Bittersweet More Sweet than Bitter

It’s bittersweet. I’m not sure I even know what that means to tell you the truth. But I do know that today would have been the 9th Annual Mush for a Cure Dogsledding FUNdraiser on the Gunflint Trail if I had not surrendered. I’m playing with some words from one of my all-time favorite songs by Big Head Todd and the Monsters. If you haven’t heard it then please google it and listen to it, it’s amazing.  My blog post today isn’t about love though, like the song is, well maybe it is a little. It’s about bittersweet.

Maybe it’s about my love for Mush for a Cure? If it would have been only up to me I would have had the 9th Annual Mush for a Cure today. Unfortunately my decisions affect many other people including my family and friends. With Mary being down in Florida and out of the mushing loop I felt like she would rather focus on what’s waiting through the windshield and not what was in the rear-view mirror.  She has a new life with a new business and a new focus yet I know she dearly loves Mush for a Cure and would want to hold on. I too wanted to hold on because it is a part of me and who I am and it is so sweet.  I am proud of what our dedicated group of volunteers and mushers accomplished with Mush for a Cure and it’s difficult to give up something so successful.

Mary had been in contact with numerous mushers in January.  She heard that many of them hadn’t had time to train with their dogs because of the lack of snow, she heard from others that were just not going to be a part of Mush this year. I asked a musher friend to inquire with mushers at the Beargrease to see if they were planning to come to the Mush and she said she didn’t hear of many who were.  So with just 3 teams signed up by February 1st it was with deep surrender that we cancelled the 2015 Mush for a Cure. That’s the bitter, oh so bitter tasting in my mouth when I would tell people, “We aren’t having Mush this year.”

Of course I didn’t consult every musher because Mary’s always been the person who corresponds with this wonderful group of people.  I didn’t ask all of the local mushers what their plans were and I didn’t consult everyone because with the opening of the Voyageur Brewing Company this year I’m pretty sure my husband would have died from stress had I insisted upon holding Mush for a Cure this year. That’s bittersweet, right?  Bitter if Mike would have died and sweet that I was thinking of him.

I surrendered.  People tell me I need to slow down and do less but I would not have surrendered if it had only affected me. We have partners in the Brewery and one of them has another business and they always go to the State Hockey Tournament with their family the same weekend as Mush. If I would have insisted we do Mush again then I wouldn’t have been able to be at Voyageur Brewing Company yesterday or today so they could go to the cities. Mike wouldn’t have been able to take Abby to volleyball practice or conduct the brewery tour this morning and I would be on a lake surrounded by wonderful mushers and their canine friends.  That would have been sweet but am I bitter about it?

I could have insisted we hold Mush for a Cure and the mushers could have raised another $40,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation this year. But I surrendered.

Does this make me weak? Does this make me smart? Does this make me evil? Does this make my butt look fat?(forget the last one my butt always looks fat).

It is indeed bittersweet. I suppose it depends upon who you are and how you feel too. It might be bitter to the National Breast Cancer Foundation since they were probably counting on our donation but it might be sweet for Trail Center because they are having their Dog Days of Winter in place of the Mush. It might be bitter for the Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club because we were going to work with them this year to make life easier for both groups. But it might be sweet for the volunteers who have been taxed by this huge undertaking every year.  Volunteers bring my thoughts to Mark Ceminsky, our Voyageur Canoe Outfitter family member who passed away this year. He was a huge help in Mush the past few years and it would have been so bitter not to have had him around for this year’s mush. But maybe it’s sweet because I don’t know why, do you?

I guess that’s why it’s bittersweet but a little more sweet than bitter, bitter than sweet. It’s a bittersweet, surrender.


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