“In the middle of winter, I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus
Although you may be fooled, summer and winter tie for favorite season in my book. One part summer + equal parts winter = The Happiest Girl on the planet. Seriously though. I hate wearing clothes, I love the beautiful glow of summer skin, popsicles, I long for cliff jumping and exploring rock trails in my bikini, and I love counting swimming as “showers”. On the other hand, I love the white snow, warm drinks, hot soups, required cuddling for warmth, bathing in hot springs, Christmas and New Years, and more than anything, I love blazing down a mountain with a board strapped to my feet. I think this quote sums up the way I feel about life in general. Light and dark, warm and cold, sun and clouds. It’s no doubt that summer sounds better than winter with word association alone. But, there is always warmth to be found, we just have to look for it. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of posts about “hating outside” “going back to sun” “not leaving the house””being miserable””sticking it out”. No doubt everyone is allowed to feel how they feel. But I think, that we can choose to focus on the cold, or actually find the warmth. But finding something requires us to search it out. Sometimes it takes more effort than we expect, but it’s always there waiting to be seen, only we have to choose to see it. Today, it’s freezing in the office, and on days like today, I try to trick my brain into feeling warm by looking at pictures of the summer. Not so I can long for the summer, that would just make me feel sad about winter. But more to find the warmth in the winter. Today, I saw it in my friends when I looked at this:
And it reminded me of the friendships I’ve made, and how much they mean to me now. This past summer, was one of the best summers I have ever had in my adult life. So, even while to the naked eye it looks miserable outside, I thank my lucky stars for all this snow and ice. It helps me REALLY feel and remember the warmth of the summer, through the new friends I’ve made, and the old friends I’ve become closer to.
I really really can’t wait to write about Christmas, but I needed to do this one first. So, here goes…
Kyle and I were in the states for only a short time before I headed back to japan, and he headed to Spokane (hey, that rhymed! Go me!). But while we were there, we did a LOT. After the wedding, we went out and saw Bubba Sparxxx and spent a night dancing and enjoying ourselves.
THEN went to High Cascade Snowboard Camp for our anniversary trip to ourselves. Which, was actually in April, but we wanted to do something we never thought we would do! Like… SNOWBOARD in the SUMMER TIME!! That’s right. On Mt. Hood in Oregon, we were snowboarding on the mountain in Tshirts in August, at a snowboard summer camp as an adult camper. Combining my TWO FAVORITE THINGS IN THE WORLD!! It was like Christmas every day; free stuff every day, surprises, demos of all the 2013 gear, killer meals, awesome condos, and good warm feelings. We got to hangout with some pros, I gotta meet JP, the first snowboarder I ever became obsessed with. Best money we have ever spent on a trip. Hands down. We got to do something we love to do, and do it together. The way anniversary trips should be.
While Kyle stayed in The States, I flew back to Hirosaki and spent about one month separated from Kyle. I could have easily been sad over it, but instead, I went out and explored what life had to offer. That’s when I really got to to know Motosan, Yuusei, and Shun better than I had known them before. These three dudes set up camp on the beach front every single Sunday of the summer. There, they had their flags, BBQ’s, stereo system, jet skis, giant innertube, and quads set up all nice and tidy. It was a literal party on the beach. They’d usually sleep there and do the same things the next morning. At night Motosan would bust out his disco strobe light and the latest Hirokazu mixtape, and we’d dance the night away.
I, fortunately, was invited out by my good friends Shun and Tomoka. From that point on, I went to the beach every weekend and rode their toys, ate some BBQ, and got to know all sorts of people under the sun. All they asked, was for 500 yen at the end of the day:)
Here’s an idea of the pure joy we all spent out there:
Before Kyle got back, the girls and I went on an adventure to Kawauchi to visit our good friend Kyle Helm. Along the way, we met up with Dave and Mina from Gonohe town. To give you an idea of where we went, check out my handy dandy lil map:
In and around Kawauchi, existed a mysterious and magical land… there were fat wild horses on the beach…
A mystical undiscovered beautiful blue cove…
It was so glorious. After we came back from the trip, Shun, drove us down to watch the Omagari Fireworks Festival, one of the biggest fireworks festivals in Japan. It was amazing.
After that, we settled back into Hirosaki with a few more trips to the beach. Kyle made it back, and just as the shadows just started to get cold, we made one of the BEST discoveries yet, CLIFFS!! We’d been searching for 2 summers, for a place to jump off cliffs into the water. Pure luck led us to the amazing Anmon Falls, where we walked an old beat down path (literally their old walking path) and jumped!
I have one life to live on this planet, and I don’t want to spend a day of it complaining about it. So, while this summer was full of amazing things and people, I now get to experience all the winter activities with the same group of people. I count myself lucky to have met everyone.
Best. Summer. Ever. Looking forward to the best winter:)