Gardening + Nature

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Perfectly painted skies for the beginnings of our Thanksgiving adventure. West to Buena Vista!

Breakfast, mmmmm…bacon.

We followed Cottonwood Creek on foot and by car to its namesake lake; dancing sun pennies, enveloping ice, ruby red rose hips, and the silence of near solitude every bit worth the effort.

Forgoing the hullabaloo of large family gatherings to enjoy a Thanksgiving for two (+ one beloved pup) in a wee cabin in the woods. Stuffing in progress in my favorite cast iron pan: apple, celery, cranberry, minus the onion I left at home. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. True that. The pie, however, was both, my best yet.

Feeling nostalgic for the wooden cabins of my youth – humble dwellings of strong character, flanked by massive tanks of propane.

More humble dwellings and every manner of delight at Cottonwood Hot Springs – fish jumping, lily pads floating, creek rushing, crows soaring. We soaked for hours and hours, sunrise to the waxing crescent of moon and sky thick with a ribbon of Milky Way stars. My love for this life and this place ever-expanding, like the universe itself.

St. Elmo – slipping, not only from the Buena Vista temperatures of spring-like warmth, but more than a century in the past. Sneakers sliding on full winter ice while gawping at Mountain Lion tracks – the wonder of a single day.

Playing with darkness, eager to do some book and youtube learning to capture the wonders of night. How crazy is that green?!

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Quilt

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.

Lewis Carroll

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2016 was a beast of a year. We moved into our sweet ranch on March 1st and plowed through the upstairs remodel as though our lives depended upon it. Which it did. Our comfortable lives, anyway. We did not want to wash dishes from a giant bowl while kneeling in the nasty basement shower for one moment longer than necessary or cooking on a wobbly ikea table in the laundry room, though we did it for three months. Oy. Like camping, only in a basement. When organizing a kitchen space, it is said that the most efficient layout is a triangle. The hubster laughed, “Ours was a pyramid – sink in the basement bath, burner and toaster oven in the laundry, refrigerator in the dining room!”

And then there was the floor, the complete gut of the kitchen and bathroom, painting every last wall – upstairs and down, painting the doors, too, replacing every light fixture and adding four more, because L I G H T. Installing bookshelves in the living room and drying racks in the basement, because our clothes have never tumbled in a dryer. Digging, planting, assembling, destroying, dumping, and building. Do it. Do it again. Yeah, that was us.  Wide eyed. Diligent. Exhausted.

And then there was that bit of soul searching. You saw it. Maybe it frightened you. Maybe it got you thinking. Who do we allow into our lives? The people we strive to be.  The kind. The joyous. The affectionate. What about bullshit and drama? Little, dear reader. Very little. We have had plenty. Thankfully not from each other. Glory be. We are solid pillars, leaning somewhat toward center. Better to hear a whisper. For lips to graze a cheek. For laughing eyes to dance together. Better, better, better.

So today, this hike an invocation for 2017. Embracing and inviting all that is out in the open, all that is unseen. Fox and coyote and pronghorn. Wee, small birds. Prairie dogs. Rabbits. US admiring the peace, the beauty, the wonder of the world. Standing our ground.

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