leaving Moose Willow Academy behind

It was simple to make a mole hill out of a milestone. We spent the morning of our 10th anniversary together up to our elbows in ground elk. We butchered and processed and packaged the two front quarters that i packed out on Sunday. we made no decisions about how we’d spend the afternoon or evening. we had no dinner plan. although it felt significant, it didn’t seem like it was.

last week, i commented on paper that i know better than to expect that i will ever receive flowers from my husband. and that i was a-okay with that. at least sometimes he’ll pull over to the side of the road so that i can gather my own. no judgement, just acceptance.

lo and behold, Chief No-Dance, Dread Pirate Grey Beard, Superintendent Seldom Smiles, walked in the door with two rib-eyes, a bottle of wine, overnighter babysitters, and TEN SUNFLOWERS! that he ordered from a shop a week in advance. my mind was a touch blown, and my heart too. well, shucks…it IS significant. i was grateful for the lesson to check my presumptions as i plucked a coil of ground elk muscle out of my hair.

we celebrated again on Saturday with an overnight to trip to Fox Valley in Lander. a most perfect and lovely getaway. we stocked up on provisions while we were in the big city. if you lived my life, you would be intimate with the distinction between Grocery Store and Super Market.

when we returned home, we had a final hardscrabble romantic celebration as we moved a ton of pellets together.

DW was home with us one day. i had to skedattle to town to mow Shank’s lawn one last time. they were planning to take a field trip to visit aspen groves and identify coniferous trees. i enjoyed a lovely bike ride to town and felt quite proud of the way the lines turned out for the final mowing. i checked my phone once i hopped off the mower and there was a photo of Tinker.com with a sack of antelope backstraps and tenderloins draped over his back. he got his chance to haul the meat. they meditated in a golden aspen patch while DW stalked off to hunt an antelope with a bow. again, its the smell that stuck with Crit the most.

Homies are in a groove now. i suspected that would happen just as we were ready to transition. They went to town for Lego Club and Light’s On this week. We had Shank and Clay join us for a “screwing-it-to-the-top” adventure on Wet Willy Hilly.

They went through all their drawers and packed their stuff up for seven weeks on the road. they loaded up on library books and audio books. we are downloading more as we speak. we’ve driven the matchbox cars across the US states map over and over again. we know the route. we know a wee little bit about all the places we will be going…Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, Charlotte…Acadia National Park, forests of New England, the banks of the Delaware River in Pennsylvania….

our dining room table has had extra plates on it most nights this week. which is great. we are already talking about getting homesick for our great life back here. in fact, we made prayer flags. it was once of the best uses of school time yet. first, made a list of people from Wyoming that we want to send kind thoughts and friendly wishes to every day while we are away. then, the homies went through all my fabric and chose a special pattern for each person or family. i just sewed them up this morning. if you have ever been to a birthday celebration with us, you have a prayer flag that will be touring with us. we will think of you everyday and send you good vibes. that includes you, Weav.

Snow has been falling fat and heavy since dark this morning. Homies have been out in it all day. when we return, it should be full-on winter. it’s a good reminder of how eager i am to hunker down out here once we return.

We’ve had a hella start to the school year at Moose Willow Academy. It’s now time to hit the road with the Lucky Charm School of Action and Adventure. Who knows what waits…..

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