Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jonesing for Yellowstone

"I'm reminded how much you've made me believe in the love that survives."

I bought new hiking boots this week!

I didn't even know I needed new hiking boots until I saw these Ahnu Montaras online and swooned.

I don't know how anyone buys shoes online. I have to try them on. So I headed to REI on my way home from class on Monday.

They didn't have them in this color, Tawny Port, but they did have them in Astral Aura.

Not a problem. I knew I could order them online.

Only they didn't fit, dangit. REI has a little simulated rock you can hike up and down. In my usual size, hiking down, my toes were hitting the toe of the shoe.

I tried a half size up and that was worse. I have narrow feet and my feet were actually sliding down in the shoe.

Bummer. Hiking shoes just don't come in narrow. You can get medium, wide and even extra-wide, but not narrow.

I asked if any of the boots ran narrow and the salesman suggested the Vasque Breeze.

I tried a pair on and man, my feet were home.

Sadly it didn't come in Tawny Port or any shade resembling red. I had a choice of Slate Brown/Blue Fish or Gargoyle/African Violet (pictured because that is what I got).

At this point I still hadn't made an actual decision to buy new boots. My hiking boots are about 9 years old but they just haven't seen that much trail use. I'm lucky to go one or two places a year where I can get in a couple of hikes.

As long as I was at REI anyway, I tried on some Keens. The Clearwater was narrow enough for me.

Then I went home and googled and found my way to Moosejaw. The prices were hands down the lowest and what with free shipping and coupon codes and rebates, and the fact that there was one of each in stock in my color and size, I didn't last the night. I have no will power.

On the side of rationalization, these new hikers really feel much more light weight and flexible and state of the art than my old REI-brand clodhoppers. I put those on and walked around the house in them for a while and they felt heavy and clunky and stiff and ugly.

Here they are, the inglorious bastards.

I loved them so so much when I first got them. They were my second pair from REI. I bought the first pair a half size too small and came back from Lassen Park with Black Toenail. Don't google that. Or if you do, don't look at the pictures. They aren't pretty.

I took the shoes back to REI and they exchanged them even though I had hiked in them, because that is their policy. I felt guilty enough about it to buy a much more expensive windbreaker jacket than I would otherwise have ever owned. I still love it. It's almost just the color of those Tawny Port Montaras.

Loyalty only goes so far though and Moosejaw not only had the best prices, they had the best sense of humor.

Today I got an email that said my order had shipped. After the order details, it said this.
Your Order Tracking and Order Summary Information is way above in red. We recommend printing this information and mounting it into a mahogany frame for a foyer or living room. If you don't have a printer they're very easy to take from a friend and bring back later, just something to keep in mind.

Love the madness,
No buyers remorse for this girl. I'm tickled that I'll be tripping the light fantastic (sans the music) in my new Breezes at Yellowstone Park in August. Yes, we finally made a plan. Rooms and flights are booked. We're flying in and out of Jackson Hole and staying two nights in the Canyon area and two night in the Lake area. Three whole days of hiking bliss.

So this was me again on Wednesday. It was damp and dreary but I walked anyway. Neil's away on business until Friday and I had cabin fever.

So I braved the elements and was rewarded with this.

I also saw mama egret and her chick - she keeps an egret eye on him - and the gray heron who looked cold, wet and miserable.

I made a few beads today too, before the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. Eye candy next time, promise.

But right now I have a story to finish.

This will be the last post about Nick. There are no more letters because I didn't save any more of them. We continued to write to each other through the fall of 1999 and into the winter of 2000. Two years had gone by since we first connected.

Nick's relationship with the new woman ended as abruptly as it had begun, although we never really talked much about it. He was on a steady trajectory now toward healing and wholeness and I was in a steady state, if still lonely at times.

By January he was seeing someone new.

I accepted that the love Nick felt for me was filial and not romantic, but I was disappointed that he wouldn't meet me for dinner or see a movie with me or play scrabble or hang out, as friends do. It began to affect my self-esteem.

So I may have tried to lay a guilt trip on him. And he may not have responded to one of my notes. And I may not have written again. And then another year passed and it was Christmas and I wrote to him, but he had changed ISPs and my email bounced back.

I'm sorry it ended, especially in that way. We had given each other so much. But perhaps we no longer needed each other, we had each served our purpose in the other's life, the last chapter had been written and it was time to close the book.

"When there is a great disappointment, we don't know if that's the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure." (Pema Chödrön)

In reality, a relationship between us never would have worked, we were too alike, too susceptible to neediness and co-dependence, too sensitive, too fragile, our feelings too easily hurt. Our politics so different, our backgrounds so dissimilar, oh there are so many reasons. Not the least of which is that I'm incredibly happy to be in love with my husband, who I admire and respect and who, after more than 10 years together, makes me laugh every single day of my life.

I have reason to believe that Nick is doing just fine. But it's not my story any more.

"You found me in a sea of confusion drifting with the tide
Living on love that had long since died
But every time that I touch you, baby
I feel a little more alive
And I'm reminded how much you've made me
Believe in the love that survives
You know, we must believe in the love that survives

Oh lessons learned are like bridges burned
You only need to cross them but once
Is the knowledge gained worth the price of the pain?
Are the spoils worth the cost of the hunt?
Are the spoils worth the cost of the hunt?

Borne on the first warm winds of feeling newly found
Fly but remember don't look down
Take as much as you think you ought to
Give just as much as you can
Don't forget what your failures have taught you
Or else you'll learn them all over again
Or else you'll have to learn them all over again."

(Dan Fogelberg)

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