Sledding or Blogging? That is the question.
You would think I fell off the planet, after my final and come Christmas... and now New Years.
I didn't. But the snow fell in large sums. Unlike we have seen in a decade. And that meant staying an extra day, or two, at relatives. Then extra guests, last minute wrapping and a long drive on Christmas day kept me away from my computer. And we drove in the snow, and visited more relatives and drove some more. Until finally, we reached a cabin in the woods for what is becoming a family tradition. We drive to this Montana cabin, to spend a week playing in the snow and huddled by the stove. And while I meant to write about holiday appetizers and favorite entrees, instead I found myself filling up every pot and pan with water taken from a nearby creek: because there was no running water. Boiling big pots of water felt rather pioneer-like (though short-lived); a day later our water pipes thawed and the faucets provided us flowing, mountain cold water.
And again, I meant to write, but then the electricity threatened. Which means we would have no light or water (the water pump is electric). SO I filled up the pots and pans once again, did the dishes in a hurry, piled candles and lanterns on a central table---and took a shower. I mean, you have to do what you have to do.
And what would you do, if you had the choice between being on a computer, with a dial-up connection over a shared phone line that kicked you off every 20 minutes which took forever just to load a single email OR decidedly pushing your chair back? Perhaps like me, you might find the nearest excuse to go outside, where you might walk on a path through the woods, spot a handful of deer or watch snow tumble off the branches of a nearby fir tree. I figured you would forgive me for strapping on my snow shoes and giggling at how deep the snow was (no doubt trying to run and sink at the same time), for stirring up some hot chocolate, watching a movie and stoking the wood stove. I figured you would be glad I took a break with my family, to video my sons being pulled behind a snowmobile on disk sleds, shoving each other into larger than life snow drifts and looking a bit like snowmen in the end.
It was a good, full vacation. One where you really DO go away, not just by putting mileage on your car but by leaving your worries and to-do's and circumstance and must-have or have to behind. We were just there, teaming up to get the water running, trying to get snow mobiles to start, reading and drawing, having an outdoor bonfire in the snow---and wearing holes in the bottom of a pair of sleds.
So thanks. For understanding. Even though I really didn't ask and certainly didn't warn you. Besides, it is when I am off the computer or away from my desk when the stories actually happen. To 2009 then: hopefully full of good stories, memorable food, and perhaps a bit of pioneering.