The body is sore. It is full of contentedness and pretty food. It is grateful for my family of friends, for frozen lakes, for well-deserved sun salutations and blue moon dances on the end of an equally frozen dock. I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran this weekend. Reverse.
Lisa and Ryan picked up me and Ben and Will and Brooke and we caravanned together--boy car girl car--all the way to Rich's cabin on Caddy Lake. We made it with only one unforgettable breakfast stop at Cat Sass Tavern. Karla with a K served us by taking names first (first name service, an incredible concept in my books) and then the plates and plates of eggs and hash came out. We ate joyously and quickly and peeled out of Cat Sass after tipping Karla generously for her beautiful service. She bought one of Lisa's mustaches while her debit was processing. Perfect; a business transaction and eggs basted medium.
After one hundred attempts in Lisa's car to make it up the last hill before Rich's cabin, we finally parked at the bottom in defeat and crazy carpeted our faces (nearly) off. The bullrush incident of '92 was always at the forefront of thought. My hip bones will never be the same. Ben, leader of said caravan eventually saved the Stranded at the bottom of the hill and we piled in, clown car style respectively, flushed with cold, happy as children. I didn't realize until that moment how much I had missed the sun and it's glorious source of Vitamin D. There were innumerable times over the course of the weekend where I found myself outside, alone or with select few, kneeling in the middle of the lake, face up to that beautiful sun. Lisa, Jill and I were out at one point, bundled beyond recognition in our snowsuits and I barely heard Lisa say "if you concentrate real hard, you can feel it's warmth" and we did. I had a nap, face up, soaking it in.
Rich and the boys built this incredible luge run from the top of the guesthouse all the way onto the lake. It was insanity (especially after one million shambles, oh my what fun). There was a roaring fire, Sula's impressive ice bar, a warm cabin, a luge run, a dance party, a hockey rink (the hockey photography was my favorite), snow shoes and more. There was never an idle moment unless it was a chosen idle moment.
At the turn of the new year, we stood twenty five strong in the middle of the lake watching the boys set up the fireworks. Champagne was popped, the countdown that I normally loath was yelled with anticipation. Sula was on my right and Jill on my left. Sula and I looked at each other she mouthed 'thank God' and I nodded 'I know' and that was it. 2010 marks the end of the first decade of the twenty first century and the beginning of a new decade were the young will slowly take the reigns and the old ways will be just that, old. After the fireworks died down to nothing, people drifted off in all directions. I found myself kneeling again, under that Blue Moon. Sula advised us all to concentrate more on shaping our hopes for the new year into a tangible plan rather than focusing on resolutions. Because of the position of the stars this year (a meeting between Cancer and Capricorn I believe), we were also advised to be safe, to be aware, to be hopeful. In retrospect, the turn was all of those things.
In the morning I woke in down duvet heaven, in a loft over looking the lake. Blinding white and the quiet pink of a new morning of the new year. I climbed down, suited up, ran around on the lake, and then came in to Jill rolling at the table. Perfect. I put on my apron (the one that helps me cook faster) and we greeted each other wordlessly and with fire dangling from our mouths and mugs of coffee at the corners of our cutting boards, we began to cook while the sun pulled up and over the lake. We chopped and julienned and minced and de-boned and prepped a rainbow of vegetables and fruit and meat and cheese. Will came and took over the fruit station and then Hammerback sauntered in and took his spot at the stove over the sausage and all together we made some magic. I hadn't cooked in so long. When it was all over and I was just able to sit and eat, I was overcome by the fact that my first morning of 2010 began with all of the things I believe in: food and laughter and coffee and sun and laden tables and friends and Billie Holiday and complete trust.
Thank you Sula and Rich for your generosity. To the rest, thank you for your life giving food and your warmth. Despite the cold, it was a weekend of warmth and I am so, so, so pleased that my new year began on the note that it did. Not a bathtub rendezvous to be found, no bare feet clambering out of windows in escape, no lies, just hopefulness and plenty of laughter and pretty food.
As for the year to come, I am hopeful and that is enough.
Ich habe genug. And how.
Photos from the weekend to come, gird your loins.