Fire, wine, & cheese

It’s dark, and I click my ski boots in one after the other. I double and triple check to make sure I have my cell phone, my spare batteries, and of course, extra clothing. It’s about -20°C. I can see my breath in the ray of light cast by my headlamp. Just as I head out, the lights on the trail go out.

I’ve been on this trail a couple of times before but never in the dark by myself. Landmarks, so familiar before, are completely engulfed in darkness. So, at the first intersection, I pull the map out of my sleeve to make sure I’m where I should be. Confident, I fold it, slip it back in, and tighten the Velcro around my gloves.

At one point, I stop in my tracks and just listen. No more crunching snow. All I can hear is my breath and the nylon on my jacket rub with the slightest movement. The sky is filled with stars and slight cloud cover. I smile to myself and feel so, so happy to live here.

A short while later I can see a dancing glow in the distance, and laughter fills the air. I made it! A few people are sitting around a healthy fire. I plant my skis and poles in the snow and make my way into the hut where a table of wines, cheeses, and breads greets me. Ahhhhh, to live in the Yukon. The perfect place to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

I want to be all growed up.

Now that I’m about halfway through my first year of teaching, people constantly ask, “How’s your first year going?…How’s teaching?…How are you liking it?” Actually, they’ve been asking since the beginning of the year.

Enough already!

The answer to all those questions depend on what kind of week I’m having. As you have seen on a previous post, the first year of teaching is like a roller-coaster ride. There are moments of exhilaration, but there are many, many moments of despair, discouragement, and, well, insert any negative word here: ___________.

I don’t mean to sound negative, but teaching is not an easy task, and it’s definitely not what most people think it is. So, since I’m only in my first year, I figure I should at least have a couple more years of experience before I can answer the questions, “How’s teaching? How are you liking it?”

For now, all I can say is that it’s not at all what people think it is, and it’s not at all what I thought it would be. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean I hate it. I just need to get through the initial learning curve so that my opinion of teaching is not influenced by the challenges associated with its early years.

I’m still a baby in terms of my career, and I so want to be all growed up! So while I work my way through this learning curve, don’t mind me if I ramble on, and keep in mind that my answer to your questions will change week by week…at least during the first couple of years.

I know I’m turning 40 because:

Turning XL

I know I’m turning 40 because:

  1. My bedtime is now around 9:30 – 10:00. That used to be the time I left the house to go out.
  2. I can wake up at 6am. Without help. Sometimes.
  3. I no longer could work a graveyard shift, stay up all day, and function.
  4. I take naps with increasing frequency. Didn’t use to do that. Nope.
  5. A few lines are starting to appear on my face. Yikes!
  6. Dying my hair is no longer a personal choice.
  7. I start my day off with a morning coffee. (Actually, I thought mornings were a figment of people’s imagination.)
  8. I get hangovers if I have 3 drinks or more. (Okay, that’s a good one, because it’s an incentive to stop after two.)
  9. When I look at my naked self, I notice things starting to hang that didn’t before
  10. I consider leg hair to be an extra layer of warmth in the winter

But on the more serious side of things, I feel pretty satisfied with what I’ve accomplished so far. Although I was a late starter, I can turn 40 and honestly feel contented. I say late starter because most of the things I’ve done in the last ten years are things people usually do before they turn 30. I guess it’s never too late. For example, in the last ten years I:

  • Moved to another part of the country
  • Finally got my post-secondary education
  • Followed my dream of becoming a classroom teacher
  • Found and married my soul mate

Actually, except for the moving bit, everything else was within the last few years.

I thought of waiting until my birthday in August to post this, but I decided to do it now. Why? So that all of this thinking and worrying could be done and over with by the time my birthday rolls around. Then I can sit on the beach at Sauble, wear my swimsuit, and not give a rat’s a$$ what anyone thinks. This is who I am, and I’m proud!

I’m going to Paradise!

Newfoundland, that is. That will be after I lose 30 lbs and brown myself up a little on Sauble Beach.

For the past two months, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do to mark my 40th birthday as it’s coming up this summer. I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland, and I’ve always wanted to visit Newfoundland.

One of my good friends, Darlene, lives in St. John’s Paradise, Newfoundland. Imagine telling people you’re from Paradise. I love it! Anyway, after spending more time than what is healthy on the Aeroplan site, I ended up finding a great deal to travel across the country with a stop at another friend’s place (Sauble Beach).

I’ll be missing the George Street Festival, but I have no doubt that my trip will be a memorable one.

Hhhmmm…I wonder if I could turn 40 again next year.

Photo Challenge

When it comes to a tag involving photographs, I’m all over it. Similar to a recent one I posted, Don’t Bug Me has tagged anyone who’s interested to post the fourth photo from the fourth folder (unlike my recent one where it was the sixth of the sixth). Anyway, here goes:

Caribou Lake

Caribou Lake

The photo above was taken the weekend before my wedding. I visited my aunt and uncle, and they took me fishing at a friend’s lodge called Bear Paw Lodge. I’ve blogged about this great fishing experience before. Here is a photo taken from almost the same spot, just a few minutes later [and zoomed in]:

Caribou Lake

Caribou Lake

And then there’s the dock:

Docked

Docked

One of the cabins:

Caribou Cabin

Caribou Cabin

And what would such a beautiful lake be without delicious pickerel?

Fishing at Bear Paw Lodge

Fishing at Bear Paw Lodge

So, now it’s your turn.