A SKI CHAIR!
It's been a challenging few weeks over here in Eastern Oregon, with Survivor: Malheur Refuge playing out daily. I don't live in Burns anymore, but I did for five years, working for the BLM, and I know the whole history of where this began. I know a lot more than what is being reported, but let's leave it at that. There's a rally to protest the death and arrests this weekend in a tiny town south of us, along with "government overreach." There are senators (I'm looking at you, Utah) proposing bills to turn public lands over to the states, which would change them forever, especially recreation access. (States would have to run the land for profit. Who is going to lose in that scenario? Not the miners or the ranchers). It's hard to be universally hated for the agency you work for, especially when you have dedicated your life to helping people enjoy the outdoors, with many toilet cleaning jobs thrown in.
There were many times when I thought, why am I even doing this job? Why do I even live here? There are places to go where life would be a lot easier. Hawaii comes to mind. But every so often something appears in life that makes you realize you belong somewhere, like a ski chair showing up on your deck.
I have long coveted these chairs. They are a rare species, adorning the porches of a few residents lucky enough to know how to make them or win them at a fundraiser. They just make me smile. Though I am sure they exist in some form in other places, something about them makes me always think of this town.
Turns out that J has been hoarding skis for years to make me a chair (I think he may have used an ex's skis to make part of it. Oh well, we all have a history). It's too cold right now to hang out on the deck and it will be for months. But who cares! I have a ski chair! I belong here, and I'm not going anywhere.