Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Fun Side of Snow

Yes, we are in a draught. Yes, we will take precipitation in any form it comes. And when it comes like this, the mountains rejoice. Today was Snowfest and it was actually snowing during the parade. Dean and I found a window when it wasn't snowing and put on our snowshoes for the first time in three years!! There were only about 8 inches on the hill but that is enough to need the snowshoes, just about right for Dean who plows the lane, and perfect for Oso who run and leaps and bounces and frisks knowing it was all for him. We returned just in time for the snow to start falling again, slipped into the hot tub and watched it fall. Dean will ski tomorrow. I will go take Oso out back, making use of today's trail and being grateful. 

Don't stop, dad. Come on, let's play!

Because I wanted my picture taken.

We have more pictures of this view and it is always lovely.

The cold frame: inside it is 45. No tomatoes of course but warm anyway.

And Then the Snow Came ~

First of all I think you know me well enough to know I would never be disrespectful of a family’s pain in grief. Secondly I think you know that I believe in a loving God who requires of us not our blood but rather our lives lived in love and faith. Ergo - we don’t have to have that debate. Given all that, these are my musings of the morning. 

Think back. We are hunters and gatherers. We live in caves. Maybe we are far enough evolved to have learned to make tents out of the hides of the animals we hunt. Our lives and the lives of the plants and animals depend on the seasonal rains, snows and sunshine. Then the draught comes. There are no animals to hunt, no plants to gather. One young man becomes so discouraged that he goes into the woods and kills himself. Three days later the rains come. Did his death appease some rain god who now blesses us with rain? Is there a connection? We tell the story and wonder and when another draught comes, we do not wait for someone to take his own life. We remember the story, choose someone in the family tribe, kill him ourselves so that the rains will come again ~ and so human sacrifice is born. 

Fast forward thousands of years. Long ago we gave up the notion of human sacrifice. We think of it as barbaric and horrible. We have the internet and weather predictions that can tell us to the minute when the snow or rain will come and go. We are always prepared. We are intelligent and wise. Then the draught comes. There is no snow on the mountain and a young man whose livelihood depends on snow becomes so discouraged that he goes into the woods and kills himself. Three days later the snow comes. More snow than the mountain has seen in one storm in almost three years. And something deep within the human psyche, something left over from long-ago ancestors cannot help but wonder . . .

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sometimes It Overwhelms You

We are having a draught. All the snow and ice and rain has passed us by to land with a vengeance on the mid-west and east coast. We are aware. We have been warned by our governments to use less water, conserve, be careful. We have bemoaned not only the lost skiing fun but also the economic impact. I have even on a couple of occasions mentioned my concern for people like the delightful young couple who manage the cross country ski center ~ after all Dean hasn’t been skiing there for two years. I didn’t think much about it though ~ snow would come. 

Two days ago the young man walked out onto the snow-deprived trails and took his life. He was depressed, there had been no snow for almost three years and there was no money. He left two young children and an amazing wife. The whole Tahoe community mourns. Lovely warm winters are not worth it. We need snow. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

One, Two, Three . . .

It’s snowing! I guess that’s what we still call it. The first flakes came down slowly enough that I named them: Dick, Jane, Spot, Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice. Not very original, I know, but it was 7:30 and I hadn’t had my tea yet. I’ve had guests arrive for a party in greater numbers than the flakes this morning. Dean has gone fishing. He looked very official, all bundled up and in his fly-fishing shirt. They have gone to Pyramid Lake where it may or may not be snowing. I understand summer fishing. I don’t understand winter fishing even if you can name and count the flakes keeping you company on the journey. If he catches as many fish as we have snow flakes so far, he will have had an excellent fishing day. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Of Time and Pot Holders

Where does time go? We say that so often. I mentioned to a neighbor something that had changed in the 15 years I have been in Tahoe and she was stunned: “Has it been That Long?” Yes, it has. And it was yesterday. 

I moved into Dean’s house. We cleared the kitchen and kept what we needed. About 3 years later we did the same. We are upgrading the kitchen this year and so I think we are about to do it again. In the meantime, we suddenly needed new pot holders. After all, they were here 15 years ago in the process of being used and have been used every day since. It was time for new ones. 

Pot holders are not easy to find and the hardware store in town has a terrific kitchen section and sure enough, they had what I wanted. The point being ~ where does time go? How had these little pot holders lasted well over 15 years? Some things are just part of our lives and move through time with us, doing their job, almost unnoticed until we suddenly notice and it is time to move on. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

I never know quite how to approach Valentine’s Day. It’s not just for lovers any more. We understand the breadth and depth of love in all its nuances and although we still set aside this day for lovers to express their special feelings for each other, there is so much more to it than just that. 

I remember so well the first Valentine’s Day after Rex died. I was at a meeting in California. His tickets to be with me had already been bought. We were going to celebrate this day together in a very special way. I was bereft and numb. There was a knock on the hotel room door and there stood a bellman with a bouquet of flowers from my children. I have never felt so incredibly loved, remembered and cared for. 

I think of all those times when the unconditional love of a dog met me at the door, welcoming me home from either a week’s journey or a 15 minute trip to the store. 

I have “one of those friends”. She is only 6 months younger than I am and we have known each other all that time. We may go six to nine months with no communicating word and one of us will call or email and we pick up in the moment as if we had spoken yesterday. Our love for each other is deep and lifelong and we know we are there for each other. 

Friends, family, pets ~ all surround us with love. And we give love back. We have such a capacity for love. Could I ever love any more than when my first child was born - yes, as soon as my second was born. Could I ever love any more than when my first grandchild was born - yes, as soon as I joined a blended family and inherited a whole bunch of grands and more were born. Could I ever love another dog like this one - yes, as soon as another wonderful pet arrived on our doorstep. And could I ever love again after the death of my wonderful husband? Yes, when my childhood buddy came back into my life and we discovered each other as adults and once again love bloomed. 

And so we come full circle from lovers to discovering there is more to love than being lovers to lovers again. Whatever direction our love is taking today, may we be aware of how important love is in our lives and give and receive it in all its possibilities. Happy Valentine’s Day. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's An Old Idea

I am thinking that we have substituted the term “political correctness” for the word “respect” in order to avoid having to deal with our true feelings about someone else. If you denigrate your language by sneeringly calling it PC, then you don’t have to admit that  you think less of me for being a woman for instance, instead of changing your language to talk about human kind instead of mankind. You can laugh away PC instead of your lack respect when you tell a racist joke or bunch all people of one race or group together instead of realizing every race and group includes good, bad and indifferent people. You can sneer at me for being “politically correct” instead of acknowledging that just maybe I am using such language because I respect another human being’s right to their feelings. 

We need to return to a very old idea, and begin again to “do unto others”, say about others, act toward others, be to others as we would have them do, say, act and be toward us.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Wind! No power from about 4:50 until I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. I did the usual thing, reached for the lights, caught myself and as I took my hand away, I heard the ping and we had power again. We had cooked breakfast on the propane hot plate. And I realized as I headed for gym that if the power were still off, I would have had to crawl on top of the car to pull the red cord to free the garage door so it could be opened manually. I hadn’t thought of that. I did warn the daughters - Michelle talked to Trinity about the possibility of not having me to visit with. Meredith missed both my texts about power off, power on until after it was all over. 

The wind continues very hard. Oso stays snuggled as close as possible to whichever one of us is near by. I don’t blame him. It makes me nervous too. So far no damage. Just lots of noise. Very dark as if the rain should come. We do need the precipitation so here’s hoping. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Other Side of the Coin

I write some variation on this post every Super Bowl Monday. First, I hope you all enjoyed your Super Bowl experience: friends, food, beer, and the enjoyment of a really good football game. We certainly enjoyed our time. Of course it may have helped that we didn’t really care who won, having friends on both sides of the game but no particular allegiance ourselves.

However, there is another side to this coin. Today there are some (men mostly) who drank too much alcohol, wagered more money than they could afford to lose and will take out their anger and depression on their loved ones. 

Super Bowl Monday remains the busiest day of the year for domestic violence shelters. 

Please, pray for those caught up in this circle of violence, both those who are victims and those who perpetuate it. Both are in need of our prayers, our caring, and if you are in a position to do so, our participation at shelters or rehab groups. With awareness raised, maybe in a few more years, this topic will become redundant and I will have to find another to discuss on Super Bowl Monday. ~ blessings to you all