nevertheless…she persisted

yesterday morning (Wear-it Wednesday), we woke up to another generous helping of snow.

Moose Willow Academy was on a 2-hour delay. we had to shovel and we had to make a track out to the truck.

The power flickered several times on Tuesday night. i lied in bed listening to the wind change the landscape while i created some optional plans for if, or when, we lose power.

it seems that what i find myself in the middle of out-here-right-now is far more challenging than any portion of the bike ride was. and that works out okay for me. people always ask if i’ve planned a next adventure…this regular-old-not-so-ordinary life i’m living is adventure enough.

i shoveled my way over to the hot tub. i knew i had to open the lid to check and see if the power outage messed with it. sure enough – it did. so i put my skis on and made my way down to the circuit box to CLT-ALT-DEL it. skied back up, added the chemicals, and patted myself on the back. Booya hot tub! i didn’t get that right our first winter out here. i did not keep up with the back porch. i did not make a way to allow access to the hot tub’s guts. i did not consider its delicacy in the -30 degree nights. i ignored it while i tended to Squawk in diapers and Crit adjusting to the wilderness. things froze. things got gross. we had to call in the peeps from Riverton. more than once. it was a train wreck. but i couldn’t have done it differently. i could not have devoted an ounce of my time back then, in that first Moose Willow winter, to the luxury of the hot tub. but i sure wanted it.

i entered the house skipping with good mood. porch was clear. i declared to the homies that i was going to ski down to the garage to get the side by side and bring it up. our plan was to load it up with all our skis and snacks and make a track out to the truck. we’d pick a spot to ski along the way. it is 5.5 miles from here to the truck.

i skied down to the garage. i made my tra-billioneth transition of the day as i unclicked from my skis and chiseled the garage door to open it.

i loaded things up and backed right out of the garage. and went belly up on a drift. i could go neither forward nor backward. i got out and dug for a bit and tried a few things. but i kept failing, and i was in my ski boots, so i went back up to the house. i changed boots and tried to find a you-tube video on using a winch to unstick yourself. they don’t make those, it seems. only how to install them. i reckon it is assumed that if you installed one, you’d know how to operate it…

turns out, they are quite easy to operate. fear got me for a second there. but i could not get myself unstuck. i spent the entire day down there digging and thinking and trying and digging and not understanding and digging and walking away and digging and breathing and digging and re-assessing and digging and plan c, d, and e-ing, and digging and finding  equanimity, and digging and letting go, and digging and accepting…and digging and calling it quits.

at the end of a long day, i failed. and all the time i thought about this moment, when the going-got-tough we would have the side by side, so we would be safe. and part of what i had to breath through during my digging was telling myself that i could not fail at keeping us safe. i could not fail. and i did. i did fail.

and i came back up to the house, and let it go as much as i possibly could. i was physically exhausted. we had bacon-wrapped elk backstops for dinner. with sweet potatoes and broccoli.

i spent an hour of restorative yoga once the peeps went to bed. and then i went to bed. i listened again to the wind alter the landscape all night long. i surrendered to my bed and began to remind myself of all the reasons i am not failing at keeping my peeps safe even in this remote and isolated environment. i refocused on the gift of this experience. i committed the next day to playing in the snow, not dealing with it.

so…this morning after 2 coffees and considerable stretching, i turned on Fantasia and went out to shovel. then i went down to give it another go at the side by side. i spent about an hour. no luck. moved on.

we all got geared up for a big ski. i hoped to make it to the cattle guard. Box wanted to ski to town, or at least the campground. Crit wondered if we were strong enough for Scout’s Pond. i waxed our skis cause it was getting warm outside. after an hour of transitional calamity, the three of us had our act together and began to ski up the driveway. and Crit said “It’s raining.” and she was right.

holy criminy. seriously? we have backpacks full of snacks and water and the right boots on the right feet and the happy adventure attitudes in the brains and the hearts…and it is raining? we made it up to the lodge parking lot and turned back around. i didn’t want to be out in the rain either. so we took a few laps in the yard, and came in for lunch.

i thought we were done with the disappointment.

after lunch, we went back down to the garage. the wee peeps played inside the garage while i checked back in with my failure. i dug and dug and dug some more. i pulled out the winch. i forwarded. i backwarded. i winched. i dug and dug and dug. and i succeeded. i got it out of there. i had to stop to unstrap the winch and bring it back in. i got stuck again on the path of least resistance. there is just too much snow right now.

i walked away from it without a single negative thought. it clearly has no business operating out here right now. i made it a goal to get it to go. it was one of the most difficult things i’ve ever done. it took over 8 hours of work. and it worked. i got it. even if it was just a little bit. that is not a disappointment. that is a victory.

nevertheless, she persisted.

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