Love and snow fall…

We woke up this Valentines Day to find a nice fresh coat of fluffy snow, a little sun and some sparkle in the air.

I was happy to see it, because for about three months it’s literally been too cold to snow.

Yes.

Too. Cold. To. Snow.

That’s a thing here.

Which means I’ve been cooped up a bit, and so has my camera. Things like cameras and fingers don’t work too well when it’s too cold to snow.

But those clouds and that sun seemed to be working this morning (I mean it was like 10 degrees above zero) so I went out in it.

A gift to myself for a day covered in love.

Love and sparkly snow on the tips of berry covered branches…

On the noses of dogs…

Ok, all over the faces of dogs…

On the tips of the grass…

On the backs of horses…

In barnyards…

and all of the things made more beautiful with a little light…

and a little frosting.

Happy Valentines Day Friends. Spread a little love today.

Sunday Column: Living with the wild things

Well, party people, look what the weekend drug in.

Snow and rain and not a green thing in site. Thanks to everyone who’s been sharing thier spring photos on the Facebook page and email. Every pretty flower cheers me and every snow flurry makes me feel less alone in this arctic tundra!

It’s not too late to get in on the game! Whether the birds are chirping in the warm sunshine or retreating back to the southern climates, abandoning the whole migration idea all together, show us how spring is shaping up in your neck of the woods and I will post them  all on the website Monday. Our favorite photo will win a copy of my new album “Nothing’s Forever” and a print of a warmer and prettier spring day at the Veeder Ranch.

So make (and warm up) my day and post your photos on the Facebook page or send me an email at jessieveeder@gmail.com

In the meantime, read  my Fargo Forum column on the other unpredictable thing around here–wildlife.

Coming Home: Humans, beasts learn to coexist.
Jessie Veeder, Fargo Forum
April, 21, 2013

Because like snow in April, some things just need to keep thier distance.

Peace, Love and Sunday Pancakes,

Jessie

And then came the sun.

This morning I woke up to another dreary, snowy, cold, white, un-springy day, a husband who couldn’t make it to work on account of a night spent puking and a pug literally hiding with his head under the covers and his ass facing the world.

I felt like doing the same thing, not puking, but, you know, just letting my ass face the world. Because, I mean, look at it…not a crocus in sight…

I was going to tell you all about it, after I took a few photos of the icicles hanging off the eaves,

the gray, dreary sky, the white flakes fluttering across bare and brown branches,

cold, leftover leaves,

big brown dog’s big brown cold nose,

and  ground just begging to warm up…

I was prepared to feel like the pug who doesn’t wake up to face the dog dish until well after the noon hour, going to absorb the sad, gray, so unspringlike day into my veins and mope a bit over peanut butter toast and coffee that just couldn’t be black enough, ignore the dishes in the sink and just say well shit, it’s snowing. It’s snowing again.

But then the sun came out.

and the gray turned to sparkle,

the bland to beautiful,

the gray to blue,

and the leftovers looked a little less lonely.

Ah, the sun.

The sun!

Look at that, the sun.

What a difference you made.



I hope you found your sun today.

Restless waiting.

This is what March looks like from the inside of my house with the door open as I watch nature do her thing.

In ten to fifteen minutes the wind will really pick up, whistling through the branches of the trees and blowing that fluffy snow in white, blinding swirls.

I will think about Husband out there on the roads that were coated in rain yesterday afternoon and likely frozen solid today and I will worry until I hear the sound of his boots clump up the steps and the creak of the door as it swings open.

Home, safe and sound in the middle of a full-blown March blizzard.

Oh, we get one or two in this month that promises spring pretty soon, but not quite yet.

Kids all across the state are celebrating the first snow day of the winter by bundling up to head outside and build forts and fling snowballs or snuggling in their jammies under a blanket with popcorn and a movie.

Teachers are taking this free day to catch up on paperwork, housework or finish that book they haven’t had time to start, dads and moms are shoveling sidewalks and driveways, college students are drinking beer or playing video games, grampas are watching the radar, ranchers with cattle under their care are worrying about calving and throwing an extra straw bale out on the snowy ground and the southerners up here for work are wondering what the hell they’ve gotten themselves into.

Me? Well, I’m in my long underwear staring out the window at the way the snow swirls and drifts and makes the walls of this house moan a bit. The snow is melting from my boots and making puddles on the warm floor in the entryway and the dogs are snoring on their spots, a result of our morning trek outside to admire the way the snow had settled on the trees overnight.

That was before the wind picked up and shook it off.

That was before Husband was home safe and sound.

That was before I ate a sandwich and wrote a song I think I might have written before and thanked the heavens from where this snow was falling that I didn’t have to be anywhere but home.

Because an hour ago I was making my way to the top of the hill to see what the overnight snow had done to yesterday’s brown landscape. The dogs reached the summit before me, their ears blowing in the wind and their eyes squinting against the snowflakes landing on their eyelashes with growing force.

I knelt down to snap a photo of a frozen, sleepy flower and headed for the shelter of the oaks.

No matter the wind and the weather those trees are a haven and a sort of quiet mystery to me. I know that’s where the horses are, somewhere in this pasture huddled together in the oak groves. I know that’s where the deer bed and the elk hide and the squirrels and grouse and maybe even the mountain lions go to wait out the weather.

To wait  for spring.

And I know I won’t see them today, the blizzard growing more severe and the dogs more obnoxious and curious as they snort and roll and climb in and out of the banks.

This time of year I get restless. This time of year I get worried that I won’t have another great idea, that my skin will never be brown again, that I won’t ever warm up.

Last night I declared these worries out loud to Husband who lay next to me in bed, relaxed and assured and breathing softly in the dark.

In the quiet calm of a Sunday night, a night working on brewing a storm that would keep us tucked in our houses the next day, I said, “What if I never write another song? What if all of my ideas are used up? What if I’m not good enough to keep up with the plans I have? What if I get sad and stay sad? I can’t be sad. I don’t have time to be sad.”

He was silent for the moment after the words I chose, the ones that went… “I wish you understood…” and then he said, “You can be sad. And you can do nothing. Sometimes you need to do nothing. And then, you need to get up, go outside and live a life that gives you something to write about.”

So I went out in the storm today, not because I don’t know what it feels like, but because I wanted to feel it again. Because I wanted to be reminded.

And I wanted to be cold and out of breath and far away from the house and the work and the worry and sheltered by nothing but the heavy branches of the oaks.

I wanted to be quiet and let nature–uncontrollable, unpredictable, fascinatingly, frustratingly, beautifully unyielding nature–do her thing while the rest of the world made snowmen and banana bread, mopped floors and read newspapers, navigated snowy roads, called friends, made plans and wrote novels.

And I, like the deer bedded down and undetectable, did nothing but wait.

Snow on the backs of horses.

This is what it looks like when you put a house cat out in the snow for the first time in its life.

Coincidently this is also the face that was staring back at her after I peeled her out of my arms like a piece of velcro with really strong legs ..and then again off my head…and then again off of my boots.

We’re in a fight, but don’t feel bad for her, the weather is warming up and I think it’s time she gets acclimated to this wild place.

Yes, tomorrow it will be March and my longing for green grass, crocuses and creek beds overflowing with melted snow will summon me to pull on my muck boots and go exploring for the slightest change in scenery.

It will be March tomorrow, and I feel the chilled surrender that January brings start to break up and separate inside of me, even as I stand under a gray sky that blends into the horizon as if it weren’t a sky at all but a continuation of the snowy landscape…below us, above us…surrounding us.

Flakes fell from that sky yesterday afternoon, big and soft and gentle they drifted down to the icy earth and summoned me from behind my windows to come outside and stick out my tongue.

When the snow falls like this, not sideways or blowing or whipping at our faces, but peaceful and steady and quiet, it’s a small gift. I feel like I’m tucked into the mountains instead of exposed and vulnerable on the prairie. I feel like, even in the final days before March, that someone has shaken the snow globe just the right amount to calm me down and get me out of my head.

When the snow falls like this I go look for the horses. I want to see what those flakes look like as they settle on their warm backs, on their soft muzzles and furry ears. I trudge to the barnyard or to the fields and wait for them to spot me, watching as they move toward that figure in a knit cap and boots to her knees, an irregular dot on a landscape they know by heart.

I know what they want as they stick their noses in my pockets, sniff at my camera and fight for the first spot in line next to me. I know they want a scratch between their ears.

I know they want a bite of grain.

They know I can get it for them.

Our horses in the winter take on a completely different persona. The extra layer of fur they grow to protect them from the weather makes them appear less regal and more approachable.

Softer.

I like to take off my mitten and run my fingers through that wool, rubbing them down to the skin underneath where they keep the smell of clover and the warmth of the afternoon sun. I like to put my face up to their velvet noses and look into those eyes and wonder if they miss the green grass as much as I do.

On this snowy, gray, almost March afternoon the horses are my closest link to an inevitable summer that doesn’t seem so inevitable under this knit hat, under this colorless sky.

I lead them to the grain bin and open the door, shoveling out scoops of grain onto the frozen ground. They argue over whose pile is whose, nipping a bit and moving from spot to spot like a living carrousel. I talk to the them, “whoah boys, easy” and walk away from the herd with an extra scoop for the new bay, his head bobbing and snorting behind me.

In a month or so the ground will thaw and the fur on the back of these animals will let loose and shake off, revealing the slick and silky coat of chestnut, white, deep brown, gold and black underneath. We will brush them off, untangle their manes, check their feet and climb on their backs and those four legs will carry us over the hills and down in the draws and to the fields where we will watch for elk or deer or stray cattle as the sun sinks below the horizon.

I move my hand across the bay’s back, clearing away the snowflakes that have settled in his long hair and I rest my cheek there, breathing in the scent of hay and dust and warmer days.

He’s settled into chewing now, his head low and hovering above the pile of grain I placed before him. He’s calm and steady so I can linger there for a moment and wonder if he tastes summer in the grain the same way I smell it in his skin.

My farewell to winter is long, lingering and ceremonious.

But it has begun. At last, it has begun.

Seeing it all.

We’re finding our way to the end of January, and around these parts that’s a huge relief.  I’ve been keeping busy playing music, writing and eating carbohydrates, and after a Friday evening spent singing to a full house, I was thawing out and happy with the way life gives you gifts, like 40 degrees on a January weekend.

Funny how a little warm up can turn an attitude around. Suddenly I was in love with winter again and while Husband worked on hammering and nailing and putting up walls in our master bedroom, I worked on ways I could sneak out the door unnoticed.

Because I decided it was of utmost importance that I load up little Juno and give her a tour of her new home turf.

Because we needed to check on things, ensure the gears were grinding right, the snowbanks weren’t too deep and the view was still as beautiful.

We needed to make sure those weird clouds weren’t storm clouds above us.

We needed to introduce her to the horses.

We needed to play…

and run…

And do whatever Tucker was doing here…





That looked like fun.

See, around here, if we chose to look, we can see things like this every day.

And although winter gets long, it’s one of those seasons that changes the landscape constantly. And so I suppose I’ve made it my mission here to keep tabs on the way the horses grow beards to ward off the chill…

The way the clouds roll and shift and change directions and colors…

How the light hits the grass and makes it sparkle…

How the horses settle lethargically into a pile of grain…

and how their noses feel under our hands.

I watch it all because I don’t want to miss it.

Because I like the way a puppy kiss looks.


And the sound of snow melting under a blue sky.

And the tree rows planted all those years ago? I like that they’re scraggly but standing still under a slow to rise winter sun.


I like the idea that this all will be green again, but first it has to be blue and white and brown.

I like that I’m here for all of that changing.

And I like the feeling, that like Juno, I’m hearing it all, seeing it all, discovering it all for the first time…on a 40 degree weekend at the end of January.

To be a human in winter.


Mid January in Western North Dakota doesn’t have the best reputation. It’s indecisive. One day it’s a kind, 20 some degrees,


the next a bitter, chilling 20 below.


Then, just when you find peace with your wedgie-inducing long underwear, it decides to warm up  enough to melt the snow. “How nice!” you think to yourself as you get in your car to drive to town. “I think I could get used to this winter thing if it stayed like this…”

But you know better and you should have never taken off those long underwear, because as soon as you get far enough away from home that turning back wouldn’t make much of a difference, the wind picks up and drops the temperature enough to turn that once slushy highway into a long and lethal ice-skating rink where a constant stream of semis and oil tankers are your competition.

And you’re no Nancy Kerrigan.

Ah, shit. I admit, January and I are enemies. I try to stay positive, keep my guitar out and my snow-shoes and neck-warmer handy. I try to do some sledding or walking or make a snow angel or something…


but mostly I wind up in my sweatpants under the John Wayne blanket reading a book about someone near the ocean before I turn out the light for the night and prepare to tackle mid-winter in the morning.

White knuckle driving, the “arms-out, it’s icy out,” sidewalk shuffle, an intimate relationship with Henry, the morning weather man, phone calls to Pops and Momma and Husband and Little Sister and my friend down the road about whether or not to believe the storm report, feet shoved in slippers and then in boots and then in slippers and then under the covers, soup and coffee and tea and some sort of disgusting warmed up cold medicine because everyone’s sick around here….and a constant craving for pastries.

Yup, that’s January.

And although it comes every year, I’m always surprised how this month seems to suck the creative light right out of me and makes me question the practicality of packing up the pug and heading south.

But I’m not leaving.

Well, there’s the Vegas thing in February, but as of today, I’m planning on coming back. Because I’m here for the long haul, and the longest haul of them all just happens to be winter.

I was thinking this last night as I sat behind the wheel of my four-wheel-drive and turned up the volume on some melancholy music, singing along soulfully and feeling frigid and uninspired and hungry for carbohydrates. I put my foot lightly on the brake to navigate a snowy curve, when up ahead, about five mils from home along the side of the road I noticed a large, tall, dark figure moving slowly toward the white ditch.

I slowed down as a few hundred scenarios whipped through my mind as they do when you see something unexpected on a very familiar path…to big to be a deer…

A grizzly bear?

A tall, scary, insane hitchhiker?

Bigfoot?

An alien? Probably an alien.

No.

No.

No.

I pulled a little closer until the length of my headlights revealed the figure: two massive and stunning bull elk moving with ease and confidence across the road toward an oak filled coulee on the edge of the badlands.

I stopped in the middle of the road and looked around. Not much traffic meant I could relax and bask in this mysterious moment for a beat. And apparently those elk felt the same way, not the least bit intimidated by the flare of an oil well behind them casting light on their bodies and transforming them into beautiful silhouettes.

They stood still in that warm glow on a flat, snowy patch of ground and stared at the metal contraption lit up in front of them.

An alien.

I rolled down my window to hear them breathing, to hear their hooves squeak in the crust of the snow. As they moved along the highway I lightly pressed the gas pedal and moved with them, imagining I was on my way to the oak grove on the edge of the badlands, imagining my body was held up by a set of massive, hoof-clad legs.

Imagining my coat was thick and my head was held high and I could run like that.

Imagining I was one of them.

But people were made for houses I suppose. Houses and words and questions and the wisdom and thumbs to make wool caps to protect us from the cold.

And of all the qualities a glorious North Dakota elk possesses, I don’t imagine he can be inspired.

Although perhaps he is the definition of the word standing magnificently on a snowy flat, staring into my soul.

So I’ll take it. I’ll take the ice and the fur lined boots and the hot cup of coffee because being human on a cold January evening means the ability to become breathless and warmed clear through and falling in love, over and over again with our big, wide, white, frozen, wonderful world.

Life and Waffles

It’s not too often that the threat of a being snowed in at the ranch for a couple days doesn’t mess with a series of laid out plans to make the 30 miles drive to work, move some cows, see a concert, put on an event or catch a plane out of this arctic tundra.

For Little Sister the freezing rain and blowing snow turned a four and a half hour drive to the Black Hills in South Dakota into something more like ten.

For my parents on a mission to see Bruce Springsteen perform in Minneapolis last night, it meant leaving early and timing their departure so the storm followed them, ensuring they had a chance to miss the snow, but not The Boss.

There was no way they were missing The Boss.

For others it meant a day off work, a day in the ditch, or a night spent sleeping in a hotel room when all you really wanted was to be home with your family snuggled up on the couch with something cooking on the stove.

For us it meant lighting the fireplace, rounding up the power tools and getting some shit done around here.

But ever since the first snow flake fell a few weeks ago I’ve been starving. So in preparation for the storm and the scheduled house construction project I stopped by the grocery store on my way out of town on Thursday to stock up on the essentials I would need to finally make some of those mouth-watering recipes I’ve been scoping out on Pinterest since last December.

Because I had no weekend gambling or concert plans and I was alright with watching the storm settle in nicely over our little cabin in the oaks, as long as I had the necessary ingredients to feed us.

Because I’m starving.

So as the freezing rain coated my world with ice on Friday and dumped a pile of snow on the whole mess on Saturday morning, I pulled on my wool socks and rummaged around in my cupboards for the flour and sugar and other baking type things…because today was the day I was going to attempt these: Homemade cinnamon roll waffles

I’ve had my eye on these little breakfast shaped pieces of heaven since last winter’s recipe pinning marathon. So on Saturday, I was determined that they come to life in my kitchen.

Now, I have to tell you that I am not a cook. Or a baker. Or a domestic diva. But the thought of these waffles sitting on my breakfast table waiting for a hot, buttery cinnamon drizzle followed by a sweet and sugary cream cheese frosting must have provided me with a sort of Betty Crocker out-of-body-experience.

Nothing was going to stop me from serving these babies up hot to me and my Carpenter Cowboy–not an overflowing waffle iron, not a microwave butter explosion, not a kitchen prepped to be torn apart for the impending tile project and certainly not my lack of culinary skills. I was going to make these things.

From scratch.

And I was going to eat as many as I wanted.

Because it was a snow day and this is what you do on snow days.

And I was starving.

So I did. And I’m telling you here because I was so damn proud of myself, the same way I am when I manage to accomplish anything worth eating in the kitchen. And I was wishing someone, besides Husband, was snowed in in this house to help me eat them and tell me how ass-kickingly domestic I’ve become…because there is only so much cooking-compliment-fishing the man can handle, no matter how much he likes the waffles.

Because the man can make his own damn waffles, so he’s not that impressed.

But I was. So to go along with our crock pot roast dinner, I made this.

Hasselback Garlic Cheesy Bread

Yup.

Ok, so it doesn’t look as mouth-watering as the photo attached to the original recipe, but, c’mon, I made this from freakin’ scratch people. Me. I did that.

Home. Made. Bread.

And when I say homemade, I mean it. Yup, the successful homemade waffles gave me the little nudge of confidence necessary to tackle the things you need to make bread from scratch– like yeast and Husband’s Kitchenaid Mixer.

So as my dearly beloved braved the weather to work on shoveling and checking the horses and other man-type things, I was inside trying to figure out how the hell to use the mixer, waiting for the bread to rise, rolling it out, putting it on a pan and waiting for it to rise some more.  I concocted my own garlic butter, used that pastry brush thingy that I shoved in the back of my drawer and brushed the top of the loaves, baking them until they turned a perfect golden brown. And when Husband came in from the cold, there I stood covered in flour with hands on my hips, content and proud at my delicious accomplishment, wishing again, that someone else was there to taste it, because surely they wouldn’t believe me.

Or him.

I mean really, for all of the things my husband is to me, he seems to lacks the enthusiasm gene.

Anyway, the snow fell and the weekend moved from Saturday into Sunday and we worked on transforming this house into the home we dreamed of.

I stained doors and we put up the backsplash in the kitchen.


Husband made sawdust and I swept the floor,  poured us a couple cups of coffee and then a couple glasses of wine. I braved the weather to snap some photos and he laughed when I came in covered in snow with frozen fingers.

We didn’t look at the clock, we just paid attention to the way the light fought its way through the clouds and into the house that smelled like breakfast bacon and cedar.

I didn’t fix my hair or put on makeup and for two days the only other souls we encountered had four legs and fur and were sleeping on our floor.

This is the way I imagined our winters in this house. And it isn’t often that those imagined things play out the way you thought them up. Especially when it comes to cooking and home construction. And I don’t know why it happened to work out this particular weekend. I don’t know why I didn’t have plans to play music, or to catch a party or a concert or gamble down in Vegas, except that I didn’t.

And neither did Husband.

Because more than anything in the world I think the two of us, whether or not we will admit it, really only want to be here, eating each other’s cooking, cleaning up after one another, following our plans and building our life nail by nail, board by board and tile by tile.

From scratch.

Like the waffles, which turned out pretty good, against all odds.

Lonely weather

Today it’s gray. Today the snow that fell on Friday turned to fog then rain then ice then water and now to mud stuck to the bottom of my boots.

We made breakfast for an old friend who was passing through town. He spent the night on our couch and stood next to Husband at his usual place next to the windows, watching as a few deer came in to water at the dam.

He said he forgot how beautiful it can be out here when the snow falls. Our friend doesn’t come home much when it’s white like this. He sipped his coffee and laughed and talked about cattle and his little girl while Husband fried the bacon and I cracked eggs for omelets.

This house is not finished, the stairs have no treads, the trim is not up and the basement is nothing but dirt and chill, but we have served breakfast in this house four weekends in a row, ever since the sky decided to cool us down and get us sitting closer together, pulling on more sweaters and searching for our wool socks.

I put out the place mats and our white wedding dishes, the butter and some blackberry jam and thought it might be ok if we waited on hanging the closet doors for the day.

I brewed another pot of coffee and decided if I never get a beautiful staircase or a bedroom in the loft, at least I have this kitchen and my grandmother’s old table surrounded by windows looking out on a frozen world slowly thawing.

And so I suppose it’s winter now. The clocks have fallen back and it will get dark soon. Our friend started up his pickup and checked the road report before backing out of our muddy drive and pulling out of our lives and into his own. I feel sleepy and chilled and about as colorful as this landscape.

The winter makes me feel lonesome for something and I don’t understand it. But  it’s familiar and comforting and it’s alright.

The cold settles in and all of the reasons I wanted to be a tree or a bird or a wildflower in the summer melt away like a snowflake hitting my tongue and I just want to be me, in my kitchen, serving coffee,  putting off chores and thinking about dinner.

I just want to be me, looking out the window of this unfinished house, listening to the people I’ve loved for years talk about the weather and Husband’s perfect omelets.

Me.

A little bit lonely, a little bit cold with a little bit of time on a Sunday to be alright with a gray world just the way it is for now.

Love and weather.

Today Americans are talking about the weather as we watch the television report on an epic storm that is promising to roll in with a fury on the shores of the east coast.

Tucked safely in the middle of the country under gray skies we spent our weekend watching the snow fall outside our windows. It was the first significant dusting we’ve seen since it melted off the earth last spring, fulfilling a promise of warmer weather like it does year after year. And so here we are staring another winter right between the eyes, wondering how we’re going to fare, wondering if the snow will pile high, wondering if it will be bearable.

There are times during the cold seasons I ask myself why I didn’t chose to live in a climate that promises endless 70 degree days. There are places like this, I’ve heard about them.

A lot of people in short-sleeved-shirts play tennis and golf and watch baseball there.

I contemplate this when I’m scraping ice off the windshield or half of the muddy yard off the bottom of my boots. I think about California when I’m leaning against a strong 30 mph winds or helping to shovel a stuck 4-wheel-drive out of a snow bank in the middle of a blizzard.

Yes, there are times I wonder why I tolerate such weather, but it’s never the day the first snow comes.

Because no matter how old I get or how many season changes I’ve lived through, there is still something oddly peaceful and calming about the first flakes drifting quietly from a gray sky, finding their way to the ground and turning the landscape from brown to white.

I feel the same way every year. It was no different on Saturday when I opened my eyes and looked out the window of the bedroom to find the ground covered in white. I woke husband and we just laid there on our stomachs, heads resting on our hands as we stared out the window and watched little birds hop from branch to branch, sending the fluff flying off the brown leaves and finally down to the ground.  We turned over and pulled the covers up to our chins, snuggling down against the chill in the house, the arrival of the snow suddenly making us feel less guilty about our desire to stay in bed a bit longer to recover from our 2 am arrival home that morning after my CD release party.

The gray and white weekend stretched over us like that blanket, laying heavy and soft on our bodies and welcoming us to sit close, make breakfast, drink coffee into the afternoon and keep the animals inside and at our feet.

In my life I have welcomed many first snows with this man, in different houses in various stages of our relationship. It’s a familiar feeling standing next to him in my wool socks as I press my nose to the window and he crosses his arms and leans back on his heels. We say the same things– we say it feels like Montana or Christmas. We wonder how long it will last, we talk about the chores we need to get done, we negotiate the movie we’ll watch.

We make soup.

And pretzels.

I snap a photo, not so much a documentation, but a ritual I’ve developed at the first sign of winter, as if capturing the change in weather will make the feeling stay.

In three months I will be thoroughly chilled. In three months I will have worn out my turtle necks, lost my left mitten and all evidence of ever having seen the sun and given up on the prayer of squeezing into my skinny jeans.

And today the snow that coated the ground this weekend has warmed up and turned the once frozen dirt to mud beneath my feet.

But this weekend I spent the first snow of the year with my first love. Standing next to him in the house we’re building watching the first flakes fall it occurred to me that in so many ways waking up next to this man is like waking up to the fresh and falling snow every morning–full of promise and quiet comfort, familiarity, fresh starts and wonder.

I may tire of this snow and the way it lays heavy on the frozen earth for months, but I have not grown tired of this man laying next to me, weaving his fingers in mine. I will never tire of his coffee, the dumplings he makes for his soup or the scruff of his beard grown in after a weekend without shaving.

California might have the sun and the waves of the ocean, but it does not have the snow.

It does not have the snow or the man I love standing next to the window in his bare feet watching it fall.