Autumn in the North

It gets dark early now, dusk sneaking in like a Wolf; with shadows lasting late into the morning. The sun doesn’t make as many appearances, and the change to the landscape is becoming more startling. Leaves of orange, red, and brown cover the streets IMG_0909 IMG_0934and yards of the town. Amidst them the Ravens become more pronounced as they sing a sad song, deepening the bitter chill.

Anticipation hangs in the air: the inevitable wait for Old Man Winter to come knocking. His bones will ache, slowing time down. Our thoughts will be directed into the buried places of our mind, as the world turns white and ices over. A humbling stagnation tells us we approach things too fast and rush life without reason. Reflection. The crystals covering the land play with our eyes, the dance of a different time.

Like the humans we are, the drawn out months will produce a longing for a sun-kissed face again, a world of color and life. We pine for the moment when we trade in the snow shoes for sandals and once again dip a paddle into a glistening lake.

With any hope we will heed the “old man’s” advice and learn from the seasonal transformations. Adjust our pace allowing the serendipities of change to lead us to new paths and new discoveries. Rise up from the reminisce of that darker time and move on with lives transformations.

The Gypsy

“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.” Anonymous

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Movement

Movement.

Fall is upon us and things are moving. The wind blows the leaves away leaving the trees bare. Animals migrate to find a more suitable place for food, as the land becomes too barren. The weather moves in various patterns reminding us that the bitter chill is just around the corner. In the mean time we enjoy the final harvests, the crisp air, and the smell of wood burning in stoves IMG_1961around town. Our movements tend to slow down and we become more introspective. The go go go of summer activities has ceased and we want to sleep more, eat more, and do less. Every fall movement is primal and goes back eons; as survival is instinct.

Up North preparation for winter is taken a bit more serious as the power of Mother Nature is more pronounced. Days are spent making sure enough wood is chopped, fuel oil is filled, winter clothes are adequate, windows are covered, and cars are winter proofed. The bitterness of -30 degrees can one moment seem enchanting and the next deadly. All in all we embrace this change, because it is impossible to fight against. In the present we take advantage of no ice on the lakes, the sound of leaves under our boots, and as many outdoor bonfires as we can. We eventually say goodbye to summer endeavors and hello to new Winter adventures.

Movement is happening, movement is life. A change is coming.

The Gypsy

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Three Years

DSCF0460It was 3 years ago today when the Fisherman and I decided we were ready for an adventure. September 10, 2012 was when we officially/unofficially started dating, had our first kiss, and decided not to ignore the fact that we really like each other. Adventure could be an understatement, the past three years have exhibited quite the unique life for us. Still very much in love, we continue to live out a passion up North contemplating the next journey. I couldn’t ask for a better partner to do life with then my incredible husband.

Tom is more than a fisherman- he is a pretend model, a Will Farrell impersonator, and a karaoke in the car kind of guy. He will make you laugh until it hurts and remind you to dance like no one is watching. He has no shame, nor need to impress. Although he does great impersonations. He gets fired up about sports, good custard, and beer…..typical guy? Maybe, imagebut I suppose I am similar (sports, good wine, and vegetables). Opposites? Nah. We make it work.

Many also know that Tom has a heart too big to fit into any chest cavity. He genuinely cares for those around him and is quick to help out most anyone. He is ethical, joyful, and amorous – just a few of the qualities that attracted me to him in the first place. My fisherman is also extremely creative and is always scheming up a new art project or new venture. It’s amazing how the time has flown for us…..feels like we have been married forever (in the good way).

I would say that as I flew across the world from Cambodia to Denver, three years ago, I knew that something crazy was about to happen. imageCrazy wonderful. Tom was waiting for me at the top of the escalator, we embraced and everything felt right. It was comfortable and even in my delirious jet lagged state, I knew it was just the beginning of something amazing.

Now we are married and haven’t stopped adventuring. One early morning as were canoeing  through the thick mist  on an icy cold morning, I thought of how incredibly blessed we are. We found each other in the vast sea of people on this earth and somehow fit together through our own passions. I am lucky to have a supportive and incredible man like Tom in my life. He will always be sitting stern, steadily paddling and helping to guide us along the many paths we choose. Here’s to many more years to us and all those filled with wanderlust and the need to adventure.

I Love You Tom!!


The Gypsy

“As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was about to begin.” Winnie the Pooh

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When the Water is like Glass

Beyond the sounds of a small bustling tourist town. Beyond the distractions of ‘to do’ lists. Beyond the reminders of certain realities, we can find ourselves in the middle of a lake. A dot on a map, a place beyond the woods.

Carrying 40 plus pounds of a canoe and a loaded pack on our shoulders, we’ve hiked and paddled to get there. Sweaty and IMG_1568IMG_1544bug bitten we find accolades in the middle of the water. Shimmering like glass the lake produces fish playing on the surface, their bodies a wondrous glittery sight. A loon surfaces near the boat, it’s red eyes keeping us in its sights. Somehow they never lose the ability to fill us with awe. A little farther away a mother loon quickly gets her baby on her back, hiding it under her feathers for protection. She may produce an eerie call to summon help from daddy loon, and like magic he will surface near her. The power of a parent’s love shown in a feathered creature, serves as a good lesson to all animals. Our paddles break the stillness of the water, producing subtle swirling currents.

Every lake has its own mystery and its own production. Eagles soar above treetops, calm and sophisticated. Turtles sunbathe on rocks, their shells reflecting the warm sun. We paddle forward and portage on for miles. At last we reach our destination for the night on an Island, where we set up camp. The fire is built, our dinner is cooked, and we sit in serene silence. The fire crackles, the loon’s songs echo across the lake, somehow compelling our weary muscles to relax. A jack rabbit with ears to the moon hops out from a bush and inspects us. When he stands to eat a leaf, he looks like a kangaroo. Somehow he is stranded on this Island until Old Man Winter comes again and the lake ices over. This is the Boundary Waters IMG_1585Canoe Area, this is a spiritual place of refuge. If we are lucky, we will hear a pack of IMG_1436wolves howl or even see the Northern Lights reflect across the vast night sky. All these things are what bring thousands of people to this area each year and we are lucky enough to experience it whenever we want to.

As the sun goes down, it shoots amazing colors of oranges, reds, and yellows across the sky. It’s beauty is enough to turn off our minds and allow us to just sit and watch in stillness. This is the image engraved in our DSCF0720minds when we return to work after the weekend. It’s a promise to us that we can return to the place where the water is like glass whenever we desire. We’ve been promised that we will see IMG_1586something new each time. A moose, a bear, a playful chipmunk, or an array of blooming flowers. There is never a lack of Creation or a shortness of beauty in this place.

The Gypsy

“Go outside…..amidst the simple beauty of nature…..and know that as long as places like this exist, there will be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.” Anne Frank

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Life Overview

It’s been awhile since our last post. There could be many reasons for that, but why elaborate?

It’s been a slow transition, as we adjust to our new home and get into the groove of things. We find that writing doesn’t come as easy and putting our many thoughts into words fails us. Sometimes a brief overview of the happenings may be all we can do for now.

Life in a Northern town has picked up it’s pace and will soon be full steam ahead. The ice has receded from the lakes revealing a frigid swirl of clean and clear water. Wildlife have begun to come out of their Winter sojourn, leaving their tracks for all to see. The mysterious call of the loon is once again an everyday sound, reverberating through the streets of the town. Wolves are DSCF0720coming out of the shadows looking for food, making those who are blessed to spot them draw their breath in with awe. The moose and the deer are getting ready to have babies, a sign that the warmth is on its way; while the ambling bear wreaks havoc on people’s bird feeders. You see life near the Boundary Waters can be magical for those who slow down to see it.

The fisherman and I did a very long day paddle (25 miles) to see some wonderful falls. We were graced with the presence of many eagles dancing in the sky above and fishing in the water in front of us. Our hard work that day rewarded us and as we pushed to the last paddle stroke, we began to dream of a fatty humongous steak (which we quickly indulged in DSCF0747at the conclusion of our trip).

Small town life has begun again.

The local grocery store specials are sauerkraut, blood sausage, and hot bologna sandwiches. People feel comfortable enough to return things they rented to the local bar (because it is after hours for their outfitter). A neighbor crosses the street, knocks on our door, and hands us fish he has caught welcoming us back to town. It takes 2 plus weeks to get underwear I ordered from a major department store, leaving the door open for many jokes. The infamous local who walks everywhere barefoot (except to church), shows up to the Outfitter on a chilly day. He retrieves his wood canoe that we have stored for the winter, gets help getting it on his shoulders, and proceeds to walk the 70 plus pound watercraft a mile to the nearest lake. Haircuts are hard to get here (and expensive), so at 9pm one evening…..I cut Tom’s curly mass of hair for the first time ever. We are still married.

DSCF0741Ely is awakening, people are coming out of the woods and out of hibernation bringing life back into the town. The stories can only get better from here.

The Gypsy

DSCF0739“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller

The Big Decision

Highways stretch for miles, the constant speed of cruise control lulls you into your thoughts.

Change.

It is good, it is hard. We made a big life decision, a decision that we anticipate will only improve our quality of life. Not to mean our life was rough, but we knew there were still dreams to be had up North. Packing up your life into a 16 foot truck is never easy, and requires you dig through your past and let go of the unnecessary. The freedom comes when you put it into to drive and go on the journey a little lighter. So we did.

The monotony of the plains in the Midwest stirred up the dust of our worries and we experienced different emotions. Is this the right decision, is this going to be worth it, will we survive this mountain of a task? As the pavement continued, so did we. You see the questions we asked weren’t going to make a difference in the choice we made. The right decision isn’t really a clear answer, because the experience is yet to be had. We know the worth is there, because life is what we make of it (however messy that is). Even when we had doubts, God snuck in some sneaky reassurances. The amazing group of eagles we passed playing king of the trees. The confident coyote that ran in front of us, sure of itself and where it was going (not needing to know exactly where it would end up). The man in a wheelchair, finding joy with friends in a roadside cafe; just when we wanted to complain of how sore we were from driving. Reminders.

So, on a mid week evening we rolled into our sleepy northern town. On the cusp of tourist season, there is a hush and quiet IMG_1337IMG_1335solitude here. We moved back into our 1950s house, and overwhelmed it with our modern load of possessions. A barbecue with some old friends allowed us to take a deep breath, making it feel as if we had never left. Now we continue to make this house our home, start work, and await the beginning of the canoeing season. The ice continues to be overcome by flowing water, a representation of Spring’s transformation. Transforming the gray of winter into the brightness of a new day. Bringing new hopes out of the mundane melancholy we can easily find ourselves stuck in.

New Adventures await us on the Boundary Water’s horizon and in Small town America. We can’t wait to share each one  as we experience them.

The Best time for New beginnings is Now.

the gypsy

PS. We brought our own vacuum this time, so no more fear of electrocution. RIP Filter QueenIMG_1341

Mid Week Thoughts

Life lesson: Something from which useful knowledge or principles can be learned.

On a daily basis from Day One, we are in a perpetual cycle of learning new things. Some are hard to swallow and bear, others an easy and informative lesson. All of them given to us for a reason, and a way for us to become the person we were put here to IMG_1096become. These thoughts cross my mind most weeks, as Tom and I try to “plan” for our future.

I imagine most of us are in a place in life that we could use a break from so many “lessons”, but then I smile because I realize where would we be without them? Life Lessons are the door to the unknown, to the adventures that we are too afraid to take. They are a realization that when we didn’t take the chances put before us, we regretted it somewhere down the line. They taught us to take the next chance that came our way, knowing that the rewards would far outweigh the difficulty of that leap of Faith.

” Life is about courage and going into the Unknown.” The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

IMG_1115The Fisherman and I are heading up North to Ely for a few days. We are going from sunny, oddly warm Colorado to a frigid Winter Wonderland. We are excited to explore the Boundary Waters on skis and catch up with our many friends there. Maybe this trip will be about the next chance in life and maybe it will give us some new revelations. Either way, it’s going to be a very enjoyable time. Bring on the Hot Tea and Layers:)

Take a Chance this week Friends, it’s worth it.