Snow Man or Angel??

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This is our neighbor. He has a lovely contraption he’s pulled out this month from storage. It isn’t loud like the one owned by the neighbor across the way-when he started that one, a friend and I wondered who on earth was vacuuming out their car in the snow! At any rate, this special neighbor walks from his house over to the Catholic church and down the block to another neighbor’s. I call him a Snow Angel, my friend calls him the Snow Man. Either name, we are fortunate to have him around. Jon especially appreciates it because he can then use his Bobcat on the street and someone else does the main walk!

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Good Shot

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I’m incredibly proud of this photo. Jon and I went out driving cuz I wanted to and the sun was shining bright. It was rather chilly, about 15 degrees, and the rig was not warm because we kept rolling down the windows to take pictures! We saw hawks and red wing blackbirds and a pheasant and quail and a lot of acres of snow covered stubble. He was taking photos of the red wings and handed me the camera so he could drive off. Before we left, I took one shot of this trio and I love it. It almost looks like the bits on the middle ‘flower’ are calligraphy! I’m so glad Jon took me out in the white shining afternoon.

Birthdays

We are both now a year older. He’s 25…I’m more than a bit more! The funniest part? Jon got books and I didn’t. OK, I did get two Amazon gift cards and those can be used for books. It’s odd being back in Oregon, but I do appreciate being here for my baby’s 25th, it only happens once! I did mention I wish we had a picture together and laughed when he said it would be difficult. The two people who usually have a camera in hand are us!

My birthday, Friday, was spent watching a movie and holding ice on a finger I’d managed to burn while making gravy for dinner. We took Jon out on Saturday for dinner and had a small gathering on Monday, his birthday. One of the much older visitors asked him what he was going to do when he grew up and if he wanted to be a fireman. He laughed and said he was one! (He’s the one on the ladder in the smoke—)

I wonder what this next year holds?

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Silver Notes

In a familiar classic song, there is a line about ‘Silver white winters that melt into spring..”. Today, that lyric is visually and audibly in front of me. We’ve been wrapped in intermittent fog lately. We will have bright sunshine and sometimes minutes later, seeing further than a couple of blocks is difficult. Last night, our temps dropped a bit and we were blessed with freezing fog. It might have been accompanied by a bit of rain, too. Dubious weather aside, this morning the sun has touched the world, creating dripping silver beauty seen in almost every glance. Glassy stems have been transformed by the brilliant light. There is the sound of water all around. It’s a morning for music!

Spring?

I’m a winter baby, winter is a favorite season, and I crave snow. Yet…..spring is incredibly magical and fascinating. It seems to be starting early this year. I’m not entirely positive, since there have often been springlike days here followed by ice and cold. Pear blossoms encased in winter’s glass and tulips bent by a white blanket.

Today, there was frost gilding the earth. It vanished quickly, leaving the promise of spring behind. Since my sojourn in Alaska, the work in the gardens has been minimal. There is much to do! I’m not even sure where my garden journal is….I’ve learned, though. No matter how insistent my fingers are to weed out around the young bulbs, I don’t do more than that. I don’t plant anything til after mid May, it’s too risky for babies. Taking away mulch early might hurt tender roots even on older plants.

For now, I’ll wait and watch and enjoy.

Behind the white flowering plant, hidden near the gnome, are more daffodil spears!

Past and Present

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On one of our Christmas trees there was a mixture of ages. New lights and very old ornaments. They were pieces of tomorrow and today or perhaps of then and now. There were silly lights given to the kid from my mom and fragile ornaments Steve remembered from when he was small. A bridge over time in boxed decor. While I looked at these bits of decoration, I wondered if the bells and balls would survive another generation and if shotgun shell lights would continue to be a part of the holiday season. I wondered if the past would continue into the present and just what the future would hold. Tranquil beauty or fiery flare ups? So many questions in this new year….

(the kid was igniting flour with a flame thrower…)

To reflect and to know

This photo was taken in December 2016. I had already canceled my first ticket back to Oregon, mum was on portable oxygen, we had no idea how long she’d be with us. I chose to stay with her, I learned so much about caring and caregiving. and didn’t realize what I was learning was the tip of an iceberg. Honestly, as I look back on what I gave up-two years of marriage, springtime in Oregon, birthdays, holidays-and what I gained, I’m pretty sure I’d decide to do it all again. Not from love. Mum was very difficult for her family to love. I was and will always be the responsible daughter. I told dad, moments before he died, that I would take care of everything and I will. To the best of my ability.

I have very few regrets about this choice I made so long ago. It was life changing. I’m still too close to this experience to see the whole picture properly, I may never understand all of it. I do know, walking into 2019 is scarier than being a caregiver for a selfish pancreatic cancer patient. The blessing I see in this photo is knowing. Knowing where I was and how far I’ve come. Knowing the blonde woman is now a dear friend. Knowing mom is finally at rest..I hope! Knowing that no matter what is in front of me, I will be strong enough to walk through to the other side. Knowing that not knowing isn’t really as terrifying as it appears. Knowing that icebergs can melt and there are always lifeboats with caring friends when you need them. They may not be the same friends, they may not care in the same ways, but they are always there. All good things to know and remember.