YESTERDAY was a very good day.
Today was different.
Everything cancelled but Piggie Time
and the visiting nurse.
She used a phrase I have never
heard used medically before.
We have some high mountains here:
mountains people travel to and climb,
practicing for Mt. Everest...
But this was different.
I live on the floor...you can't
fall if you are already there.
She called "getting up" - just the
simple act of standing-
and it made me laugh!
You don't know how many times
over how many long years that one
effort I have compared to climbing
Everest! It can be that hard, that
challenging, but those of us who live
this way are beholden to keep it a secret
because...well, we know why.
She actually noted in her computer notes,
when I slowly rose from the floor,
she referred to it as
"Patient gained altitude."
I burst out laughing, remembering
so many topo maps I still have
that Edwin and I always carried with our
trusty compass...neither of us knowing
how to use either tool, just taking them
since they were listed in what are known
in the hiking, climbing, backpacking
world as two of the "Ten Essentials."
We feel pretty sure that knowing how to
use them is one of the Essentials but...
we both agreed that carrying them
absolved us of sin. Should we get
could in an avalanche, a white-out, or
simply get lost, once found and interviewed on
T.V. getting out of our Blackhawk rescue heli,
we could at least say we carried "The Ten Essentials." They always say on T.V. about lost people that "Such and such are known to be experienced backcountry so-and-so's,"
particularly those who disappear on Mt. Rainier or Mt. Baker (and generally found alive.) So I think we do it more for the press coverage, you know, to cover ourselves just in case...we've been lucky. But I hate seeing a heli heading East especially during the winter...and if's it's been
an epic snow winter, like our '99-2000 year,
when Mt. Baker set THE World Record for greatest snowfall ever recorded in history on Earth...helis flying east that summer were going to pluck what had unthawed and nobody liked that. What is so alluring about going Out of Bounds when you end up six feet under in the end? Well, it happens in mountain country, especially with a lotta hotdogging cowboys with feet firmly attached to snowboards and backcountry skis and brains that interpret WARNING: BACKCOUNTRY signs as WELCOME mats...
Our country's wild, it's why we love it.
No condos, no movie stars, no development.
Just wild, rugged mountains that take you a
little closer to heaven if you're lucky enough
to "gain altitude!"
Today I didn't gain much altitude.
Just watched VinnyGuinea and Bhindi
chase and hop and popcorn and never
stop running or jumping for HOURS
in their Runabout and soon I will
put Bhindi back and let YumYum
have a go. He gets tired easily now but
still loves his play time with Vinny.
Hopefully I can pick up Bhindi's new
cage tomorrow...his bits are really, really
And he is so strong! Both he and VinnyGuinea
are nearly impossible to photograph because
they are constantly in motion and Bhindi
runs up to the camera then smooshes his
nose into the lens wondering why it doesn't
smell like food. Then he tries to bite it!
HAVE I MENTIONED HIS BITS?!
THEY HAVE DESCENDED, YET
CONTINUE TO GROW...AM
AFRAID TO RESEARCH IT, THINK
WE MIGHT HAVE A MUTANT NINJA-BOY!
STILL WAITING FOR SLIPPERY, SILKY
VINNY'S "MAN-PARTS"...HE'S GOT THE
"FISH, JUST NOT THE CHIPS..."
Please forgive me for not opening emails,
I just didn't have enough altitude.
Tomorrow will be a better day.