This weekend my sister Jennie and I went, kids in tow, to our momma’s house for the weekend. The idea was to get a bunch of stuff done and we did!! After a very hefty amount of playing.
You see, the first 5 years of my life were spent in the bush, some of it in a 1 room shack, some of it in a log house my dad built…with only one tap of water (cold) and an outhouse! They say the first 5 years of a person’s life help shape who they are in the long term. It’s an important time. I spent that time playing with dirt, fishing, sitting on top of a moose watching my dad gut it…etc.
For a family that was uprooted out of Los Angeles, we mesh with the wild wild outdoors very very very well.
So of course it would be logical that this weekend in the country, we would soak up as much of our roots as we possibly could!!!!
This included a trip to the dump, ridin in the back of a pickup, playing in a barn, shooting a .22 and a 12 gauge shot gun, falling a few trees with a chainsaw, eating wild strawberries, drinkin beer, inhaling bug dope, and 4x4ing through the bus. Had there been a grouse in sight there would have also been some huntin and some fresh grouse a ‘la campfire. I was hungry, okay?
We went to my very favourite home that I’ve ever ever ever lived in. It’s a small 2 bedroom log house situated amongst a barn, a small cabin, a chicken coop and a blacksmith shed….amongst other various farmyard outbuildings. The house is about 70-80 years old and the barn is well over 100. The floors in the home are slanted, the pipes froze in the winter, my mom went mad dealing with the dust and mouse poop on the counters every morning.
Abandoned now, the home stands just as we left it. A symbol of generations of hard-working ranchers. It’s the place my dreams are made of. It’s my happy place. It’s imperfect perfection. For a child, this is the best place on earth. I spent many many times there when my mom and step dad were dating and we always had such a fun time, at least that’s what I remember. My brother and I would go exploring and end up in trouble of one kind or another, at the very least we’d make it home soaking wet, crying or muddy. We moved there when I was 12 and, despite the fact that it was a very hard emotional year, I loved my home.
200 acres of fields and forest. There’s a creek that runs through and a big hill to sled down in the winter…just don’t ice it…leads to broken arms. It had cows and horses and dogs and cats. Heaven.
Visiting there, I took a deep breath in, savoring every second. I saw ghosts of my past, memories in every corner. I found the sign I had made when I came across an old compost area chalked full of these gigantic worms. “WORMS HERE”, I made $30 that year selling those alien worms to passing fishermen. I saw the bucket I used to bring water to an injured cow, keeping her comfortable, fed and watered until they came to take her away. The cattle there weren’t ours anymore, we were just living in the home.
Going through the fence where I used to slide through, bringing the horses some carrots I caught myself looking around for Jets and Goldy, Marks old horses. The barn is full of old bridals and whips, horseshoes and leather straps. I climbed up the ladder to the hayloft where my brother and I once got into a hornets nest, me getting stung 5 times…him untouched. The hayloft has one bale left in it but oh so many memories.
We moved on from there, we were really only there on our way to a property my parents own. We were looking for targets to shoot Mark’s .22 and 12 gauge at (mark = my step-dad). We drove through the back roads and out to the property.
We set up our targets and got to the good old-fashioned fun!! We love shooting guns!!! I’d never shot a 12 gauge before so I thought it would be a good idea to film it. This is me trying it to my shoulder for the first time. I shot from the hip at first. Because I’m crazy and no matter what plugin I download, I cannot seem to manage to embedd itunes to my blog…you’ll have to click the link.
I also got to cut down a tree with a chainsaw for the first time that trip. Felt good…then a bit sad…poor tree.
On the way home, my sister’s and I climbed into the back of the pickup and giggled as we tried to keep our balance while sitting on a bunch of logs that we had cut. We strapped Juliet in with a bungee cord and laughed our faces off. I was so thankful I have sisters who can just get down to playing, we’re all so much alike that way, I felt so blessed.
Anyway. This weekend was lovely. I love getting back to my roots. It’s revitalizing.