Shannon Stacey

Researching from my couch

My husband used to be a sane man. He’d get up, bitch about the cold, work all day, come home and bitch about the cold, play with his boys, eat, and go to bed. Rinse. Repeat. Then he bought a snowmobile.

Now he’s a crazy man. I bet y’all think Christmas is the biggest holiday in December, don’t you? Ha! It’s December 15th, the day the trail gates open. (Assuming there’s enough snow, which there wasn’t this year, making many grown men cry like little girls.) He swears at the television if the forecast calls for a beautiful day. He begs for snow. He wants to do 45mph on a vehicle with no windows/roof/heat on a day with below zero wind chills. I have actually heard the words “If it’s above ten-below-zero, I’m going riding” come out of his mouth.

As somebody whose only winter sport is seeing how fast I can sprint from my front door to my warm Jeep (remote start rocks), I think he’s freakin’ insane. But there are benefits. Sledding factors heavily into one of my current projects, and the crazy man gives good research.

The idea of capturing that view on paper is rather daunting, but having the picture helps. I’ve got pictures of the warming huts, of sleds lined up at the gas tanks. I get recountings of all the dumbass things sledders do that often result in kissing trees. I’m learning the terminology. I can play with his gear. (His, uh…sledding gear.)

Somebody else took this picture of a much scarier view. It wasn’t my husband they lifted out of the woods (*knocks wood*), and the sledder they did take is reported to be in stable condition. But from the conversations after the fact, I was able to pick up some interesting tidbits about some of the rescue protocols on the trail and the 911 numbering system they’ve implemented. (Of course, there’s no cell phone reception, but…)

It’s nice to be able to use my husband’s snow-induced mental illness to my benefit. And really nice to have all this research without ever having left my couch.

3 comments to “Researching from my couch”

  1. Jaci Burton
      · February 12th, 2007 at 11:12 am · Link

    That’s a gorgeous view, Shan. I hate the cold, but it’s a gorgeous pic.

    And isn’t it great when you get all that ‘hands on’ research? Well, second hand hands on research, but still…oh so cool to have it right there at your fingertips. :coffee:

  2. Gabriele
      · February 12th, 2007 at 12:53 pm · Link

    Lol, I’m totally a winter girl. In a weather like the pic above, I’d be out on my skies all day.

    And cold temperatures? Are just lovely. As is the hot tea with rum afterwards. :coffee:

  3. Shannon
      · February 12th, 2007 at 5:14 pm · Link

    Oh, see I even highly resent the extra seconds it takes me to buckle my short kid in. Sledding? Fuggedaboudit. I think I let them out to build a snowman winter before last.

    Funny thing, though. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. Even though I despise the cold, I need the changing seasons.

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