Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Real Life Intrudes

What a strange weekend. The weather was good and the company was amiable. One evening a friend played his fiddle and Jane (son Josh's girlfriend) played the guitar and we told silly jokes and sang old folk songs and, later on, hymns as we watched the fire and shared stories and prayers .

But a series of upsetting things (which I will not detail here) made for a rather schizophrenic mix of good and bad and happy and sad and up and down.

I was glad to head home. Late in the evening, feeling stiff and a bit out of sorts, I headed for a much-needed shower as Ken was unpacking the gear. Ken called from the garage -- uh oh--and I discovered him sitting with a boot full of blood. We ended the day in the acute care unit, watching blood splatter all over the small room. Horrible. This is the second time that Ken has had a vein rupture, or something like that. He's following up with a doctor today.

I feel exhausted, not invigorated. :-(

Here I am in my outfit. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Going Back in Time

Tomorrow morning I pack my wooden box full of clothes which will be hot, uncomfortable, restrictive and silly looking. I will drive an hour or so and then will help my husband Bearded Eagle (Ken) erect our lodge for the holiday weekend. This is no easy task, and by the time we are finished our backs will be aching. I'll set up a bed and then wooden chairs which will be covered in deer hide or sheepskin. Bearded Eagle will ponder what lashing needs to be done to make a makeshift table out of branches. I'll hang up a bearskin alongside the willow branch mandella which identifies our white canvas dwelling as belonging to "Bearded Eagle and Singing Owl." While I chop onions, Bearded Eagle will make a fire using only a flint and steel. I'll make admiring noises at how quickly he does this. We will brew coffee in an ancient pot on the fire and cook up a pot of something yummy called "Mountain Man's Breakfast." We'll don our buckskin "outfits" --and the transformation into Bearded Eagle and Singing Owl will be complete!

We'll greet others who also have assumed aliases, and we'll compete in such lofty and essential activities as knife and tomahawk throwing or skillet tossing. When night falls we will light beeswax candles in our lanterns and sit around the fire listening to animal sounds in the woods around us and singing happily.

Or, alternatively, we will listen to rain and wind as we huddle in our lodge and hope the weather clears soon. Why do we do this?

Good question, and one I often ask myself, especially after a day or two of living in primitive style -- and starting to miss my kitchen and my flush toilet and my bed and my shower. This fur-trade era reenacting seems rather silly!

Perhaps it is for the sheer fun of play acting. Playing "dress up" was one of my favorite pastimes as a little girl. Or perhaps it is because food cooked over a campfire (especially one started without matches) tastes better than food cooked on my stove. Or perhaps it is because sometimes....when the mood is right...the only light is candles....the only sounds are natural ones...and the figures seen in the dim lamplight are dressed in garb not seen since the early 1800s...sometimes...it is magical.

It really is possible, sometimes, to feel transported to another place, another era, another culture. It's eerie almost. But it is like nothing else. And when it happens it is worth the backache and the lack of plumbing.

Back in a few days!

I've done it!

I've joined the ranks of bloggers. Now I'll have to think of something to say! Hmmm....never been a problem so far.