Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Road Goes Ever Ever On

Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I wake up refreshed. This is nice.

The baby moose is grazing on the grass next to the propane shed. He moves off when he catches sight of me through the window. His mom is nearby. Together, occasionally stopping to eat, they move up the slope and into the trees.

I don’t start a fire first thing this morning. Even though it’s snowing, it’s 30 degrees out and it feels warm inside the lodge. Too warm for a fire.

The cat is in a feisty, rambunctious mood. She rolls around in the snow, chases after me, claws the porch fence post, and play bites and swats at my gloves when I reach to pet her. Purring the entire time.

The clouds this morning are fantastic.

I start the fire at 12:20.

The snow stops. The sky clears up to a brilliant blue. New clouds sweep in.

I read through half of what I’ve written so far in my new book. I read it out loud, testing the story and working my mind around the holes and plot points to build upon later. The trick with a first draft is to ignore self-doubt and keep on writing. There’s no time to worry that the story is boring or riddled with clichés (because of course it is). Those things can be edited out later.

As I do once a month or so, I check my bank account and balance my checkbook. While I’m at this type of work, I save the incoming emails I’ve received with tax information into a new document folder so they’ll be easy to find when I decide to file my taxes.

I look up moose facts.

Baby moose are usually born in May. They are thirty pounds when born and can grow to be 800 to 1000 pounds as adults. They stay with their mothers, their protectors, for the first year and then they’re on their own. The site says, “By some standards the survival of a calf is miraculous, by any standard it is against the odds.”

Way to go, baby moose. Keep it up.

I eat a snack.

I read the rest of my novel out loud. I’ve got a lot of work left to do.

At five o'clock, having been inside pretty much all day, I decide to go walk around for a bit. The clouds are shadowed and spectacular. The cat follows me around, rolls in the snow, and inspects everything. Not quite exercised enough, I come in and do the 5 Tibetan Rites.

The phone rings. It's Michaela calling from Mexico. They've completed the first leg of the sail. She saw a whale today.

Time for the weather.

I write.

Phineas calls. He calls the phone call his vacation. It's really the time between when he's gotten off work and when he goes to bed. But I'll help celebrate just about anything. I like vacations.

I work a bit longer. I'm up to 60 pages and 19,265 words. My character has been listening to Chopin, gotten kicked out of an assisted living facility, and been threatened by a menacing man with a gun. So that’s something.

Caretaker’s Log, Thursday, January 29, 2015

I wake up from a restless sleep.

There are moose in the yard. The nearest one doesn't mind me at all. She only looks up, once or twice, to make sure I'm not coming over to eat her snow buried grass. The cat wants attention.

I make Scottish oatmeal with a maple syrup, coconut oil, and fruit topping. It's sweet, but it's good.

I ski up the road to the main gate and go beyond. The road goes on. The road goes ever ever on. I remember to put on sunscreen before I leave this time. There are moose, coyote or wolf, deer, rabbit, and possibly mouse tracks crisscrossing my entire route. So many tracks. So many stories I can't read very well. At least not yet. I sit on the gate post and eat a snack before I head back down. It's a two-hour outdoor adventure. It's a good day for it.

Back at the lodge, I put away the skis, bring in some wood, take a bath, wash my hair, wash some clothes, and drink a lot of water.

I talk to Grandmama.

I talk to Jesse. We talk about the possibility of a summer trip somewhere.

The sunset is layered pastels--like a litmus strip.

I write.

I eat rice noodles, artichoke hearts, broccoli, olives, and mozzarella cheese sticks for dinner.

Heavy headed and tired, I hope I sleep well tonight.

I write.

I watch a show.

I read.

I go to bed.

Caretaker’s Log, Friday, January 30, 2015

January is coming to a close. Time always goes by so quickly. I've been here thirty-three days already.

8:22 seems to be my new time to get up.

It's -4.5 degrees when I look at the temperature recorder. One moose is far away in the west field.

My coffee tastes extra good this morning. Just the right everything.

The day warms up with the sun, the temperature pressing into the 30s. The moose is still far away in the west field.

I spend some frustrating time looking for summer airline deals. Travel expenses and food are my main money eaters. Stretching a dollar as far as it will go is a trick I always try to work to my best advantage.

JoAnn calls.

I work on a blog.

Marie calls. She's telling me about a friend of hers and says, "She's fabulous!" just as Shea, my three-year-old niece, walks into the room. "I'm not fabulous," Shea says. "I don't play basketball." Marie tries to tell Shea that she's fabulous even without basketball, but Shea is not having any of it.

I take a walkabout outside. The cat follows me. This is her new thing, such companionship. The far mountains have turned a navy blue that I can't quite capture with my camera.

I add some wood to the fire. I get ash in my hair. Not for the first time.

I write.

The west field moose is joined by its friend. I watch them jump the fence and come closer in the gathering dusk.

The cat is curled up in her house for the night.

Soup for dinner.

And the evening slips away.

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