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Monday, July 5, 2010

Moment of Reflection

Photo by Hailey
Me and Klaus

Life here on Oake Lake has been so unbelievably busy for far too long. There are very few times when I actually get a chance to sit and reflect. I just had one of those chances! All of this hard work will pay off when Points Unknown moves to where our heart and soul belongs; in the northwoods.

Believe it or not, while growing up in a U.S. Forest Service family, I recall resenting that we lived in the woods in the Appalachian Mountains for a period of time, away from just about everything and "in the middle of nowhere". Maybe it was because there was no snow. I remember being completely disgusted that we were cutting a Christmas tree down in the woods of all places! I just stood by the car and checked my hair in the mirror. Clearing a portion of the Ice Age Trail with the YCC (a division of the Forest Service) one summer was horrific as I recall picking 36 ticks off myself on the drive back to the base, complaining the entire way. When we moved to Upper Michigan and Wisconsin it was "What?! I've got to walk to the bus stop in all of this cold and snow?" You've got to be kidding me.

Alright, so I wasn't the easiest kid. I was(and still am) fiercely independent. I rebelled against everything my parents stood for at the time, like many kids, and one big thing just happened to be the great outdoors! Instead, I spent hours upon hours practicing my trumpet from about grade 6 onward, losing myself in the music. This progressed to a college music scholarship to study Classical Trumpet performance. And where is that trumpet now? It has been sitting on its stand being moved from room to room in hopes of getting my attention to begin playing again. Oh, I have tried a few times. Most of those attempts were in the dog yard. It wasn't pretty. You just can't "pick up" a trumpet and play. It takes a lot of conditioning of the lip muscles. Ask the dogs.

So what happened?! I've discovered that those core values that are ingrained upon you as a child do come back around. Then you get to choose what to do with them. If it's something you'd like to discard to make a better path for yourself, then it's your choice. But if it is something that makes your heart sing, sticks with you and feels apart of you then you explore it and see where it takes you!

Now 41,(Did I really write that?) I was able to reclaim my passion for the outdoors and discover a passion for working dogs in my early 20s. That passion for the outdoors was always there, I just hid it well. As a child, I spent hours carving necklace pieces from southern shale in the Appalachian Mountains in our front yard and in the "middle of nowhere". Swimming lessons at YCC camp in the lake, snapping turtle stew, beaver and bear sloppy joes, catching fireflies and bumble bees in jars, making sand candles on the shores of Lake Michigan with my mom, tromping through the woods on a regular basis, canoeing, fishing, hunting (once), starting my own little campfires at age 5 in the nearby woods (oops), camping in leaky tents; all of these things and more are apart of me and have brought me to where I am now. Where I am now is making plans to move up to the "middle of nowhere" with a bunch of sled dogs. Life has come full circle. Life is good.

This is what it is all about; what this blog is all about. "The quest for a more simple life; working with traditional sled dogs".

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