What is it like to live at Avalanche Ranch?
Idyllic of course, and beautiful, and busy. A million adjectives could describe it. As it is the most common question asked of me, I thought I’d start writing about it.
This morning, driving to town, I asked my daughter, 15 yrs old, what are the top 3 perks of living at Avalanche Ranch.
#1 The outdoors. Out-of-the-door, back or front. She said she loves the accessibility of finding a plethora (not yet a word in her vocabulary) of things to do outside. The Pond as one of her favorites. Jumping in the pond. Not exclusive to summer-time, I will add. I think her earliest plunge is March, right as the ice vanishes. One of her most praised plunges was around age 8, diving down off the dock to retrieve a guest’s prescription glasses, for a cash reward. I love when her friends come for the day and they find that beneath their prim surface are wild daredevils that will jump, again and again, into the cold water where fish pee. Of course, with the hot springs, she and her friends find the pond forays to be that much better with the promise of a warm-up after.
#2 The Pottery Studio. We added the studio 2 years ago. I was hopeful that I could cultivate my love for the art, but also expose my kids to clay and creativity. As I have made little time to use it, my daughter has found it to be a haven for throwing pots on the wheel and listening to music. She pours through my old iPod exposing herself to the oldies-but-goodies: Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Simon & Garfunkel..
#3 The animals. She said she loves feeding the animals. And then amended that by saying that she doesn’t always want to, but then when she does, she loves it. Her main reason is that she realizes that not everyone gets the opportunity to do it. Which is reinforced by the gaggle of kids that hang around the barnyard and love to help her out. I see that she takes pride in the work and she knows it is a chore that can’t be shirked. She is good at it and she is reliable. The other night, when my husband and I were out, she was in charge of the animals, as she often is. The chicken door had blown closed before dusk and all the chickens, and turkey, roosted in the nearby trees and on the roof of the pig-pen. She discovered this when she went out at dark to close them in for the night. So, by herself she had to look for and transport 28 chickens and a 20+ pound turkey from their outdoor roost into the chicken coop, one by on, in the dark. Her friend, who lives in town, thought it was the funniest story ever, like an exotic ritual.
What I realize from this exercise is that my teenage daughter doesn’t take life here for granted. She doesn’t resent the lack of cell-service or commute to town. She never even brought it up.