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Most of the time, I know what this bloom is. But my brain said, “Not today, bobo”.
Amaranth, or as I prefer to call it, Love-Lies-Bleeding. I used to grow this from seed in the Circle Bed in the Cozy House gardens.
Some form of …Daisy?
Crème de la Roses.
You can try, but you can’t tame a wild rose.
The bushiest Lantana that I’ve ever seen.

MKL is amazed that I know the names of so many plants. Fair enough, since I’m impressed that he knows the names and functions of every BMW part, no matter how tiny or insignificant-looking.

Daily gratitudes:

  • MKL
  • The Jackalope Lady
  • The gentleman with the cowboy hat and gold lame fanny pack
  • How pretty I felt last night
  • Nick, my GPS navigator
Blue Mesa Reservoir.

Daily gratitudes: (I’m struggling today)

  • Salmon
  • Rain
  • A new cat tree that the cat likes

Not all who wander are lost applies particularly to me.

Outside of Gunnison, Colorado.

Daily gratitudes:

  • MKL
  • Adventure Days
  • Setting up house
  • Rain
  • Planting
Lake with the Spanish Peaks as a backdrop.
Peak Peeking.
A Tempting Trail.
Anytime. But nary a horse to be found.
My best friend ready to head on.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Goats
  • Grazing alpacas
  • MKL
  • Tulips blooming today
At least it’s pretending to be so.
I am hopeful.
Quite hopeful.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Lovely neighbors
  • Horses
  • Counting down the days
  • A plane ticket in hand (even if it’s just to Dallas)
Took a detour down a little Forest Service road, hoping to reach a random lake, but was stopped by too-deep snow. There were, however, lovely tree roots.
Atop Cuchara Pass.
Choices.
North Lake.
Abandoned Church.
The former Weston General Store.
The former Weston Elementary School.
Bird on a limb.
Looking back with love.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • That K does not have COVID-19
  • Sleep
  • Lemon ginger tea
  • A repaired stair
Corners Diner, which looks sadly defunct.
Such unique rock formations.
Curves ahead.
Roadside barn.
And roadside shed.
My stomach was disappointed that it could not have a burger at the Dog Bar. A little too early for the season.
Happy Mailboxes.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • That MKL came up for the day
  • Only nine more days until I actually live with my husband
  • That the Fire Department is trying to contain the fire four miles northwest of here (which is really stressing me out)
  • A successful experimental smoothie

I’m really not traveling the county roads in numerical order – though that might be fun.

But this one was irresistible.
Down the tracks.
And always look both ways.
Sketchy bridge ahead.
The Sangre de Cristos in one direction…
And the Spanish Peaks in the other. I have a particular fondness for the Spanish Peaks.
They all came running up to the fence to say hello. I think they liked my music. I blew them a kiss as I left.
This is the kind of mountain I used to draw as a child, basically a triangle. I love the way the rooftop echoes the peak’s contours.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Dirt roads
  • An annual State parks pass
  • Meadowlarks
  • Getting gas for under $4.00/gallon

Via a rather circuitous route that included Hwy 69, Hwy 96, and Hwy 165.

The Sangre de Cristo range.
Abandoned.
But still watchful.
The Three Trees.
Contrasts.
My Best Friend.
Grazing.
Aspens on the verge of Spring.
Higher and higher.
I found some bison!
Along the road home.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Trying to figure out the cat
  • The first tree in bloom
  • That K is back safely from her trip

Wind. I’ve never liked it, except when it rustles the fronds of the palm trees. Contradictorily, that’s my favorite sound. But I’d scarcely call that wind. That’s a breeze, gentle and joyful.

Wind is what we get here in the Front Range and the Wet Mountains. This is what took down a 75-foot tree that miraculously and by the slimmest of margins missed the Carriage House. This is what makes me look with great skepticism out of the living room window as another giant pine tree bends and twists against the blue sky, its trajectory perfectly aligned with my bedroom.

Wind is what never hesitates to remind me of the ruptured eardrum that I suffered at age two when my mother was in the hospital with pneumonia. Each time the wind, anywhere from lukewarm to freezing, gains access to my right ear, it hurts like the dickens.

Wind is why I don’t like Wyoming. It seems ever-present there. I recall spending a night in the back of my truck the summer after college trying to sleep through it – wasn’t sure if I was going to freeze or go mad, and it was June.

And wind is what led to the destruction of the Cozy House and an entire community. Wind that decide to dance with fire — and what a dance it was.

From the Retreat, I can’t see the wind coming because I’m already in it. But further away from the mountains, it’s easy to tell when it will be a day of the warm, dry, harsh winds that indigenous people used to call “snow eaters” and which we call Chinooks. There’s a bright clear sky and over the mountains, a thick shelf of white cloud in a straight line. If you’ve lived here long enough, you know to hang on to your small pets and tie down your trampolines when you see that anytime between November and April.

Ages ago, I read or someone told me that the indigenous people called them “the winds of madness”. I’ve never been able to find a source for that, but I don’t doubt it’s true. The sound, the uncertainty, the constancy of them can indeed make you feel more than a little crazy.

Unfortunately for too many of us, they now raise feelings of pain, fear, loss, anger, and trauma, digging into wounds that are only barely starting to scab over. I have reminded myself a dozen times today of the freakish circumstances that made me lose the Cozy House and that there’s nothing left to lose there now. But at the Retreat, I have the rest of what’s left to lose. It’s impossible not to think about it, about what I would take, about how to arrange the house so I could quickly pack those treasures I didn’t lose. About how a single spark from a cigarette tossed out of a car window on the Frontier Pathway could take all this away from me.

About how little control we actually have.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Decent sleep
  • Wise decisions
  • Experimental cooking
  • Good books
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