Thursday, January 28, 2016

Making Ideas Happen

The three big stories of this winter in Atomic City are:
1.  How much snow we have had
2.  How tame the deer in town are
3.  The surprising turn of events re: a small business I have been trying to get off the ground...............
Over this winter of 15/16 I have managed to rekindle a love affair with snow shoeing, and also learn how to cross country ski.
Not long after I arrived in Juneau Alaksa, I purchased a used pair of snow shoes from a lady that I worked with.
Over the course of those first few months up there (while I was still trying to find my way around a new city and new job - and while I was waiting for LC to join me) I snow shoed frequently and quickly learned to love it.
I loved the physical effort of these excursions but mostly I loved discovering the terrain around Juneau.
The mountains, the pine trees, the endless streams and waterways, the glaciers and endless snow, the sheer unadulterated beauty of an endlessly beautiful and rugged place.  
Many months later (as we were approaching a second winter) I bought a pair of used cross country skis that came with bindings, poles and boots that all fit me perfectly.
I tried cross country skiing out once while living in Alaska and never tried it again.
By that time I was overworked, overwhelmed, exhausted, burned out.
By that time my personal life and professional career were both swirling around the bowl.
With the extreme number of hours that I was working, the irregular schedule, and the endless, toxic battles (both upright and behind-the-scenes) that I was fighting, there was no physical or emotional energy left for such things as cross country skiing.
The quality of my life was terrible and the beautiful place I had so eagerly (albeit with some trepidation) embraced, had turned into nothing more than a beautiful prison cell.
And so this year (almost five years after I loaded onto a ferry and thankfully sailed away from Juneau Alaska) I finally put those skis on again and hesitantly slid away from the house.
And discovered that I like cross country skiing.
It's been a great winter....................

The deer are all over town - moving snow out of the way so that they can eat the tender shoots that are hidden underneath all of that frozen, white coldness, wandering in residents yards and down the center of roads, sitting alone or in small and gentle groups under bushes and trees.
They are wonderful to have around, and for better or worse that are very used to people.
They disappeared all last winter.
A disappointing winter of extreme cold, little snow and no deer.
Now, I see mothers with their now almost grown offspring, wandering in the deep snow, and the world is quiet, calm and beautiful.
Which is why this winter has been such a soul-embracing season...............

BLM Fire Station in the snow......................
We've heard for the past couple of years about large herds of elk that live out on BLM land in and around Idaho National Laboratories (INL) and were always disappointed that we had not seen them even though we spend a lot of time out on public lands.
And then one day last summer we were driving very late in the day on Big Butte Rd - heading home after exploring in the desert.
It was almost dark and up ahead of me I could see something dark a couple of hundred yards off the gravel road.
As we got closer LC slowed the truck as we realized that it was two elk.
Two young males, likely siblings, traveling across the desert together.
I took many pictures of them in the fading light before we continued towards the house, both of us excited about the unexpected sighting.
The terrain is so vast and endless.
Occasionally we see deer or antelope out there and it is so hard to get decent pictures because they are typically far away and on the run.
And so it went with the two brothers.
And so it went with the small elk herd we unexpectedly came across a few weeks ago.
We have seen them twice now.  A herd of approximately 25.  Always late in the day and a good distance from the road.
If you click on the pictures they will enlarge, but even then these elk are difficult to see at distance and in fading light.
Maybe one day we'll luck out and they will be closer......................
I ran a moderately successful business while living in Cody.
A business that I was successfully growing and that gave me great satisfaction.
When we moved here to Idaho we both wondered whether I could pull it off again, but after focusing on home improvements during our first year here and then putting it off for far too long once home improvements slowed down, I decided to give it a shot and see what happened.
Were we too far removed from a customer base?  
Was the region too depressed to give it a realistic chance of success?
Was I too unsure of skills after letting all skills lay dormant for so long?
I didn't know.
But likely.
For months it appeared that our concerns over these very real issues may have had merit.
And then suddenly and unexpectedly, my struggling small business seems to have begun to take hold.
It's not out of the woods yet.  
Not by any stretch of the imagination.  
The hold is small and tenuous.
But I am gratified with the positive results we have experienced through the month of January.
The end of the story is not written yet......................
It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.............Scott Belsky (Co-Founder Behance)

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