You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘snow’ tag.

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

I am back at the Retreat. It was good living with MKL for a month; it was a sneak preview of living together full-time, which should happen soon. I needed to see if I could return to what had become my daily life before the fire. So here I am.

I’m in my work spot, which is where, on December 30, I got the call from Kelsea that there was a fire near Superior and maybe it was something to worry about. In the time it took for me talk to her, call ex-Pat, gather some things, and call ex-Pat again, it was all gone — Roscoe, Dusty, and the house. It feels edgy to be sitting here, with that memory raising a pearl of panic in my chest.

I need to recover the Retreat from Christmas. The one day I was here in January, I pulled the Christmas tree out onto the front porch, but presents are still in small piles where the tree was and the menagerie is still in the living room. January and post-Christmas organizing did not turn out the way I’d expected.

It feels like some sort of betrayal to put some distance between myself and the homesite. A part of me, of my heart, is there and I feel the hole in my soul when I’m away from that space. I want to spend all my time there, digging for lost things, hoping that something will magically appear untouched. My wedding dress and photos. A book, any book. An old painting on milk glass. Those things that are gone forever. Holding out hope, at some point, feels like it does more harm than good. But I continue to remember things and try to replace them. Today, it was the San Antonio Junior League cookbook and a heart-shaped mirror framed in seashells that I made an executive decision to buy in South Padre Island decades ago.

I am listening to our town meetings about rebuilding and uncharacteristically constantly adding my two cents about keeping the character of Old Town Superior as unique as it has been for over 100 years. I’m having early talks with an architect-in-progress about rebuilding. I don’t know if that will happen but I want to leave my options open. It feels like a slogging, numb-footed step forward through paralyzing mud.

I came up to the Retreat intentionally to be here before the big snowfall, which was a wise move as the snow started falling last night and has yet to stop. I always prefer it to either REALLY SNOW or not even bother. I can feel myself burrowing beneath this blanket that the sky has offered, a nest full of sorrow and comfort. Today’s photos share the view from my world in the woods.

Can you spot the Corvette?

Snow is falling today, on the deck outside MKL’s house, on the ruins of my home in Superior, on the Retreat, creating a blanket of stillness tinged with blues. I watch it without much in the way of conscious thought, finding its simplicity soothing.

I met with one of the Southern Baptist team in charge of sifting through the ashes yesterday, along with his daughter. Larry and Sarah. I’m not one for organized religion but I always appreciate people who walk their faith and this man surely did. He sketched out where I wanted to focus in the sifting , what I was hoping to find, and made it clear that there were no guarantees (one thing I’ve learned all too well over the last few weeks). At some point over the next few days, I’ll get a call saying that a team is ready to hit the property and that I need to come. I’m hoping it’s not Friday, the one day I need to be down towards the Retreat.

As usual, once I got to the homestead yesterday, I started digging. I found K’s door latch and handle (at her request), certainly more vintage than it was before. It’s difficult to stop once I start digging, even though I know I’m not supposed to disturb the ashes due to the toxins supposedly mixed in with them. But we know me – I don’t usually do what I’m told. Just ask the young construction worker who had to take down a barrier to let me drive on an irrationally closed road yesterday. I would have found the sidewalk to be a completely viable alternative.

Before he left, Larry asked if he could pray with me and I agreed. It was such a comfort. I’m angry at God/Spirit/the Universe and haven’t felt much like speaking to them. Larry prayed for some peace for me and K, for love, for closure, for hope, and he sounded like he was talking to an old friend, to a father. Which I suppose he was. I wept.

I think “soothing” is the word of the day. It’s soothing being in the same room as MKL when we’re working, as long as he’s not cursing at his computer, which happens. The gentle snowfall is soothing since I don’t have to go out into it. Larry’s prayer yesterday was soothing. It’s soothing to know that A, who lost everything except her dogs, the clothes on her back, and a cannonball, has the comforting presence of her daughter for a few days. Daughters make almost everything better. Ex-Pat is in his apartment now and focused on making it homey. It’s soothing to think of him as starting to be settled.

Today, unless I’m derailed, I will hold these soothing things close and not think about the Machiavellian machinations of the town of Superior, more than broadly hinted at by the real estate developer neighbor who is rebuilding their Little House in Old Town. That’s something for another day’s me.

Today, let it be just me and the drifting snow.

It is National Poetry Writing Month (for any of you who wish to learn more about it go here), and as few of you know, I have been writing poetry my whole life. I go in phases, sometimes publishing here, sometimes elsewhere. Since the muse has been distracted for some time, I have written little of late. NaPoWriMo, which, along the lines of NaNoWriMo, encourages writers to create one poem a day for the month of April, is a good time for me to reacquaint myself with the craft and all of its nuances. I’m a few days late starting, so I’ll try to catch up over the course of the month. Here, I give you today’s offering:

Twins
Ripped from his roots and tossed in the street,
She felt the remains of his limbs at her feet.
His leftover lifelong intertwinedness
Curling around the tender tendrils of her toes,
The nature of the stone in his leftover soul,
Slowly slowly
Stealing away her green, her light, her life.
She died,
Inch by bitter inch,
And yet she did not die.
She stood, her own life crumbling around her,
Her madness and grief on display for all to see
In her wild hair and shattered serenity,
And her untended children.
She caught and cradled herself in her own brittle arms
As she fell, piece by broken piece,
And her heart become dry and hard,
Hard and cold until the day she could no longer
Stand to stand,
The weight of the world too much to bear.
She gave up,
Throwing herself from her steadfast post,
Cathy on the crag ever seeking her lost Heathcliff ,
And pitched in a fit of wind-driven pique,
Collapsed with a hush, wrapped in frozen blankets,
Her descent carefully guided by watchful angels,
Finally to join him.
And yet, some small part of her still fights,
That raging, tangled madwoman, turning on her saviors,
Cutting them to ribbons as they tried to help her move
On towards a transformed life.
Accepting death
Is never easy,
And death itself is seldom
Terribly gracious.

__________________________________________

But, never fear, gentle reader, I shall not deprive you of your daily image, quote, and gratitudes. Enjoy the month.

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Elk and Pines in Snowfall, Estes Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”  — Leonardo DaVinci

Daily gratitudes:
A beautiful day
The velvet of pansy petals
Fighting off a cold (and losing, but still fighting)
Trying to help
Warm milk at bedtime

 

 

In case you haven’t heard, it snowed in Colorado today, a snow I haven’t seen the likes of since 2003, when I got stuck thigh deep in my own backyard (funny, yet awkward, and there was that moment I thought no one would find my body for weeks.)

My little town received 20 inches at my last measure, and with blizzarding winds, drift up to four feet on the back fence. We all knew it was coming, but none of us really expected its ferocity. So after talking to MKL for this morning’s wake up call, I was dozing, when I heard a loud noise. It sounded like Mr. Man had jumped and knocked a pile of paperwork onto the floor. I went to check that everything was okay, as a good pet owner does. And I realized the problem was not inside — it was outside.

Snow 4

Yes, this was the scene in my front yard. at 6:45 this morning. This patch of yard used to contain a lovely little apple tree and a lilac bush. And now it contains the remnants of this:

Snow 3

Half of a fifty foot Chinese Elm. I knew it needed to come down. It had died a year or so ago. But I wasn’t expecting this. Can you see where it split off from the main trunk?

Snow 2

The miracle was where it fell. It missed by bedroom roof and my porch by inches, literally, and is only slightly on top of my fence. The shot above is the view from my little porch. My porch sticks out about four feet from the house, and my bedroom is sort of indented on the west side of the house. A slightly stronger gust of wind would have put it through the roof onto my sleeping self. I would have heard much more than the curious whooshing sound I heard when it fell as is it did. I doubt I’d be typing this now, in fact.

Snow 1

The current view from my bedroom window.

I now have the unfortunate task of shoveling. First to the back gate, because it opens inward. Then a walk around the  block to shovel the sidewalk, because the front gate opens outward. And then a shovel run to the front door, maneuvering around the fallen tree which is blocking the path to the house. MKL and I will have to find chainsaws to get it out of the yard and assess the damage. The apple tree is nothing but broken spears, looking like jousting lances standing straight in the air. I will miss that tree. I’m glad, though, that I’m here to miss it. The roof is creaking, and clumps of snow (and possibly more trees and branches are falling with muffled thumps in that eerie, peaceful silence that only comes with snow. But I am here, and I thank my guardian angels for guiding the trajectory of the fallen tree.

A long, long time ago, a boy named Jeff stood on a balcony of an old plantation with me in Durham one July day. It was 99 degrees and 100 percent humidity. He said, “One day when you are watching the snow piling up around your house in Colorado, I want you to remember standing here on the balcony at Monkey Top, on a summer day so hot you can barely breathe.” Today, I remember.

Quote of the day: “You’re lucky, spontaneous, and your guardian angel is overworked and way underpaid.” — Mary Calmes

Daily gratitudes:
Miracles, great and small
Keeping my power all day
Guadeloupe
That my loved ones are all safe
Yesterday’s 73 degrees

And by the way, while I don’t think it changes anything for my lovely readers, my web address has changed to http://www.seasweetie.com. I’m my own blog URL now! So please check your Reader, so we can keep up with each other.

 

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

 

 

 

Snowindow

Denver, Colorado.

It’s baaaack. Yes, the snow is back. We are nowhere near the Northeast totals, but our streets are icy and our yards are getting deeper by the moment. I have been talking about the weather a lot, haven’t I? As if I am an awkward stranger at a party, rather than the mistress of my own blog. It’s not that I don’t have anything else to say, but that I have so many things I want to write about just now and don’t want to shortchange my thoughts. Soon come.

Quote of the day: “I held my breath as we do sometimes to stop time when something wonderful has touched us…” —  Mary Oliver

Daily gratitudes:
Mr. Man with his paw on my keyboard
Pretty snow
Rides with Elisa
That MKL is getting better (I miss him)
Hearing songs that I love that I’d forgotten about (wish I hadn’t lost my iPod)

 

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Lafayette, Colorado.

You know it’s not like me to be too Pollyanna-esque, but I am trying to maintain a sense of positivity as we seem to be diving back into the great white hole that is winter. It reminds me of the Great Blue Hole in Belize, where divers become so mesmerized that they simply keep going down and never return. I have never been there, but this is what it looks like, if you’re not familiar with it:

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Great Blue Hole, Belize (image credit: Atlas Obscura)

Quite a different view than from our snow-covered porches, eh?

Being a beach baby, I thought diving would be a wonderful experience for me. My first snorkeling experience was so magical, once I got the hang of it, that diving seemed to be the next logical step. Alas, it was not to be. I took the initial certification class, but unlike any of my classmates, needed an extra lesson before my instructor was comfortable signing off on me. I couldn’t get over the inability to breathe, and the pressure on my ears, and the growing sense of panic as I went deeper. And so, that dream was wrapped in a lacy lavender sea fan, and tucked away safely for the next lifetime. Even snorkeling now is a challenge, due to ill-fitting masks and random hairs and disorientation. But I have my exquisite memory of my first snorkel, playing alone with two Hawksbill turtles for twenty minutes. And accidentally brushing my hand against some fire coral, but that’s a tale for another time. It was after the diving lessons and a talk with my instructor that I realized I was a beach baby, not a water baby. That those two things were different, and that I need to be BY the water, and IN the water, but not UNDER the water. A dream trip to the Galapagos is still on the Bucket List, and MKL and I will brush up on our snorkeling and snorkel there like billy-o.

But back to the cold reality of a Colorado winter. Poor MKL has the flu and has had expensive car troubles since we tried to escape the -19 weather back in November. It seems to have tailed him like some sort of ninja, springing to beat him about the head and wallet with numchuks when he least expects it. And now he is terribly blue. Having just recovered from my own bug, and being swamped at work, I have not been able to bring him supplies (supplies being Sauza Tequila, which is the cure of all that ails one, Vicks VapoRub, chicken soup, and tender nursing.) I keep telling him that this too shall pass, and it will. It always does. The only certainty in life is change.

While I dislike winter as much as he does, and we are tempted to rethink our strategy for where we live after Kelsea gets out of college, I am trying to stay positive. Hence, today’s unicorn snow. Can you see the sparkles in the photo taken along the fence? It glittered as it was falling in the cold sun, and looked like some celestial unicorns were shaking off the last vestiges of a fine slumber. And the birds had not given up hope and were singing, even in the 8 degree morning. What choice does one have but to try to find encouragement in such signs of spring?

However, Colorado has only put a dent in its winter inferiority complex and will be providing us with more snow this week. Let’s see how far into the white hole I can dive without running out of oxygen.

Quote of the day: (As an aside, this was a favorite of my Mother’s and she had it in front of the bathroom mirror throughout her battle with cancer. It sits on my dresser today. I carefully brought it all the way home from North Carolina and dropped it getting out of the car and broke the frame. I’ve left it so, as there seemed to be some kind of symbolism in that occurrence.)

““In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus

Daily gratitudes:
Getting the occasional ride to work with Elisa
Louis Bayard’s weekly recap of Downton Abbey in the NYT that makes me laugh out loud
Head bonks with Mr. Man
Planning surprises
My beloved

IMG_3340

Buena Vista, Colorado.

This was last weekend up at Cottonwood Hot Springs, where MKL and I spent a blissful three nights, with a lovely mix of sun, stars, and snow.

Here, we’ve had the hype of a Snowpocalypse, with everyone rushing to the grocery store, cleaning the shelves out of bread and milk, and creating checkout lines from the front of the store to the back. I suspect Colorado is having an inferiority complex because of all the snow in Boston and surrounding areas, so we are talking up this weekend’s storm as if it were the first one we’ve ever had. As it is, it’s snowing, yes, a good respectable snow, but nothing fancy. “They” say that we’re getting three storms from three different directions in the course of the next 24 hours, but I have my doubts.

I’ve been so quiet because I’ve been working too much (and had zero connectivity during our three nights at Cottonwood Hot Springs). I realize that this is a pattern that has been in place since I first started working. Looking through my recently unearthed high school yearbook, I saw that several of my classmates said something along the lines of “Don’t work too hard!” It was the first time I had realized that I had maintained this kind of pace for almost 40 years, with only a few exceptions: when I took a year off when my baby girl was two, and when I got down to a half-time job for about seven months in 2010, as I was thinking my life was going to take on a certain shape. Fortunately, it took on a different shape than I had expected, but I picked up the work pace just as I had in the past. It makes me wonder why.

With my income(s), I am fortunate enough to be able to take vacations, have a home, pay my alimony/child support, buy books and groceries, go out to lunch with MKL most days, and (hopefully in the extreme) send my daughter to college so she doesn’t come out with student loans. I do not have an extravagant life, but it is comfy. Cutting back on my work would make it less comfy, and would make it more likely that Kelsea starts her adult life in debt.  But I don’t think those are the reasons I work too much. even though I don’t have an answer for why I do. I think it’s important that I explore this element of who I am. At least before I work myself to death.

And on that cheery note, please be advised that today, instead of working, I am writing this post, watching the snow fall, and drinking caramel cocoa as a special treat.

Stay warm, all.

Quote of the Day: “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” —  Lewis Carroll

Daily gratitudes:
A carb day
Beaches
Lithium water
Taking care of Kelsea
The Birdcage

(As an aside, I started watching “Patch Adams” this morning, which began with Robin Williams committing himself to a mental hospital because he was suicidal. That was hard enough, but then he became roommates with Philip Seymour Hoffman, and I was done. It was too hard to watch. Just felt the need to share that.)

 

 

 

I can’t say I’m not glad to see the back of January. It seems to have been a tough month for many. Let’s hope February is kinder. Being a Spring and Summer person, winter is tough (don’t ask me why I live in Colorado), and in February, there are signs of Spring. Not snowdrops or crocuses – it’s a bit too early for that – but I grasp at the smallest things: the fact that they have the flyer for proposed bus route changes coming in May on my morning commute; that movie trailers say “coming this summer”; that it stays light just a little bit later every day. We had a lovely fluffy snow last night – not hard to shovel, and just some curious magical quality to it, so that it clung to the tree branches like albino caterpillars, and made the fields seem buried in puffed silk. It was a snow I didn’t mind, and for me, that’s saying something.

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Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Fortunately, I’m good at ignoring a lot of what my brain does.” — Richard Kadrey

Daily gratitudes:
An interesting Super Bowl
A snuggly Mr. Man
Missing Michael – I would be sadder if I didn’t miss him
The big fat pig enjoying the snow in her field
The cry of a crow

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