Sunday, February 26, 2017

jumping the fence

Yesterday Ruby jumped the fence. She was off for a wild runabout, reappearing later without remorse. She was so excited when she returned that she could  barely breathe. She raced about in a state of delight (At least she came back). I'm sure she wanted to tell me all about her adventure, but also how much she missed me and wanted to come back. Oh, Ruby. That is a dilemma us fence jumpers have to live with all of our lives.

Good thing she's cute.



Obviously she can't be doing that. There's so much snow that it's easy for her to get out. We'll have to shovel.  But this started me thinking about fence jumping in general. Breaking out. Doing the unexpected, even if you "should" be doing something else. We did this on Friday. I worked longer days so Friday afternoon was free. Sort of.

I had deadlines. I should have been at work. But winter decided to reappear. The snow was the best I have ever seen it. It looked like December. Because of all the fluffiness, I was able to ski down slopes that I usually have to timidly walk down. It was not to be missed. Well worth jumping a fence or two.
I skied the next two days in a row. Snow like this comes only a few days in a lifetime. I dragged some friends on a windswept traverse one day, and the other day we sped silently through the woods, successfully navigating the Hill of Death with no falls. This winter is the one that never seems to end.

What makes some dogs fence jumpers? I don't know. The lure of the unknown must finally overcome safety and home. I get it, Ruby. I was a fence jumper when I was younger too.

Now I just ski. But there's freedom in that. With snow like this, I can go wherever I want. Sick of winter perhaps, the others have abandoned the trails. I haven't skied a groomed trail in years. Instead I hunt for passage through trees. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not.


Apparently, it's been a hard winter. At least that's what people are saying. It doesn't seem that way to me. We had a brief February thaw and people appeared in shorts. They took studded tires off. They were fooled. You don't turn your back on winter here. We have two months at least to go.

The thing about fence jumping is that sometimes you can't find your way back. That's why Ruby has to learn to stay home. That's why I don't pack up and go hike the Pacific Crest Trail in its entirety, in one season. Or go sequester myself in a waterless cabin and write novels for a year. Other people don't subscribe to this. "YOLO!" they exclaim. They all have tales of people who died too soon, reminders that life is short.

It is short. As we skied today, the blue diamonds we followed were put up by a man who left us way too soon. If he had known, would he have jumped the fence? Was there something he passed up, thinking he would have time later? It's impossible to say. The only thing I can think of is this: jump a few fences, don't miss the adventures that would break your heart not to miss. But come home to the people who stay behind, waiting for you.



16 comments:

  1. Without jumping fence occasionally one would never know if the other side is better and worth exploring further. I'm glad Ruby came home and realized exploring the other side is often better with her loving companion.

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    1. Me too..I want her to be a free range dog but maybe not that free range!

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  2. I like to jump the fence just to see what's on the other side. :)

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    1. True...sometimes it's not as good!

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  3. I'd totally jump the fence for an awesome powder day!

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    1. Yes, there are many unscheduled powder days here! Many people just show up at the volunteer ski area without even consulting each other and pitch in money for fuel to run the lift.

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  4. I love your last paragraph. I've been struggling with thoughts of fence jumping lately. Not just minor adventures and then coming back to an unfulfilling job, but Quitting the unfulfilling job and doing something else, many something elses. So far logic has prevailed, but I definitely feel the itch.

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  5. Yikes.. must have been a moment of "oh, no" Fence in town or tall fence on Hurricane River Road? Balancing that "I want/need to jump over the fence" with "I love my family and where I live" is a lifelong pull/tug. Glad she knew how to come back!

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    1. Hurricane, but there is so much snow it isn't that tall of a fence anymore.

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  6. I love this post and can totally relate. I spent much of my life living within the confines of the fence. When visiting a friend many years ago I recall her dog, Lucky, who was a total renegade and free spirit. Every day he'd escape, and run for a few hours with his pack. Eventually he'd come home and just like Ruby so tired and happy with stories to tell. His name was Lucky because he was a rescue dog that was lucky to have been adopted. He was lucky in his life for many years until finally he was sadly hit by a car.

    It's such a fine balance learning to jump the fence while still living within the confines of societal norms. Rule breaking is just not in my blood. I'm glad as I've aged I care less about societal norms and more about fence jumping.

    Thanks for giving me a smile this morning and may Ruby stay safe and learn adventuring with you is much better than solo.

    P.S. I had every intention of making Koontzy, my cat, and indoor/outdoor buddy, but as soon as he could climb the fence I just couldn't stomach him getting hit by a car or stolen and he became an indoor cat, with only supervised outdoor privileges. I'm sure he would have been happier as a roamer. That balance . . . I was mostly happier having him safe.

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    1. One of my cats just won't stay in and I feel the same way. He loves being outside but I worry about him all the time. Thankfully as he gets older he seems more into the comfy bed and treats. As we all do, to some degree.

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  7. Well said Mary, well said!
    No regrets.....

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    1. I have some regrets for the time I stayed in the wrong fence....

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  8. If you are climbing a mountain, then you should aware of jumping either from the fence or something else.
    luton airport meet and greet parking

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