Monday, December 14, 2009

Steelhead fishing on the Snake with Reed, Stacey and John

Thanksgiving with Mike and Baylea

Rock Candles

Ice fishing on Big Sky Lake

Handmade sock knitted by me!

So last we talked, I was quoting sappy poems and talking about wonderful fall actives with my friends and family. Well, much time has passed and now it is decidedly winter. Yes, winter has settled onto Missoula and onto my mood like a chilly, damp, heavy, suffocating blanket. But don't get me wrong, I love winter...

The biggest factor in my seasonally induced blues is actually not seasonally induced at all. Remember that nasty fall I took at Hot Springs on Mike's birthday? It turns out that I fractured my 5th metatarsal, not badly sprained it, as I had thought. I finally went to a doctor after a month of unceasing pain. So for the past three months, I have been limping and the past two of those, I have been limping in a nice medical boot. I moped and felt sorry for myself for awhile and then I joined the Women's Club and started doing weights, water aerobics, Pilates and yoga. Sometimes, I get really frustrated with the stiff boot but most of the time, it just feels nice to move. I knitted myself a fleece lined toe sock so that my feet will stay cozy in the snowy wetness and borrowed a right high soled clog from a friend to make my hips a little more even. I hope to be rehabbing by January.

Mike's older brother passed last week and, while I didn't know him very well, I still feel his death most acutely, mostly through Mike's pain, but also through the injustice of it all. He was in his thirties, healthy as a horse and happy as can be. Then he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He beat the cancer and went back to wild land fire fighting. Then it came back and his health declined until he was no more. I am confused, angry, sad and scared. How unfair is take a man in his prime, who lived healthily, who loved life and was happy, who had friends and family who loved him, who still had so much to give. I am mad that I didn't get to know him. How many people in this world have been shorted because he was shorted? And how unfair for his brothers...I can't even imagine how horrible it must be to lose a sibling, a sibling who guided you through the death of your mother and who traveled with you and waited for you after you got done with work with a six-pack of beer to sit and chat. I just feel so sad. My dad wrote me some poignant words that almost put things in perspective...

The separation from his human presence is painful and difficult. He will me missed. However, his spirit remains... will always remain. His spirit is woven into thepeople who knew him an into the things he loved, that things that madehim who he is. His parting gift to the rest of us is . . .his spirit. Watch for it in apparent,, yet unexpected places, in a stranger's smile, the hug of a child or the incredible vibrance of energy that is life. His spirit is here and we are all better because of him.

In other news, I went steelhead fishing and reeled in three lovely fish, which I smoked! I crocheted a hat and knitted socks, both firsts in the needle works department for me. I have also been helping mom update her house. We repainted everything, washed the carpets and re-stained the grout in the tiles. It sounds like a short list but it has taken weeks. I made rock candles with my god mother and went ice fishing with my god aunt. I had two thanksgivings; one with Mike's family (highlight being the labeled name tags at each setting and the crazy marshmallow pastry hors d'oeuvres) and one with my family (highlight being when Baylea, the beagle, bit a battery and got acid burns on her tongue and gums). I applied, interviewed for and then declined a job as a teacher's aide at Stevensville. Long story there. I am anxious to be well and to travel and most of all to dance like a know I can.