The Novel is Done! and The Visit…
I did it. Pacheco Falls is done, I’ve rewritten the entire manuscript umpteen times and have sent it off to an agent. Think good thoughts for me, people. Today I cleaned out the cubbies above my desk that housed many different stages of the novel. I took the time to read some of the earliest drafts, and all I can say is, hallelujah. Rewriting is my best friend. The 378 page book is what I want it to be, but it isn’t for wimps. Now that I have a chance to catch up on my blogging, where to start? There are too many stories that have come and gone, so I will begin with my favorite part of the past couple of months.
Our two sons, Jack and Cole, and Cole’s girlfriend, Kendra, came to visit for a belated Christmas in mid January. As with any thing that has an aspect of disappointment (Genavieve, Eva and Cheyne couldn’t make it) the option for wonderment was ripe for the plucking. I got to know my sons as the adult men they are becoming with each passing week. Living in the middle of nowhere breeds a fertile ground for togetherness, especially when the temperatures are dipping below zero. We played lots of cards, horsed around with the mares, cooked wonderful food, and 4-wheeled it out into the hills over the snow-covered back roads. The kids helped Tim cut, split and stack about a cord and half of wood while I worked away on my novel. They played football everyday on our very own frozen tundra. We spent a week of pure love and joy. It was the best present.
An unlikely outcome occurred through this visit. Jack decided to move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Life can be tricky. Four days before he was to fly here to move, he broke his middle finger while bicycling home from the Crow’s Nest after a late shift. Undeterred by his misfortune, Jack got help packing and still flew out on schedule. I picked him up in Boise a few weeks ago on a frigid night. He stayed with us for two glorious weeks, during which time he hiked with us each day, climbed Bartlett Point, snowshoed up in the backcountry and applied for jobs online. We watched a movie every night. More heaven on earth for this mother. Last Monday, Tim and I drove Jack to Wyoming where he now lives with his buddy Jack. Yes, that’s right. Jack moved to Jackson Hole and is living with his friend, Jack. We hopped in our truck with the two Jacks, drove through Jackson and up to Blacktail Butte to introduce them to the awesome life of backcountry snowboarding. We climbed the mountainette on snowshoes and boarded down both sides, getting a handful of perfect powder turns. Jack already has a job. Oh, the freedom of the young and unencumbered. Tim and I drove away after a few days, our eyes agog with the splendor of the type of snowpack we realize will never happen in our neck of Idaho. We spent a day in the Teton Valley, where we recently snowboarded at Grand Targee, and had to ask ourselves, what if?