Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Parallel Life

If you're in a bad mood, get yourself to a ski town that has suffered from lack of winter for several years, and been terrorized by wildfires due to same. Plan to arrive on the day before the biggest snowstorm anyone has seen there in at least eight years. Wander the streets, helping push cars out of ditches. Instead of being mad about their predicament, everyone will laugh instead. Snow is magic in a ski town.

The view from a winter storm.
 Then go skiing. Because here, there are groomed trails. Yes, really!  Here you don't slog through feet of unconsolidated powder, hunting in vain for the elusive blue diamond. Here there are so many trails to choose from that you feel slightly manic.

I still like wandering through the woods though, so we veered off to ski by the river.

I was in town for a book signing (only my friends braved the storm) and a book club meeting (composed of women who obviously don't live in tiny houses). I used to live over the pass from this town, in a mountain valley where I almost stayed. One winter, a friend offered me a caretaking job there. "You'll have to fix fences and there's no running water," he said. "Also, to get there, you'll have to winch yourself across the Salmon River on a cable car." There's been many times I've regretted not doing this. Instead, I packed my car and drove on to an uncertain future.

Back in those days, we would drive over the pass on our days off in search of pizza. Sun Valley was a glittery place full of things we couldn't afford, and it hasn't changed all that much. It's also full of people who are constantly outside. It wouldn't be hard to find adventure buddies here.

Most of my friends from the mountain side have migrated over to the valley, where life is undeniably easier. It doesn't get to thirty below there, there are schools for the high school kids, an airport, more kindred souls. Maybe I would have too, if I had stayed. The beauty of pondering your parallel life is that you will never really know. Maybe I would have cursed the cable car. Maybe I would have wanted a hot shower. Maybe it would have all turned out fabulously and the life I am living now would have been my parallel life. You have to love the life you're in, or why bother? It's still something interesting to ponder.
They have bridges in the valley. We skied across this one.


What is your parallel life? Tell me in the comments!


12 comments:

  1. Hi Mary, for me, it's slightly different. Winter is my favorite time of the year. Where I hang out and travel people are helping Snowmachiners out who got stuck in deep snow. Whenever I got stuck, I would sit there until someone with a bigger machine came along helped me out and make a trail for me to follow. There were times I had to spend a night out, which was fun. I always carry a tent and emergency supplies no matter how far I was going. I've learned thru the years to take it easy and enjoy the fact, you are alive.

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    1. That's nice that people help each other out. Also, if I lived where you do I would definitely carry all that gear. I carry a lot of it when just going skiing for an hour. Because you never know.

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  2. I play the "what if" game. What if I hadn't moved away from my tiny home town when I was 17. What if I hadn't followed my higher education calling and moved again, and again and again. All those opportunities I took that led me to where I am now. One where I can't fathom living contentedly in the town where I grew up. What if I'd stopped somewhere else along this journey or taken a different path? So many what ifs but no regrets so guessing I'm where I'm supposed to be while I look for that next destination.

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    1. I can't imagine that either. A lot of my high school friends did it, though. I'm glad I saw more of the country, even though I probably won't move now.

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  3. My parallel like would be in, or near, mountains, with work in the outdoors, or connected to it. It would be a small town, for sure, can't imagine bumping elbows with thousands of people every day. Wait, that sounds like your life! I love where I live and the people who live here, its beauty, and the real sense of community. Thinking about parallel lives is intriguing but thinking about the life I've led and its many rewards, no regrets.

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    1. I'm always impressed by people who truly have no regrets. I wouldn't change the outcome of my life now but I think of times when I wish I hadn't been so focused on work, or could have been kinder, or maybe taken more opportunities

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    2. Probably should have said "no regrets about the life I chose vs parallel lives." If one is alive, there are always things that could have/should been done better, in work, relationships. Some regrets--yes, there are some---are of things that are/were not under my control. I'm not good at letting go of those thoughts, but working on it!

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  4. My parallel universe would've been if I'd stayed in my hometown and never moved to Oregon. So glad that didn't happen! And, yes I agree snow-starved ski towns are happy places when snow finally arrives!

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    1. I never considered staying in my home town because there was so much to see. Once I got west, I was hooked. That's not my real parallel life because it wasn't an option. Interesting to think about, though.

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  5. I love that I was born in Australia, for its space, freedom and unique beauty but when I read blogs like yours. I so wish that I could spend at least a year experiencing what you have.
    Just love your bridge shot.

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    1. And I would like to spend a year in Australia!

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