Where I’m at. (taking time for personal updates)


me and the boys



Remedy for an empty nest.

Fill the nest back up.
Or at least the barn.
Get new horses.

OK, so it might not be a cure, but I swear it helps.


the new guy


Kinda strange not knowing
where on Earth he is Now.

As far away as one can go.
The end of the Earth. Really.

Somewhere between here and there,
I know that much.
Not much more.

Heading south for winter, he is.
All the way to the South Pole.
Can’t get much further away than that.

And I am pleased, and proud,
and know he is living life
full and rich and brave and strong
and what more could a mother, woman and friend
hope for?

(Update from late last night:
He’s there!
A day ahead and a world away.
And what can I say but
Keep warm)




We remain
Bob and Gunnar and me
a couple of old cats
a bunch of good horses
And a few I’m going to try to teach.

So much to do and
our list keeps growing
fantasies of idle winter days
replaced with
lessons in time management
we had our idle time this summer
when we should have been

try to count on things, make plans, assume
More often than not it turns out
so different than what I had hoped for

but if different is neither bad nor wrong
then why can’t I stop planning
learn to let go and just go with the flow

because really you know
what a disaster that would be
when at the end of the day
if I lived like that

we’d all be sitting around starving
wishing I had thought earlier about
what we’ll eat for dinner


this morning

These are the six months I live for
the easier ones to leave
the hardest ones
the ones that have become me
are me

and nothing no one no where else
allow this wild time

Time to release
my wild side


november rio grande 3

Of the elevation

Bob’s driving home and I’m watching the digital numbers on the thermometer on the rear view mirror drop. Ten degrees as we climb our mountain. By morning, the thermometer reads one below zero (-18 C). Bob’s up before daylight rebuilding the fire then climbs back in bed. The cats have been sleeping on him and I am wrapped around him and clinging tight to keep warm. He is the only one now very warm, but probably can’t sleep with all of us latched to him.

Some days I wonder what the heck we’re doing living here. Later on, that very same day, I wonder how I could ever leave.


november rio grande

Finally I leave you with these words for thought.

An observation on the Forest Service.

For those who live here, see.

We are willing to make observations based upon what is before us, what is happening, and common sense. It’s a matter of survival here, responsibility, connection.

On the other hand, many of those that come in to try to Manage (their term, not mine, though I believe even they are beyond maintaining such claims here and now) well, do as their told, say what they are supposed to, do their best to maintain of control of that which they will never.

My apologies to the wonderful men and women who remain within this Big Business because they care, and actually do see. I know there are plenty of you. The Cindys and Annes and so many I’ve had the honor to know, observe and work with… But I see so much more, and I’m tired of it, seeing the nothings happen and the so much spoken, the time wasted and the obvious ignored. I am sorry.

The latest bit of paid propaganda from one of their finest Yes Men is entitled (I swear to you): “Dead trees do not equal more fires… maybe.”

Really. When you’re done laughing, let me tell you this. As the title suggests and the piece confirms, it is no more than a way to get around admitting they have no clue…

However, rather than admit that then be free to open their eyes, look and think, they recommend this: let’s hold off on common sense, observing the obvious, and let’s wait for those scientific studies to be completed… which usually take a while, as we’re stuck sitting on our hands and can’t quite make it out there … there, where it is happening… there, where all of those folks who live, see.

What do you really need to comprehend the world around you, including the greatest of mysteries?


november rio grande 2




5 thoughts on “Where I’m at. (taking time for personal updates)

  1. Just last night I was thinking about how you had not posted in a while. So glad to have this in my email this morning. I was also wondering about Forrest and if he had made it to his destination. Wonderful! I look forward to reading updates on the horses’ progress and of course the wild, cold winter and the beauty that comes to those who choose to endure and stay and LIVE!

    My heart was warm until I reached the part about the Forest Service…what to say, now I’m filled with anger and sadness. Have they already forgotten about the unprecedented West Fork Complex? Dead trees do equal more fires or should I say “fuel for fire”–same difference! And let’s wait for the studies??! That is simply a cop-out plain and simple.

    I want to end on a positive note by saying how amazing are the photographs in this post, as always. It’s so nice (if not a little heart-wrenching for me) to see these places and know where you were when you took the photos!

    • Thank you, Karen. I know it is upsetting, and I risk offending those who I care for withing the FS. However this matters to me and to so many, like you. It is worth stirring the waters for. Bring the mud to the surface so we realize what we are dealing with – not just the shiny surface. Sometimes it does take getting angry and upset to get something done. I am willing.

  2. Amazing how often we are called to grief and grieving – all the big and little losses, but it’s the sneaky ones that can be the worst nibblers – gnawing a hole in our hearts. ‘See you later’ seems innocuous – until we realize something has ripped part of us out of ourselves.

    Thank God for time. We’re forced to do exactly what you have done…fill it with the best, most meaningful self-expression we can conjure.

    Thank you for raising a son like Forrest. I am so thrilled and excited to see his posts. I went on the Webcam and was in awe that he was hangin’ out there. Besides all the excitement, Gin, he is such a grand and decent human being!

    • Really, I had not shed a tear until reading your words, which, no surprise, say it all so well. Not a warm and fuzzy place, indeed, but I believe he has enough of that stuff inside him he will never grow cold. Not too cold at least. Thank you, Amy, for being a part of our lives, for Forrest and me!

  3. What exciting news, and what a journey. I’ll think of Forrest (and you) when I visit the Royal Geographical Society and pass beneath the portraits of the intrepid….Amundsen and the others who dated to explore hostile yet wonderful places. Please do keep us updated with news.

    Cold highlights those who know how to survive. You’ve been at it long enough and well enough to exhibit quiet fluency and bring eloquence to a description of survival. I miss the cleanliness that deep cold brings. But I must be soft for I love a nice warm day too.

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