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surrendering to the experience

2015 October 9
by Rachel Turiel

We’ve been in a supreme bottleneck for the past few days, preparing for Dan and me to leave for four nights. I probably didn’t need to make homemade granola, raw cookie balls and pecan pie filling (my answer to the suspect foods Dan brings hunting, cough*Gu shots*cough). Perhaps we could have gotten by without the acre of greens I steamed and chopped to add to camp dinners. Maybe I shouldn’t have scheduled Col’s orthodontic insertion for two days before we leave (he’s now eating, primarily, ice cream), or gone on a small sewing binge for Rose’s doll.

The logistics to leave for five days are staggering. An 8 yr old and 7 yr old brother/sister team are taking care of the chickens and cat. Neighbors are bringing in the mail. Someone else entirely is in charge of the tomatoes. The tomatoes have their own care-giver. The childcare spreadsheet I created suggests I’d be better suited to manage a circus than go hunt for food.

I keep reminding myself that in 24 hours, much of this will be out of my hands. Time will swell, and my focus will become exquisitely narrow.

(And, as my friend, Tara, so wisely reminded me: I’m going to the mountains to spend five days alone with my husband. OMG).


The truck is packed, the prayers are said.

Of course my goal is to have the opportunity to take one killing shot. But also, I hope to surrender to the experience. To let the mornings be frigid and early, the hiking be long and grueling, and the food be more calorie than cuisine, without my mind making any more of it than what simply is.

Thank you for all your support in all the many ways you’ve given it.


See you on the flip side of one woman’s small personal history,


p.s. I’m not even going to give you the jar-count for the coolers. But I will tell you there’s at least one half-gallon jar of homemade chicken soup (from our henopausal chickens, the slaughtering of which also happened this past week). Someone save me from myself. Oy.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Judy H permalink
    October 9, 2015

    In yoga class this Tuesday, our teacher gave us each the following quotation:

    “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.” – T.S.Elliot

    Our thoughts go with you, especially Rachel – Dan, too – and the village that is holding everything together.

  2. Molly permalink
    October 9, 2015

    This is no small history. I love this peek into such mysterious business. I love what your kids get to take for granted as ordinary kinds of excitement.

  3. Meliss permalink
    October 9, 2015

    You are too awesome to need any saving, sister!!! 5 days with your man in the wild–surrender away!!! Xoxo

  4. October 9, 2015

    Love it!
    We’re having our own apples days here.
    Currently in process: apple sauce, apple chips and apples to store. All the cores and peels are steaming into juice. We’re into zero waste when preserving food. Well, except the buggy cores, Those I trash. Missing my chickens for that one!
    I hope you have a WONDERFUL time this week!!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  5. Marlene permalink
    October 9, 2015

    It sounds great, and so familiar (except for the actual five days away part…). I have a personal beef (so to speak) with the Gu (or whatever version arrives by the CASE at the border every year or so for the unnamed cyclist in this house), and keep trying to subvert it with granola. Mason jars apparently are not ideal for carrying in the back of a cycling jersey for 120 km, but I will persevere.
    The colours are stunning. I wonder if this is how nuns feel, heading into the convent.

  6. Jessica permalink
    October 13, 2015

    May your adventure be empowering and enlightening! Okay, and maybe a little romantic. ; )

    I can’t want to read your story on the other side. Because it’s you writing, I’m sure it will be gorgeous.

  7. October 13, 2015

    I love your earnestness. There not terribly many “need tos” but, I love your through preparations for optimal enjoyment. I consider myself similiar. :) Have Fun!! And having chicken soup will be amazing on the trail! Cuz who likes to go to bed cold and hungry??

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