Author: Steve Skinner

Thankful I Can Still Think

Most of us have had concussions. Just living gets you your share of bumps, bruises, headaches and heartaches. You never know the causes and conditions that lead us to being the combination of sparks and cells that we are this minute. Maybe my concussions kept me from being even more of a genius than I am right now. I played football when I was a kid. Pop Warner. I was small, elven (think Peter Pan), and when I suited up in the pads, tights, stockings, jock strap, helmet and the rest I looked like a kid that just borrowed...

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It Could Happen Here

Many of you may know that I split my time between the Fraser Valley and the Roaring Fork Valley. One lovely summer day last year I was out running the Fraser River with some hardcore locals. I looked around me and thought, “This place is primed for destruction.” I’ve seen it happen. I got to Aspen in 1982. Things were wide open in those days. The Aspen idea was alive and well. There was some employee housing and lots of apartments and basements to live in. There were high paying jobs and a culture where you could spend your...

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Resort living can be fun, fun, fun!

It’s early enough in the season that people are not burned up, broke or burned out. There’s still a bit of holiday cheer and winter optimism in the thin Fraser Valley air. This is the seasonal sweet spot. We need snow, though. When you live the resort life you figure out how to survive. You may be sleeping in a shotgun shack or a palace on the hill. Last fall I saw people living in the woods and even at the cemetery but they’ve moved on now that it’s winter. We all have to find a place to go...

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Start at the Top and Work Down

As I write this column this morning I sit in giddy anticipation of shoveling the snow that has accumulated outside my window. There are several inches on top of several inches … a snow shoveler’s dream! Call me nuts, but I am one of those people who goes outside on a snowy morning and gleefully falls into the rhythm of the honest work of clearing snow. My implement? A plastic-and-wood marvel that is light and strong in the face of flakes, slush and packed powder. Ice? Outside my wheelhouse, but I will break out the iron bar when called...

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Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

There are two ways to look at the winter solstice. I’s either the shortest day in the world or the longest night in the world. Kind of a half empty or half full deal. I’m going half full because it’s all downhill from here. When the summer solstice hits something inside me cringes as the darkness forms at the end of the tunnel. I get the opposite sensation at the winter solstice. The days are getting longer. There’s more daylight every day. Here in the Fraser Valley we are plunging into darkness just after 4:00 p.m. On the other...

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A Little Fortitude Goes a Long Way

From a Buddhist monastic to the bottom of the barrel, I’ve seen it all this past two weeks. Life’s rich pageant continues in the life of Steve Skinner. I’m sure the same can be said for you or practically anyone with eyes wide open. Just put out a net and catch a marauding bulldozer or a political leader with pants down. My travels have taken me from the Roaring Fork Valley, to the Crystal River Valley to the Fraser Valley, to Reno, Nev., and back again. The sex scandals bursting in the air are a holiday reminder that it’s...

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You Are Important to Me

This is it. My favorite time of year. When hope springs eternal. It’s easy to get lathered up on politics, no matter which side you are on, and make no doubt, almost everyone is on a side. But don’t let the rapid whirling and flushing sounds you hear distract you from the beauty of this day. Don’t let the bombs, the warming and the winning get in the way of appreciating the moment. I borrowed a spanner from a real nice guy at a bike shop in Fraser recently. I needed it to jimmy a lock that was frozen...

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Time for Equality in Relationships

Grand County State Senator Randy Baumgardner. Senator Al Franken. Matt Lauer. Judge Roy Moore. Don Trump. Kevin Spacey. Louis CK. Harvey Weinstein. Q: What do these guys have in common? A: They’ve all been accused of some form of sexual harassment or assault. Victims have come out of the dark and shed light on their bad behavior. Some of these alleged monsters have admitted misdeeds but some have made denials and called their accusers liars, despite overwhelming evidence and credible accounts. This kind of response discourages victims and adds insult to injury. Lower profile reminders are all over Facebook. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October women who have been victims of harassment or worse posted a simple, “Me too,” letting the world know that they too have been abused or harassed. The campaign shed light on an issue that’s not always up front. The members of the “Me too” club are all over the place. This year I trained to be an advocate with the Advocate Safehouse Project in Glenwood Springs and I occasionally answer the 24-hour help line. I was worried that women would not want to talk to a guy on the help line but have discovered just the opposite. The women I’ve talked to are mostly looking for a sane person who will listen to their words with respect and empathy. It’s heartbreaking. My first...

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