LIfe at High Altitude in Colorado

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

-Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

Monday, December 15, 2014


a quiet forest

listen to the silence

Nature whispers

a white lullaby


be at peace

I take time at year's end to reflect.
I hope we meet again in 2015.

In the season of giving and receiving

and above all

are the most valuable gifts.

Hug someone.
Say "I love you."

Blessings to you.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Blue Day

Have you ever had a blue day?
I don't mean sad, necessarily.
It could be when the sun shines brightly -
when water reflects sky.

My day was that kind of blue.

We're feeling better and need exercise.
We walked the Rec Path along Lake Dillon.

Dried grasses and snow fences caught my fancy.
Snow in frozen clumps on the ground.
We need a storm and soon.

But for today, a blue day - 
one that makes me happy.
I wish you a blue day, too -
a happy day!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I Believe in Santa Claus - Our World

early evening
sun sinking behind Imperial Peak
a damp chill in the air

in Breckenridge, Colorado
a gang of Santas gathers

wannabe Jolly Old Elves
of all shapes and sizes

experienced Santas and young apprentice Santas

come to run

in the Race of the Santas

in various states of dress

or undress

the race-winning Santa - eating a cookie before the finish

they make merry

along with Rudolph

and Ullr, the Norse God of Snow

I went into town to photograph the Santas,
leaving Bob to cough at home alone.
Seeing hundreds of Santas running and 
Ho-ho-ho-ing down Main Street
tends to put me in the spirit.

I believe in Santa Claus.
What about you?


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Regaining Health

Sometimes, I take wellness for granted.
Then, illness enters, and I remember.

Give thanks for health.

Bob and I succumbed to the flu last week.
He fell ill on Thanksgiving evening.

By the next day, I was also sick:
aches, chills, fever
cough, stuffiness, weakness
lack of appetite

At 70, the body takes longer to recover.
I spent my time sleeping and reading.
I finished 5 books.
I lost 6 pounds.
My head ached.
Tiredness ruled.

Finally, after 5 days, I woke feeling human.
Less cough, more energy.
I went outside and walked two miles.
The sun on my back felt warm.
Temperatures were 10 degrees above freezing -
sun at altitude makes it feel warmer.
I breathed the cold, fresh air.
I listened to the crunch of my boots in the snow.
My spirits lifted.
I wasn't exhausted when I got home.

I feel more myself.
However, Bob still coughs and feels weak.

When you usually feel strong and well,
you forget the helplessness of illness.
The flu will pass.
We'll feel well once again.
I'm reminded of others whose illnesses are more chronic.
It puts my sickness into perspective. 

Yesterday, a gift came in the mail.
I've named my new friend Moosely.
He stands firmly on his own spindly legs.
He makes me smile.
Moosely lifts my spirits.
(Just like the friend from Maryland who sent him.)

Some days are better than others.
Each day counts as a gift.

Embrace health.
Stay well!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Denver Respite

In Denver this week,
it's chilly with a bit of snow
on the ground.

We enjoy the Chihuly Exhibit at the Botanic Garden.
It's my second visit to the exhibit.
I feel it's even more stunning
backdropped by wintry skies.

The glass "floats" on icy ponds.

We stroll through City Park.
The lake is partially frozen.

Enormous trees shelter us.
Geese honk overhead.
Serenity reigns in the middle of the city.

We walk by our former house.
We frequent the neighborhood coffee shop.
We eat a fabulous dinner at a small Italian restaurant.

One evening, we babysit for 4 of the grandchildren.
They chatter about school and activities.
Amanda plays the piano for us.
Ben strums his guitar.
Jack shares secrets with me at bedtime.

Sam, age 2,  is my appentice photographer.
(He only needs to learn front from back...)

Now, we're in Breckenridge.
A blizzard is forecast over the next 3 days.

Bob, opening day, Breckenridge Ski Area

The family is converging for brunch tomorrow.
November 23 is Bob's 70th birthday.
He finally catches up with me!

One of our sons and his family will stay for the week.
We'll ski with the grandchildren and celebrate Thanksgiving.

I'll count my blessings.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Moosely" Snow - Our World

days and days of snow
howling wind
whirling whiteness

a female moose visits
she peeks at me as I gaze at her
both of us surprised and (speaking only for myself) pleased

she ambles away to graze in the yard

she looks well-nourished
her coat glossy and thick

scratching her butt languidly on a pine
she gives me one last look - goodbye for now
before disappearing into the forest

on touring skis
we add our tracks
to those of other forest dwellers:
moose, deer, coyote, fox, squirrel
there is over 4' (1.219m) of new snow
the door slams on fall
winter begins a blustery residence

I soak up warmth
lounging in flannel pj's
a steaming cup of tea
a crackling fire

Waldo smiles

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Love Affair with Snow

for 2 days, sitting by the fire, Bob and I watch it fall
 sky filled with crystals
drifting steadily to earth

a long, long time ago, on a day like this
I'd pull on layers and heft the heavy wooden sled
(old even then when I was a child)

a thrilling ride downward
(then the work of trudging to the top of the hill)

today, the sled rests on my porch
a reminder of my long love affair

with snow

thankfully, the child in us remains
no matter our age

Is there something from your childhood
that still gives you pleasure?