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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Christmas Eve Update

It's Christmas Eve morning, and, although the sun isn't up yet, at 19 degrees it promises to be a lovely day!

I have been very remiss in updates lately, so this is my attempt at a catch-up.

Last week we attended the annual reservation Christmas party at Tom's work - our first, of course. Never enjoying the corporate parties from Tom's old job, I was somewhat dreading this one. But, it turned out to be a very enjoyable time, and I even ran into a few people that I hadn't seen in YEARS. (Now, remember, I went to school on the rez when Dad taught there many years ago.) One woman came up to me and (re)introduced herself (she remembered me) and welcomed me back joking, "Welcome back, Weslie! One way or another, everyone ends up coming home to (the name of the town)!" Another woman - the one who works the front desk at the community center where Tom takes his showers each morning - is one of the sweetest I know, and she gave us both the biggest hug, chastising Tom for never letting me out of the house to come up and visit. She remembered me, too (and I, her), from "back in the day". She invited us to the Elders' Christmas celebration that following Sunday, and we both wished - SO MUCH - that we could have attended (it was quite an honor to be invited) . . . but Tom had already made plans to head down to southwestern MN to visit his dad for the holidays.

So, as scheduled, Tom left for his hometown on Friday, the 15th. And, due to a small snowfall we'd received earlier in the week, I headed out to plow. I'd only gotten about 1 mile away from home when, on a corner, I saw a dogsled team coming down the road towards me. Dummy me (I later realized that dogteams can go ANYWHERE in the snow, but heavy trucks can't!), I pulled over and stopped so as to give the musher plenty of room to pass and not scare the dogs with the plow. As soon as I stopped the truck and lost my forward momentum, I felt a subtle "plink" as the two right tires juuuuust barely slipped over the side of the ditch. Long story short: sure enough, I was stuck. I shoveled. I spun. I rocked. Nothing. Well, that's a lie - I did slip muuuuch farther into the ditch that I had been to begin with! See, there was nearly glare ice underneath the snow on the road, and so the two tires on the driver's side couldn't get ANY traction. So, there I was.

I unloaded the dogs and set out for home. When I got there, I walked up to the trapper cabin to start the old Suburban in order to take it down to try to pull out the truck. But, the battery was dead. Of course. When I walked down to the house to get my car to use to jump-start the Suburban, the siding crew (who were, fortunately, working that day) insisted on taking over. It wasn't a quick and easy process, though, and it was a good 2-3 hours later by the time all was said and done. Ah, life in the northwoods.

When I got home that night, I realized that it was exactly the same day LAST year when I'd buried the old plow truck in the ditch in that big storm we'd had . . . when, Murphy's Law striking again, Tom was gone (again). So, as I said in the earlier photo posting, the moral of the story is that I'm not going plowing on December 15ths to come! (Well, that and I won't be stupid enough to pull over so far for a vehicle - of any kind - to pass!) Oh, these little learning experiences . . . !

On the up side, Tom's visit with his dad was very enjoyable, and he procured a new battery (for the old Suburban plow truck) and tow strap (which we'd had to drive an hour for to borrow for pulling the new plow truck out of the ditch). The cable that we had wasn't the right equipment for the job. If nothing else, these "learning experiences" do result in more of the correct equipment purchased (for living fairly remotely out in the middle of the woods) as well as useful knowledge gained (and, usually, the admitting of some degree of stupidity!).

Regarding Einstein, Tucker's brother, we've decided that the relationships among our three 4-legged critters are pretty good right now and that we don't want to risk jazzing that up. So, for now at least, we are waiting to see if he finds another good home. And, if I know ANYTHING about the breeder that we got Tucker from (and I do), Einstein will be WELL loved by his new owners.

I think that's it for big news. We don't have much snow, but there is enough to make it seem like Christmas. That's more than folks can say who live down along the big lake where it's brown and dreary. Living "up over the hill" has its definite meteorological (weather-related) advantages!

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