Bucket List? Become a Musher!

Mushing Nungessers

Okay.  So, technically, I had to look up the word Musher.  And really figure out what it meant.  I mean, we went dog sledding.  That one is obvious.  Musher.  I mean, I am a mommy, I am a “Professional Musher” of mashed potatoes, right?  That sounds like a musher.  You know, like smashing a lot of potatoes so they are mushy and buttery and delicious.

Or I love my children so much my daughter sighs, rolls her eyes, and proclaims, “Oh, Mommy, you are SO MUSHY!”  Making me a Musher Mommy, right?

Well, according to the real dictionaries my Mommy-ition of Mushers is all wrong.  Apparently a Musher is a driver of a dog sled.

So, I am happy to report that as of nearly 1 week ago, I have become officially (for an hour) a real-live Musher.

Also joining the “Musher Nungesser Crew” are:  Richard (the dad), Adelyne (the decade plus two eye roller), Maxwell (the Half-Musher as he helped the Main Musher French Fred), and Me (Brookie—the Mommy Musher).  Josephine was not a Musher.  She was a Musher’s company—meaning that she was plopped into her daddy’s front part of his sled and got to enjoy the VERY bumpy ride.  Good thing Daddy Musher did not tip, eh?!

Anyhow, dog sledding was an absolute and lovely blast that I highly recommend for all!

You first have to arrive where all of the dogs are chained up (just like in Iron Will) and then prepare with the instructions of driving your sled.  Let me tell you, I nearly wanted to be a passenger after the mini-Mushing-class (kid you not timid smile and nervous laugh inserted here).

Our instructor, Elizabeth got out a sled and said, “OKAY!  Here is your brake.  It is VERY important.”

Yes, Elizabeth—you were SO right!  Holy COW!!!!  Know how to use your brake!

Then she said, “ALWAYS hold onto your sled.  IF YOU LET GO, THEY WILL LEAVE YOU AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO RUN AFTER THEM…In the mountains.  In the snow. ”

BRRRRR.  And, NO THANK YOU.  I don’t even run after my own children, much less DOGS!

Finally she said, “BE THE BOSS!”

Yeah, right!

Easy for a lady that WAS the boss of the dogs.

But, in the end.  She was right.  You had to be the boss or those crazy huskies would roll around on the snow and want to go whichever way the butterfly traveled.

Okay—so there weren’t really butterflies considering it was like 19F, but, whatever.  Those dogs were hilarious.

Therefore, not only did you have to be “The Boss” (Sorry, Springsteen) of the dogs, you HAD to…Like a MUST…know the lead dog’s name.  Without that name, the dogs following were like, “La-di-da-da-da!”

With the lead dog’s name and a rowdy, “Let’s go, Chaussettes (Socks),” the others would pop up and follow your Socks (literally, the name of my dog in French was Socks). Which would then give you an opportunity to “Woo-hoo” while holding on tight—at times, bending the knees for the little “pop” over the crazy hill so you could feel like you were a true Musher and sway with the sled (lest you fall off and then are dragged while HANGING on so your dogs don’t run away for like…ever).

And there you have it.  You have officially become a Musher. For an hour.

And the hour goes FAR TOO QUICKLY.  And you wish you had the whole day. And you loved every minute although you and your family laughingly recall the moments you almost went over the railing of the bridge or smashed into the tree or tilted to the extreme sideways as your dogs did not stay on the path but crossed the icy hill ahead of you to take a shortcut.  Those lazy dogs (smile and wink for the feistiness of the husky).

Yes.  All things that pretty much happened in your hour as a professional Musher.  Or your professional Bucket List kicker!

Which is, after all, what you just did!  Filled and kicked that Bucket List right up with an awesome experience that your GoPro actually recorded so you have evidence of every “Woo Hoo” and “WATCH OUT FOR THE BRIDGE” moment.

Life with children can sometimes be mundane.  Messy. Tiring. And well…a million other things.

But life with a Bucket List and littles keeps life #fresh and #exciting and #exhilarating.

And Mushing.  Yes, I recommend putting that one on your list.

As long as you #hangontight!

The beats of my heart!

Life can be lived in the simple moments of family and nature, enjoying two of God’s priceless gifts.

I reflect, and often, on how my life was once full of sorrow at the hope destroyed of a baby we lost, bitterness at a marriage struggling, fear of a son dying, and exhaustion that it all never seemed to end. Seasons that seemed to toil forever.

Then I see these perfect mountains and I count 3 perfect children and I see a man I admire most on this earth and I realize that time can pull you through all things.

And God was there, steadfast, through it all.

Silence and struggle does not erase quiet, infinite care.

God bless you and yours, our friends, in your seasons of life.

#hisloveenduresforever #greatishisfaithfulness

Oh, heaven forbid. Don’t make me speak English!


I really try to be kind and courteous and real and friendly, but I have this problem.  And it’s called my mouth.

It gets me every time.

I am talking all the time.  Day and Night.  Even when I am sleeping.  It gets me there, too, because I even talk in my sleep.

So, this is what happened.  The other day I was at the grocery store in Gniezno.

It’s a rather large grocery store.  It’s a French chain, I believe.  So now I don’t know whether to blame the French grocery chain or the Gniezno store owner on this one…BUT…someone decided at this rather large grocery store to implement a one-line rule where everyone lines up in a single file line to wait for the next available cashier.

The idea isn’t bad—IF—it was a small store with few customers.  But this is a huge and busy grocery store.  It’s like we all line up as if to go through the cattle gate — our grocery carts and kids overflowing down to the chips and liquids aisle.  Imagine trying to get into a busy sporting event with kids and a grocery cart to boot.  It’s utterly ridiculous.

Yet, it’s what we all must do, and I am the one that chose to shop at that store, so I got in line.

One woman—out of the 30+ of us in line decided that as long as her cart was in line, she would keep shopping.

Duh, lady.  Don’t you think we would ALL love to do this?!

Well, her cart was there but the line was moving forward.  So, of course, there was a huge gap in front of her cart and the other customers in front of her.

Who was foolishly the customer/shopper behind this thoughtless lady?

Hand in the air.  ME!

But what happens with this huge gap of air space and the missing cart lady?  Why 3 new customers come along and hop in line.

The lady comes running back to her cart and says she was there.

Um.  No, technically you weren’t.  I am just a patient person and was waiting for you to move forward.

Fool count 1.

Well, after some exchanged words, she is defeated and now stuck behind 3 more people.  But that’s okay, because she goes back to shopping.

Air space yet again.  Because there is this thing called checking out and people do pay for groceries and lines do move forward in the grocery store.  But where is this random shopper lady?

MIA, Missing in Action, yet again.

And again, I foolishly wait for her to find her cart and push it forward.

Fool count 2.

Finally on Fool count 3, when there is a mile of space between her cart and the cutting customers in front of her and the MIA shopper, I take my cart and go in front of her cart.

Boy howdy!  You would think that this woman had a cart radar or something.  No sooner did I put my cart in front of hers did I then see her come screeching at me, yelling, “THAT’S my space!  I was there in line.”

Now, because I am a very mature 38-year-old mother of 3, I of course engaged in her argument, (in Polish), “No, ma’am.  You were not here.  And, this is the 3rd time that you have not been here.  This was free space.”  Yes, my Polish is lacking, so this is basically what I said.  Not so intimidating but enough to let her know it’s not okay.

Ooooh, boy!  She was steaming mad!  And kept yelling at me how she was there.  So, again, I engaged in this civil thing we were having (NOT) called a conversation.

“No, Ma’am, you were not here.  Again, 3 times you have left and gone shopping.  YOU WERE NOT HERE.  This was a free space.”

Yes, I am a Polish force (smile and wink).

And, yet again, she flew off of the handle yelling at me.  Imagine, “Yadda, yadda, yadda!”

There, lady.  You went and did it.  You brought out my English!  And I started in again—this time in my Mother Tongue…

“No!  You were not here!  This is ridiculous.  For 3 times you have left your cart to go shopping…(insert more)…This is not okay!”

After the shock wore off that I was no longer conversing with her in Polish, the entire line of people started to speak up, the lady that was now in front of the both of us turned around and said, “No, you weren’t here (in Polish).  You can’t keep leaving and shopping.”  The person in front of the lady in front of the lady spoke up.  The husband of one of the ladies spoke up.  And this fiery MIA shopper just kept getting louder.

It’s a good thing we were in a French grocery store.  This small riot didn’t seem out of place, eh?!  Haha.

Anyhow, after I started this small riot of vocalities, I realized that this lady was going to continue to throw her fit, so I pulled my cart out of line and let her go back in front of me, which she eagerly took and moved forward.

But, let me just say—she DID NOT leave her spot again.

And the check-out lady was super nice to me, too.  Nice or scared?  I don’t know which.


So much for showing the love of Jesus at the grocery store that day.