Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A New Gift for Christmas - 2008

Christmas of 2008 is here and with it comes a new Gift, something quite different from recent years past. This Gift has presented itself to our society in an era when fast-paced lifestyles create a blurring activity of doing, getting, having. It is a different kind of Christmas this year with the gift of Simplification all around us… What a relief!

This Christmas, it is time to notice, to step back… and let go. The events of the times have slapped us with the reality that the direction we were traveling was not taking us where we really wanted to go. Too many sacrifices along the way…. The priorities shifted and something got lost along the way while the quest for bigger and newer and more became more of an addiction than a sign of prosperity. Families hardly spend time together while meals are grabbed on the go often prepared for us by total strangers. Attention to whatever electronic device is in a person’s possession at the time has replaced the friendly “hello” and smile to a stranger in passing. It seems that a simple polite greeting is too much to ask of us in our distracted and self-absorbed minute-by-minute existence!

But alas, we are now in the core of a pivotal age… where the unknown lies ahead beckoning us to move along - shedding all that was familiar and find trust in what will be. It is uncomfortable to say the least. The things that we placed so much importance on seem to be crumbling away before our eyes. We have worked so hard to achieve a certain direction and now it seems to be going nowhere. Uncertainties seem to crop up everywhere we turn.

Amidst the doom and gloom on the evening news, it is easy to miss the Gift at hand. The suddenness of the changes has created the catalyst for a new beginning. Thought processes have altered their course and attitudes are changing. Space and Time can be put to use in new ways. New Ideas can take hold that were not even considered six months ago.

The future may hold a way of cycling back around to some important values that were lost along the way. Visions of parents and grandparents teaching adult children how to cook come to mind, families sharing more dinners at home. Gratitude for more workdays and paychecks even if the check is smaller than before. Time… the Gift of Time… We have time to look around us and see what makes our Earth a better place. The time is here for planting gardens and buying fresh food in season. Reusing has now become a popular new trend. Reuse what we already have instead of the constant quest to replace with newer and better.

It is time for us to collectively take a chill pill and calm down and just listen, notice, and question. This is a “calling” so to speak… and a chance for something new… something better…

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Last Milkman

We have the last Milkman! Darrell has been our Milkman for 22 years now and when he retires… well, it will be a sad, sad day and our front door entrance will never be the same. The old metal milk locker will remain empty, and let’s face it… all will not be right with the world!

This entry sat on my desktop for weeks, then months, waiting for the words to come to tell a special story about someone that brought routine, dependability and a sense of stability to our family home. It was more than the familiar sound of the noisy Jersey Crown Dairy truck approaching our neighborhood with the talk radio blaring through crackling speakers or the familiar thud of the milk locker closing followed by a rap on the front door. Or the fact that no matter what conditions arose, the pouring rain, sweltering heat or broken down trucks, the milk delivery continued every Tuesday and Friday with endless reliability in an unreliable world. The paragraph just sat there waiting for my story to form and as it sat, a certain chain of events took place as my mind stayed open to what I was about to write.

When our triplet babies were a year old, the massive formula deliveries changed to a milk order of 7 gallons a week! It was difficult at best to get out to the store to shop for all of the needs that a family that had just doubled in size over night would need. Milk delivery was the saving grace!

The children grew and the free rides that were offered by Darrell on the milk truck were anticipated with excitement by little ones playing outside. Screams of delight were heard as the truck pulled into our street.

Years rolled along peppered with little notes, “no milk today – thanx” or “extra carton of nonfat - today only – thanx.” “Please add 1 Qt. Buttermilk – thanx.”

Each November brought the annual one-inch strip of paper on which the words were typed: “Egg Nog will be available for the Holidays”. Somehow, that little note became the official beginning of the mood that surrounds getting our home ready for Christmas festivities and good times to be had by all.

Conversations with Darrell cemented a bond and respect for his pride in his family. Father of seven children and responsibilities taken on of raising a grandchild as well, were explained as I shared some of our own family circumstances over time. I even had come to love his wife even though I had never met her. My mind created a fuzzy picture of her stamping each envelope and balancing the books by hand all the while lovingly supporting her husband’s efforts to keep the high integrity of their business intact.

The years rapidly brought changes… a divorce, my oldest son moving out and my remarriage quickly followed by a move across town to a smaller house. Darrell came along! These events would change the standing order but we kept the Tuesday and Friday delivery schedule. My daughter expressed that Darrell’s unfaltering milk deliveries gave her the continuity she craved during this time of many changes and disruption in routine!

The notes became more personal over time, “No milk today – visiting colleges – thanx.”
Soon after he left a note that, he would miss a Friday delivery with an explanation included, “so that I could have a long weekend to travel back east to see my son graduate from the military academy”. The next week, Darrell came into our living room to recount the events of this trip of a lifetime. Did I mention that he was beaming with pride?

The triplets moved out and our order dwindled so I added yogurt to the standing order to try to make the delivery worth Darrel’s efforts.

Summertime brought the first notice that milk day, Friday, brought no milk! The next morning his truck pulled up to the curb but someone else was walking the cartons up to the front porch. I looked out and saw Darrell leaning over the steering wheel watching to see that the delivery process was completed correctly. I presumed that this was his grandson “helping out”. “He going to be alright?” I asked the boy expressing more than just passing concern. “He just needs some rest,” the boy replied.

Weeks later, my husband was out of town when I realized we hadn’t gotten the milk in from the day before. Off to the milk locker to check the status and condition of what had been left only to find the milk locker empty. My mind was quickly forming an explanation that this was bound to happen from time to time, that Darrell will do his best and that we would adjust to whatever this new routine needed to be.

On Friday that week, I checked for milk and saw the locker once again empty slapping me with the cruel reality that Darrell may not be back. My heart sank. I was sure that the family was fielding many calls and that whatever had occurred, difficulties had arisen, so I chose not to call knowing that the bill at the end of the month would contain an explanation. News that Darrell was having health Problems filtered through the community and I waited…

“We’ll be fine without the milk service!” I wanted to shout out so loud he would hear. “Just take care of your self!”

Finally, the bill arrived and the anticipated letter was enclosed containing an explanation of Darrell’s sudden retirement: It was dated and the familiar greeting was followed by his own words:

“Dear Valued Customer,
It is with regret that I am informing you that I will no longer be your Milkman. Due to a problem with my neck and left arm, I will be having surgery and physical therapy. When I am healed, I won’t be able to make deliveries as I have in the past. Unfortunately, there are no other milkmen in the area to take over, so I am shutting the route down.”

“This milk route has been my livelihood for more than 28 years. You are more than just customers to me. I will miss being your milkman.”

The PS on the note read, “After I’m feeling better, I’ll come by and keep in touch”

I opened the envelope and read it aloud to my husband. As I choked back a sob, I looked up and noticed tears in his eyes as I finished his words, we both knew just by Darrell’s track record, how hard it must have been for him to write that note.

It is hard to believe that the hand rubberstamp addressed envelopes won’t be stacked with the bills awaiting payment, or that one-inch strip of typewritten paper will not be left to announce the official beginning of the Holiday Season… And I will never, no never forget the sound of the noisy truck approaching or the milk locker slamming followed by a rap of the door. I am so happy that my kids got to have a part of something that was only usual to the generation before, my kids got to know the last Milkman!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Santa’s Home(less)

Recent news reports that the North Pole is rapidly melting away have affected the whole concept of my Christmas Fantasy mode. OMG! Santa is going to be homeless! The impact of this report is still sinking in.

I must comment that Santa’s current transportation mode is in keeping with the times (flying reign-deer over rising gas prices) and his choices should be commended as the *green* way to go… However, will the sleigh have to be re-designed to land on water once the toys are delivered to other parts of the world?

Picturing a roaring fire in the fireplace, Santa in a big overstuffed chair with Mrs. Santa sitting nearby… I am just not sure what to do with the mental image that I have in my head. Christmas storybooks will have to be re-written. Will Santa trade the red and white apparel for a wet suit? My imagination struggles to embrace what a modern version of Christmas Tradition might look like.

Thankfully, it is still July. I need some more time to mull this over in my mind.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

North Pole On Thin Ice

June 27: Some scientists have asserted that the Arctic ice cap could retreat so dramatically this summer that there could be open water covering the North Pole. NBC's Anne Thompson reports.

read more | digg story

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Learning Links

California is on fire should link to a very important story in my previous blog titled "Smoke"! I am posting these links once more to show exactly what these raging fires are about.



We are just hanging out-- waiting for the smoke to clear…. It is summer, 2008 and the state of California is on fire! Californians are no strangers to the abundance of forest fires but this year it is the most intense *fire season* ever due to the dry spring conditions coupled with repeated high winds. The dry lightning in June ignited the land that sat thirsty and waiting for the rain that did not come.

The smoke has been covering the state of California for about a week now with over 1000 fires burning at one time, statewide. It hangs like a thick fog over valleys blocking sunshine that cannot burn through. The air is heavy and the effort of breathing has become a major health concern as we try to stay indoors and refrain from exerting ourselves. Windows shut and air-conditioners on despite the unusually cool temperatures.

Smoke has now become a main topic of the evening news weather report!

Weather is what started the fire and the fire now controls the weather. Breezes come and start to clear the smoke away, but there is so much that it really only blows it around and the excitement of seeing a small piece of blue sky is soon dashed as the sun fades back into the hazed over orange glow that once heated the earth.

25 years of being a cigarette smoker comes back to haunt me as the effort of breathing takes its toll. There is no escape because of the widespread problem and I remind myself of the risks that our firefighters face as they valiantly fight the blazes that seem to pop up everywhere. Eyes burning and the fatigue that accompanies poor air quality are shared by all, the risks to health increasing with each day the Smokey conditions continue.

The 4th of July is a week away and I am hoping that the customary fireworks displays will not add to our dilemma…

June - outdoor summertime fun, campfires, daily exercise and easy breathing… I wonder how long it will be that we, once again, take these things for granted…

Monday, May 26, 2008



Tiny Town, Rural Area, America - - the place I have called home for 22 years now. Those first years of residency, we took our garbage to the dump! This was a very new concept for a Bay Area Girl gone “Country”!

Years later, our waste management company informed us of a change to mandatory garbage pickup. This was a good idea because the population in our town was rapidly growing as we transitioned from farming community to “bedroom” community of nearby major cities. For 20 years, the townspeople had bagged up their recyclables and hauled them into the next major town, or simply threw them away.

A recycling center appeared, right down the street and then just as suddenly shut down, it’s brief occurrence like a fleeting dream. Schools and organizations would welcome the recycling projects for fundraising opportunity, but soon fizzled with the daunting task of collecting and then hauling messy bags, driving 30-mile round trips to do so.

Then it finally happened… the garbage truck came out on a non-garbage day distributing (no! lets get real here, dropping!) bins to the residents to use for recyclables. The bins were literally thrown from the truck, into the street, no lids and the added paperwork explaining their use flying around in the breezes. Did I mention their size? Big enough for 2 weeks of newspapers or a large garbage bag of random items, but not even close to large enough to contain the list of items to be recycled. Oh! In addition, pick up for the blue bins is *every other week*!

I assumed that this new project must be a royal pain for the waste company until I got the new and revised bill. The customers are obviously being passed the extra costs for this service!

Happy to finally have a new way to get my plastics , glass and aluminum to the recycling centers, I now bag the extras and heap the garbage bags on top of this very tiny bin, hoping someone will get the hint that our “bin” for recycling should be at least as big as our garbage cans! My question is how much energy do I waste rinsing these items to avoid the ants that find my saved recyclables before the 2-week pickup is due? I am holding out hope for a real tall can with a lid to be provided in the near future, or maybe the 3-can system like in the big city…

Monday, May 19, 2008

illusion glass

illusion glass

Now here is some beautiful glassware!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Time For Lettuce

Out the door, I quickly glance at the clock calculating just how close I am to being late. Hurry, hurry off to work… each day challenging me to wrap up the morning’s activities at home in order to be on time for my first appointment.

This morning as I made my lunch, I did that usual pause to decide weather adding lettuce to my sandwich was worth the trouble. Often I leave it off, not because of indifference, but it adds a shortcut so as not to be late. After all, the lettuce does not offer any remarkable nutrition value and it does take time for this final addition to my lunch.

Re-prioritizing has recently become a current strategy during my day’s activities. I have been learning that taking the time to cut a few fresh flowers before leaving the house is worth rocking my punctuality comfort zone. It clicks – that I should give thought to apply this recent knowledge…

Biting into my sandwich and tasting the cool sweet crunch of crisp lettuce reaffirms that these little luxuries in life count way more than once realized while rushing around for the purpose of better efficiency. Channeling this new thought process redirects each activity along the way to a better mode of living out the day…

From now on, I am taking time for lettuce!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mid 80s This Weekend!

Outdoors Calling....

It’s in the 80s for the first time this year! Loving the gift of warmth and sunshine, I prepare for the transition from indoors the patio and garden living. It’s a whole new way to be… new routines and fresh air. It’s only April so the warm weekend will give way to some cooler air once again. There is relief in that fact; I am not ready for the onslaught of the brutal valley heat that eventually takes place here.

It’s time to drop whatever projects the indoor wintertime had me so involved in. Got to just re prioritize how I spend my moments. I don’t want to miss the opportunities for that first taste of summertime and all that it holds. Fragrant flowers, bee’s buzzing, water slashing on my feet as I give the potted plants a drink from the hose.

The local orchards have almost completed their cycle of splendor. First were the Almond blossoms, then Peach and Apple blooms and the intense and concentrated Cherry bloom, the beginning creation of the prized and precious fruit our community revolves around.

My gardens are calling me to take notice and take care of what is taking place. The rains have dried up and plants grow willy nilly over sidewalks and lawns. The vines start to intermingle and will be a tangled mess if I don’t keep them in proper order.

Flowers pop up all over my garden bringing surprise and delight to the landscape. The camellias were most abundant this season, almost gone now, while I impatiently await the opening of large buds covering the Clematis vines.

Coming home from work and checking email brings the happiness of more pictures sent to me from the “Lamb Cam” from my sister’s ranch up North. Where the flowers aren’t quite blooming yet but spring has a whole different vibe of producing her precious baby lambs. It’s a good thing her flowers come later because she just would not have time to “stop and smell the roses” with all of the busyness that takes place. *Sigh* It’s got to be happy season there in spite of the intense activity.

Yes, its spring and I’ve got to go…. The outdoors life is calling my name!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

The continent-sized vortex of plastic waste blighting the Pacific.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rethinking Plastic

While holiday shopping in the house wares department the flashes of bright colors caught my eye. Along with new Panini makers and heavy cookware were the new silicon bake ware pans in all shapes and sizes. Flexibility, like soft rubber is the selling feature. One can literally turn the pan inside out so as not to disturb the delicate baked goods. The finish creates a non-stick surface. The idea caught my interest, but something just didn’t seem right…

My parents raised us not to litter the same way they raised us camping in the mountains. Being the “city girl” in the family, I never considered myself totally consumed with the whole *go green* movement though it does make sense to me. What goes on with our health and our earth seems a worthwhile endeavor. I try to consider what goes into my body and what I choose to put into the landfill, but lately my awareness has peaked. Bits of news and hype surrounding the whole bottled water thing have been slowly entering my mind and bearing more impact than I realized.

Taking my lunch to work everyday seems a healthy practice. Most of the food prepared in our home is cooked from scratch to avoid excess sodium. Not being a fan of the microwave, the convenience issue keeps it a part of daily life if only to warm food. Lunch time at work means out comes the “tupper” container, previously refrigerated. Pop that baby into the micro and {oops} sometimes the inside wall of the container bubbles up and takes on the color of the food! This really seems wrong even though sporadic. Seriously, it’s enough for me to do a “head’s up” on the subject.

My research has brought up a lot of stuff on food contact substances. Basically, all plastics migrate into the food (or drink) they contact. The controversy exists in the level of chemical contaminates including carcinogens. Phthalates found in plastic bottled water have increased scrutiny. Leaching Bisphenol A (BPA) is a known danger and can block and mimic hormones, affecting the body’s normal functions. This endocrine disrupter can cause neurological problems and affect immune systems.

At age 51, messing with my hormones is not something I should be doing, let alone sacrificing optimum brain function and immune deficiencies.

Another point, that plastic “smell” and “taste” should tell us something. It’s just plain common sense that the odor of plastic while eating and drinking isn’t natural!

There are responsible decisions we can make about the types of plastics we choose to use. Evidently the different plastics are identified by a number on each plastic receptacle and certain numbers identify certain plastics that are found to be the most in question for chemical leaching. From the reports I have read stay away from 3, 6, 7 and 8.

Beginning my quest to find better alternatives became more of a challenge than I thought. Glass is the best answer, though not always practical. I now store and freeze and heat our food in Pyrex. My metal thermos replaces my plastic thermal iced tea jug but has some plastic parts on the spout mechanism. My new cookware cannot be used with mettle utensils without damage to the finish, so wood works here, no more plastic stirring my gravy! All of my juice comes in plastic. The milk cartons, once coated with wax are now sprayed with… you guessed it… plastic! Even organic produce at the supermarket is sprayed with plastic!

Realizing that we seem to live in a plastic world makes me wonder how we can rid the risks to our health and our habitat. Awareness is key, then conscience and a choice to better living…

Friday, February 29, 2008


We have a "wespace" blog up and running... check us out at:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Purpose of the Day

Dawn breaks and holds the moment sacred. New beginnings of the ordinary fall before me and I inhale my surroundings knowing, and at the same time not knowing….
The pattern of what will be starts to unfold, moods shifting to accommodate whatever takes place peppered by thoughts from last night, yesterday, and whatever takes prevalence of mind….
My soul shouts “yes” to the Glory of the morning before the minor frustrations start their integration into the bigger picture of circumstances. My promise is to refrain from labeling “good day” or “bad day”, the day just IS. Thankfulness takes hold of my heart for new beginnings and I rise to seek the purpose…..

Monday, February 18, 2008


It’s raining… wet, cold rain on my garden. But that won’t stop my Daffodils from blooming, no way! Sunny yellow peeks up from the soggy ground and I know in time there will be longer days full of fresh air. I can feel the warm sunshine and cool breezes already. The raindrops will be remembered and their work appreciated in the long hot months ahead.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


It’s only one life. When it's over, it’s over my friend…
So whatcha gonna do??
Watch it all pass by?
Wonder where it went??

Time passes, friendships dwindle, parents get old….
Whatcha gonna do??

There’s another wave! Catch it! Here comes another… and another….
And as you ride along {{{you realize}}} there are so many waves that you can’t possibly ride them all -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Most days, life goes along with a certain amount of predictability. You take the occasional interruptions in stride. Obstacles present themselves but you face whatever occurs, working situations to fit your routine.

Then, along comes the biggie… the event that rocks your whole world and changes how you look at everything. Each moment seems different; your outlook is now colored with a completely different view. Experiencing profound loss is usually at the root of this life altering state. You just aren’t sure of anything anymore…..

You find yourself in that empty place, frozen in the moment, no way out. The course you were on just dissolved before your eyes, the ship you were sailing was blown to smithereens. No time to adjust--- you are forced to just hang out in what I call *the Void*.

This *Void* is not infinite, though you are powerless to control when it shall pass. It is meant to be filled as it sits empty, so empty. At some point *the Void* gives way to another place…

A fork in the road now lies before you. This intersection is a direct result of finally getting through to the other side of *the Void*. You must now make a choice on which road you will take. This decision will affect everything in your future. You may find that you want to go back, retracing steps toward the past, the familiar. This idea is no longer an option. You can never go there again. It would never be the same.

Looking for tomorrow is the next step as you leave this darkened state. It is finally time to fill the emptiness with something different than what was before. Depending on which path you choose you’ll find sunshine and birds singing and smiles inside of you. And you forge ahead, changed forever…

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Embracing Anger

Tossing and turning I look to see the 2:34AM clock time and I jump up knowing that the thoughts crossing my mind will keep me from rest, at least for a while. I had slept peacefully in the early nighttime hours, having finally (I thought) put to rest the feelings of betrayal from a trusted colleague. I know this source of unrest; it has reared its ugly head many times throughout my life.

Trying to view my anger as something constructive is the challenge. I think that I have made peace with the situation, putting it in proper perspective in the big scheme of things….. But no, once again my anger revisits my thoughts and feelings. Anger is NOT my friend; I don’t even like myself when I am so consumed with this emotion! I want to avoid it with all of my being. Faith and Hope, they are my friends, but anger is not a welcome entity in my existence!

Thinking back to the time of my divorce (YUK) after 20 years of marriage, I did all that I could to avoid being angry. I made excuses and used another emotion (i.e. profound sadness) to distract me. Trying my best to react with nobility and bravery, I sidestepped the emotion of anger to the point that friends worried about me. USE your anger, a pastor had advised me. What? What good could come of that?? It wasn’t for me to understand in my time of grief.

Eventually, it was apparent that “stuffing” my anger was counterproductive. Pretending not to be angry was going to come back and bite me in the butt. Finally giving in, I expressed my anger only to find that so many people rallied my topic of distress and added their own anger stories to the conversation. Working with this emotion helped me to face the reality of my circumstances and be proactive. I stood up for myself. I learned that my fear of anger was unjustified. Unleashing my feelings did not make my anger consume the rest of my days after all. It allowed me to move through it and beyond its ugly disturbance. On the other side, I gained compassion and humility and a whole lot of respect for those who constantly cope with circumstances that create reactions of anger to be a part of daily life.

This feeling keeps creeping up unannounced, at the most inconvenient moment. Obviously it is meant that I continue to wrestle with this emotion until time presents new distractions to dilute the intensity. I have to see it through because something worthwhile will come from my having felt it…..

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Winter Peace

The freezing cold air slaps my skin with cruel reality, stinging my face and hands. Just moments before the bright light of the early morning sunshine came streaming through the shutters, beckoning me outdoors. Suddenly the truth of the season presents itself. No longer do I feel the promised warmth of the sun. My thoughts move into winter mode……

The day before was cold and dreary. Layers of heavy fog were blanketing the landscape, enveloping everything in its path. The feeling of soft clouds completely surrounded my being and I knew that soon enough the North Wind would work his magic and make the fog disappear. The result of a cold clearing reaffirmed to me that everything is temporary.

The long winters of my childhood give way to my acceptance that this is a time for pause. The impatience I once had is now replaced with gratitude for days that are not hurried. I feel the urge to make some hot tea, curl up with the cat, and relish the warmth within the walls of my home. Unfinished garden work will be calling soon enough. Longer days are on the horizon. This season is a time of contemplation.

Gazing upward, I notice the trees as I walk through the neighborhood. Bare branches seem to be reaching up for new life as they wait patiently for the next cycle of spring to bring buds and leaves to their own full glory. The distant sun casts slanted shadows on the ground. Suspended in the air there is a stillness that quiets my mind…..

………..And so it is with the season, Old Man Winter bearing gifts of time and space….

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thundersnow and Rainbows

The storms of 2008 brought about a phenomenon that only nature combined with the interpretation of people can behold…..

Last year’s weather pattern showed some bizarre possibilities to the “Global Warming” theory which spurred a series of emails throughout the world. My family keeping pace with the trend, kept the communication going through the web, round robin style. The reports of unseasonable heat in some areas contrasted with the reported challenges of maintaining properties plagued by Ice storms. The reports brought to each of us perspective and became somewhat humbling as we read the accounts and recounted our own observations.

Fast forward to 2008, with predictions of a storm to hit CA second only to the storm of 1995! The news continued to promise the coming of this forbidden storm for many days preceding the event. One was left to wonder if there was little news material for the weather to take so much airtime. Being a “weather junkie” of sorts, sunshine makes me happy but storms excite me! I was ready to see what Mother Nature would show us…

As promised the three series of storms hit the West Coast with a vengeance. By the second round, trees were down and road conditions became messy. The power outages were so widespread that some areas went days without knowing when the power might be restored, a rare occurrence in California.

During this time, those of us that maintained power took advantage. The postings and pictures and recounts of preparations came through the family email, just as before!

Reports came across my computer of my parents shoveling paths and hoping for uninterrupted TV if the “dish”did not fill with snow….
“Rain and snow was all horizontal! Front windows packed with snow in both bedrooms. It is beautiful outside. Dad is still able to watch TV so snow must have slowed.”

My cousin in Pueblo, Co. reported that the road closed on I-70 and he let us know that it would reopen ASAP because the ski resort business loses $800,000.00 an hour when it stays closed.
“Yesterday it warmed up from 5 to 62 degrees in eight hours. About one degree every ten minutes. Last weekend I-70 was closed from about 5 PM Sunday to 3PM Monday due to snow and avalanches. 5 feet of snow is expected to close I-70 tomorrow. It is estimated that the ski towns lose $800,000 per hour when I-70 is closed. Needless to say they try to keep it open as much as possible.”
$800,000.00 an hour!!!!!!! Sheesh!

Sister in Susanville told of weather reports predicting “thundersnow”, a term she had heard for the first time. She commented that it would be a great name for a Ram since she is an Icelandic Sheep Rancher. This spurred a definition of the term “thundersnow” with recounts of past weather observations….

From Pueblo: “When we lived in western Iowa (1950s) we got a lot of thundersnow. The land is flat all the way from western Wyoming until it crosses the Missouri River. The east side of the Missouri basin is a wind blown soil called Loess that is very fine particles drifted like snow up against the glacial hills of the rest of Iowa. This sudden change in elevation (even though only a few hundred feet) resulted in fierce lightning storms that preceded almost every rain or snow episode.”
“A few years ago Matt, Katie, Ann and I were in the house here in Pueblo watching a big snowstorm on the night after Thanksgiving. Some were looking out the front window and some out the back when there was a sudden blast of thunder and the entire sky turned emerald green. We did not have even a flicker in the electricity as all of our lines are underground. One of our neighbors was an engineer/ manager for the power company and he saw it too, and later said that their records showed no blips during that time. He concluded that it was ‘thundersnow’.”

Our sister in NY called us to see if we were ok due to the storm, now that’s a switch!!!!!!

Two sisters mentioned loving driving in snow, an idea that I can’t quite comprehend having always lived in central CA. In my opinion, age 51 is no time to be learning this complicated skill!

I stepped outside during the clearing of the second round of storm to find the most incredible sight, something I felt compelled to continue the family weather accounts with:
“Last evening I stepped outside and noticed the most incredible rainbow! It was a complete semicircle, vivid and double! That was toward the East. I looked toward the West and the rain and clouds had an edge, or an end (if you will) with a gap of blue sky... and then the sun was setting, another semicircle of big orange-yellow, and then a thick line of storm clouds upon the horizon, beyond the "gap"! The total element was so incredible; I was reminded of God's Promise......
It lasted long enough for me to get Dave to look out the front window (facing east) to see the entire rainbow!”

My account triggered another weather memory from my cousin:
“Your rainbow sounds fabulous.”
“Our best rainbow was once when we lived in Hawaii and were eating Saturday breakfast at the Elk's lodge right on the water in Waikiki. It was raining on the windward side of the island, very windy and clear on the Honolulu side. Rain was blowing over Honolulu even though it was clear. There was a rainbow over the ocean roughly west of where we were sitting. The rainbow was visible for an entire hour until the sun got high enough in the sky to cause the rainbow to set in the water just about at the same position where the sun would set.”

And with this I will comment that no matter the distance or how different our lives may be, it’s no wonder the weather is what we can always count on for conversation.