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April 27, 2013: Yanking up the Taproot

Tomorrow I’m heading to Portland, in order to assist my sister in moving my mother to a semi-assisted living facility. I’ll be there all week. I’m about ready to go. I have packed my bag. I always pack a day or two ahead of time because otherwise I’ll forget something important, like my ID. I’ve also taken care of the animal stuff. I’ve packaged up the horse supplements, so Pete doesn’t have to do this. And I’ve cleaned the enclosure so he’ll only need to pick up the big stuff. I also cleaned the goat pen, and surrounding areas.

Oddly enough, I’m finding the prospect of being away to be most difficult. Why is

this? There’s not a historical precedent for this. In fact I used to be traveling legend in my own mind. I was pleased when a friend once remarked that I lacked a tap root, meaning I didn’t all seem rooted. And I worked at this, by keeping my possessions to a minimum. This enabled me to act on complex travel plans. I remember once, I was going to school in in Fairbanks when I got a wild hair and decided to spend Christmas break on the east coast. I took a ride down the Alcan, flew from Seattle to New York City, travelled around New England, and then took a Greyhound bus back to Seattle where I hopped on an Alaska bound ferry. I then hitchhiked from Haines back home to Fairbanks.

There was no agonizing about this. I just upped and left. I’m now embarking on a comparatively simple trip. I got a direct flight to Portland. My sister will meet me at the airport. I’ll stay at her place. It gets no easier than this. Still, I’m agonizing – finding it difficult to leave Pete (who I haven’t seen much of lately) the horses, the goats. I am also reluctant to abandon my routine, which centers around writing and animal care.

Either I’m getting older and more inflexible, or finally, I’ve grown a tap root. Maybe one grows a tap root when they get older. Another example – the other night I saw a slide show which was put on by a fellow who climbed Denali in 1967 – the year of a storm that took out a half-dozen other climbers. In the past, I would have entertained training for, and going on such a climb. Instead, I sat there and realized that most likely, this will never come to be. I was partially okay with this. I suspect that in twenty years I’ll be completely okay with this. So yeah, it must be that I now have a tap root.

I talked with Eleanor this morning (she’s my sister), and she said that it’s now spring in Portland. This means it’s warm, and the flowers are in bloom. It might also be sunny. This is in contrast to here, where it’s windy, cold, and there’s still snow on the ground. Hearing this was a motivator. My end of the dispatch revelation is this – I can no longer travel on a whim. Instead, I need a motivator.

Next: 118: 4/28/04: Rough Landing