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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

Today lives in shades of black and white. The ink lines of the pine bark. Downy feather pillows of snow piling up around the Retreat, trapping and coddling me at the same time. Pine needles ever present, their green gone to charcoal without the sun. And the sky varying shades of sea foam in a wishful mind.

Here is today:

The view from breakfast.

And here is yesterday:

The road to New Hope Cemetery.
Chased by storms from the west. That barbed wire won’t fence them in.
Chased by storms from the north.
Dirt roads, late light, clouds showing their joy…perfect pleasure.

So today, I put shoes on in the house (gasp), an indication that chores will be done and meals cooked for the week, and banana bread baked as gifts for my two neighbors. The Wailin’ Jennys are my soundtrack for the day, melodic, beautiful, slightly spiritual, slightly melancholy, often surprising. Kind of like me.

Have a warm day, wherever your heart is.

One of my surrogate daughters asked me today if I loved or hated the snow. It’s truly a thin line between love and hate, though it’s certainly not a thin line between sand and snow. Those two are generally as far apart as Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, and as we all know, I’m on the sandy side.

I love the sound of snow, like a softly crocheted blanket dropping slowly and gently on the earth. I like the silence that accompanies it, the dearth of traffic, the stillness of the birds which are just now starting to explore the possibility of perhaps maybe conceivably returning. It’s beautiful when it is pristine and untouched, unshoveled, unplowed. If I could sit in a tower and watch it swath the hills and trees and fields, I would love it. Working from a cozy house as it piles up isn’t bad either.

With my internal furnace currently set at magma, the cold doesn’t bother me so much, but going out in the snow is just a huge struggle. I’d love to go cross-county skiing or snowshoeing, but getting ready to go out, getting to the car, making it driveable, and getting anywhere is just … no.  I remember that from my childhood, when three inches of snow was a ridiculous amount. We never saw 16 inches in North Carolin in those days.

We seem to have topped out at around that foot and a half point with this storm, which the most accurate weatherman called a “crockpot” storm, because it took a while to develop. Now we just wait for the meltdown. Perhaps if I threw my magma-hot self into the snowbank, it would help things along.

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Snow on my favorite fuzzy tree, Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Cold and silence. Nothing quieter than snow. The sky screams to deliver it, a hundred banshees flying on the edge of the blizzard. But once the snow covers the ground, it hushes as still as my heart.” — Laurie Halse Anderson

Daily gratitudes:
Making soup on a cold day
Having help shoveling my walk
That MKL is home safe
Counting down
Friends

 

 

 

Today was a wonderful day, driving for nine hours down dirt roads with my sister. Photos to follow! Below is a window into my soul…or someone’s soul.

One Window
St. Elmo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Some say dreams are open windows into the larger world around us, glimpses of the universe as it truly is, so long as we possess the wisdom to understand what they mean.” — Brian Harmon

Daily gratitudes:
Today
Herds of antelope
Clouds
The color of the sky
Dirt roads

Or not! I think “not” if the icicles are reaching from the gutter to the ground. Once, the winter after we moved into the Bungalow, Kelsea took one of her Spanish swords to the icicles, much to her satisfaction. It did seem like a good idea, but I then discovered that they must have served a purpose, as I had a leak in the bedroom window frame for weeks afterwards. Therefore, these icicles will be staying put until they decide that spring is here.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “A blade of grass is the journeywork of the stars.” — Walt Whitman (I would give anything to see a blade of grass. This has been a hard, bleak winter.)

Daily gratitudes:
Cuddling with MKL
Watching cat videos to keep our stress levels down
The poignant can of Hormel chili abandoned in a snowdrift
The nearly circular sundog in the sky yesterday morning
A cat that loves me

I was under the impression that icicles hung down. They are certainly hanging from my eaves and gutters. But apparently, this icicle is under the mistaken impression that it is a stalagmite.

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Lafayette. Colorado.

Quote of the day: “In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually toward the horizon.”  — Albert Camus

Daily gratitudes:
Clear roads
Blue skies
Nice post office people
Mr. Selfridge
Fuzzy sweaters

 

It is a night for positive prayers and intentions:

That people and animals less fortunate than I will find a warm and caring place to survive the projected cold and our current -7 degree night

That my sweet friend at work’s family finds strength and peace in their time of approaching loss

The MKL and I can successfully accomplish our tropical sabbatical to fend off winter for just one week longer

That this cold snap is gone before we return

That Mr. Man is well looked after by his caretakers in my absence (it’s his birthday on Friday)

That I can accomplish the long list of to-dos before departure time

That my physical not-rightness improves and is healed by rest and rum

I have always found my prayers more powerful when I turn my eyes to the sky and speak to the Great Spirit as a friend. This church in the Bahamas inspired me to do that. It was lovely inside and out, and a visiting orb accompanied me during my solitary explorations there.

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Georgetown, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can’t even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I’m aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don’t have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Daily gratitudes:
Straight roads and green lights
Loving my daughter
Feeling blessed by my relationship with my parents (and missing them daily)
A warm nightgown and bedsocks
The kindness of strangers, experienced twice today

But this morning, there was some beauty.

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Daily gratitudes:
Houses that still have their Christmas lights up
The warmth of my Sorels
My low carb tortilla pizzas
Hot sweet tea
Blankets

It was -15 when I got up this morning. -31 with the wind chill.

I had a very romantic view of the West when I was a child, fueled by classic movies like How the West Was Won and episodes of The Big Valley. It was a wild, open place, full of space and freedom and adventure. I retained that image until I moved here, and still, the little kid that lives inside me believes that that West is somewhere I just haven’t looked yet.

My image of living in the West never encompassed slogging through icy streets to an office in a tall building in downtown Denver. But with a warm coat enveloping me like the arms of a bear, I can pretend I am a displaced Russian countess, which makes the cold slightly more bearable.

And knowing that there are places like this also ease the frigid winter winds.

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Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “ As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” —  Nelson Mandela

Daily gratitudes:
My bear coat
Salmon
That I got my sidewalk shovelled
Sparkling sprinkling of snow at night
A morning bus nap

And here is the snow that I alluded to yesterday…and the cold. Even the window was crying. I actually spent a lot of my day in tears as well. This weather is just not my cup of tea.

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Highway 287, Boulder County, Colorado.

Quote of the day: ““You, of all people, deserve a happy ending. Despite everything that happened to you, you aren’t bitter. You aren’t cold. You’ve just retreated a little and been shy, and that’s okay. If I were a fairy godmother, I would give you your heart’s desire in an instant. And I would wipe away your tears and tell you not to cry.” — Sylvain Reynard

Daily gratitudes:
Cheese lace
MKL
Spurts of creativity
Lentil the Bean
Hugs

 

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