When I arrive home from Mt Engadine Lodge and check my phone I realize… I have barely taken a photo.
It was busy.
And challenging and at moments, pulling my hair out worthy. Especially Thursday morning when there was only enough water for guests. That meant… there was no water in the kitchen and the water truck wasn’t scheduled to arrive until later in the morning.
Making breakfast without water for 30 people, plus staff, is challenging without adding in the fact breakfast included poached or boiled eggs and waffles and a waffle machine that kept blowing the fuses. Like at least 8 times!
Oh. And did I mention the fuse box is waaaay downstairs, down a corridor, turn left, down another corridor and walk all the way back to the end of the hall where you’ll find the fuse box in a dark corner?
I wanted to cry. I wanted to throw in the dish towel. I wanted to scream.
I did none of the above. (Thankfully)
I just kept going.
As did my friend and sous chef extraordinaire, Jane, Simon the general manager and all the staff.
We just kept going. Just like the dishes that kept piling up in every corner of the kitchen, pantry and back hallway! We kept going amidst the chaos, laughing and (almost) crying as we went.
The guests never knew anything was amiss — other than a few waffle orders were slower than expected and poached eggs disappeared from the menu. Did I mention the staff are amazing? They are.
Life will always throw curve balls. It’s not a one plane, one direction, straight line kind of affair.
The invitation is… to go with the curves, and ups and downs, or exhaust yourself fighting every dip and dive and loop and corner as you try desperately to make straight lines fit the boxes of your predetermined dimensions.
There is no box.
There is only a great big playing field of possibility waiting for you to run through rainbow coloured fields of wild-flowers inviting you to leap into the fray of life’s beautiful mess.
It was a great 3 days of cooking and laughing and sharing and being present to the beauty all around and the people who made it such a rich adventure.
The skies were clear. The mountains soared and the valley bottom stretched out from horizon to horizon in verdant tranquility, its edges guarded by stately firs marching up the slopes and larch trees just beginning to show their golden colours.
And in the end, even though I’d sworn to C.C. on the phone on Thursday night that I would “Never do this again,” when Simon said he had a big favour to ask me on Friday morning, (I thought he was going to ask me to never come back to cook) and ended up asking if I’d be able to help out this week again, I said yes.
So did Jane.
I’d say we’re bears for punishment but I think it’s more that we’re leaping gazelles roaming free on the wild side of life. (Okay, so maybe lumbering bears snuffling through the wild grasses is more apropos to our state of being, but I really like the idea of being a leaping gazelle so I’m sticking with it! 🙂 )
‘Cause here’s the thing… Jane and I have been friends for almost 40 years. We have travelled, hiked, skied, biked and experienced all sorts of adventures together. We’ve raised our children together and they are best friends too. We’ve laughed, cried, yelled, banged pots in backcrountry lodges (that’s a whole other story) to wake up our fellow skiers so we could hit the wide open spaces nice and early, and we’ve sat by roaring fires singing and sipping wine and telling tales. We’ve crossed glaciers and raging rivers with 50lb packs on our backs and shared the load and lent an arm or hand or smile or a pot and ladle whenever necessary.
We have been through a lot together.
And this… this cooking for a crowd in a backcountry lodge… well it just makes our friendship taste richer. Our experiences melt onto the memory bed of my mind like the first spoonful of a delicious chocolate soufflé hot out of the oven melting on my tongue.
I am grateful for so much in my life and have been blessed with so much. Family and friends top the list and Jane makes that list sing like a wooden ladle banging on a pot in the pristine air of a Rocky Mountain morning!
And while the pot may, or may not, sprout a few dents after said banging (there are no photos so hey! No proof it ever happened!) the road ahead is always smoother when accompanied by great friends.
Thanks Jane. You da’ bomb!
PS — along with the main lodge and six beautiful log cabins, Mt. Engadine has 5 Glamping Tents that are available year round. Cozy with a delightful tinge of outdoorsy adventure, they’re warm and snug and comfortable.
Pure delight! Especially on Thursday night when it rained and we lay in our beds, the fire burning bright as we listened to the sound of the rain on the canvas. Yummy!
Here’s a 20 second video from the porch of our tent.