For Christmas—I'm still flabbergasted—my wife surprised me with a GD snowmobile! I literally bawled. It's a dream come true.
It's used. It's not fancy. It has duct-tape on the seat. It's the skidoo brand, and yellow, but I forget the number, or whatever? My son explained it all but, shrug, unlike him, I can't seem to store vehicle information in my brain. Anyway, it's perfect.
But this particular dream was moved to storage many years ago. Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, we had old "putt-putt" snowmobiles which my Dad mostly obtained through bartering over unpaid mechanics bills. This coupled with 1970s-style adult supervision—aka absolutely none—my childhood obsession was born. (Read here for an example of no supervision whatsoever style snowmobiling.) Later, my Dad gave my young son a miniature snowmobile which kickstarted his obsession, and now he has his own. Sure, we borrowed snowmobiles from family members over the years and made some great memories, yet own one? That seemed like a complete luxury; I could never seem to justify spending the money. Admittedly, my vibe is 100% cheap bastard. (My wife's vibe is 100% not.)
Bitterly cold in Alberta this December/January, my son and I finally spent last Saturday zipping along the local river up and down the trails and hills and through the thick spruce trees and swamps. (Insert contented sigh here.) Afterwards, my son and I were talking.
"Freedom. Happiness. How would you describe it?"
I had not stopped smiling the entire trip; I thought back to the constant elevation changes, squeezing through narrow tree-lined trails, getting stuck on the side of a hill that felt like about 110 degrees (my son knew what to do), admiring my son's intentional launch stunts, and likewise all my unintentional launches...I replied,
"In the best possible way, it feels like being a ball gently tossed back and forth, but you're not just the ball, you're also the person tossing."
We laughed, both recognizing the delightful chaos. And although my description was a bit silly, I later checked my iPhone's health app; despite little walking during our trip, my app indicated I had climbed 34 floors.