Blah! Home with the flu. Well, maybe I need a day to veg and replenish my inner stores. I’ve been feeling drained mentally lately and now my body matches my mindset. You don’t suppose one followed the other’s lead? I wonder if I could have changed the outcome by changing my attitude before my body became ill? We’re in the last few days of January and though it started out blistering cold,
I thought I’d look back on some of the fun from the month.
I got back to playing soccer in town where I scored a second goal. I find it awesome that I have scored two goals in soccer at age 42 but I never even got near the net with a ball between the ages of eight and 18 when I played full seasons. I’m quite pleased with my increased confidence and skills on the field. My parents, in true fashion, simply responded teasingly with, “What took you so long?” One can always count on family to keep it real …
We had the once a year girl’s night ski and dinner out. We seem only able to co-ordinate ourselves to do it once a year in winter for some reason. It’s good fun and nice to treat ourselves to a good meal. In the year since we last got together, four have had babies (two couldn’t make the evening because one had just delivered and the other’s baby was sick) and all of our lives have changed quite a bit so lot’s to catch up on.
I’ve been cross-country skiing on different trails each time I go out. I went out quite late one day after I’d seen a wolf through my living room window. I’m not afraid of wolves. They don’t stick around when humans show up but for some reason I freaked my freak that evening. I was skiing by myself. The conditions were perfect – no wind, crisp air, snow-coated trees and the sun was setting making the light that soft lovely palette of blues and mauves and aqua – and then I started imagining a wolf pack chasing me down in the snow to eat for dinner. I ended up sprinting the route and finishing the 6 Km in 32 minutes. I know it’s ridiculous but once the image of those wolves chasing me was in my head I was done for. In the end the ski still felt great. It felt great to work hard and use every muscle in my body and feel the cool rush of wind on my face.
A truly satisfying ski that I did last week was completing the 20-kilometre trail I went on with some friends.
My good friend Naomi died in an avalanche in 2003, and every year I like to celebrate her adventurous spirit and love of the outdoors by doing something fun outside. I took the day off work and invited some friends that are on maternity leave and another pal who was on a day off to go along.
It was a blue-sky and no wind day. Again, the temperature was strangely warm and we set off to ski to Crean Lake. Two of us had never skied that far before and wanted to try the route so going with the other two was perfect because they ski it often. The baby slept the entire way and the wintry view of Crean Lake from the old warden cabin was worth the effort. A light snow the day before left everything pristine and I couldn’t even spot animal tracks on the lake.
I knew Naomi would have loved the outing. I had taken along a Fruit and Nut chocolate bar, her favourite, to share with the others. I usually like to smoke a wine-tipped cigar at the same time to complete the ritual but this year I needed every ounce of lung capacity to complete that ski so I’d left the cigars at home.
RIDICULOUS DOGS AND WILDLIFE
In January, I took the dogs on many long walks and we explored the park too. I saw four moose, one lynx, a fox, a wolf up close and personal through my living room window, and there are plenty of ravens, magpies, gray jays, wee black-capped chickadees, squirrels, elk and deer about. I didn’t see any otters but their trademark gallopping footprints between belly slides are all over the place.
I think the scariest yet funniest dog walk was when I had Charlie on the retractable leash, Piper and True each on one side of me attached to a waist belt and we were on the edge of town out near where people go down to the ice fishing shack on the lake. All three dogs came to a sudden stop and were sniffing the air and staring hard ahead. I tried to figure out what had them spooked. A car was parked at the roadside, probably for ice fishers, and I thought maybe it had a dog inside that they could smell but I couldn’t hear any movement. I was about to say something comforting and stepped forward to coax them onward when Charlie let out a low, rumbling, warning chuff, turned tail and started sprinting for his life.
CHARLIE turned tail and ran for his life!!! Charlie is the dog I rely on to be steadfast and calm under all circumstances and he turned tail and RAN FOR HIS LIFE!!!!!
Well, that was it. The girls followed suit letting loose with warning barks and sprinted off like a starter pistol had sounded. Roles reversed. It was now I attached to them by extendable leash and waist belt so with no choice, I turned and hauled off after them. Charlie with his short little legs has to run with all four paws turned outward. It’s really cute to watch when you’re not terrified about what’s behind you. Piper with her runway model’s legs and True with youth to her advantage, it was all I could do to keep up to them. Every once in a while we all dared to glance back over a shoulder to see if we were being pursued.
When I realized we were not being hotly pursued by an apex predator (wolf, cougar or chainsaw wielding mass murderer) I started laughing. Sometimes I wish I could see myself from another perspective when things like that happen. I’m sure it looked hilarious.
In the end, I’ll always trust in and believe Charlie. He has a good instinct about the world around him. He didn’t survive six years chained up in a front yard up north at the mercy of every wild critter and stray dog pack that happened by for no reason. Maybe that lone wolf we keep seeing around town was in the trees beyond the car and I just couldn’t see it.
Loads of other good stuff has happened during this first month of 2015 – dinner with neighbours, evening with a newer friend, phone calls with long-time friends and opportunities beginning to surface at work. I should probably reflect once a month like this throughout the entire year. I bet it would be a great way to remind myself of all that I am grateful for and how full my life is with people and experiences that enrich my days. And perhaps if I do that, I won’t get run down and sick as often either.