“You must know that you can swim through every change of tide”
Keep swimming, it builds muscle, so on the other side of that big wave, you’ll be stronger than ever.
Here we are at Friday once again. Time seems to go by even faster when there is something you’re supposed to do on a certain day every week. I’m not sure I like it.
Favorite iPhone app this week:
Around Me. If you don’t already have it, get it. It finds your location and you can search for anything “Around You”. For ex: At my house in Bellevue, WA, I wanted to find my closest beauty supply store and it found one for me just a few blocks from my house that I didn’t even know was there.
Favorite Fall “Beer”:
Hornsby’s Hard Cider: Some bars have it on tap this time of year and some just carry it in the bottle, or you’ll just have to go buy it for yourself. It’s not too sweet. Tastes like Fall with an alcohol content.
Favorite Fall Song:
Old Crow Medicine Show “Wagon Wheel”
Reminds me of the smell of the cold Fall air, Dad driving through Montana to go hunting; stopping in Missoula to say hi to my sister and I on his way, writing papers in a coffee shop by the fire with dirty snow on my Sorels.
“If I die in Raleigh, at least I will die free. Rock me mama like a wagon wheel.”
Have a wonderful weekend. Do something that makes you smile. Anything else is a waste of time.
As humans, we always feel like we need to be doing something. Myself included, I don’t like to be idle for very long, or I feel like I’m wasting my time and should be doing something productive in some way. It’s hard to appreciate being still and just “be” because we’re surrounded by people and all the things we “should” be doing.
I had the rare opportunity to just “be” for almost a week, and I will never forget it and forever appreciate the experience.
When I was 17, I went on a caribou hunt in the Northwest Territories, Canada with my mom. (Long story short, I was somehow entered in a contest to win this hunt, and my dad was contacted. He would have gone with me, but he was already planning on being on another hunt at that time, so he enlisted my mom). The next hurdle was that it was during the first week of my senior year of high school and that was a lot of school to miss. We got around all these things, and my mom and I set out.
Our first stop was Norman Wells – population less than 1000, one main road (if that), a liquor store with a specified daily limit, and one hotel that was a double-wide trailer. We finally flew to camp in a Beaver airplane with the two couples that would be hunting with the same outfit. We got to base camp and all flew our separate ways, Mom and I each in our own Super Cubs (much to her dismay). Super Cubs fit two people – the pilot and a passenger, as long as they’re fairly small in size. We landed on the snowy runway, which I was sure we weren’t going to survive, and made our way down to the one-room cabin; luxury compared to the other people in two-man tents on the ground. We met our guides, Travis and Caleb…I somehow still remember their names. I’m sure a mother-daughter hunting team was just what they wanted to do for a week.
The details in the beginning are fuzzy. We got settled in. Mom and I on bunks against one wall, Travis and Caleb on bunks against the adjacent one. There was a stove in the corner for heat, which came in handy when the blizzard came in. We waited the required 24 hours after flying (so as not to scout from the air and have an unfair advantage). The bathroom…a hole in the ground with a couple walls around it, was about 100ft from the cabin. We were advised to bring our gun when we went, in case we ran into bears or wolves. That meant I went when I needed to go, and I went when Mom needed to go because someone needed to carry the gun.
First day of our week long hunt and it was freezing cold. We had put so much focus into our clothes and sort of ignored our footwear. My hiking boots were great, but not in 6 inches of snow. We crested the first hill and saw a herd of caribou not too far away. There were a couple good bulls in the group, so we made our way down to them. I went first; down in one shot. Mom went second. Mother and daughter, two caribou laying side by side. What a day. I think somehow some higher power knew that we were not going to make it all week in the shoes we had so they put the herd right in front of us. It was snowing and I was fine except that I couldn’t feel my feet. We helped take care of the caribou and made our way back to camp. First day and we had our animals. We’d get to go home a few days early and I wouldn’t have to miss so much school. (Seems like an odd concern, but it was my senior year and making up a week of school didn’t sound like a lot of fun). No such luck – we were fogged in. In order for the pilots to bring the planes back to pick us up, they had to have a certain amount of visibility, and there was virtually none.
To the point of my story –
We were fogged in the rest of the week and only got to go home a day earlier than scheduled. There was no way to know when the fog would lift, so we woke up every morning, thinking that day would be the day. When it wasn’t, we had to fill the day with something. There wasn’t anymore hunting to do. We each had wolf tags, but you kind of have to wait for them to cross your path.
I had to learn to “just be”. Boredom was not an option.
We got up, made breakfast, checked the weather. I played a lot of solitaire and occasionally a game of rummy when I could enlist other players. Travis had brought his walkman that hooked up to two tiny speakers, so we listened to one Johnny Cash CD and one George Strait CD over and over again. But I never got sick of it, because there were no other options. We had no choice. Mom and I would take a walk up to the airstrip right before lunch time (she walked and I drug my ass behind her with the rifle over my shoulder). We’d maybe take a nap after that, then help cook dinner, which was usually steak and a randomly chosen freeze-dried side.
It almost doesn’t get more “in the middle of nowhere” than that. We were 20 miles south of the Arctic Circle. No electricity, no way to communicate with the outside world except for a two-way radio that was only useful if someone happened to be sitting by theirs on the other end. I loved it. When there’s no way to use the extra stuff we’re used to, you don’t miss it. In high school I wrote poetry, so it gave me time to contemplate my (really complicated) 17 year old life.
I’ve always remembered that week and I’m still fascinated that I don’t remember a moment of boredom. There is not a place on earth where there is much less to do. The only thing to really do is exist, and we did.
Now, when I start to fall into a feeling of boredom I remember that, and I try to just exist in the moment. I appreciate that no one is calling me, that nothing is on TV, and that I can just sit and stare out the window at whatever is going by. Try it.
Favorite season: Fall
Favorite Fall drink:
Favorite Fall Clothing Item:
Favorite “Fall” quote:
“You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
Favorite new recipe: Nectarine Guacamole
2 nectarines or peaches, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
2 avocados, chopped (recipe called for one, but I thought it needed more)
3 T cilantro
3 T lime juice or orange juice (haven’t tried orange yet)
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (more if you like spice)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 t salt
Favorite summer wine: French Rose
Rose wines are made all over the place, but the French ones are lighter in color and flavor. Serve chilled for a perfect lunch or afternoon drink on a hot day.
Favorite snack: Athenos Whole Wheat Pita Chips
I’m a sucker for chips, especially pita chips, and luckily, they go perfectly with my favorite food in the world: hummus. Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep up the summer figure if I go through a bag a day. I discovered the whole wheat kind, which still isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s much better than the white flour ones.
Ironically, one of the Daily Post topics I just stumbled upon was “Top Ten lists- Lame or Awesome”, after I’d just decided for myself that they are quite lame. Maybe lame isn’t the right word, but as a person making them, they’re not exactly an accurate display of whatever it is you’re listing. It’s either a challenge to come up with ten things, so the last few are there just there as filler OR you’re so enthused about whatever it is you’re listing that there are way more than ten; such as the case with my top ten movies.
Not sure what I’ll now devote my Tuesdays too. Maybe just anything starting with T.
My Daily Post entries weren’t really working out how I’d planned, since daily turned into something like every three months. I thought I’d try and pick a couple days of the week to post something different, like “Top Ten Tuesdays” and “Favorite Fridays”. We’ll see how it goes. Success so far, since I started this last week.
I’ll start with a cliche top ten list since it’ll take me a little while to come up with something like ten of my favorite vegetables. Plus, movies are kinda my thing.
(In no particular order)
1. Casablanca- She shouldn’t have gotten on the plane, but “play it again, Sam” always seems to be an appropriate line in every setting.
3. My Best Friend’s Wedding
4. Natural Born Killers- first saw it with my Dad and started my affinity towards violence as art and Tarantino.
5. Pulp Fiction- speaks for itself.
6. Legends of the Fall- started my affinity for tragic love stories.
7. Slumdog Millionaire- an unexpected love.
8. Fight Club- didn’t appreciate it until I psychoanalyzed it in a film class. And the fact that it is Brad Pitt in his prime is just a minor up-side.
9. A Clockwork Orange- just watch it.
10. No Country For Old Men- two loves of mine: McCarthy and The Coen Brothers.
11. (Yes, I realize this is more than 10) Reservoir Dogs- re-watched it after I fell in love with Tarantino and it affirmed my appreciate for violence as art.
12. Nightmare Before Christmas- Tim Burton classic.
13. Michael- John Travolta as an archangel who smokes, drinks, and loves sex? I mean, come on.
14. Thelma and Louise
16. When Harry Met Sally- possibly the first end of movie love speech I watched over and over again. And how can we forget the scene in the cafe.
My first Top Ten Tuesday and there are way more than ten in my list and it’s almost the end of Tuesday. Gotta have something to strive for I guess.