It’s been a chilly week and it snowed the prior night, but I had no doubt I would still get my hike in yesterday with my good friend. The temperature gauge might read cold, but it never fails to be better when we get to our beloved Three Sisters Park. Be it the scenery, the camaraderie or just magic, this is a walk that just makes me feel better even if I start out in a great mood.
The snow and cold had created beautiful crystals on the blades of grass looking like fuzzy antennae on the snowy landscape.
As we traipsed through the trees, we couldn’t help but stop and appreciate the shadows and sun-kissed branches.
The trees were still frosted and coated in snow and every turn gave a different view of our familiar winter wonderland.
The shrubs tried to see if they could hold as much snow as the trees. And I started to play with my filters.
Woody was ecstatic that it was a slow day and he could be let off the leash in the secluded areas. He still wants to pose anytime the camera is out – and he does a fine pose too!
More shrubs, more filters.
The Alderfer Homestead in the background.
And then as we were walking the last little bit, I saw this patch of crystallized snow and was amazed at how it looked like a snow geode.
People can read about our cold and snow and figure it is not their cup of tea, but until you are here and get to enjoy it for yourself, you will never know for sure.
My sister in law messaged yesterday that one of the farms down the road was being sold off. The contents of the barns were that day, the A-Frame was to be sold next year and the main home separately. Geeze, I remember when that A-Frame was built on the opposite side of the road of the main house, down the field from the McClure’s place.
I realized that I probably didn’t know any of the neighbors back by the farm anymore. Mrs. McClure (Gladys) was living alone in her home back when I was young. I can recall her more vividly than anyone.
She was one of the older neighbors. A beautiful white haired woman who never had a hair out of place and she had ample hair and it was styled in a complementary way. It makes me wonder now, just how often her hair had been done/styled and was it plastered with hairspray to keep it that way 24/7? I mean, I never saw the woman with a bad hair day. Never. I wonder if they put that into her obituary. “Gladys was a well coiffed woman with impeccable taste”
What I saw of her belongings were what I thought of as impeccable anyway. She had some china tea sets that were beautiful – although I only saw them just a few times as we did not visit her often. She generally came to our house to visit.
She drove a large green beast of a car.
I think we all tended to “get lost” when she was coming over as she was so hard of hearing that it was painful to be in the room when someone was trying to have a conversation with her.
I think back now and wonder about those conversations. I think dear old Mrs. McClure might not have needed to hear responses as much as she just needed someone to listen to her. I’m sure she was lonely and just to have someone let her speak was enough some days. My mom didn’t complain about the visits and wouldn’t allow us to either.
A person could be in the barn across the street from our house and know when Mrs. McClure was leaving from a visit. Since she couldn’t hear the car start, she would rev it up so high and loud when turning the ignition that it was akin to a shuttle launch. The entire capsule would scream and roar and then the body shake with the explosive power of the engine not yet released into motion. I’m guessing she knew it was running when it was shaking her teeth fillings loose.
It’s funny how some people stick in your memory much more vividly than others.
I awoke today to cold. Beyond cold, beyond freezing for this time of year. By the weather map on my phone, it was 7 degrees and getting colder!
I replied to a few texts from Thanksgiving that had come in whilst I slumbered and I ached with desire to stay in a warm bed instead of getting up and going to work.
Oh, to sit around the roaring fire that will heat the house today, read a good book, and drink a warm and comforting beverage. Heck, if I could stay home, I would even promise to go for a chilling walk in the park with the dog. – Probably a short one as I don’t want his paws to get too frozen and I mainly want to get some photos of how gorgeous the trees are with the snow frozen to each tiny branch and needle.
The Aspens are their own displays of beauty.
Unfortunately, I was not able to stay home and headed off to work upon the icy and snow-packed roads. I have been listening to an audio book lately on my commute. I had a friend tell me I needed to watch the movie “Wild” soon. It was not on my upcoming TV schedule, was not showing available on Netflix and I even checked Redbox to find out it was not there either. (even though I have yet to use a redbox and would have had to figure that one out). I have an AudioBooks account that I signed up for the freebies for my Australia trip that I have yet to cancel, so I figured I why not get it on audio.
The book is written and especially read in such a way that most times I can envision myself saying many of the same things had I been on such an adventure. I laugh out loud, cried when she speaks of losing her mother and generally just relate to much of it.
I am about half way through the book. Today, I was enjoying the story and being in my now warm cocoon of a car, started to wonder just how far would I need to drive today to enjoy the stark currently harsh but beautiful landscapes around me as I listened to Cheryl Strayed’s account of her journey through beautiful and harsh trails.
I overcame the notion and made it into work anyway. Seems as though my mind was much more wanting to spend the day with a book – either at home or in the car – than it was to hear customer complaints today.
Here’s wishing your day is spent where your mind takes you.
I have to say that my level of thankfulness this year is over the top. I’ve been blessed, blessed and then blessed some more.
It wasn’t just kindness received this year, although that has been abundant as well. It has been opportunities presented and hearing that voice that says “yes” to them louder than the one that says “that isn’t so practical or realistic at this time”. It is seeing the good that comes out of even bad situations. It is my peeps being safe and unhurt after accidents. It is having the audacity to jump into this realm of putting my thoughts out there so that I can hear your echo.
So while I cannot be with everyone today, let my words wrap not only around the page of your screen, but may you feel my remote hug and know that I am thankful for you.
Today we are headed to our friends. Laughter so hard as to work our abdominal muscles will surely be part of our exercise after a great meal.
We had some gale force winds last week that toppled trees and blew anything not nailed down from its place. (Or cars from the highway if you read yesterday’s post)
Yesterday, while my men were cutting and chopping wood in the yard, they happened upon a small nest that had been lifted from its perch in some tree. Dropped among pine needles and dead branches that the trees had let the wind comb out of their midst was a still perfectly formed nest.
Hubby pointed to the nest when I came out to check on their progress. He had placed it upon a log so that he wouldn’t forget to show me. As I approached it to inspect, I asked if he was thinking that we should keep it to place in our Christmas tree with a few others we had collected over the years.
I noticed his stance softened from the flexed working one as he said to look at the makeup of the nest. “Check it out, I think they used Bullseye’s fur to make it” he relays. Sure enough, there are strong black and white hairs that we saw so often when our old dog was alive.
Sure, it could be from another animals hair, but whether it came from our dog or not, it is a beautiful reminder that it is sometimes the littlest things that pull at our heart strings and allow us to think of someone.
It also made me think of the times when there was some little thing that reminded someone of me and they took the time to share that with me.
I myself was touched this summer when we had been unable to join in a camping trip with friends and a photo was sent to me.
They had been kayaking in a lake when they happened upon a feather and picked it up and kept it with them as my symbolic attendance on that trip. There being enough feather stories from me that it fit. To have the photo and story relayed cured the pain of not being able to go and made me feel loved and missed.
Another moment shared with me that brought a huge smile to my heart was when a cousin came back from a beach vacation in June and messaged me that she saw these on the walk to the Atlantic and had thought of me. We had never been to the beach together. It was just the same flower that I had also taken the time to stop and photograph one day and share.
The lucky duck cousin went again to the beach in September and messaged me once more that she had seen hundreds of butterfly and took the time to send me another photo with the message that it reminded her of me once more.
When you don’t just have that thought of how that song, or picture or stupid joke reminds you of someone, but you actually reach out and tell them, that is the little reminder that makes everyone’s day.
It’s a blessing to be thought of and hear about it.
It’s been one of those weeks here his week. Truly, I could say it has been several busy weeks strung together that has caused the lack of postings, but this one begs to be told.
We were blessed to have visitors from Ohio. Hubby’s aunt and cousin came in for four days. They didn’t catch us at the best of times. Normally, CO is bright and sunny but the weather was more in keeping with Ohio and the midwest than was our norm. It turned cloudy and the snow began to fall within a day of their arrival. The days were not just filled with clouds. There were other events that cast shadows upon our days causing diversions and pulling from our giving our all to our guests.
I feel that they did not get our full attention for several reasons. First, it was during the work week – work has provided many challenges lately that require more decompression time that the drive home alone provides. Then there was the first snowstorm that layered the roads with ice and snow and making access to some planned activities prohibitive.
This might not have been much of a factor in an of itself had I not come home early on the second day and then received a text from #2 son which read, “my car flipped!”
My initial reaction is that he is at least conscious if he is texting, but seriously, we need to talk about how in this instance, a mother wants to hear a voice, not see a text of this nature.
I call and he says he is fine and car is on the driver’s side in the road and emergency help is there. He was headed to his girlfriend’s home and was just a few miles down the road.
I jumped back into my car and headed down there.
I found a spot to park off the road and made my way to the group of sheriff cars, fire engine and ambulance. The chief fireman said my son was in the ambulance staying warm and I was welcome to go in. He and the paramedic were just chatting away as he had only slight scrapes on his one wrist and elbow and required no medical attention.
(for those of you doing close inspection, the bottle is pop)
The scariest part was when the trooper came back to my car after the tow truck had flipped the car back on all four wheels. We rolled down the window and he asked, “son, is there anything you want to tell me that is in your vehicle?”
Let me tell you, that even if you believe your child is honest and states that he is not part of a crowd that does drugs or drinks, you still fly through a myriad of possibilities that he either might have been part of or that his friends who ride to lunch with him might have left behind.
Not to make light of the situation, but I was tremendously relieved when Trooper Cleveland (not even making that up) stated that he noticed that junior had some bottle rockets in the car. Our eldest son had purchased a slew of pyrotechnics and various fireworks in Ohio (or maybe Indiana, Ill, KS or some other stop on the way from Ohio to CO) and here some were in the back of his car. The trooper relayed that he was not going to ticket him for these (he had after all been a teen and had them as well) but did admonish that they should never be used here in our mountains where we are subject to wildfires and to lose them quickly. Not a conversation that hadn’t been already had in our house, so why they were in the car would be one of those conversations that will wait until everyone’s legs still aren’t shaking.
We had the car towed and left on the road above our house. (dirt road, no through traffic, we’ll deal with it in a few days)
The very next morning, #1 son leaves for work at around 5:30 am. I had opted to hang around the house for a bit before going into work, so when he came back not quite an hour later visibly shaken, I was there to hear of his auto escapade.
It was a morning of gale force winds across the front range and as he was driving along Interstate 70 heading down to work, one of those powerful gusts took him off of the snowpacked lane he was in, through the median. When he finally came to rest, the car enveloped in the snow he had plowed through, he had no idea which way he was facing or where exactly he had come to a stop.
To his horror, when he finally cleared some views out the windshield, he was sitting in the fast lane of the opposite side of the highway! Fearing for his existence, he managed to get cleared and back into that direction of traffic and just came home to shake in Mom’s arms for a bit and be thankful that there was no damage to him, anyone else, or the car.
At this point, I was not about to leave my nest where I could watch my peeps and sent a text to work (I know, shouldn’t text about emergency situations, but it was only work and I could include visuals)
Turns out, with the advent of apps that report accidents, either his was already on the radar, or someone else had succumb to the same hazards as he had.
The traffic map showed an accident at the very spot.
We managed through the rest of the week without another daily accident. Our extended family had a minor ‘got stuck on the way to school’ incident, so we counted that as the third one in the -everything happens in three – scenario.
And if we were unsure if we had been sparred the third accident, we received confirmation yesterday. While at an intersection with a traffic light for us to turn onto our four lane highway through parts of Evergreen and us being the first in line to turn, a car failed to stop at the red light and T-Boned the car next to us that had been first in line at the second turn lane. I had caught sight of the car and held fast my position but the car next to me did not and was smashed into.
Enough with the auto incidents. We may just walk to church this morning to give our blessings of how fortunate we all have been to be unhurt and only have auto damage to deal with.