to climb. 

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Wanna Bet?

Wanna Bet?

by EMILY ORTON

I’m betting woman...now. I'm practicing separating decisions from outcomes. It’s helping me appreciate good stuff more and be frustrated less. I got this idea listening to Annie Duke, author of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts, who got National Science Foundation Fellowship in cognitive psychology, but became sick during the academic hiring season and took a 20-year detour as a professional poker player before returning to psychology. She says life is a lot more like poker than it is like chess. I played poker for the first time last month and I agree with her. In chess, whoever makes the best decisions wins. In poker, that is not the case.

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Are You Drinking the Kool-Aid?

Are You Drinking the Kool-Aid?

by EMILY ORTON

This week we’ve been on the road.  We drove from our home in New York City to Idaho, where our daughter Alison attends school.  We stayed with our friends Matt and Mary who both teach at the university.  Mary extended a surprise invitation to speak to her Human Resources class.  The topic was conformity.  It is human nature to fit in, to go along, and to roll with it.  This class talked about being mindful of incremental influences.  We don’t want to be on autopilot mindlessly going wherever the crowd or prevalent culture is leading. 

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