April 2019

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Last weekend’s surprise snow. Greg and I and our weekend guest and very dear friend Jeff cozy at the dining room table, playing a game, as we always do. It lasted long enough to take the requisite photo of Pike’s Peak looking dreamy.

I didn’t used to have a favorite season, each bringing their own sense of beauty and wonder. After returning to Colorado spoiled by sixteen green Portland winters, I now declare it is SPRING. Winters here, and in Pennsylvania, are no greater in length, and certainly warmer than the bone chill of Pacific Northwest rain, but feel longer for the noticeable absence of color. There are some evergreens, yes, and the dazzling azure of sky, but the ground and bare trees and hundred feet of fence are so very brown. I know it is partially the fact that our garden is so young, with trees only starting what I hope to be long lives. But, still.

So when the tiny bud of that pasque flower pushed from the soil, my heart leapt, for there is only more and more and more to come. The orange and pink of tulip, yellow of daffodil, purple of hyacinth, to the peonies and red birds in a tree of summer and poppies of fall. That verdant quilt dotted with the rainbow.

Forty-seven!

Fun with a new torch. I made rice crispy treats with homemade marshmallows, topped them with a bit of the fluff, and then flame roasted them. Our little cousins said they were beautiful and the best thing ever. SO soft!

Full

Yesterday afternoon, sweet rabbit necklace resting on an equally sweet magazine read. Greg took a very long lunch. Sadly nothing remarkable until we stopped for dessert at Amy’s for bomb-diggity donuts – Nutella fluff, apple fritter, and chocolate filled with cream. Eeek, that place!

We ran errands, too. A cookbook purchase, a stop at the grocery. I bought a Camerons stove top smoker about a month ago, and delight of delights, discovered¬† they have an outlet in Colorado Springs. I am having all kinds of fun with it, so we went to buy more chips. Smoked ribs, smoked chicken, smoked trout, smoked steak! I’ve done each up differently. Ribs with¬† barbeque sauce, chicken with sticky Asian ginger, and an Italian rosemary rub. Plain old for the trout and steak, which is not so very plain. Good fun!

It was one of those magical afternoons of big nothings and feeling full –¬† of all the best in life and of gratitude, too. For a husband who has the great privilege of working from home AND wanting to spend the afternoon with me.

Coming home to a dog eager for a sunshiney walk and a cuddle was pretty great, too. So very full, indeed. My sincerest thanks to whomever is in charge.

 

Feast

Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed, we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation.

Wendell Berry

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Hello, and happy Friday from my FIRST visit to Greeley! It’s funny how I was born and have spent the majority of my life in Colorado (31 years!), yet so much here is undiscovered. In an effort to remedy this, Greg and I went with my parents last weekend, mostly to visit the grave site of my great-great grandparents, Francesquita (Francesca) and William (the adults above, with Clifford, Tillie {my great-grandma}, and Lula) at the Linn Grove Cemetery. It’s been nearly 100 years since their deaths, so it’s about time, right?

Unfortunately, as they were awfully poor in life, we are fairly certain their graves have no headstones. The four of us wandered and searched, literally dug up grass, and Juniper gave her best sniffs, to reveal other nearby graves. We found a whole branch of the Card family (the name of one of my besties, Andie!!), and a LeRoy Williams, but no more. Now we will be purchasing a proper headstone for them. I do believe they deserve it.

As for Greeley, it turns out it is a pretty neat city, with the University of Northern Colorado its jewel in the crown. There are many fine murals and sculptures lining the main street (8th Avenue, actually) and a whole host of restaurants, sweet shops at a at least one distillery. When I return to see the new headstone, I’ll take more pictures!

And to the neighborhood where I grew up, with Little Dry Creek looking rather fine and a fun bit of mailbox art. As we strolled along, I contemplated the minimum number of times I walked along the banks, as it was my route to elementary school (K-6). In those days, the majority of kids walked (only Brandon Johnson and Heidi Geisler got rides on the daily), no matter the weather. I remember some supreme bundlings in winter and the two times I got a ride home from school.

The first was the day my parents bought the 1977 Monte Carlo and celebrated by taking us home early. A HUGE deal! The other was during a rather frightening tornado. Our neighbor Joyce picked us up in her Land Cruiser since my dad and the Monte Carlo were at work. Anyhoo, to that minimum calculation, 1890. How impossibly large that number seems now, a million steps ages and ages ago.

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Scars

Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.

Cormac McCarthy

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