That’s all she wrote. At least, that’s it for this year.
Enough for now. Time for a change.
This morning we wake to a thick cover of snow. Winter has come to the high country. Right on time.
Ten and a half months ago…
We felled our first tree from across the frozen river. Dead standing. Beetle kill. Dragged it across the Rio Grande in the dark depths of winter.
Each one dragged, stockpiled, lifted, stacked, lifted again, milled, peeled, grinded, measured, cut, fit and fine tuned. Each a work of art. A living museum. A tribute to the trees. Our trees. Our home.
Now there’s a house. Built of love. Not much blood, sweat and tears. How about that. Rather, this one’s made from good stuff. Dang, it feels good.
There’s a lot of love built into them there walls.
We did it. Reached the goal of getting the new house closed in by winter.
The metal roof is on. Bring on the snow. It’s coming in plentitude. Fine by me. Now, we’re outa here for a while. Forrest is back at the South Pole. And Bob and I are flying south as well. We’re migrating again.
My goose, however, will be remaining here.
So much good stuff. So many good things. So many good people. All I need is some time to reflect. Time to appreciate it all.
Time. Something we’ve not had enough of. Maybe free time is over rated. Love, gratitude, progress… these things remain plentiful. Well then – how lucky indeed I am.
Passing the reins on here to a couple of good friends willing and able to take on the adventure that winter is here alone on the snowy mountain at 10,000 feet.
Us, well, we’re heading back into summer. We’re done up here, at least for now, ready to take a break, take on a new challenge, head off for a new adventure. We’re ready to welcome a new life… with open arms and a heart so full and still growing bigger… this is indeed a wonderful life!
I held my breath
As around me wind
my silence could not hide
me and I found myself
captured enwrapped and
seduced once again by
lifting heaving and embracing
dancing in the wind
You can take the dog away from one wild mountain, but you better find another to put him in. Some of us belong where the pavement ends. Far beyond.
And for those of you worried about the goose.. Rikki did not fly south, and we can’t take him (though Gunnar gets to go). After months of wondering what best to do for him, I received this from a fellow goose lover:
“…Rikki is imprinted on you as his mom …He seems happy where’s he’s at. Geese are incredibly hardy. … I definitely feel that he should remain…”
It felt I finally heard the right words. I listen to those feelings.
So, he’ll remain here with the cats, horses, hens and a caretaker who is going to have to see what works best for taking care of a semi-wild Canada goose in the high snowed in mountains through winter.
If you have any advice, please let me know. I want to do the right thing. It’s been an interesting trip just having this bird a part of our lives.
On one hand, I’m exhausted, sore, splintered and sawdust covered. On the other I’m bursting with joy and love and gratitude for all the good stuff and all the good people and new friends and new connections with old ones and love, dang it, so much love. (Yes, I’m feeling sappy. Surely from all those trees…) Especially for my boys, my team. We built this house, this life, together.
And now my trees sit safely stacked into what is now our forever home. Maybe we’ll stay here lots; maybe not so much; but it will always be ours. Always be home. Always be the nest we can return to. Comfort. House. Home.
That’s all she wrote. For this chapter. Onto the next. Less than a year ago, these trees were still standing dead. Now they take the stories they shared of the silence, wild and wind and pass them onto me, my family, a new lifetime, generations lasting less than it took these trees to grow.
Starting new stories of our own.
Together with the trees.
In the last eleven months, we built a house, starting with harvesting the raw materials on up, the three of us (and a few remarkable helpers from time to time, and I must say, at just the right time every time!). I published two books and edited and started pitching a third, and writing a fourth. I moved my family twice. I dove in head first to learn the art and science of midwifery, the miracle of birthing, and the power of the woman. I ran a little business (our guest ranch) and still had time to make sure we ate fresh bread and watched the sunset and listened to each others silly stories and same old jokes. And we smiled. And every morning I woke up excited to see what the day would bring, though a few mornings I was happy to have that day begin a little later.
My hands are sore and swollen; my eyes bloodshot from the sun, wind, sawdust; my muscles longing for a tub I don’t yet have. The only day off I’ve had in months was the horse ride with Ellen in autumn color, and I’ve regretted none of it. Once again I say: if it wasn’t me living like this, I would wish it was.
May not see you for a while. But I’ll be thinking of you. Hoping for the best. Talk to you when we’re back, sometime before the snow melts.
And now, the page is turning. I’m putting this book down for a while and picking up the next. Where will this one bring me? Where am I off to next?
The wind is calling…
I’m going dancing in the wind!
13 thoughts on “Done.”
Jack and I are so glad it all came together for you, though we did not doubt it. Do we see white spots in the windows? Did you even get the glass in? Safe travels.
Thank C&J. Got 8 of the big windows in so we’ll have sunlight to work in when we’re back in February. The rest are boarded up awaiting the “awakening” in spring. Thanks on travels – and to you too!
Happy Trails Gin! I look forward to reading about your next adventure.
hoping you and the beautiful methow have a deep snow winter! looking like you’ll get a good one!
I have missed you! Your beautiful prose, deep photographs and it is so fantastic to hear the joy and happiness in your writing voice. You really do have roots now, and it shows!
Enjoy this adventure. I am on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear how your midwifery debut goes. What a lucky mother, to have you by her side.
LOVE the new home, ahhh, I am just so happy for you. Enjoy your second summer!!
Missed your posts. We always think of you. Wherever you travel, you will always be at home in our hearts.
What a remarkable 11 months it has been. Now you have a wonderful home to come back to from wherever your travels take you. Hopefully the next few months will bring you much joy and much less hard work!
Ironic – it’s winter, but I’m overflowing with you – more wildly than your river in spring flood! Look forward to the “more”!
Hope you have a wonderful trip and stay healthy. I miss you and love reading your story. You are a remarkable lady and so glad we got to be friends. June can’t get here fast enough. All my love to everyone.
I am so glad that you have the roof on and the building ready for winter. You’ve made a lot of progress since September, and every part delivered by three pairs of keen hands. Do travel safely. I look forward to hearing about your ongoing adventures.
FANTASTIC POST, GIN—CAN’T WAIT TO SEE U ALL HERE IN PATAGONIA WITH US AGAIN——-LOVE, GINNY XXOO
God speed. You are a lovely lady. Looking forward to your return.
Looking forward to your return and news of your travels, your new journey :-)