I reckon it eventually happens to all of us. You know... getting in the middle of a project, and no matter how convinced you are that you have everything you need to complete it, you suddenly find that you're short one item.
Normally I would just wait until the next time I'm going to town and pick up the blasted thing then. But since I was already smack dab in the middle I figured I'd better load up and make a trip to the hardware store. For many folks, the trip would be no big deal... jump in the vehicle and head around the block. Well, for me it's a little more intensive.
I had two choices once I was behind the wheel. I could drive 20+ miles to the larger town of 13,000 people and fight the traffic... or I could drive the same distance to the smaller town of 494 folks. Now many would think that the bigger place would offer a better selection, but I happen to know that in the littler (yes, that's a word in my personal dictionary) town that the grocery/hardware/lumber store has pretty much anything that a person could want... and more.
So grumbling as I drove out of our gate and the next mile and a half of dirt road, I turned on to the pavement and headed toward the smaller of the two. As I went only a short distance I noticed how crystal clear the sky was and such a deep blue. The sun was shining with that glow that we only see in the winter. Looking off to my left I saw that there was no haze across the mountaintops and down through the valleys. Rock bluffs jumped out in stark contrast in the distance, lit up by the sunlight.
I took a deep breath... then smiled. I was reminded of why we had moved to this area in the first place... the beauty is awesome in all seasons. The drive carried me on for the next 45 minutes along the winding roads. Around each turn I saw one thing after another that made me smile even more... turkeys in one field, a cabin nestled far down in the valley that goes unseen all other times of the years and hidden by foliage, and the couple of vehicles that I passed during the entire trip were occupied by people smiling like me and waving back. After buying what I needed and heading back... once again being awed by the scenery around me... I returned to my project and finished it up with a lighter heart than when I began.
Some people might look at this as a wasted trip that a little pre-planning on my part would have prevented. You're correct... I should have prepared a bit better.
But a wasted trip? No, it wasn't wasted. It was a free mood enhancer that was 100% organic and good for me. In fact, the effects have carried over to this morning... 'cause I'm still grinning.
So from here on the mountain, I wish you a Happy New Year, and that you have time to look past the trees to live country.