On our first day of the Z and Me, 999 Good Things, I choose the Racing Nuns. They make me laugh every time and there’s just so much you can do with these ladies’ competitive spirits.
I have thought about this for the last day or two…what to highlight as a good thing, on our first day of Z and Me’s 999 Good Things. I thought to make it meaningful. Everest Base Camp? A picture of Everest with that jet stream whipping off a whisp of snow and ice off the top of the mountain? A cool Nepalese Prayer Wheel or Prayer Flags, all colorful, all Buddhist-like? Definitely meaningful, but maybe it could come across as slightly pretentious. I’m going to be reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F%*@!” by Mark Manson, a recommendation from one Salty Bro, Ben Swinney. The point is maybe I’ll get to the point of not caring what other people think is pretentious or not, but I ain’t there yet.
These nuns were given to me by one Rocking Robin “Robin Huddleston,” who I worked with at Essilor in Dallas, a great nice lady. She brought them back from North Carolina visiting family and saw them in a kitschy gift shop and just knew how much I’d like them. Thoughtful lady that Rocking Robin!!
So they made the trip with me to Idaho and there they earned a special place in my heart.
I went through a period of time where I was cursed by the mountains…those of you who have followed along on my FaceBook site may remember this. It was the curse of threes!
Curse 1. I went overnight car camping with the boys. It was our thing. Pile everything you think you could want overnight to sleep in the car, sleeping bags, dogs… and you had to do it quick without planning or forethought. After dinner, drive up into the mountains, find a place along a forest road and get out of the car if you dare to pee and all….spooky stuff in the mountains with headlights for some reason with no one else in sight. One night we parked and opened up the sunroof and just stared at the stars. No better way to know and remind yourself that you are alive. This early spring night, there was still snow at higher elevations, I’m thinking May-ish. I tell the boys once we hit snow on the road, we’ll just turnaround and find a place to park. We hit a snow/ice patch. I said, okay, I’m no longer comfortable. Started backing up and didn’t catch a bend in the road. Saw it just in time to hit the brakes and the car was stuck with the back rear tire perilously close to a steep embankment that went down to a creek maybe 50 feet below. We spent until 3am trying to get unstuck and tried everything. We slept in the car on that patch of ice with me thinking, if this road shifts in the middle of the night, we are all jumping out of the upside doors. The dogs shifted in the middle of the night and I thought it was go time. Thanks to a Subaru Outback towing our Honda Pilot out the next day we were saved. My lovely wife called a tow truck to come out from Garden Valley/Crouch to save us but the Subaru showed up first. Scary night but a story the boys and I will always be able to tell.
Curse 2: Horseshoe Bend 30 minute run. I went mountain running with the pups on Horseshoe Bend pass. 30 minute planned run. We got stuck in the clouds and fog and took a wrong turn. 4 hours later in running tights, no phone, no water, a local drove us back up the pass when we ended up on the Payette River side of those hills towards Emmett way to drive us back to the car. Each of these curses got me believing in the kindness of strangers and people pulling together in the mountains. I hope I can return the favors some day.
Curse 3: Squaw Butte Climb. I went up Squaw above Emmett, one of our favorite day climbs. Raining at lower elevations but I took snowshoes for the snow above. Great climb with the pups but on top, again, it was socked in with clouds and fog. So disorienting. We ended up going down the other side which if you know that mountain is about a 4-5 hour hike back to where you started on dirt roads. Three youngsters out for a joy ride picked the pups and I up and drove us back to the car. Snowshoes and all.
Enter the racing nuns. It became the family joke that we had to sacrifice the nuns in the mountains to rid myself of the Mountain God curse that had befallen me. We found creative places we could launch them off cliffs and push them over mountains and video recorded their poor frightened faces as they tumbled below. The Nuns survived, one loosing her racing wheels bottom along the way. It worked!!!! The curse was lifted.
So the Racing Nuns actually have wheels on the bottom and you put them on a flat surface and roll them backwards together and they race each other. It just fits right in with my quirky sense of humor… and is a core belief of mine. When life gets tough, and situations seem dire… you just make fun of it all, use humor and laugh. Because sometimes, what else ya gonna do?
Life is challenging enough as it is and when you lose your sense of humor you might as well worry about the future (something I’ve found if it doesn’t lead to some type of action to better the situation…just is wasted energy), regret the past, or get angry or depressed about the present. I’d rather laugh.
The Racing Nuns remind me of that and they have a proud place in my car for the next time the Universe or the Mountain Gods place a hex on me. The Racing Nuns will be there, ready for that next YouTube Video, holy in their belief that they have been put on this earth to serve, to be sacrificed if that’s what’s needed…. but to always make you laugh… and bring joy.