The other day, as I began to embark through the snow covered trail, a thought crossed my mind. One that's crossed my mind several times...... it was the Lady in the Gingerbread house. This time the thought seemed a bit more like conviction. It said "this is the last time I'm going to tell you". I turned around and went back to the house. I gathered up some vegetables, a wreath and a Christmas letter. Then I began trudging through a snow covered drive deep into the forest, glad I had had the foresight to wear my tall, extra warm pack boots and heavy down coat. As I walked, I argued with myself. "They probably don't want company" The other voice said "shut up and walk". On and on my imagination argued with reason and conviction. If ever one could peer into my thoughts, they would find a freeway of traffic going on in there. I have to employ several extra law enforcers just to keep all the thought traffic driving in the right direction. On my imagination rebelled and on I kept trudging in the direction of the little gingerbread house.
As I approached, though no tire tracks could be seen in the fresh snow, cheery smoke rose from the chimney. I unzipped my heavy coat feeling a bit overheated from the exertion of hiking in the extra layers. As I trudged up to the door, it opened before I could knock and the two artists ushered me inside. I removed my layers of heavy clothing and side arm, and sat smiling at the Lady in the Gingerbread house. These two artists are amazing people. Husband and wife, they live deep in forest only going out to town once a month for supplies. Often they are snowed in and don't seem to mind. To get their mail, they hike a long way, crossing a frozen river! They know all manner of plant and mushroom life in the area and grow a beautiful garden in the summer. As I made my way into their home, they showed me beautiful paintings they had been working on. For the first time, ever, the lady in the Gingerbread house took me up the stairs into her art studio. Then she showed me a wool quilt she was working on in her bedroom. Observing all of the exquisite work inspired me to no end. Just the house they built speaks of their artistic ability.
We sat down to the table, and as her husband continued his work in the adjoining studio, we visited. She brewed some coffee and cut a slice of cake for me as we chatted. I had never spent so much time with her before, and found her quite intriguing. For over 30 years, this couple has lived deep in this forest. Despite my vast ignorance about art, native mushrooms and plant life, I enjoyed our conversation. When it was time to go home, I left feeling inspired and awed at the simple yet profound life that they have lived together.
Yesterday, when we got home from town, all our groceries had to be pulled by sled up our driveway. It's too slick to drive regular 4wd's on now. The truck we usually have chains on is in our garage being worked on. I had Moonbeam in a pack and pulled up an extra large heavy wet blanket I had washed at the laundromat. My husband was pulling up a huge sled full of groceries. Even Catman had a little sled with bags in it. It was dark and slippery. A couple of times we started sliding backward down the hill with our packs. Usually I automatically get mad and frustrated ranting and raving about this crazy set up of a place we live in. This time I just smiled. I remembered that it is a place with a crazy set up that's paid for. I don't have to go out and work every day to pay rent or a big mortgage. As we got to the steepest part, the older boys came rushing out the doors meeting us and helping take some of the loads. I smiled again as we all got to the door. The power of the whole family working together is amazing. My husband suggested the boys "do some Home EC and cook us dinner". I wasn't going to argue with that idea. After dinner, we played "Risk" and for the first time ever, I won. That was worth smiling about too.
Above Photos : A family hike to nearby frozen lake. Be sure to note our zany cat Puma Kitty!!