Tuesday, April 13, 2021

As Time Passes

Last week I visited downtown Main Street in Breckenridge for the first time in a year. I went to the optometrist for a long-overdue eye exam.  Next door to his office, a black cat snoozed on the stoop. My mother was very superstitious. Luckily, this kitty only dosed and didn't cross my path to give me immediate bad luck. My mother would go out of her way to avoid black cats. I tell myself I'm not superstitious, but I did think of my mother when I spotted the cat.

 Most of the snow in town is melted. However, at our house and in the forest, we still have plenty of white. When snow blows through sunbeams, the filtered light is ethereal.

We had a snow storm overnight when our son visited. After breakfast, he and I went out to play in it. Luckily, he broke trail in his snowshoes so I could glide easily behind him on my skis. We spoke of the joy we felt surrounded by such natural beauty.

We prepared a special dinner for Gregg, and the gift of snow the next morning was a bonus. The visit left us all with smiles on our faces. Seeing someone you love after such a long isolation feels like a celebration.

 Time passes - we are expecting more snow over the next several days.  The push/pull of the seasons continues as it normally does at high altitude this time of year.  Bob and I are planning a day trip as soon as we see that the weather forecast doesn't predict snow for a few days.

Memories of time spent with family are my good thing today.
I hope you're feeling well.
Thank you for visiting.

Bob's latest blood test was excellent.
Gratitude fills my heart.

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Monday, March 29, 2021

Spring in the Mountains of Colorado

dawn after overnight snow

We live at 10,000' (3,048M) above sea level in the mountains of Colorado. Spring doesn't announce itself with blooming trees and flowers. Instead, snow comes and goes through May. Temperatures rise and fall, melting and refreezing snow already on the ground. 

When we get fresh snow, we go into the forest on our skis as soon as we awake. Bob breaks trail, and I glide behind him. Our skis barely whisper through the soft powder. The ancient trees murmur in the breeze.

We enter an enveloping silence.

Beauty surrounds us.

The large male fox, returning from a night of hunting, often visits in the early morning. 

Unlike the tiny female, he never gets too close to the house. He's curious but remains very alert. I haven't seen the female in awhile, so maybe she's waiting to give birth in the den. A few days ago, the male trotted through the snow carrying a vole in his mouth. Perhaps he was going to deliver breakfast to his mate. 

There is sunshine today, but snow is forecasted for tonight. Our son, Gregg, will arrive soon for an overnight visit. (He's pictured in my Header photo.) He's not been able to stay with us for over a year. We plan a celebratory dinner. Thankfully, we received the second vaccine two weeks ago. Though we remain cautious, we hope to have family visit us occasionally.

The beauty of our surroundings and the love of family are my good things today.

I hope you're also experiencing many good things.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

We Hope for Snow

Our melt/freeze cycle will soon end.
Colder temperatures may bring some much-needed snow.
Waldo is happy no matter the weather.

He's lived on our tree for about 16 years.
I greet him every morning with a smile.
He always smiles back at me.

Do you see the cockatoo head on the stump?
It seems too cold for such a tropical bird!
It will disappear to warmer climes if temperatures plunge.

The dirt road is a morass of mud.
I'm hoping the approaching snow storm will make it walkable again.

We downhill skied on the mountain yesterday.
It was our first time using our pass this season.
It's a different experience during Covid.
We smile remembering our beginner ski lessons.
We did a lot of falling at first.
Luckily, we persevered. 

I'm happy that we can still link turns.
This season is our 50th year on skis.

I hope more snow is in our future.
We like to play in it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Mind and Body - Not Always in Sync

We're having spring-like weather at high altitude.
Temps are just 10 degrees above freezing, but the sun is warm.
I've been walking all week with no gloves.
My jacket is tied around my waist.

Yesterday, I started walking and immediately felt tired.
Reaching the first big hill, I considered turning around. 
I hadn't even gone a mile.
I started making excuses:

exhaustion, slippery surfaces, aches
old, old, old

little tree among big trees

I know from experience that the mind doesn't always cooperate.
The body feels even worse with the mind's complaints.
I decided not to listen to it.
I forged onward.

small tree casting shadow

Today, I had a change of attitude.
I smiled at the blue, blue sky.
The sun warmed my face.
The air felt refreshing.

My mind remained peaceful.
My body responded in kind.

Exercise is important to me.
My body is old but accustomed to movement.
The mind is old, too, and doesn't always act in my best interests.

I'm very lucky.
I have no debilitating illness - no chronic pain.
My aches often disappear with movement.
In a couple months I'll be 77.

I'm grateful for my body's ability to move.
I'm thankful for the natural beauty that beckons to me.
I need to keep moving even when my mind would rather take a break.

I hope you'll keep moving, too, in any way that you're able.
Sometimes mindfulness requires ignoring the mind!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Taking Notice and Making a Difference

The beauty of light in winter's forest is ever-changing. I often stop to gaze and appreciate.

We've been getting small amounts of snow every few days. However, our snowpack remains too low to give us adequate moisture for summer. Temperatures fluctuate above freezing some days causing melt. During the night, lowering temperatures freeze everything solid. 

Navigating on skis and walking the neighborhood become challenging with ice underfoot. 

My amaryllis is blooming!
From bulb to bloom I've enjoyed the mystery of its growth.
Its fiery red adds a pop of color to our days.

now 18 years old, she was interested in plants from an early age

Our granddaughter, Amanda, was awarded first place in plant research at the Denver regional science fair. Now, she advances to the state science fair held in April. For her experiment, she investigated the effects of UV-degraded microplastics on aquatic primary producers - a timely topic in our modern world where plastic trash threatens the environment.

I celebrate many good things today:

light on snow, winter blooms, and a studious granddaughter trying to safeguard the natural environment

Friday, February 12, 2021

Sad/Happy News

I'm a little sad lately. A dear friend had a major accident at the ski area. A broken femur required surgery. Her fractured wrist is casted. She celebrated her 84th birthday in a Denver rehab. No visitors are allowed, but a bunch of friends Zoomed with her on her birthday. I'm reminded of the fragility of life which can and does change in an instant.

However, today, I need to celebrate. Eighteen years ago, on February 12, Bob and I became grandparents for the first time. Ben was born, and a minute later, his twin, Amanda, made her debut. I remember the elation of seeing them for the first time, right after their birth, as we gazed through the window of the neonatal unit. Bob started crying immediately. He had seemed less excited than I was initially about being a grandparent, but his heart filled with love the instant he saw them. Both of us have been smitten ever since. Today they are officially young adults. They've brought us a great deal of joy and pride. They'll graduate high school this spring and are making plans for their future.

"cooking" at about 1 year 

sharing a joke

Happy 18th Birthday, Ben and Amanda! Just thinking of you makes me smile!

Grandchildren are my One Good Thing today and every day.

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Monday, February 8, 2021

Winter's Changing Landscapes

We finally had two back to back snow storms.

The first storm started one afternoon while I was walking.
Clouds obscured the mountain as tiny ice pellets fell.

By dawn of the next day, we had 13" (33cm).

The second storm gave us about 6" (15cm).
Sunlight created a rosy glow on virgin snow.
It finally looks like winter again, though our snowpack remains below normal.

High winds over several days knocked the snow from branches.
Gusts blew some beautiful sunset clouds over the mountain.

Winter's changing landscape is my Good Thing today.
Thank you for visiting.
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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Celebrate - Small Stone - 31

we don't need a special reason to celebrate
wake and be thankful
for a new day

find one good thing - pass it on
celebrate life

this is January's final stone
thank you to all who have visited the blog
I've enjoyed your e-mails

small stone
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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Unforgettable Moments - Small Stone - 30

snow hangs like gauze in the air
a silvery glow lighting the forest
as sunbeams filter through it

an ordinary moment becomes unforgettable
watch carefully for these moments or they slip away unnoticed

small stone
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Friday, January 29, 2021

Patterns - Small Stones - 29

 evergreens frosty sentinels, sun casting lacy shadows, patterns on snow
winter's chilly canvas

be present and mindful

small stone
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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Cotton Ball Trees - Small Stone - 28

cotton ball trees in the forest after a few inches of new snow
minus 4 F (-20 C) early but warmed to 28 F (-2 C) by midmorning
our skis complained about the cold but bundled in layers we were warm

gliding through a magical forest decorated with cotton balls

small stone
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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Nature's Promise - Small Stone - 27


the sleeping winter pond holds secrets

revealed in due time by summer's warmth

a time to rest and a time to bloom
Nature's promise 

if you enlarge the snow photo, you can see rabbit tracks on the opposite bank 

be mindful of promises made and kept

small stone
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Night Terror - Small Stone - 26

fighting for release, breathing hard, battling to surface - night terror

adrenalin floods my body, escape means life or death
the dreamer is me but not me
hearing Bob's voice far away
terror subsides into sleep

I've had a handful of night terrors over the past 3 years. I scare Bob as much as myself because I thrash and call out. I never fully wake and never remember the dream. I only remember the fear.

small stone
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I created the double exposure using a selfie taken December 2020 with a photo of woven baskets casting shadows on a wall taken in Tucson, AZ, 2006. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Storm Watch - Small Stone - 25

the sky floats a white veil
to the mountain's shoulders
obscuring the peaks

storm watch

small stone
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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Bald Mountain - Small Stone - 22

I see Bald Mountain on my walks through the neighborhood. It rises above the valley opposite the Tenmile Range. I've hiked up Baldy several times, once on snowshoes when I was in my 50's. Hiking the ridgeline you encounter at least 2 false summits before finally reaching the top. It's about 10 miles to the summit and back. Hiking mountains is like navigating life. You must keep going, moving forward, and not be discouraged by setbacks (or false summits).
I must remember to tell my oldest grandchildren this! 
I hope they don't roll their eyes....

Baldy is 13,690' in altitude (4,173M). It is one of many 13,000' peaks surrounding Breckenridge.

small stone
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