There are so many things in life that I wish were just a little better. Life is often not what we imagined it would be. By this time I was supposed to filthy stinkin’ rich and living the high life. On a more basal level I’d like to have less weight on this old body, I’d like to be an uber successful food photographer, I’d hope for some better things for some of my children, I want a bigger kitchen, a gardener and a maid. I wish that I didn’t have any debt and had invested better. I want more time, time to take care of that ‘to do’ list (or enough money to pay someone else to it), time to spend visiting family and friends…time, money and being a hot mama grandma. Yep that’s what I want.
The reality of life is so much different than what we think it should be. Life is work, hard work. Relationships take work, having a nice home takes work, having time takes work.
Nothing comes without work.
Things weigh heavy on the shoulders.
Then we go to the cabin, off the grid, to our little place. A wood fire burning in the stove and an apple tart cooking in the little camp propane stove. The snow falls from a grey sky, painting the trees and ground with a white wonder.
I sit at my favorite kitchen table (that I acquired from an antique market from Belgium). I sit in an old hickory chair from the original Yellowstone Lodge with chair pads made by my father in law. I sip on a glass of boxed wine. I smell the ultimate incense of wood and cinnamon apples, looking into a wonderland devoid of society. No internet, no phones…just a soothing rumbling of a generator providing power for me.
Right now I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I have a place, a getaway, a retreat. A small piece of the great big world that we call ours. And suddenly all those things that I had hoped and wished were better or different get tucked away.
I sit around and read and read. Terry Pratchet amuses me, I devour the Foxfire books. I read the cookbooks that my in laws gave us. The old time cooking, recipes in paragraph format (last publishing in 1969). A life where I could just stare out my window and watch the snow fall and feel the weight of life upon these shoulders disappear.
I begin to enjoy a different life. One where I get up and cook eggs and bacon and drink scads of coffee all day, and take a nap if I was so inclined.
Enjoy a foot licking…and take out of focus pictures…
Rewire old lamps with McGyver (lamps made before I was born kind of old)
It’s difficult to describe the mental change that happens when you get away…really away. I imagine that I could write a novel, or picture myself as the ultimate mountain woman. Hunt for food, prep it and cook it. Write a novel about being the ultimate mountain woman with amazing photos to go with it. I find myself ready to blaze the trails, the new old woman, back to the roots.
Or maybe just go for a walk…
I enjoy these thoughts immensely. But reality has a way of creeping in. I don’t have a washer or dryer. An entire winter up here means relying on our dry food hoard…the fresh will run out and we only have an under the counter fridge which holds about 2 weeks worth. I don’t have running water, no shower (although McGyver enjoys washing my hair in the sink just because he gets to see my boobies)! Soon I’d start to see how grey my hair really is. I’d have to pluck my own eyebrows and trim my own hair. I would end up reading everything I had and rereading it a 1000 times, well that just makes it seem like studying.
My box of wine will run dry. Noooooo!!!!!!
It will be colder than this.
Melting snow would be how we got all our water.
Please note that the camp oven warns you not to use it inside…also note above temperature. I’ll take my chances thank you very much.
There will be more snow and even with chains, we wouldn’t make it down the mountain (we tried it once, read about that harrowing experience here, it’s a waaay long post but worth a read if you want to sit on the edge of your seat).
And there’s chopping wood and stoking the fire in the middle of the night.
Hell, it’s a lot of work up here.
Nothing comes without work.
I push those thoughts from my mind and remind myself it’s a week, enjoy the week you have. Enjoy the idea of being the next great mountain novel writing woman…it’s okay. It’s like talking about how you’ll spend the lottery money you’ll never win. This is a place to relax, read, nap, fantasize. It has it’s place, this place that takes reality away and replaces it with one devoid of all the worries of the other life.
And I remind myself…
If you have a cabin in Montana, you’re lucky enough!