Today there are finally lovely snow flakes finding their way from air to earth. This is winter number eight for me here at Snow Lodge, and I can't tell you how grateful I am to Xanterra that I am currently still employed during this government shutdown, and that we are continuing to operate somewhat normally (at a huge cost to the company). I wish I could say the same for all of my friends here who work for Park Service. The shut down has laid a very grave instability in our groundwork, and has been the source of a lot of anger and concern for the future. Good friends of mine are either not working at all, or being required to work and not getting paid for it. Those of us who work for the park generally don't make a lot of money in the first place, so when Trump claims that we can just adjust -- well, no... actually we can't. And those who are in essential positions and working for free are not eligible for unemployment benefits because they are working. In the name of "protection", our government seems to be waging war on those of us who work for the good of the country. It's disturbing and frankly infuriating. Here in Yellowstone we generally step back from the day to day goings on in the political arena. We concern ourselves with our community - both human and wild - and our weather. This winter has been low on snow and high on temps, as well as uncertainty. We as human beings need to retract our walls between each other. it is time for us to start communicating with open hearts and open minds, before it is too late. I have been blessed to be able to do what I love best in my favorite place on earth. I cherish each day here and I love the people I work with and the visitors I have the good fortune to become acquainted with - from all over the globe. We all fundamentally want the same thing - we all want to be happy. I don't believe we can make ourselves happy by making others miserable. I ask everyone to do one thing to help improve someone else's day each day. Maybe little gestures like that could move mountains. Much love to you.