Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Winters Day, In a Deep and Dark December

Hopefully, S&G will forgive my channeling of their moody song and excellent title.  It just feels like a deep and dark December.  It started feeling that way for me when the snow and unseasonably cold weather came and landed on us on or about 5 December.  Yes I know, it's winter, and what did I expect.  I expected that it would kind of lead into the bitterest cold over the course of a few weeks.  Now near the shortest day of the year the weather is moderating and we even had a little rain last night.  The ground was so cold that it immediately turned to ice, but still, it was rain.  Somehow that little bit of warm and the knowledge that after Saturday the days will start to get a little longer, and in a few weeks the trees will start to bud, and we will see a early robin trying to get a bite to eat with some snow still melting in the deep places.

We have plenty to keep us busy.  It is easy to say that we are packing and painting and throwing out a lot of the accumulation of our 28 years here, and our 39+ years of penny pinching frugality.  It is both easier and faster to say.  Saying it is a little bit like reading those verses in the scriptures where Abram departs out of Haran with Lot and "all there substance that they had gathered and the souls they had gotten in Haran....".  And you know that even for a nomadic people, this was quite a big deal.

Saying it is not doing it.  Everyday I look at what I did that am disappointed a little.  Disappointed not really with what I accomplished but maybe dismayed by how much there is left to do.  I spent a whole day emptying out water storage jars.  It just takes a while it seems for them to empty and they are all in the basement, so I lug the water upstairs to dump it in the garden...I guess I could fiddle around and get a little pump to pump it out but I think I would spend more time doing that than I would doing the actual work.

When I was in my teens we lived near Golden Colorado.  The nearest mountain to climb was North Table Mountain.  Volcanic rock that was covered by cheatgrass, cactus and yucca, it wasn't really that wonderful.  But it was forbidden as it was all posted private property, so there was the thrill of that.  It rose about 1500 feet or so from the plain below and was really pretty steep.  Like a castle, the top was guarded by cliffs of from 15 to 50 feet high and when you started up the hill, those cliffs looked a long, long ways away.  The funny thing about the climb was the optical illusion of where you were on the climb.  Once you had gone just a little way up, and you looked back  you realized that you had indeed made progress.  The cliffs still looked pretty distant, but you could look down the valley after climbing just a few hundred vertical feet and feel the accomplishment.  Then there was a long stretch where the cliffs and the bottom of the mountain looked equally far away, and finally, as you neared the top the cliffs got really tall and the rest of the mountain dwindled in comparison.

This move is like that I think.  Somewhere in the process we are going to realize that we are more than half way, and it will feel pretty good.  I'm thinking that day will come in early January, about the time we can look at the sky and realize the days are getting longer....and that will be a happy, hopeful feeling.

On this next trip we will be taking a new (to us) pickup.  Earlier this fall as we were coming back from Salt Lake we hit some black ice on a stretch of highway that is always in the shade.  It was night and it had been a foggy day, and apparently the fog condensed in Eureka Canyon to ice.  We knew these curves well, and we weren't going very fast, but when we hit the ice the truck started to slide...I tried several course corrections but we drifted across the other traffic lane and then the drivers side front tire caught on the gravel and the truck pivoted around it  and smashed the passenger side of the box and back wheel into the mountain.  We were only going about 30 mph, but this produced a sort of crack-the-whip effect and pounded the truck pretty hard. You can click on the pictures for a bigger version, but at left is the scrunched box (right rear), and at right is the right rear wheel and axle - note that the axle was snapped cleanly.

Stepping back a little from this Deep and Dark December..... the fall was actually pretty good.  I retired the last part of August.  That has been very nice.  I keep waiting for someone from work to call and tell me I am in a lot of trouble, but I think they are getting along fine without me.

The next week after retirement we flew to North Carolina and had a great visit with Mike and Jenny.  We spent  several days in seclusion in the Smoky's.  Very pretty country.  Comfortable cabin and house, and delightful company. It was a fun week. 

 With barely a moment to catch our breath from the North Carolina trip, we hopped into the truck and

drove to Boulder to help Mutti with various house problems that she was having.  There was a lot of work in that trip, but we did get to spend some time with Katie and Conor, and with my mom as well.  Katie and Conor and the kids were busy with school and work, and we were busy in Boulder , so we didn't have a lot of time to play, but we made good use of the time we did have.

 Again, and this seems like it is becoming a theme, we were back in Delta for only about a week before we loaded up the truck and trailer and drove to Riddle.  This trip also had a lot of work in it, but
was somewhat more relaxed too.  We painted, and fixed and got some storage cupboards and a bed from IKEA, and got as much work done as week could.

It wasn't too long after we got back from Oregon that we had a very nice Thanksgiving Day hosted by Ashley and Daniel.  Becky, Travis and Teo came down, as well as Janet and Scott.  The weather was very nice and the company was wonderful.  We had a great day eating, talking, giving thanks and wrestling with the little ones.

Last but not least are the two new additions to our nest.  There is a saying that 'nature abhors a vacuum', and I think that could be paraphrased to 'nature also abhors an empty nest'.  While our nest is empty of children we have spiced up our days a little by welcoming in Luna Lovegood, and Phoebe II.  Katie gave us Luna, a little blue parakeet that provides endless entertainment and bites our necks and ears - HARD.  Phoebe II is a little short hair kitten with markings very similar to a mamma cat that we had years ago.  We still have Hobbes as well, but he is pretty quiet these days.

All in all it has been a nice fall.  It was probably the busiest time that we have had in our married life, and probably just in our total life.  We are a little tired, and I am a little tired of the cold and the dark.  It might be still cold in January and February, but as the days get longer I know that Spring can't be that far away.  And that gives us all a little hope.


AnnieOf Blue Gables said...

Thank you for recording this. I haven't been blogging or even journaling, so I am glad you are keeping everything up to date. Great writing, my Friend

J GP said...

I love your writing style, and your pictures are wonderful. Mind checking my blog?