Ed Webster (March 21,1956 to November 22, 2022): Author, Climber, and Human Being Extraordinaire

“I saw the flowers growing alongside the trail. Big, beautiful blooms of rhododendrons and azaleas. Pink, red, and white bouquets of richly perfumed flowers reached out to me, as if in answer to my revived optimism. I entered the thickets of flowers like I was wading into crashing waves at the beach, letting myself be alternately immersed and then carried up by their sweet fragrance and vivid color.”
Ed WebsterSnow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Mount Everest

“Several steps later, I was also avalanched. I brushed myself off. We continued.”
Ed WebsterSnow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Mount Everest

“Thanks for my birthday (63 !! ) wishes…. and Happy Spring back to you. Not much Spring here in Maine as of yet. Karen, I’m going to have to hire you as my publicist, putting up all those pithy EdW quotes from SNOW on Facebook !
– Ed Webster (in an email message to me).

How hilarious ! After I emailed you that note, I went online to Amazon….. went to SNOW’s book page…. and saw your review ! I really should hire you to do PR for my book.
– Ed Webster (in an email message to me).

“I’m so glad to hear that you & your dad enjoyed flipping through the K2 book together. That warms my heart ! Please do give Dee a warm hug from me. I wish I cold fly out here to see him again. I looked at his 100-year Birthday party video at Mt. Rainier…. just fantastic, esp. the yodeling !
-Ed Webster (in an email message to me).

Hi Karen, What a sweet photograph of your dear Dad reading the card ! I wanted to pen him some kind words and words of thanks for what he’s given to me — and to other climbers too.  As I get older myself, the more I realize what inspiration the climbers of your father’s generation gave to us collectively.  And I just wanted to add my hug to that chorus of thanks and praise ! For his beautiful art and his kind, knowing ways. “
-Ed Webster (in an email to me).

Ed Webster (March 21, 1956 to November 24, 2022) was a gifted writer, accomplished climber, remarkable human being, and friend.

Below, Dad (Dee Molenaar) opens a card from Ed Webster.

Of Kindling and Light

Of Kindling and Light

Home from work
to a house cold and dark
I create a companion
of left-over embers, paper,
kindling, and cedar logs
My friend breathes
and moves and grows –
a living being of warmth
It fills my home with light
and comfort.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell


Freeway Friends

Two hour drive on the freeway through clogged-up traffic yesterday. Husband driving, God bless him. So I sit and look out my window and watch people. This happens to be one of my favorite activities. I’m curious about folks. I wonder about them – where are they going? Why? How do they feel about driving? What strategy do they use to stay calm as they drive through traffic jams?

We’re in the far left – in the commuter lane – and I notice this brown delivery truck two lanes over to the right. The driver has his window down and I wonder about this until I notice that he’s smoking – and then I realize he must be trying to keep the smoke out of the cabin. My heart goes out to him – I’m thinking he must be cold with the window down like that. And suddenly he turns and looks right at me. I smile at him, and he smiles back and waves. This, I decide, is a very cool way to spend one’s time.

So now I’m looking around for my next victim of friendliness. And – boom! – I see him right away! A state patrol car is moving into the lane next to us. I smile and wave, and he gets a kind of surprised look on his face, then smiles at me, and returns the wave before pulling forward and ahead of us.

Now we’re moving like molasses through the thick of a traffic jam. A car with Canadian license plates is coming up on our left. The driver – a friendly young man smiling one of those beautiful smiles you might see in a Coca-Cola commercial indicates that he has a question, and my son rolls down his window, “How do I get to Seattle?” the man asks. My son points to the Space Needle coming up on the right, and answers with a grin,”You’re there!” The man thanks the son, waves and smiles his Coca-Cola smile, and moves forward in his lane.

Sometimes one meets the nicest people on the freeway. 🙂

Okay, I know soda pop is not good for one’s teeth or one’s waistline and I don’t often drink it – but I cannot help myself – I love this commercial (from 1971) –