You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2022.

Yesterday. More snow than I expected.
Today. The blue sky and sun helps.

Amazing how much difference a day can make. It feels like the extremes are more extreme up here. Weather never just fades away. It’s either on or it’s off. No in between. I either feel like Jack Nicholson in The Shining going mad or Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music twirling on a sunny mountaintop.

In other news, Pharoah and I are getting along famously. He made an appearance on my Zoom staff meeting this morning, slept on my stomach all night last night, and was absolutely shocked at my taking a bath.

One shocked cat.

I don’t think he’d ever seen a human do such a thing, so he delicately walked around the rim of the tub. Thank heavens for his sure-footedness, as I’ve had a cat fall into a bathtub with me once and it is not an experience I would choose to repeat.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • A helpful, ethical well services guy
  • Living with a cat again
  • Sunshine
  • Snow falling from the pine trees

Cold


The cat curls himself into the hollow of my knees
Under the blanket that kept my mother warm before she died.
Soft
Sage green
with a pattern of leaves,
the tones of his brown fur
echoing the shades.
I warm my hands on him
under the serendipitous guise of petting,
as he doesn’t seem to mind.
We are still
becoming accustomed
to one another.

Yesterday’s blues have turned to gray,
pure white piling
up along pines and trails,
the Spring of Deception
showing itself in a freeze of glory.

My coffee now only remembers warmth
but I still drink it.
It is not worth
disturbing the cat
to heat it up again.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • That A is moving into a more permanent place today
  • Warm fuzzy socks
  • Classical music
  • Spaghetti squash

It feels like my whole life was kindling. An exaggeration, I know, but yesterday, I saw a picture of an old fence, like one that surrounded graves 120 years ago. And I remembered that I had had a piece of fencing like that, something ex-Pat and I found on a trip to Leadville, that had been waiting for years to become an integral piece of art. That became nothing more than kindling.

My giant, ancient, solid, five-inch thick wooden door, resting on iron rods, a much-desired, terribly weathered birthday present that I used as a potting table, now reduced to just those pieces of iron. Nothing more than kindling.

The K Tree, an ornamental pear that we planted when K was born, that was split by a heavy spring snow and yet still survived to bloom each spring, now a charred shadow of its former self. Nothing more than kindling.

When the Texas Baptist Men were sifting through the ashes, one said, “You must have had a lot of combustible stuff in here.” I suppose I did. Waist high stacks of pages of ashes marked where my bookshelves were, where K’s bookshelves were, all disintegrating at the slightest touch of my finger. Dust in the wind. Nothing more than kindling.

And another fire, in Boulder yesterday, burning trails my feet know well. Mercifully, the winds were not what they were on December 30, so other communities were spared the fate of mine. But it raised the specter of that day. K knew about this fire before I did – she had friends who were evacuated – but didn’t want to stress me out by telling me.

I’m maudlin today, despite the warm weather, as we’re having troubles with our well at the Retreat and I feel like I’ve moved into the house in that ‘80s movie, The Money Pit. I’m sullen and sulky and cannot even take a bath for comfort. I’m feeling like it’s all somewhat pointless. Because in the long run, after all, I’m really nothing more than kindling.

A spider braving the melting snow.
Compulsory cat photo.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • MKL, today and every day
  • Blankets
  • Lots of birdsong
  • The road to the Final Four

I went back to the cozy house last Monday. The space looked different somehow. It might have been the first time I’d seen it without snow. The green mulch cannons had disturbed some of the ruins. They must have been fairly powerful. Someone had put an uncharred piece of ironwork where I would find it.

I wept some. I hadn’t been looking forward to going back because I’d been feeling relatively happy. And I’d felt guilty about that, guilty about not visiting the cozy house for several weeks. Of course I hadn’t forgotten. The thought of the loss is with me always, lurking, popping up unexpectedly. But being in the midst of it, face to face with shattered pottery and melted glass and memories lost and those never to be made, tears at my soul. It feels as if, just to the right of my heart in the center of my chest, there is a blackened fist-sized piece of wood. I don’t feel it as much when I’m not at the cozy house, but I know it lives as a part of me now.

In the midst of this difficult day, I found hints of hope.

The tulips that I planted long ago at the edge of the front walkway have come up.
Snail shells are everywhere. I don’t know why. But they’re pretty.
Striped squill – which I don’t recall planting – are coming up at the back of the former greenhouse and on the mound.
Ex-Pat’s first dandelion. Dandelions should be elevated to hardy flower status instead of weed. Then everyone’s yard could be beautiful.
I FaceTimed with K, and she reminded me of this split rock, which marked the resting place of two baby birds that we’d buried there when she was small. A bird had built a nest in an old mailbox on an abandoned power pole at the back of the property. We watched diligently as the babies grew, but before they were old enough, a cruel summer wind took down the mailbox and the birds with it. I remember that we held a solemn little service. That old power pole is now on the ground, burned.
But our flag still stands.
And love still lives.
And while most of us have committed to participating in the town’s clean-up program – which feels like a questionable decision at this point – some who had the resources and wherewithal have proceeded with clean-up on their own, with the intent to rebuild.

We will never be able to bring Original Superior back to what it was. We cannot rebuild history or duplicate our old houses with all their quirks and foibles. But there will be new houses, small ones with character and charm. There will be gardens with hyacinth and iris, with snapdragons and California poppies, with tomatoes and too many zucchini. I don’t know what will emerge from the ashes. But I know something will.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Lovely neighbors
  • Hawks
  • That vague feeling of spring (though in Colorado, we know it to be false)
  • Calving season

And his name is Pharaoh. Maybe I should say there’s a new cat god in town. This is our late son’s Maine Coon, who’s been living with MKL. Yesterday, we shifted him up to the Retreat. He’s settling in well. He’s very attached to MKL though, so as much as he likes me, I’m a little nervous about how we’ll do when MKL goes back to civilization tomorrow. He’s super smart, can open most closed doors, and lives up to his breed’s reputation as “the dog of cats”. But it sure was nice to have him snuggle in my lap for a couple of hours. It’s been too long.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • A lovely day
  • Successfully cooking dinner
  • Cats
  • Coach K’s 100th tournament win

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing just a part of Las Vegas through my eyes.

The Plaza Hotel from a corner of the Square.
The bar, which we did not get to hang out at.
And which looks much more upscale than when I was last here in 1990 on my honeymoon with ex-Pat.
Art and sun.
Something you don’t see every day.
Refreshing.
I debated sharing this but it really had an impact on me. We explored one of the local cemeteries and these were, we deduced, the graves of COVID-19 victims who could not have a formal funeral. There were several long rows just like this off to the side of the cemetery.
Bye now.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Sunshine
  • That MKL and Pharaoh arrive today
  • My truck
  • That I’ve won over one of the postal workers (it only took six months)
Keeping watch.
St. Patrick’s Day Posting.
I do love murals.
Gift Shop Tree
Really Odd and Slightly Hurtful.
Marital Stand-off.
These gentlemen watched over us in our bedroom. Only a little creepy.
This fellow came home with me. His name is Fren.
As did the piece. I think her name is Churro.

Yesterday was a rough and emotional day. I was poked and squished and prodded and gave away money and went back to cozy house, but I’m not quite ready to write about that. Soon. Until then, we’ll spend a couple more days in Las Vegas.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • An easy drive
  • 13 inches of snow, which is good for the drought
  • Leftover Carelli’s Tricolor Tortellini
  • Petting two dogs yesterday
The Plaza Hotel and Neighbor
Stern and Nahm Building
Don’t Fence Me In
Edges Are Not Always Sharp.
Firefighters. 💙
The Old Kiva Theater.
Do You Want Door Number One?
Or Door Number Two?

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Clouds
  • Getting everything done
  • A moment of silence for the first anniversary of the King Soopers shooting
  • Daffodils pushing up through the cold earth

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Waking up with my husband
  • Seeing the first Robin
  • New friends
  • Catnaps
Nothing better than a flying taco. Except perhaps for The Skillet’s green chile queso.
This fellow has seen it all. At the bottom left is the list of people who’ve been 86’ed for life.
The High Plains Drifter. Muddled sage, lemon simple syrup, and gin. Tastes like a dewy morning, as advertised.
Not quite sure what’s going on here, but it was eye-catching.

The Skillet was quite a place. Quirky with lots of art and murals, super nice staff, food, and an outdoor fire pit. We spent several hours here talking, and discovered that the only place to get food in town after 9:00 is Domino’s Pizza. And that what was a warm sunny stroll from the square in the afternoon becomes a freezing squealing trot to the hotel after dark.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • That MKL is here
  • Scurryfunging before his arrival
  • Warm sunshine
  • A lovely sunrise
March 2022
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