Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Is it possible to be in love with a place? To have somewhere that you want to go to and be with often? Where it is YOU who shows up, YOU that is greeted on the sidewalks and coffee shops and grocery stores? Where the other versions of yourself are left behind and the essence of your person, that person who you envision yourself to be, is the only one walking around?

When I travel I am rarely the Mom, the bill payer, the grocery shopper, the cook, the planner or the organizer.  Sometimes I'm not even the writer or the photographer, although often during visits to this place my mind and schedule are cleared and I am able to be those things even more so. When those that we meet in this small town ask what I do, that is what I tell them. For some reason I can define myself more easily this way here than I can when I'm at home. Am I more brave here? Less intimidated at having to explain that being a writer and photographer doesn't always mean a paycheck? That knitting words and capturing moments and creating and making is a way of life?

When we're away, in this place that I love, I often forget about makeup and wear my hair in a ponytail. Jeans and hiking boots or snow boots feel best. I might try out different clothes and jewelry, or a look that those who know me at home aren't used to........cowboy boots or an enormous scarf made of granny squares.

I love it because I fit things into my day that I otherwise don't always make time listening for the train to whistle and rumble on its tracks around the lake and how this noise echos off surrounding hills and mountains. Like sleeping in, or waking up extra early in order to see the sun color the ice on the lake or the snow on the peaks deep rose and pink and yellow. Marc and I sip coffee in a small local shop, people watch and talk about problem solving allowed. Walk forty-five minutes into town for breakfast at a cafe where local artists and photographers display their work on brick walls, and then back hurry. Chat with the owner of a sled dog team and his friendly, eager dogs. Taste the variety of brews served up in the local brewery, and watch as boarders and skiers  fresh off the mountain, populate bar stools one by one, red faced and sharing the best parts of their day. ("I'm convinced it's not the pow that brings them up the's the sun, dude....") Sit and read or knit all day with no other agenda. No urgency to cram in a few pages or rows before being interrupted by the phone or the front door or the appointments on the calendar.

This is a town that still looks like Christmas until after their Winter Carnival in February. That hosts the Skijoring World Championships. Where shopkeepers and business owners and their employees......and many others that I meet...... live because they want to. Because they all landed here one way or the other, loved it and stayed. Because, although in this economy, it may not offer them a chance to get rich and spend money, it offers them a chance to spend time.

Do I love it because it is a place in which I can vacate the schedules and busy-ness of my daily life near a big city? Or because this is more what I would like my daily life to be.

Here there are deep breathes of icy air in the winter and warm fragrant ones in the summer. And if the boys are with us, I watch them do the same things, too. And breathe.......

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Warmly, Margaret

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