So, for starters, this blog is written by a woman. In specific Travis's wife, Shoshannah.
This is where I get to talk about MY version of living in the mountains with 4 kids, 2 dogs, and a mountain miner man.
For my first entry I am going to keep it simple: Camping in the mountains.
FAMILY camping in the mountains.
Now, you might not have kids living at home anymore. That's fine. I'm sure your house, car, and LIFE stay a LOT cleaner than mine. But you remember, don't you? The sounds of madness, whether it's laughter or tears, the mounds of laundry and dishes, the immense grocery buying. It is a big adventure. And that's at home.
Now take all of that madness and let's load it into a car....at 7 a.m.
That's what we do. ALL of June and ALL of July is spent packing, loading, unloading, packing, loading and unpacking again. To even get to our destination is a full on war!
"Where are my socks?"
"Mom, have you seen my book?"
"The phone is ringing...the PHONE!"
"Did anyone load the dog food, yet?"
"WHY IS NOBODY IN THE TRUCK!?"
(That last sentence was the miner man wondering WHY it takes the miner kids....and wife...so damn long to actually GET into the vehicle.)
But, when we finally do! When the boxes are wrapped and tucked and dog proofed, when the coolers are stacked and loaded to bursting, when 4 kids, 2 dogs, and 1 wife are FINALLY loaded up into the truck, it's absolute crazy perfection.
The drive alone is breathtaking. The wild flowers: lupine, paint brush, some red dingle bell looking thing, daisies, golden rod, and fireweed all leaping to life on the hill. The view of the Seven Devils and the Salmon River Canyon burn a happy ache into my heart. I love where I live and what I do, every single time. Every. Single. Time.
When we crest the last hill, when we sneak into our hidden little driveway, when we round the corner and see that tent, it's Home Sweet Home on the Hill!
Yes, there are struggles: Littles that resist bedtime, Bigs that fight over camp chairs, worn out humans needing a break, dust covered faces needing washed, and sore backs from shoveling pay dirt. But, struggles make life worth fighting for!
Being away from the phones and near the clear sky make kids gentler and quiet (which is ALWAYS a good thing). Being stuck with each other as last resort best friends builds bonds that can't be faked.
Yeah, somebody in my family quits their job every day. Somebody throws a fit or a shovel or their sister's boot. But, we also have comedy worthy jokes that get made and laughed at everyday. Kisses that get given every night. Snuggles and cozy stories in the warm tent, with the wood stove stoked, and the night birds singing songs until we drift off. It's bliss. Especially in memory. Complete bliss.
That's why we'll do it again. We will seek the lovely misery of the mountains because that's where all the real stuff happens. Town will keep. Gossip will keep. Voicemails will keep. But kids don't keep. Life doesn't keep. You gotta live it.