So I got off a plane flight last week after, somewhere over the Pacific, I flew my millionth mile on UA. Those are flight miles in the air, not car or hotel bonus points. Actually, I probably have over a million and a half air miles when you add up all the other carriers, which is a decent bit of time in the clouds, although nowhere close to what many can claim. The other week (in an airport, of course!) I met a guy who does about 250k a year.

Still, it seemed worth noting. Milestones (pun intended!) are often a cause for reflection, and this one reminds me how lucky I've been to see so much of the world. Of course, the more I see, the more I appreciate my home.

I wouldn't trade my blue passport for anything. I both appreciate America and get frustrated by how dysfunctional we are. We should be truly a unified country, but we continue to emphasize differences rather than common interests. I don't think I can solve the country's problems here, but can I help promote cooperation within our industry at least? Since this a blog for our association, let me give a shout out here to my friendly competitors who put in time and effort to support the industry as a whole. More, let me express the hope that in the next year we can find more common ground than division. This is truly an international industry, and I hope we can move forward united together to make it ever stronger. We've gone a lot of miles together and there are many more ahead ...


Elizabeth Baldwin has over 20 years of international wood sourcing experience. Very widely traveled, her résumé's "Special Skills" section includes "the ability to eat anything from raw horse to deep-fried scorpion." She serves as Metropolitan Hardwood Flooring's ( ECO (Environmental Compliance Officer) and deals daily with the "green alphabet soup" of today's industry: FSC, CARB, LEED, and much more. She blogs for Hardwood Floors on all things green (and, as she says, " 'grey' and 'blue' and almost every color except 'black and white.' Nothing in this world is black and white, particularly not 'green issues.'")