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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

This was what was up there this morning, and it was lovely in the clear blue.  We are approaching the start of the National Western Stock Show here in Denver, one of Kelsea’s and my favorite mother-daughter traditions.  Usually “Stock Show Weather” is as bitter cold as it can be, but I think we may actually have slightly warmer temperatures than the Polar Vortex has offered us in the past 10 days, which deserves a yee-hah.  We are going for opening day on Saturday, so you can look forward to a photo report next week. Llamas and horses and pigs, oh my!

Up Up and Away

Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “It was rather beautiful: the way he put her insecurities to sleep. The way he dove into her eyes and starved all the fears and tasted all the dreams she kept coiled beneath her bones.”  — Christopher Poindexter

Daily gratitudes:
Working on the couch with Mr. Man
My sweet cousin
House spirits
Today’s mid-morning hot air balloon
My daughter spending the night

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

 

Nope, just kidding. 9.5 inches of snow so far and more coming tomorrow and Wednesday. I will curl up in my little Bungalow and drink tea and write and fight my migraine and feel the psychic pain of the nation in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.

April 15, 2013

Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.” — Carlos Castaneda

Daily gratitudes:
Those souls who ran toward the blast to help others, not away from it
First responders
The silence of snow
Migraine medicine
Candles and prayers

Well, our massive blizzard fizzled before it happened, but it has left unseasonal cold in its wake, with temperatures dipping to eight tonight. With the wind chill, it will feel like -7. Brrr. So I will think of Anegada, and how different a storm is there than here.

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Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the Day: “So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” — Hunter S. Thompson

Daily gratitudes:
Being cozy at home with the cat
Poetry
Not having to shovel the sidewalk
MKL
Kelsea

Spring 2013

Spring is rough to rouse this year
Like a recalcitrant teenager
Pulling the covers of winter over its head repeatedly
As Mother Nature pleads, and prods it to get up.

Spring stumbles slowly into the kitchen of the earth
Dragging its heels
Needing coffee, a Red Bull, and total silence,
Glaring at the twittering birds outside the window.

Spring blinks, long and sleepy.
Spring sighs, shifting and swirling the air.
Spring stretches, brushing budding branches.
Spring wakes.

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.

An old Chippewa legend speaks of a little duck called Shingebiss who is strong enough and determined enough to defy the most bitter of winters. While we are not there yet, it is coming, and these little duck heads serve as a reminder to stay strong and do what must be done. And they’re pretty cute, especially accompanied by their wise owl friends. If I had unlimited room (and funds), I would collect vintage salt and pepper shakers.

Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Almost all the time, you tell yourself you’re loving somebody when you’re just using them.”  —  Chuck Palahniuk

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
Sweet tea
Commiserating with Kelsea about our hatred of mornings
That I woke up today
Gargoyles
Snatches of poetry

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.

October 2014
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