Monday, March 30, 2009

Remembering the Giddy In Grunt

Spring by our standards in the area of Haines, South East Alaska, were met head on today.

Light, snow flurries mixed with diffused shots of sun and the occasional blast of cornflower blue and direct yellow. It kept it beautiful to be out in and the trail conditions just right for being on top of.

The remaining snow depth is also measured by local standards and this year would be considered moderate. That's to say if you had legs ten feet long, you'd only sink in
up to your crotch when you punch through after stepping off to the side of the trail.

With legs of a regular length, there remains that suspended above a bottomless abyss feeling that I find rather exhilarating.

And when your boot gets stuck, which invariably happens, it's an aerobic workout getting back up with one leg extended back behind to keep your exposed sock from getting wet.

Then, as I bent forward on the well supported leg to try and fish the cemented boot out, my ham strings which have been forgotten for much of this winter sang the hallelujah chorus. Thrilling!

This was on the way to the barn to tend to triplet lambs born early yesterday evening.

The jerry jug of warm water for the new mama and her barn mates was bumping up against my thigh sloshing pleasantly. My biceps have turned to oatmeal this year as well. But it'll come back. I promise myself.

Today went well and for the first day of serious grunt and I'm glad to say that I took it at a reasonable pace. Now that things are thawing, I'll pull the sled full of barn material out onto the garden compost areas five times again tomorrow.

Daughter Hannah's bringing out fresh bedding for the new comers and the others who are pending birth in the next few days.

Somehow my love for this crazy lifestyle has always won out over the occasional season of inertia. Hoping to make an old timer's comeback this year (I hope, I hope, I hope).

The babies are still a bit scruffy looking but darned cute none the less.

(For my own use and any one else interested, here's a link for High time I get the weights going, a sort of "do or die" effort, emphasis on the "DO".)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ma,

    Great post. I still can't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that not a single one of my acquaintances east of the Rockies has any idea of what the sensation of "breaking in" feels like. Dad's right - you can't know humility until you cross an April snowbank in the absence of snowshoes.

    I can't help thinking of that time when I was seven or so, when I took off on an early April adventure going who knows where, and doing it solo, and making it about as far as the place where the garden tank would stand before sinking in as deep as my legs were long and being completely unable to extricate myself. How I struggled and thrashed with escalating levels of contempt and catastrophic rage, never daring to ask anyone in the house to come down and help me lest I expose myself to the even greater torture of embarrassment, and finally giving myself away through the sheer noise of my exertion and despair, at which point you and Dad came down, and to your inestimable credit somehow managed to keep straight faces, and Dad yanked me out by the armpits, but did it a little too abruptly, and I came out wearing only the liner of my snowboot, the shell sunk two feet deep in the snow, and Dad saying - with that vaguely sadistic humor of his that gave rise to such good-natured witticisms as the one about saltwater causing one's feet to fall off - that we'd have to wait until June to get the rest of my boot back.

    All in all, a great day to be an Alaskan.

    I hope you're well. Happy Birthday. And keep up the good work.



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