I can’t count how many times over the past month I have sat down to write a story about something or other that I am doing. Sometimes, I get a good ways into writing, then something or someone pulls my attention elsewhere and the story never gets finished. Or maybe I write and write and write, only to realize I have written four pages about things that aren’t really that neat to read. So tonight, as I sit in the lobby of the Juniper Springs resort, I am going to write something. I’m going to write whatever comes to my mind, hit the “Publish” button, and be okay with what comes out.
The past month has been beyond eventful. I drove across the country to Mammoth Lakes to reconnect with a good friend from the year prior. I spent a week or so bouldering near Bishop while applying for jobs in the area. I finally got a bite, and for the rest of the month I have been working facility maintenance at Juniper Springs resort in Mammoth Lakes. I have a free season ski pass to Mammoth mountain, and (once again) thanks to Morgean I have a board setup to ride any day I please. The snow conditions this winter are the best this resort has seen in over a decade. There have been three major storms in the month that I have been here, creating ideal riding conditions almost every day that riding is feasible.
The job is amazing. I’m essentially a handyman, except I have limitations on how handy I am allowed to be. I can swap out a dishwasher, but I’m not allowed to repair them. I can unclog a drain if the clog is less than ten inches down the drain, but anything more and I need to hire a plumber. I do a little bit of satellite TV troubleshooting, electrical work, drywall, and various other things. Most of the time, I am doing nothing more than making someone feel good by showing up at their room and being that voice of reassurance that everything is okay. My coworkers are overly helpful, fun, and productive. Raul, one of the maintenance guys, said what I’m certain every person on this staff (including myself) experiences: “when I wake up in the morning each day and get out of bed to get ready for work, I have never once thought to myself, ‘I wish I didn’t have to go to work today.'”
I spend most mornings either snowboarding or doing errands. I try to avoid snowboarding on the weekends because the mountain is packed and lift lines take thirty minutes or more. On weekends, my shift begins at 1430 and goes till 2300. On weekdays, it starts at 1200 and goes till 2030. I have Wednesday and Thursday off by request, and on those days Morgean and I have either spent the entire time snowboarding in Mammoth or bouldering in Bishop. The only possible difficulty is dealing with the time between sunset and bed on my days off. Sitting in a van with outside temperatures dipping into the teens will make for a chilly, slow passage of time until sleep takes over.
It is easy to write about overcoming obstacles or the face of tragedy; anything where struggle or suffering is involved. Those types of stories will latch on to a reader and drag them in to a whirlpool of emotion. It will allow the reader to relate to the author, but bring the reader to a better place as he or she is vicariously delivered from the negative aspects of the story into a positive ending. But writing about positive things happening doesn’t seem quite as exciting. My life has been utterly magnificent as I wake up each morning with a smile on my face. How could one not be happy to wake up in this location to do the things that I do on a daily basis? Yet when I want to tell the story, there is nothing much for me to tell. When things are good, then that’s all they are. There is no need for further explanation. When things are bad, then there is a character struggle that gives way to a story line and a lesson to be learned.
I spent the majority of last year learning lesson after lesson. It is nice to take a break from the school of life for a little bit.