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Even though Winter (ick) is technically a month-ish away, we are expecting it to make an appearance next week. I don’t count the minor snowfall two weeks ago, because I refused to leave the house until it was gone, therefore to me, it didn’t happen. We have been blessed with a long Autumn this year, and MKL and I were saying today that we hope Winter will be merciful and Spring kind to us. (This past Spring was a cruel taskmistress, as my blizzard-struck fallen miracle of an evil tree demonstrated.) We still have a few late-falling leaves on trees, a few streaks of color in dips between mountains, and the morning cold of our wrought iron benches is not vicious enough to weasel its way through one’s clothes to one’s skin. Yet. But soon, we will be asking each other, “Why do we live here?” I am a landlocked mermaid, who never meant to stay here in the mountains, but sometimes not making choices throughout one’s life is a choice in itself. And it led me to MKL, for which I am grateful. As I am grateful we can keep each other warm throughout the cold snaps.

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Quote of the day: “We fit together like puzzle pieces when we snuggled together.” — Andrea Smith

Daily gratitudes:
A new dress
Surprises
Postcards
Floofy dogs in sunny windows
Blankets

 

 

A warm memory of an autumn Saturday. We have drifted into snow and cold and wind, and I am happy to remember a peaceful day.

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Hygiene, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “It is in the turmoil of chaos that we discover what, if anything, we are.” — Orson Scott Card

Daily gratitudes:
Blue skies
Clean dishes
Prayers of friends
Cozy couches
Good walks

 

Darkness comes too early now, but I know that golden leaves and sun-bright streams exist.

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Outside Morrison, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” — Lauren DeStefano

Daily gratitudes:
The lady who complimented my outfit today
MKL
Puppies
Almost the end of the election
A clean living room

 

 

These are the leaves of the little sumac tree in my front yard. They are the most beautiful colors, and dangle delicately on their velvety soft and fragile stems. Rather like fall itself.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “a wind has blown the rain away & the sky away & all the leaves away, & the trees stand. i think i, too, have known autumn too long.” — e.e. cummings

Daily gratitudes:
MKL’s strength
My repaired fence to withstand the reproach of winter winds
A new mailbox that I can’t knock over in the dark
Digging into an engine and getting all greasy
A lovely weekend

It was cold walking downtown today.

The snapdragons and the zinnias and the sweet potato vines were still blooming, but so were the red holly berries, starkly brilliant against their dark green leaves.

I felt…confused and unexpected. I had forgotten what wind chill was.

I felt 18 again.

But my trenchcoat is the wrong color.

My pockets were empty. Where were my gloves? The lady passing me had big black-and-white herringbone patterned gloves, and I complimented her on how fun they were. She smiled.

Tears spring to my eyes.  From the wind or the pretty spindrift of prose in my head or the memory of being 18.

At 18, I walked another city’s streets in thin, soft Indian-print dresses and bohemian shirts, like the one I wear today.

The coolie shoes that I wore then, regardless of the weather, have been replaced by cowboy boots, as befits this city.

I remember the endless Dr. Who-like scarf that I gave to my boyfriend at Christmas, a find from a Cambridge thrift-store now long gone.

As is the boyfriend.

And probably the scarf.

I like the direction my life is taking now. Despite the approaching winter, I am happy.

The Mixed Emotions of a Coming Winter

I am scared.
The gray of the sky overburdens me,
Swamping me in a soft blanket
of ennui,
but one in which
I can’t indulge.

I muster my strength to throw off its

weight

and push through,
giving birth to myself each morning
from another cocoon of dreams.

I am choiceless.

Now, the green grass still lies splayed
below me.
A maiden no longer,
She shows herself fully,
a last gasp before her faded beauty
dies for another season,
smothered by a soft, frozen fatal whisper.

I am coddled
by the lowing clouds
That catch me up in a drowning
Embrace of cool sadness,
Pushing on my eyelids
As the earth
Balks and wavers
And hunkers down to suffer through
Another winter.

Today’s guest poet – Christina Gerogina Rossetti

Somewhere Or Other
Somewhere or other there must surely be
The face not seen, the voice not heard,
The heart not yet – never yet – ah me!
Made answer to my word.

Somewhere or other, may be near or far;
Past land and sea, clean out of sight;
Beond the wandering moon, beyond the star
That tracks her night by night:

Somewhere or other, may be far or near;
With just a wall, a hedge, between;
With just the last leaves of the dying year
Fallen on a turf grown green.

Although we are approaching a full month past the first official day of fall, the gods of autumn seem to be lolling around in Speedos, soaking up the last of summer’s rays. In other words, it’s been a mercifully slow transition. Here in the Centennial State, we have been enjoying warm weather, azure skies, and leaf colors that rival many states with a far larger deciduous contingent.

Yes, I’m thankful for this Indian Summer, which, by the way, since that term has its theoretical origins in Native Americans attacking European settlers and vice versa, I am determined to toss out, and use the more ancient and agriculturally based term, St. Martin’s Summer, or the Latvian term “Atvasara”, meaning “flashback of summer”. Political correctness and semantics aside, it has been lovely. But loveliness tinged with that sense of foreboding, with that feeling that something is following you, but if you don’t look over your shoulder, it won’t actually be there, that all of us who find ourselves plunged into the depths of winter despair and cold-bruised joints experience.

It is out there. And it is coming.

We’ve been lucky. Most years, by now we’ve seen at least one snowstorm. Green grass is a memory and leaves are not just off the trees but bagged up as landfill fodder. Right now, I can still see the grass, and I have not yet reached the place where I am staring at brown and longing for spring, except in the dead cornfields I pass on the way home.

And there is one last holdout from our always-too-short summer. Okay, two holdouts. One is inside my sunroom, and the other is outside my bedroom window.

They are both crickets.

There are seemingly two crickets left in all of Colorado, and I’ve got ’em. They compete with one another, their chirps feeble and
fading, like a couple of little old men trying to outdo each other in tall-tale-telling before their lungs give out.

I recall last fall, towards the end, the end of everything, when my ex-flame watered the last crickets of summer to keep them alive just a little longer. I recall when I was small and my Mother had a “cricket cup” to catch the crickets that would infiltrate the beach house in the summer and drive us crazy with their songs at night. I recall listening to them with an overwhelming sense of relief as they first chirped in the spring in the fields outside of the Cottage.

These two hang on by a transparent thread, trying to resist death from chill nights and chillier rains. I empathize with them, and hope the chillest of winds, hearts, and fates are gentle with me in the approaching winter – much gentler than last. I have hope and faith to help me through, and the echo of their song to keep me warm. And the certain knowledge that this season
will pass into a new spring, and the crickets will play again.

Photo title: Blue and Gold

Gilpin County, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Sometimes someone comes into your life that changes everything. Raises the standards, makes you laugh, and makes you feel like you.  There is something about her that you can’t put into words, and even though you’re not with her, you don’t want to let her go.”  —  Unknown

Daily gratitudes:
A totally lazy day
Diet pepsi
Tittering
Intimate conversations
Being myself

Photo title: Remembrance

Above Central City, Gilpin County, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul and start at some higher place. Start right where you are.”  —  Julia Cameron

Daily gratitudes:
My newly rented Halloween costume
The Red Couch
Black cows, blue mountains
Dot’s Diner
The people I love

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