Monday, June 25, 2012


"Fire has always been, and seemingly always will be, the most terrible of all the elements."
                                                                                                               -Harry Houdini

Waldo Canyon Fire Day Three

This fire is daunting, in both it's beauty and in it's terror. It started out as feathery plumes that drew the eye towards Pikes Peak. They got steadily darker and more ominous, eventually taking over the sky as we watched from our expansive office windows.
Heading north on Saturday night, it was easier to put it aside, as the smoke seemed to be just a haze in the distance. Sunday seemed a little scarier again, as we tried to take Grace to camp while road after road was closing. We drove towards the fire and watched as flames occasionally flickered at the top of the ridge line, then watched as they danced away.
I mentally started packing in my mind- what shall I grab if we have to evacuate? It's not so far-fetched- the fire could easily snake its way up here, just a few miles and a ridge. Passports, files, pictures- these are the things I immediately think of. Anything else, clothing, Northface sleeping bags, china- they would all be replaceable...
And today, Monday. Hottest day in over twenty years, with winds whipping in every direction. The air smells like a bad campfire- acrid and enough to make me rush inside. My car is covered in a fine layer of black- not enough windshield wiper fluid to do anything except smear it across my glass. I come home tonight, intent on both trying to cool off despite the heavy heat and on getting together things that matter, just in case. I look at all of the pictures that friends are posting online, and I am in awe of the power of a spark.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mile by mile

Eight point two miles.
There's something about this that makes me feel powerful.

And sweaty.

I feel like I should probably balance out the running and hiking with something  at the gym but then I see this...

I remember why I don't run on a treadmill. I might in the middle of winter, but right now, I have my mountains.
When I run, I spend the first five miles in an almost meditative state. Nothing but me and the trail. One foot in front of the other. Breathe in, breathe out. I pay attention to my stride, my form, everything about the actual run...
After mile five, I start to get into this amazing state where I am keenly aware of everything surrounding me. The smell of the pine trees towering over the trail, the black beetle slowly lumbering across my path, clouds building over the mountains. Mile five to mile seven are less meditative and more absorbing everything in front of me.
And then there is the last mile. That is the mile I love. The one where my muscles start to feel numb and achy at the same time. The one where I want to stop but I see my shadow and I see actual muscles in my shadow. Seeing that and feeling the ache is enough to make me run faster on that last stretch than the rest of my entire run. That is the part where I feel like a gazelle, where I am fast. This is where I feel powerful.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scarily beautiful...

Mammatus clouds brewing overhead...

More mammatus clouds...
Tornado warnings in our mountain town- not an everyday occurrence... Monkeys and I met Mollie for dinner and then the clouds came rolling in. Literally rolling, head over tail, swirling through the sky. I forgot to freak out (remind me to tell you about Superteen being born in a tornado, inter tubes friends...) because they were so riveting. When I did put the word 'tornado' with the clouds, I decided to just enjoy the view. I decided that I did not survive thirteen months of Oklahoma hell to perish in a Colorado tornado. Not. Happening.

Welcome to my world...

The things I hear...

"My feet smell like vinegar."

"If there's a Zombie Apocalypse, screw Norad, I am going to Wal-mart."

"If you have more babies, will you name them Peeta and Prim?"

"Suck it, butthead."

"I'm going to put pants on." -this from the backseat, as we say, "You're in the car. Don't you HAVE pants on?"

"Noooo, seriously, Wal-mart is perfect for the Zombie Apocalypse. You can shoot and do crafts and kill zombies and use coloring books, all at once."

"What's a wanker, mom?"

"Zombie Apocalypses excite me!!!"

"You look hot in polka dots. Snort."

"I just need to clarify the air."

"Don't worry. My hands aren't in my pants."

Life moves fast

I used to have reservoirs just a few steps from my wee cottage's front door. Full of bears, squirrels, deer, foxes, and a few animals I ...