Around 8:23 AM today, Dec. 21, the Sun begins its long journey toward longer days. Nevertheless, today will be the shortest day of the year, a traditional time of turning within, rest, and contemplation.
Yesterday Isabella and I explored a different walking trail. We drove just west of Bend up Century Drive, turned off on the road to Benham Falls and ended up at Slough Camp. From Slough Camp’s parking lot we headed on foot towards Benham Falls, about 2.5 miles. I hadn’t been up in this area for ages. It brought back a fun/funny memory. In The 60’s when I was attending COCC my folks sent me $70. a month for rent, food, gas, etc. One memorable month I out-spent the month by two weeks and had only a dime to last until next payday. No problem, well not really. For food I, every day, fished the Deschutes and lived on the catch of the day – trout. I ate fried trout, baked trout, boiled trout, and fried trout again. The dime I had bought me two lemons from the market on Franklin St. just two blocks from my apartment. Bend was so compact and easy back then. Anyway, Slough Camp was one of my fishing spots and it felt good to be back, although I’m happy to hike and not fish.
Isabella found a place where she could get to the river for a drink without tromping through brush and river grasses. She took off over a little embankment that looked almost straight down to me. I questioned her ability to get herself out of that hole, but she did it, eventually. I let her rest a bit, me too, before we carried on. It was such a beautiful, quiet Fall day, and I’m grateful for every minute of it.
There are special days in each year that carve memories, not all real great but most aregreat and worth celebrating. My favorites are Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Solstices, Equinoxes, and on and on. But, every year the real winner in my book is that awaited day that usually comes sometime in the Fall, after the rains have come, the temperature drops, we’re socked in for a couple of days – and then the clouds lift. Bam! There on the horizon the most stunning gift of nature looms. Brilliant, white with snow, and beautiful beyond thought are the four mountains that seem to keep watch over the foothills and towns below.
To all you who responded to my Hole in the Floor post, I want you to know your comments and support are very helpful, and you are all appreciated. I am not alone, as I’ve recently heard, 3/4 of Bend’s homes have some snow/ice dam damage. There are many in the same situation that I’m in.
Most of you asked about my next move. I did put money down on a small house in Bend’s east side that I was pretty excited about – was being the operative word in this case. I’m not sure now. There’s one training certificate related to my pending loan that needs a signature – which has been refused. The only thing I can do is keep the faith and know things will all work out for everyone’s very best.
What was, isn’t any more:
Several evenings ago the sky was red with flashing lights from emergency vehicles. The home two houses up from me was on fire and flames rising high into the sky. The damages to the home are sizable but repairable. Then “bam,” the house next to the burned house had a major explosion resulting in, apparent, substantial damage. What happened to Skyline Dr. and its back-road quietude? I feel deeply for the neighbors and their losses. This week has made up for many years of relatively uneventful living in the mountains.
Even though as I write it’s cold, snowing, and blowing like crazy, I’m imagining warmth and some comfort ahead. My love to all.
If you’ve ever been to Fort Rock in the Central Oregon Desert, you’ll remember that it is formed of jagged lava rock that has taken the shape of a crescent. It’s dry and desolate, to me. So now, I seem to be existing in a near replica which I have named Fort Snow. (Not dry but maybe a little desolate.) The photos attached will tell you the story of the enormous snow load I am dealing with and some of the havoc it has raised. The inside has some significant damage caused by snow melt that crept silently down beams, under flooring, and into the main crawl space under the kitchen . It’s not the end of the world, but just one more thing to deal with as I pack to move and try to find a place to live. What a time for Bend to come up with an unprecedented snow dump.
Here’s the story behind my pictorial essay: lots of snow, piles so high I don’t have to think about anyone looking in my windows – or me looking out, tractor heading down towards my front door, Fort Snow forming, dogs going crazy with fun, and at last a fond farewell to my 1990 Subaru Legacy. She’s off to become a KLCC radio program.
By the way, it’s my 78th birthday, and I so appreciate the many, many birthday wishes that showed up on m Facebook page this morning. I really needed that kind of support today, and it helped me to remember who we all are – just a bunch of good friends and family who know how to reach out to one another.
This is my birthday month, and I have been gifted with so much beauty. Exactly what I ask for, snow. It’s so deep and cold I really haven’t ventured out much – no skiing, no walking. I’m playing “elderly” and mostly looking out of the windows – especially at night. Its full moon and the reflection of moonlight that comes off the snow is stunning. Last night I awakened around 1:00am and thought my neighbors were shinning their headlights in my window. Good to see it was simply the natural grace of the night.
All over Bend roofs are collapsing. Early this morning Kenwood School’s gymnasium roof came down, Hooker Creek, and FedX too, so all schools are closed for inspections. Now the kids have had an entire week off because of the best weather ever.
Just as I put the last piece of wood in the wood stove this morning, I looked out the window toward the road and noticed two little ski hats bobbing above the snow berm in front of my house. It was my granddaughters who were enjoying a “snow day” and out touring the neighborhood. (The temperature is 8 degrees.) They turned into my driveway, came to the door and ask, “Do you need wood hauled grandma?” This is life at its best.
They live two houses away from me, are the sweetest, funniest, most beautiful girls and have been a joy since their birth. As babies they crawled around my floor, as toddlers were, well toddlers needing constant care and companionship, and have been a consistent presence in my life for almost fourteen years. Ellie will be fourteen in March. We can only dream of how our little ones will merge their personalities and abilities into the different phases of their lives, but never I could have known one day they’d come to my door asking if they could help me – haul wood. They are two reasons I am not looking forward to my move away from my neighborhood, but then in six years or so they might be leaving too.
Less than an hour later my oldest son, plow and all, comes to blow out my driveway. What a family!
Lighting a candle is a long-held practice in many cultural, family and faith traditions. The practice is common across international borders and societies. Lighting candles can bring serenity, focus and comfort, and peace. Breathe, relax, and light a candle for peace within
Yesterday I submitted fourteen images to Looking Glass Gallery, located in the Bend River Mall annex. Seven are Solstice greetings and the other seven are holiday themes. Watch for future post and more images.
My Solstice art is not easily photographed, as it is painted on Yupo (a plastic paper) with acrylic inks. The inks leave a high gloss finish which reflects everything making it almost impossible to photograph. The image I’m posting will give you an idea of my expression of the Return of the Sun or the Solstice celebration. Inside each card is a brief explanation of the meaning of Solstice.