Monday, April 25, 2011

A White Stillness

Sun shines on new snow in Breckenridge.

I've been asked when the snow will stop.
It can snow every month of the year at high altitude.
However, usually by June snow changes to rain.
We'll soon travel to the west coast.
We'll take a vacation from white.

Until then, I take my cue from Waldo.
He's still smiling.

Friday, April 22, 2011


My son visited this morning to tell us a dream he had last night. It was powerful and moving. He and I both shed some tears. I was reminded of a dream I had long ago in the night preceding Good Friday. I didn't remember it upon awakening, but it entered my consciousness on the following Easter morning, replaying vividly in my mind. My mother was in the dream - the only time she has ever appeared to me since her death. I hold the message of the dream in my heart and all these years later still feel emotional when I remember. I'm sure Jim's dream will also stay in his heart and mind forever, offering him comfort and hope.

Wishing you dreams that bring joy and peace.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I'm undaunted!
I recently attended a lecture by Lauren Springer Ogden, who gave a power point presentation about her newly revised book, The Undaunted Garden.

She spoke about planting for weather-resilient beauty. (She lives in CO but not at high altitude.) I look at the lush photos in my signed copy and think of my own gardens at over 10,000' above sea level. I make little notes to myself. I look at last year's garden photos. I plot strategy. Then, as a reality check, I look out my window...
I guess it's going to be awhile.

But I can still dream.
I'm undaunted!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Black Bear Alert

A steady wind through tall evergreens makes a loud shushing noise. Though it's spring, we're still blanketed in white at high altitude. However, the Forest Service warns that black bears are awakening in Summit County, grouchy with hunger, foraging for food still scarce because of the snow. So, with the constant wind blocking other sounds, I'm hyper-vigilent navigating through wilderness.

Years ago, in the summertime, I was walking on the trail behind our house. Suddenly, I was aware of a hulking form walking beside me not 6' away.  A black bear had approached me from behind and was strolling through the woods with me. When I stopped, the bear stopped. Each of its thousands of glossy black-tipped hairs seemed to register separately in my brain. Time stood still, and my focus narrowed: The bear turned to face me. Unblinking caramel eyes stared. A wet black nose quivered in my direction.

My heart hammered in my ears. Slowly, I began backing away, inch by inch, aware that I could trip and fall backward if I wasn't very careful. I consciously made myself unthreatening, keeping my gaze averted. Surely, my vulnerability was communicated to the bear, who outweighed me by at least 300 pounds.

Meanwhile, Bear stood quietly, sniffing the air, watching with interest, but showing no aggression. Finally, after a couple minutes which seemed an eternity, he turned away from me  and continued on the same journey through the forest that was interrupted by our meeting. Barely breathing, I waited until he was out of sight before moving quickly and quietly in the opposite direction.

I was absolutely powerless in the bear's presence. He decided to let me live. Even now, remembering the experience, my adrenaline surges. For no discernible reason, I was spared. I'm thankful to that bear. I'm not particularly wanting another close encounter, though I'm aware that a chance meeting could occur at any time. Meanwhile, I'm alert to my surroundings.

In spring, the Earth awakes from winter slumber - and so does Bear.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fickle Spring at High Altitude

Barb at Beaver Creek, CO

I shivered in a windchill of minus 10 skiing at Breckenridge on Monday - we got 14" of new snow overnight. On Tuesday, I roasted in the sunshine at Beaver Creek Ski Area (about an hour from my home and lower in altitude) where it was 52 degrees. I was way too warm in my winter ski jacket. The snow at the bottom of the mountain was sticky, grabbing our skis and threatening to throw us into the slush. People were walking up the ski trails in sleeveless workout tops and biking up the plowed road past the lift. Today, we snowshoed behind our house on the many feet of snow that remain. The snow has a crust on top that looks like wrinkled elephant skin. Snow melts on sunny days but refreezes at night. Breckenridge's forecast is for more snow this week. Winter isn't ready to release its grip on the landscape.
Spring just means more snow at high altitude. 
We continue to play in it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tooth Fairy

Our Granddaughter's tooth was loose.
She was kinda desperate to get it out.
Finally, with Pop Pop's help...
Even though she was visiting us in the mountains over Spring Break, the Tooth Fairy managed to find her.  (Amanda says the Tooth Fairy has a special GPS system for tracking teeth...)

This Lucky Gal got $2 under her pillow! Her Daddy told her that he only got 50 cents back when he lost his front teeth. But, I reminded him that due to the cost of living and inflation, the price for teeth had gone up.

P.S. Amanda actually pulled her own tooth. She and Pop Pop just wanted to kid around with the big pliers.