Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Not helping.

A friend posted this video on Facebook, and I have to admit that I got a little teary when I watched it (its not sad, I'm just a nutjob).

To say that a lot about my life is up in the air right now, would be an understatement. EVERYthing is up in the air. I'm hours away from being pretty much unemployed (seasonal work tends to cause this, apparently). I'm weeks away from being pretty much homeless (ended my lease because at this point I don't know where the rent money is going to come from). And this video only reminded me what a great big world of options exists out there.

It's all a little overwhelming. I guess that explains the tears.

That's not to say that being overwhelmed is a bad thing. Options are good. How lucky am I to have options? And I am considering all of them right now. Even the craziest of the crazy ones. And really, how fun is that?

So bring on the crazy. And the pomegranate mojitos. Its time to celebrate options.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A little taste of home

Change can be fun and exciting, but there's a lot to love about the familiar.  About people who know you.  Who don't need explanations when you tell stories because you share a common history.  People who don't mind if you let your guard down and show the real you.  People who've seen you in spandex, and without makeup......

Like change is necessary for renewal and perspective, I think so is a return to where you've been and what you know.

After three months in the mountains living my crazy dream, a few visitors breezed into town and brought a little piece of my former life with them.  A life shared shared biking the country roads of southwest Wisconsin, sweating, freezing, chatting, and in the process learning about ourselves and each other.

Nothing had changed but geography.  Backcountry roads were just replaced with ski runs.  Mid-ride snack breaks became mid-mountain warming huts.  Limits were still pushed, muscles tested, and little pieces of our lives were shared.

Wherever I end up, I have been lucky to share the road that led me there with some really great people.  And for that I am thankful.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gone skiin', be back soon.

Friends in town......fresh powder, blue skies,.....life is good.  Not figured out AT ALL, but good.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Busy, in a very good way

Oh, hello blog.....sorry for the serious lack of attention as of late, but things have been....well, busy.  Really, really busy.  In a very good way.  But busy, nonetheless.

I have skied more new stuff.  Met more new people.  Sought out new employment options.  Thought about my life in 101 new and different ways.

So you see.  Busy.  But good busy.  Very, very good busy.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I skied that.

I have a strong aversion to speed, and heights.  So why I even like skiing is a mystery that will probably never be solved.  Standing at the top of a run is where it usually all hits me.  Self-doubt and panic that I've been known to ponder too long, leading to temporary paralysis and an inability to drop in on something well within my capabilities because it "looks" hard.

Its a head-game.  A game that has no winners, from what I can tell.

But there's been a changing of the tides around here.  I maxed out my unlimited lesson pass this past week and after three solid days on the mountain I am skiing runs I would never have attempted before.  Bumps, steeps, a little trip to the bowl....a season's worth of work is all coming together and I'm dropping in without even hesitating on runs that used to make me more than a little nervous.

I guess practice pays off!  And more important than the accomplished feeling of saying "wow, look what I just skied," I'm having more fun on the mountain.  And fun is really what its all about, right?

Well, fun and the workout.  Did I mention the workout?  Holy crap.  Bump runs feel like never-ending wall sits.  After three big days on the mountain and a required night on the town (parties, concerts and whatnot) I couldn't hang on for day four.  My "epic" day was spent lounging in my pjs nursing my tired, aching legs and attempting to rehydrate.

But I have no complaints.  Even a day on the couch is still a day on the couch in the mountains.

And I can still say, LOOK WHAT I SKIED (I swear its steep, the photos are deceiving) --

I have one more goal to be met for the season.  A treacherous looking run that leads straight to my house.  I will ski it home before the end of the season.  Three weeks to go.  Three short weeks....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hello quads....

No time to write.  Must ski.  The season ends three weeks from Sunday.

I have been getting out every chance I get and my quads are well aware of this fact.  Hopefully they will forgive me.  Because I am having a blast, and skiing stuff that terrified me at the beginning of the season.

Instead of asking "can I do that" I find myself saying "ya, lets do that."

The next three weeks are going to fly by so I'm doing my best  to enjoy every minute of them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


You know that beginning stage of a passionate romance?  The one where its all happening so fast, you know you're getting in over your head, but you just can't stop yourself.  Well I'm there.  Except there's no mountain man in the picture.....instead, its the start of my relationship with this amazing place.  I'm totally falling.

Something about this place takes my breath away on a daily basis.  Whether its the small town charm of friendly neighbors catching up at the post office......or a blow-your-mind sunset over the mountains on my way home from work

.....I might be in over my head.

Yesterday I had to get my tire fixed.  Something that meant driving an hour and twenty minutes to the next biggest town.  Annoying, right?  Well not when this is your drive....

Getting my tire fixed was one of the most pleasant car-related experiences I've ever had.  A charming little garage, where I was helped by a truly kind-hearted man who appeared to have been doing this his whole life (aside from a stint in the "70s" where I imagine his career may have gotten a little off-track).  

As I was waiting (no waiting room, waiting meant just hanging out in the garage watching all the activity) a cowboy sauntered in....a real cowboy, tall and lanky, button-up shirt tucked into wranglers, the whole look polished off with dirty cowboy boots.  I was completely enthralled with the whole scene.  He greeted everyone in the shop like they had been friends all their life.  The kind of greeting that's simple but deep with meaning.  And honest.  Just straight up honest.  

I saw him eyeing me up, never judging, just curious about this stranger, with her designer jeans and foreign car, sipping her Starbucks smoothie (hey this was a trip to "big city," I had to treat myself).....I was clearly out of place, but absolutely never meant to feel that way.  I think getting my tire fixed may have restored my faith in humanity.  There really are honest, down-to-earth people left in this world.  Such a contrast from the fantasy playground I call home....yet, just down the road.

I was almost sad when, within 10 minutes of my arrival, the tire was done and it was time for me to leave.  I wanted to stay and observe the comings and goings of this little tire shop all afternoon.  Meet the locals, get the real story on life in this town that's caught somewhere between fantasy-land and the rest of the world in a place that is simply real.

But there were more adventures for me to have....on my way home, I decided to take a little side-trip (20 miles out of the way) to get a few containers of the best salsa on earth.  I would have already driven almost three hours to get my tire fixed, what was another 30 minutes in the car?

Well, wouldn't you know, they were out of salsa.  Out.  But I figured since I was already here in this neighboring little mountain town, I should drive the pass just out of town and see what there is to see.  So I chatted with the guy working at the grocery store (the only guy working at the one grocery store on Main Street) and learned that the summit was just 13 miles out of town.  So off I went.

I didn't get salsa, but I got these.....

If I really am falling for this crazy little ski town I currently call home, yesterday was like finally meeting the extended family and feeling like I fit right in.

And the best part about this new relationship, I know there is so much more to learn, so many more adventures to be had.  This one just might have the potential to hold my interest for a very long time.

Yes, I'm definitely falling.....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Home, or am I?

Just over a year ago I got in my car and headed west.  I had two weeks of freedom from the cube and I planned to use it to start the new year the best way I knew how -- in the mountains.  Returning home after that trip was excruciating, as returning home from travels usually is for me.  This post-travel visit to Funkville had set a pattern of perpetual adventures, because planning the next one was imperative to tolerating life after the last one ended.

What a difference a year makes.....

After staying put for nearly three whole months (a record for me) canyon fever was setting in and I needed to plan an escape.  Hard to believe that someplace so beautiful could ever feel stifling, but after 11 weeks in a tiny, remote mountain town the walls were starting to close in.

Seems like old habits.....

But this time coming "home" felt different.  I had a great trip.  But when I reached the point on the road where I could see those familiar peaks jutting skyward out of my backyard, I didn't feel the familiar heat of frustration and entrapment.  I felt calmed.  Maybe not quite contentment, but something far from the familiar agitation and dread that usually accompanies me on the return trip.

Right now it feels good to be "home."

I use the term "home" loosely, as I don't know what the next few months have in store for me.  I only know that right now, in this moment, I am home.  And I am happy to be there.