Snow Day

With the 2017 MLB season beginning, it is very appropriate to have challenging springtime weather. (The Rockies’ home opener is Friday, April 7.)

snow-covered: in the neighborhood (Tue, Apr 04 2017)

tree-bending snow: winter white (Tue, Apr 04 2017)

measuring the snow: 6+ inches (Tue, Apr 04 2017)

The snow ended in the late morning, followed by partial clearing in the early afternoon. With temperatures climbing into the mid-40s, the melt off began in earnest.

snow free feeder, nearly dry street (Tue, Apr 04 2017)

In the forecast, sunny and warmer (nearly 70) by Friday.

A Night of Candles

“I left Florida to avoid tropical hurricanes. I didn’t know Colorado had ground hurricanes.”

A friend of my sister, Ginny, told her that during Monday’s brutal windstorm. The winds were not the 15-25-35 mph variety, but more of a Category One hurricane kind with gusts into the 85-95-105 mph range. The usual effects of the wind storm could be found everywhere: downed trees and fences, downed power lines, damaged cars and closed highways.

Undoubtedly, most schedules also fell victim to the wind. Our schedule was caught by the wind. The plan was to complete the veterinary certification for Lilith, Captain Andrew, SAM and Happy Girl so they may compete at the National Western over this coming weekend. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it because of a closed highway. Dr. Burrell, our horse veterinarian, couldn’t make it either – a fallen tree in her driveway.

A power failure all across the region, it simply complicated matters. We lost power shortly after 7:30 am. While we had plenty to do, the lack of power dampened much of the day. By evening, the fierce winds were more than a nuisance. The utilities department could not estimate when the power would be restored after saying mid-afternoon for most of the morning.

With it becoming dark in the late afternoon, a little light was needed. It is good the daughters have a strong sense of romance. They brought out their stash of candles they use while soaking in the tub or the Jacuzzi in the master bath.

candles: from romance to basic light

A pizza and soda dinner by candlelight. It works.

Our power was restored at midnight. The veterinary certification was completed this morning. Today’s afternoon practice session, compressed but intense.

Hail & Farewell

Alas, the holiday season is drawing to a close.

wrapped in light: Deborah with a string of Christmas lights

Soon, the colored lights and glitter will be taken and stored away. Thoughts become wistful as the last few hours of a year slips away. At the same time, an excitement begins to build. A new year will soon begin. New adventures, new hopes, new discoveries, new memories lay ahead.

One longstanding military tradition is to bid “hail and farewell” whenever someone leaves for another assignment, or leaves service. Friends gather to offer cheers, often at a favorite restaurant. The gathering is often a gregarious one, filled with smiles and much laughter. Celebrating the arrival of a new year is not much different.

Traditionally, we welcome the new year between 9-10 pm with a champagne toast and something chocolate. When the girls were younger, it was sparkling grape juice instead. After waving sparklers in the backyard and sharing a few kisses, the house begins to quiet.

In the quiet of the moment, we note the year that is drawing to a close was a good year. Whatever the heartache or testing challenge may have been, it made us stronger and better for having experienced it. The coming year, it will be a better one.

May the new year be a good one, and the one for good memories.

A Bit of Chocolate

The Christmas weekend of treats and dessert have quickly disappeared, especially the decadent Christmas dessert.

walnut chocolate chip cookies

chocolate tort with cream cheese frosting and a light sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar

It may be a while before they reappear as a treat and dessert selection.

The Home Fires

No matter how long we’ve been away from home, it is always good to be home. It means more at this time of the year. Not so much the Thanksgiving holiday, but celebrating the three birthdays that fall within a week’s time.

Deborah, Elizabeth and Tara took charge of decorating for the Saturday night dinner with plenty of white Christmas mini-lights and candles on the back deck. And, rather formal place settings.

Though dining on the back deck was a tad cold, it was not like we haven’t done this before. Fleece jackets, naturally, are required wear. After the steaks were taken off the grill, the fire was stoked to make it more comfortable.

Our family celebrations are not complete without a chocolate dessert made by our resident chocolatier, Laurie, and which we had indoors. With a slice of cake and our favorite hot drinks, we settled in for the night.

It was a very nice evening. Moreover, it is one of those evenings when we step away from everything. The electronics are off, the ringer is off on our regular phone line, the workstations and notebook PCs are off. The outside activities, work and studies are laid aside. The “everyday-ness” becomes unimportant.

The home fires – a time we relish and appreciate, and gives purpose.