"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Get out. Just get out on March 22

By on February 26, 2019 in Columnist with 0 Comments

Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy


Readers will often ask how do we find stories for The Good Life.

I’ll respond by saying we rely on a small group of steady writers and a slightly larger group of occasional contributors, along with being surprised almost monthly with stories that just show up in our email in basket.

“I’m always amazed at the number and variety of stories that come in. We never seem to come up short,” I say.

Which is almost the truth.

Sometimes, especially early in the production cycle, I’ll get a little anxious this will be the month we won’t have enough material for the pages. So, I’ll email past writers to ask if they have anything for us.

Which is how I happened to dispatch an email to outdoor writer Andy Dappen in late January, asking for a story that would fit the March issue, I said to him I was seeking an adventure tale foreshadowing spring without any snow in it.

“Non snow-related??? What are you thinking??? March is among the best ski months!!!!” came back Andy’s thundering reply.

“Anyone who doesn’t know that yet, darn well better figure that out.


“Because if you don’t ski in March, the one true God will condemn you for all of eternity.

“Only by skiing in March will one find the straight-and-narrow trail — The Way — to salvation.”


Andy obviously has strong feelings about not letting go of the mountain white stuff just because crocuses are blooming in the valley. 

(He later explained this bombast was a bit tongue in cheek. Whew! I was worried about thunderbolts from snowy mountaintops.)

After some back and forth, we reached a compromise: He got to write a skiing story and I got something perfectly fitting the philosophy of The Good Life: which is, quality of life needs to be a front-burner issue.

Check out Andy’s snow day on page 16, and then plan to skip work on Friday, March 22 in order to have a day playing outside. You’ll understand after reading the story.

At home, we are currently streaming Mars on Netflix. It’s a half drama about mankind’s first landing on the red planet, and half documentary about the science occurring now that will lead to that exploration.

So when East Wenatchee photographer Al Piecka sent us his images of the stars — see page 10 — I was all in. I love space and the science fiction that someday soon may become science reality.

When I was a kid, I dreamed of walking on the moon.

Yet, in Al’s story, he notes that due to light pollution — that is, too many night lights burning brightly, “Most of our younger generations have never seen the Milky Way or even know what it is…”

How sad.

How can you dream expansively when you can’t see the stars?

Go ahead and get out… get way out… and enjoy The Good Life.

— Mike

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