“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make
you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
I didn’t completely understand the magnitude of this timeless quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson until I read it in an obituary for a truly great friend and wonderful person. You see, Trish and her soulmate, Doug, lived their lives exactly as they wanted. Both of them worked hard, played hard, loved hard yet maintained their own identities because it’s who they were. Looking at them, they made Emerson’s quote achievable, with what appeared to be no effort at all on making their life together wonderful. It seems most people I know just struggle to make it through the day; not them. Every moment was full of life. Every, single moment.
Trish and Doug (aka Dusty Dog Cycles, but that’s another story), were from the eastern seaboard area but moved to the South Forty area (refer to previous post) about 25 years ago. As luck, or destiny, would have it, I had the pleasure of meeting these fine people almost 20 years ago, through one of her brothers, and I have forever been thankful to him for sharing his sister and her life with me. Friends that live life to the fullest, in every aspect, are hard to find, in my personal experience, so if you should be lucky enough to have one, hang on to him/her. Learn. Enjoy. Nothing can be more positive for the soul than positive people that can make life more than it can be.
See, Trish was struck with cancer at 30 something. She fought and survived, not without some physical loss, but gained a much greater spiritual gift. So she lived, chose to live, worked to live and played to live. She realized better than most that life can be struck down at a moment’s notice so why wait? Her motto – just do it. And she did. And he did. Doug had his degree and worked hard in his field; she achieved the same degree so there would be more time for the important stuff, like life. They were travelers, really, would pack up and move to anywhere in the country to work in their field for a few months at the time, then come back home to the South Forty. They lived high up on a mountain, with just enough land cleared out to put their homestead and barns. They lived for the ways of nature and would not cause nature to change for them. Lived pretty much off the grid, on land bordering the forest service, in a very undiscovered place way off the beaten path. I loved it. A lot. Bathed in the creek. Drank from the spring. Was their anything better?
Motorcycles (refer to last question). Beemers. The old ones. It was a family affair, right down to her mom, who was in her 70’s. The brother that introduced me to these fine people also taught me to street ride on his 900cc classic, which had a faring to boot. Really, there were classic BMW’s everywhere. At any given time, any or all would pack up and move out, as in it would be a six week or three month trip around the country. Grass didn’t have a chance to grow under their feet, they were too busy living. With a brother in California and a sister in Arizona, it was nothing for them all to meet up ‘at the ranch’ in the Four Corners area.
Speaking of the ranch, it’s God’s country. A lot of land, a lot of silence, a lot of love. Way back then, Trish and Doug would take turns going to the ranch to camp out for a while and work on setting up a small home in that peaceful spot of native America. Everything was an adventure, from the time Trish, Mom and Sis all got stuck good in the mud and had to dig their way out for hours to the sidewinder rattlesnakes that were just was right there.
When I remember Trish, I think of perfection. Not in the way that everything is perfect and nothing is a struggle but how she and Doug had made a perfectly imperfect world into their own imperfectly perfect dream. With ease. As a way of life.
I spent a lot of time with these fine folks while living in South Forty, but lost contact after moving to the eastern seaboard again. But I never forgot them. Ever. I found her obituary earlier this year and it had a photo of her with her big smile and twinkling blue eyes, taken while she was at the ranch. She had passed away a couple of years before. Honestly, I first had that spasm of grief that comes on almost immediately but in a matter of seconds, I wasn’t thinking about her death, I was thinking about her life, their lives, and how very blessed I was to know and share with these special people.They were married for 29 years. Soulmates and best friends, in the truest sense of the world.
In memory of the LIFE of Trish and Doug.