I have a tendency to stay home on weekends. I usually try to spend at least one entire weekend day at home. Sometimes I make it from Friday afternoon to Monday morning without going anywhere. This seems weird to some people and I do miss out on some weekend activities and shenanigans with my friends. But I do it on purpose.
One reason is I need the weekend is for the mental break that it is. After a week of active engagement, stimulating discussions, and heighted enthusiasm inspired by amazing coworkers and sprawling projects, I need to decompress. Those of you who read my writing may be aware of my more introspective side, but to the people who know me in person, I can come across as a major extrovert.
Another reason, the bigger reason, is that we chose to live in the country. We live 17 miles outside of a small town, in what most people would consider to be the middle of nowhere. Our 3-acre lot is tiny compared to our neighbors who have 20, 40, 80 acres of property, mixed in among even bigger parcels of hunting or corporate land. We like the quiet and we have some really great neighbors, they just happen to live a mile away.
I spend enough time driving to town for work, driving around town for errands and social events—I don’t want more of that on the weekends. My feeling is that if we spend that much time in town, then we should move there. So, to keep our house here in the country, I stay nearby as much as I can on weekends.
For much of the year this is pretty fun: biking, gardening, taking the boat to the lake a mile away. Or it’s practical: mowing grass, making firewood. In the winter, it’s a little more constrained. Writing and cooking that was done outside in fair weather moves inside inside. I work inside much more, cleaning, cooking, writing. I make it a point to get outside too, although there are certainly days that I just stay indoors.
The snow is starting to pile up. This past week, the temperature finally dropped to highs in the single digits. I spent the weekend trying to make and maintain the same ski trail in a section of woods about a mile from my house. On Friday evening, I took the dogs and made a fresh trail through a foot of snow for a half hour before it got dark. On Saturday, I skied from my house right down the road (3 inches of fresh powder on a snow-packed road is great surface, even if the neighbors think I’m strange) to my trail. I skied the part I packed the day before and extended it nearly another mile before heading back the way I came—5 miles of skiing in total. It was only 7 degrees on Sunday morning, but I drove the dog to our woods trail head and we skied a section of our trail again.
There’s hardly anything in those woods this time of year. There were a few recent deer trails. Often there might be a few chickadees or a crow making some noice, but there wasn’t even that. It ws just is the sound of wind whistling through treetops, along with creaky skis, rustling clothes, panting ducks dogs. So quiet.
Why go anywhere else on the weekend?