Sunday, January 9, 2011

I don't know why you say goodbye; I say hello.

That's Gray and me standing out in the winter wonderland up at his camp. It was just yesterday that sis took the pic of the two of us. We decided to hike up to camp, make some hot chocolate on the camp stove, then come down again, all with the twins tagging along. Gray took up his weight bearing vest**, and I wore my backpack and belt pouch with canteen. **Note from Gray: Load Bearing Equipment (FLC).  Aside, he feels out of shape and is starting the process of getting into shape by doing walks with extra weight.  His LBE carries a waist pack in the back with water filter, oatmeal, hot chocolate, water flavoring, tinder for lighting fires, a "blast match", and a couple of lighters.  He plans to add a stripped down MRE to it.  On the sides he has two canteens holding 1qt of water each.  One has a canteen cup and 15yards of paracord.  He plans to add water purification tablets as well.  On the right top is a pouch holding a GPS, and below that is a camp knife.  On the left side are two double 30 round magazine pouches which are currently empty.

It's a good thing I took up water and so did he, as the water jug we keep up there was frozen solid! Of course, I could have melted snow for our water, which there was plenty of. It was quicker to use the canteen water, though, and there was enough for us to make hot chocolate for five, plus enough left over of the hot water to wash the dishes afterward. You can't ask for much more than that.

The boytwin really enjoyed his hot chocolate. We took our time hiking up (sis has terrible bad feet and needs surgery on them this summer), and really worked up a sweat. It wasn't that cold, all things considered; just hovering around the freezing point. We sat around with jackets open and gloves off, enjoying the crisp and clean air and the total lack of noise up there. The kids had rosy cheeks and sopping wet mittens before we got half way up the hill, and though I was a bit out of breath, I feel like I made a good effort. I made it up without much problem, so different from three years ago when we arrived here.

There was much fun enjoyed during our outing. The children stopped dozens of times to make snow angels. The girltwin was in her element, as you can see here. That's a Tinkerbelle "barbie" doll in her right hand, who came along for the ride because she wanted to visit with the Nymphs that inhabit our stream up by camp. I'm so glad our children know that fairies are real.

Though I wasn't able to get a picture of it, we found an interesting and fascinating sight when we arrived at our footbridge yesterday. The water in the stream was flowing well, and we could hear it from a ways off as we walked up. When we arrived, we saw that the water was frozen solid, though. Yet, we could see it go in one end of the black pipe, and HEAR it coming out the other end. The mystery was solved when we realized that the ice had formed a pipe of its own! The stream water was actually flowing down the black culvert pipe, and out of that into a pipe of ice that had formed around itself. We were really stunned, having never seen that kind of ice formation before. How neat!

We are concerned that the land may not be ours by spring. Much is going on in our private lives that doesn't belong on a blog, but suffice it to say that the forces of darkness really don't want us to be on the land at all. We'll be doing all we can to stay, but at the moment I'm guessing there's just no way for us to keep it. In a way, yesterday's trip seemed almost like a leave-taking, even though if we do have to leave we'll need to go up and take down structures and tents and such. It hurts, thinking of all the work we've put into the land; the shrines I built, the small altar to the Nymphs, Gray's whole camp, the footbridge, the ditching to drain the swampy area, the logging we did to make some of the paths safer... hundreds of man-hours that look to be thrown away. Yes, it hurts. But... we move on. We'll fight as much as we can, and still be sensible about it. The land isn't more important than our family, after all.

And so we focus on the happy moments. After all, we have each other. No one can take that away unless we allow it. Property, jobs, money, these things are able to be removed, but love belongs to us alone. We're not giving up. And so... we say hello.