#14/100: Parting of the Ways

Lately we have become very taken by a reality show called Life Below Zero. The show features several people living in various parts of Alaska, above and below the Arctic Circle. These are people who catch thousands of fish in the summer, hang them on rods and feed them frozen to their dogs all winter long which is like 10 months.

They trap and shoot animals, scrape their skins with pieces of flint or something like that, and make vests with bone buttons. Sometimes they live in tents with wood stoves where, if they let the fire go out, they will wake up frozen solid. My husband thinks we should move there. We should buy a house and have a dog yard so he can acquire a team of sled dogs and feed them frozen fish.

I tell him there will be no place to hang his suits.

It’s not the first time that our life goals have diverged. How does it work really for two people over the course of decades in terms of deciding what goals are to be pursued?

One person wants to be an organic farmer and the other an urban planner. Do they compromise? Take turns? Find an entirely new goal that neither of them had before?

Or stop talking about their goals and just motor along, one step, two steps, a million steps? And then you’re done.

For a long time, my primary goal in life has pretty much been to just have things work out okay. This is also known as avoidance of catastrophe. This strikes me as being less than a proactive goal.

Maybe my husband’s right on this one. I need to set my sights higher. Like learning how to build a fish wheel using a dead tree, five nails and a roll of duct tape. I should have more imagination and bravado. Stop relying on Target so much.

There’s a lot at stake here. It will be awful to explain to people. He wanted to be a trapper and I didn’t so we had to split up. After thirty years. It would be so sad.






8 Comments on “#14/100: Parting of the Ways

  1. Yes a lot to explain to people if that happens. If instead you were to make the move, my question is who will deal with the catastrophe if it does happen (if things work out as a disaster); you or him?

  2. 1. No baseball 2. No reliable internet coverage = Dude is not moving to remote Alaska.
    But Palmer, AK is just a ways from Wasilla and has a baseball team, The Matsu Miners.
    They’re currently leading their division in the Alaska Baseball League.

  3. And don’t forget the full spectrum lights for the 3 months of darkness. I always thought I would be happy being a settler out west – mud hut with gingham curtains and bread baking in the wood stove. Good thing I just put one foot in front of the other and that didn’t take too far outside my neighborhood. JB kept me anchored but I still found a way to break out every so often.

  4. Buy a house? Acquire a team? Don’t you have to fell the trees, cut the lumber, build the place, and breed the dogs yourself?

  5. You know you’d be happier in Eagle. Or you wouldn’t have written this. 🙂

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