Eat, Drink, Blog / Gypsy's Musings

Kicking The Bucket: Mama And The Musher

MattFailorYou know that whole “Bucket List” thing? It’s a “to do” list of life’s achievements to undertake before you die; all those things you want to make sure you do is on your Bucket List.

And I’m pretty sure my mom has one. Last year she took a cruise. For three weeks. From Amsterdam to Budapest. She flies first class nowadays. And on Saturday, she raced in the Iditarod.

No, seriously. My mom was in the Iditarod. You know, that whole Anchorage to Nome thing. With dogs. And sleds. And snow.

I may have mentioned in this blog previously that my mother takes claim to the oddest pairing of offspring among her siblings. As far flung as we cousins are, my sister and I live in Wasilla and New York City, respectively. My sister works for the FAA in Anchorage. I’m pretty sure if you’re landing a plane in the largest state in the U.S., she knows all about it. I toil in obscurity in the greatest city on Earth (in the greatest borough of the greatest city on Earth… but I digress…).

My mom is turning 70 this year (I’m pretty sure so long as I don’t reveal her weight, I won’t be disinherited). In June, my parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. My sister and I are throwing them a party in Las Vegas. So, if my mom is gonna do some really cool shit, I guess no better time than the present!

momandmattWhich brings me back to the Iditarod. Last year my mom witnessed the launch when she went up to visit my sister. Low and behold, it turns out these boys (yeah, they’re mostly/all male mushers) need funds to push their sleds along the 1,049 miles it takes to be an Iditarod competitor. Do they resort to Kickstarter? Bake sales? Salmon sales? Nosirreebob! They auction a ride in the sled on the first day. It’s ceremonial, but it’s also 11 miles in temperatures as low as -100 °F (okay, yes, that includes the wind chill).

My mom decided last year that this year, she was buying herself one damn sled. Because of the time difference, she gave my sister the bidding keys to the kingdom (aka her Mastercard digits). A mere [undisclosed sum here – hint: more than $1000, less than $2000] later, she was passenger numero uno with Musher Matthew Failor, who—according to my sister—treated her like royalty last weekend.

My mom spent time with Matt and his pups. She got all bundled up and did the ceremonial run. Right now, Matt’s in 16th Place with 13 (of 16) dogs still racing. His teammates are doing well, too. I wish Matt, his dogs and all his support team the best.

My mom’s bucket list is that you win the whole damn thing!

6 thoughts on “Kicking The Bucket: Mama And The Musher

  1. Astrid, An equal benefit to the excitement of having a child run the Iditarod is all the neat people you get to meet along the trail. Thanks for being your mom’s daughter and thanks to your mom for helping make Iditarod special. Love the story.

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