Ted’s essays

winter approaches

Autumn weather is here – solidly. Winter is right there on the visible horizon… I wrote that metaphorically, but living in the shadow of the Bitterroots, the snow in them-thar hills put the coming white blanket in the forefront of my mind.

It was the end of March when Missy reported her job was untenable. That triggered a MAJOR life change. One more a realization of our deep-felt wishes than transportation to a new life. The results, however, have been dramatic.
cabin 8x
The pluses are huge. The challenges pale in comparison. We regularly realize our cabin on the river is very much a desirable vacation destination – and we get to live here every day of the year.

As busy as I am, I strive to bear in mind that now I am in charge of ME. Nobody is ordering me to do ridiculous things with my time. That is behind me. But I sure do have high expectations for what needs to get done.

In the left of our cabin photo you can see what began as a scrappy little mud room under the flimsy awning and has morphed into a well-built replacement awning and a studio space to house my various indoor activities (well, many of them). With a lot of help, we were able to hire an outstanding builder to produce a far better product than we imagined, and for a very reasonable cost.

I recall the first big rainstorm one autumn in my Blucher Valley bare-dirt-to-estate home. As the Northern California rainstorm dumped buckets, I put another log on the fire, looked out the south-facing picture window and realized that I had finally made it. I was finally ready for winter. For the first time since the project began, I wasn’t in foul-weather gear shoring up, repairing, protecting, preserving or dealing with whatever emergencies nature had suddenly thrust into my life.

I have much to do in severely limited time and my back injury is not healing nearly fast enough to suit me. I have wiring to finish, ham radio to install, sheetrock to paint, antique hardwood flooring to restore, then install, furniture to move, furniture to build, storage to build, stuff to move out of the borrowed hanger space, firewood needed for the shop, mobile home leveling project, toilet needs securing, driveway rehabilitation, ham radio test to study for, cottonwood branch to take down before it snaps and crushes our living room …. oh my!


I attempt to remember, with modest success, that We have it made. We are in very good shape. So much is in our favor. Our home and living situation is, on a global scale, excellent.

Take a breath.

Enjoy the autumn colors.

Admire the rising river.

Play trombone.

Be grateful that I can do wiring, plumbing, carpentry, design, engineering, cabinetry, radio, reloading, writing, publishing, planning, organizing …

Cherish the process.

Savor the moments.

And Get Going!!!