This week’s post is a buffet.

A bunch of things are going on, but none of them are quite rising to the level of a full post, at least not just yet. This is a general news round up.

I chose this Swedish title for the post, because next week we’re headed off to – well, Finland actually. The title’s OK though because they speak Swedish in part of Finland, and we’re changing planes in Sweden on the way back. We’re going there because my wife is competing in Ironman 70.3 Worlds. You can look forward to a post about that in two weeks. I’ll likely be live blogging the race on Instagram for anyone who wants to follow along. It will be late at night in North America, but the story should still be there in the morning.

Key to my wife’s competitive success has been the support of our island open water swimming, cycling, and triathlon groups. I’ll be covering those in my continuing series on community. You can also look forward to a series of travel posts in the coming weeks. Finland has 170,000 lakes and up to 50,000 islands, depending on who’s counting, so I should find plenty of water to write about.

green grass and trees near body of water during daytime

I have a few housekeeping notes. I’m going to try to post weekly, probably on Sundays. I might miss some, I might add some, I might change the schedule, we’ll see. I plan to add audio to all my posts. I’m working through the archive of posts and adding audio to those too. Audio will be available at the top of each post and also under Podcast on the web site menu.

About a week ago, Mostly Water passed the milestone of 100 subscribers. What started as an “infodump” email to a handful of state and county committee colleagues has grown into a newsletter read in nineteen states and nine countries. I’d like to thank each and every one of you for subscribing and reading. Please feel free to spread the word by sharing Mostly Water with friends.

I started that infodump email as a way to keep in touch after stepping down from all but one of my way too many state and county advisory committees. Only drinking water remained.

PFAS (“Forever chemicals”) in drinking water was a major focus for me from July 2022 through June of this year. I was working under a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology. That grant is now closed out, and that phase of my work on PFAS is complete. I’m grateful for the grant and the depth of work it enabled me to do. I’ll be continuing to follow this issue and write about it. PFAS continues to be found in drinking water across the country, but there may not be much progress in dealing with it until the proposed EPA limits become law.

I’ve been on the board of our island drinking water systems association for ten years. The close out of the grant seems like a good time to step down from the board, so I’ll be doing that at the end of the year. I was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the state Office of Drinking Water earlier this year. I’ll take that as another hint that it’s time to get off the stage.

I’ve been inspired by Rose Marcario, who in 2020 retired from her position as CEO of Patagonia to retreat to the rain forest a little north of me in British Columbia.

The reality is I feel like I’m just entering a different stage in my life. In the Vedic system, there are four stages of human life. The first is the student, the second is the householder and the third is retirement. The Sanskrit word for the third is actually vanaprastha, which means going into the forest. The idea is that during this stage of your life, you hand over your day-to-day responsibilities to the next generation and become an adviser and a teacher. I’m literally living in a rainforest, so it’s more than a metaphor in my case.

New York Times interview, 2/18/21

I’ll continue to keep up with the issues and write about them here. It feels good to have a little more editorial freedom.

I’ve found a lot of great writers on the Substack platform, and from time to time I’ll mention one here. This week, I’m calling out from A Sourdough Story. I’ve been baking bread for 30 years but had never tried sourdough. Chapin has directions for making a starter from scratch and for a basic tin loaf to get started. I made my starter, followed the directions for the tin loaf, and I have to tell you, I’m never going back!

Thanks as always for reading. I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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