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When I turned 40 I thought, "Man, this is pretty slick. What is everybody whining about?" Now, a few years past 40, I'm thinking, "Jeez. I wish I wanted to climb the stairs and help my kids clean their rooms, but I think I'll just sit on this porch and yell at them to bring me the telephone when it's ringing."

I will never complain about my grey hair or lines on my face. I think people look awesome as they age. It's earned glory. Most women go to the salon for that "frosted" look. God just gave me mine, and it was free. I'm the luckiest lady in the world because I don't mind looking my age.

But, I have days where I feel weak. Weak in spirit, not so much in body....yet.

You know that we camp out for a living. Not just during the summer, but all year long. We live in an unfinished house. If you've ever done that, you know it means you have to "move" about 300 times. Put it in the crawl space, pull it out, put it in your room, move it to the next room while you wire, move it back. Move it to the next room while you sheet rock, move it back.

However, I'm not ungrateful. I'd rather live in an unfinished house on property I own, than in a mansion on somebody else's land. That said, the work is constant. To live "without" means that when you finally have it, you know just how great it is!

I woke up the other morning feeling cold. Fall got skipped this year and we went right into winter. Time to get wood....I mean, more wood. It just might be a 15 cord winter with building house fires, bath fires, and outside celebration fires. The Hollon perfume is known as "Aroma de Campfire."

We loaded up the truck, as usual: saws, cooler, kids, dogs, Carhartts, toilet paper, gas, oil, guns, and ammo. The weather was gorgeous. Sunshine and rose hips. Tunes were blaring and spirits were high. We ascended the hill looking for a standing dead tree that would suit us. (That means it needs to be in sunshine, near-ish the road, not rotten, and big enough to be worth the effort.)

Without mentioning names we had two fits thrown, one dog to find...again, and 3 potty stops before we found our target: a sweet old Red Fir without too many limbs. Hollon glory! Now, if you ever feel weak, the best way to feel strong is to get moving and bust shit out! Travis jumped out, fell the old girl, and we started backing up the truck, having snowball fights, and yelling at dogs. Pretty soon, the whole damn family was hacking on that tree! A little classic rock and roll playing and we made short work of work. (And they laughed when we had 4 kids! Look who's got free labor now!)

I will always treasure these good old days. I know that one day there will be nobody to whine in the back seat, no body to fight with, and no body to feed PBJs to, while bouncing down a dirt road. I will treasure the moments of hard work that make me feel strong. I will treasure the Ibuprofen that I need the next day after hefting and tossing half rounds in the bed of the pick up truck. I will treasure being needed just a little too much from a tired 7 year old with dirt on his face


Life is good. Life is hard. Life at 42, just another mile marker.

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