“I am a rugged mountain woman and rugged mountain women just handle these things,” I declared as I stared at the overflowing washing machine.
I turned off the water to the machine, pulled the front housing off the washer, and used a screwdriver to remove the clamp on the hose. I pulled the hose off the drain and let the water run freely out of the wash house door. Most of the water landed temporarily on my sneakers before flowing down the hillside.
“Rugged mountain women do not work outside in wet sneakers.” I walked inside, removed my shoes, placed them by the fire, and reported to my husband that the washer was drained and in need of repair. I worked by the fire. My shoes dried next to me and were cleaner than they had been in months.
My muscles began to speak to me because I had spent over two hours clearing brush outside. It was the first time I worked that long and hard in a very long time. Rugged mountain women do not usually take such a long hiatus but when they do, they bounce back quickly.
I would work the next day on the brush project as well and wipe away the tears anticipating two funerals the following day with a visit in between to the hospital to say goodbye to a dying friend. It has been a month of funerals.
There does not appear to be an emotional economy of scale in clustering five funerals in a six week period of time.
There really was no better time than now to come out of my long slumber and live the rugged life my body was made to handle. My body is strong and builds muscle very quickly. I can thank my football player father for this quality, a quality I did not appreciate until many years into my life.
Back from the hiatus
In the long nights of winter here in California Hot Springs, without television service and without central heat, we have been sitting around the fire waxing philosophical. The topic of late is the movie “The Secret” and the general philosophy of “The Law of Attraction.” My mom studies scripture as is evident from her website Pray the Scriptures. In fact, one soon to be launched CD is “Prayer Affirmations for the Journey,” a collection of scripture-based affirmations. Sander and I quiz her about the Christian interpretation of this-or-that as we watch the movie.
After about the third time through the movie, I paused the movie and said “for well over a year I have been focused on trying to lose weight. I obsess over fat.” The premise of The Secret is that we attract what we are focused on. So as I obsess over fat, I attract fat.
Sander said “just picture yourself thin.”
“It won’t work. When my mind is picturing myself thin, my obsessive side will remember the fat. I can’t think thin without thinking fat.”
“Oh come on, just picture yourself thin. You can do it.”
A few curse words formed in my brain even if they did not make it past my tonsils. I am sure my looks, if not words, conveyed my disgust at a man who could be a garbage disposal and maintain his weight.
“I have to focus on the good part of what I am and what I know to be true. Otherwise, my mind will drift to unwanted territories.”
I thought for a moment and I announced “I am a rugged mountain woman.”
Rugged Mountain Women
Rugged mountain women do not weigh themselves. They do not worry about their weight.
In my first day in full cognition of my rugged nature, I decided that it was time to clear the north side of the hill of brush. The hill is steep and hard to work, but a fire on that side of the house is the biggest natural disaster threat to the property. Rugged mountain women take these matters into their own hands.
Before heading out to work, I decided I should eat a quick lunch before starting the work and wondered what rugged mountain women eat. “They probably do not worry as much about carbs as you have worried in the past. Go see what’s in the kitchen.”
I could not imagine what I would eat for lunch since I had nothing prepared and do not keep convenience food around. As I opened the kitchen door, Sander was helping himself to a hot pizza. “I have manifested a pizza!” I proclaimed, using the vocabulary of The Law of Attraction.
I sat in the sun eating my pizza and used the pizza’s energy to prune a lot of bushes and move a whole lot of brush.
Better than therapy?
The last funeral in this current funeral blast is this coming Saturday, two weeks after the funeral marathon day. I was able to say goodbye to Felix, in between those two funerals. He was cognizant and could speak. And he would have known we were there anyway, somewhere inside.
With the stress of the funeral marathon and the goodbyes, I got sick. A few days later, Frederick got an ear infection. We spent an entire week being sick and many days before being unable to focus. I have wondered what is wrong with me. I usually get more work done.
As I struggled to work today, I sat at my computer and looked out the window. It was a warm, sunny winter day. I put on my work clothes and moved some more brush. “Rugged mountain women get plenty of sunshine and fresh air when they have been sick.” I pruned brush and moved firewood.
“Mom, this fresh air and sunshine are really helping me from sliding into the abyss.”
“Mandy, why do you think I spent years cutting the terraces and road all by myself, with only a small shovel?”
Thank you dad for the muscles. Thank you mom for the rugged.