Beck & Beck February 2019

Feb 2019

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Making Lemonade Out of Lemons Always Look at the Bright Side of Life

A bout three years ago, my family had the opportunity to raft down the Grand Canyon. We had been on a one year waiting list until we finally received a spot on a rafting trip. I embarked on the trip with two of my sisters, their husbands, and my mom — who had wanted to go since she was young but never had the opportunity. It would prove to be the most rugged trip we’d ever taken as a family. When we arrived at the Grand Canyon, we expected warm weather, lots of sunshine, and a nice float down the Colorado River. What we encountered was very different. On day one of our trip, we were pelted for five hours with cold rain and hail. It wouldn’t have been too bad if the rain hadn’t been so persistent. Even though it was 60 degrees, everyone was freezing. All of us had expected 85-degree weather and nothing but sunshine because in the canyon in early summer, it’s nearly always perfect. None of us had brought proper clothing for the rain weather. To keep ourselves warm, we huddled together, eventually breaking out my brother-in-law’s bottle of whiskey. He had expected to savor it in the evenings when we were camping along the riverbank, but times were dire. All of us needed a little something to keep our minds off shivering. “Through all the huddling together and freezing our tails off, we decided to turn our ‘lemons’ into lemonade — admittedly with the help of some whiskey!”

Although the hail and rain weren’t ideal for any of us, it forced us to look at the brighter side of the downpour: dozens of waterfalls came from the top of the canyon in beautiful cascades down to the river. The guides leading our expedition told us that they had only seen this a few times in their 20 years on the river, and that was quite something. We were witnessing a rare event in the canyon, as it doesn’t rain there much. After that first“exciting”day, the rest of the trip went on without a problem. Everyone had a great time, except that washing in the river — a customary luxury —wasn’t possible. The rains had stirred up so much silt that if anyone got into the water, they were much dirtier after coming out than they had been beforehand. It was during our last leg of the trip—our eight-hour uphill hike out of the canyon— that I realized

I needed to start working out again. I hadn’t expected an eight-hour uphill hike … clearly I hadn’t done my research before the trip! I’m reminded of our Grand Canyon trip almost every time it rains, but I also think about what the trip taught me: My family and I decided to look on the brighter side of things from day one, which kept the trip from turning into a less ideal experience. By emphasizing the best parts of the family Grand Canyon float, all of us thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Through all the huddling together and freezing our tails off, we decided to turn our “lemons” into lemonade — admittedly with the help of some whiskey!

-Paul Beck

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