A Winter Walk…

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It has been a true winter wonderland around here lately. Lots of fog and warm temperatures have coated everything in frost.

And then it rained. And froze immediately on the ground, so now this place looks like Ice World on the Super Mario Brothers III game and the animals and me took a slippery stroll through it all, because who could stay inside on days like these?

Not me. And you shouldn’t either.

So welcome to your Wednesday Walk…

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Winter Wonderland (Prize Alert!)

I’m happy to report that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here, and it isn’t just the giant, ten foot tall, six foot wide Christmas tree standing in the middle of the construction zone that is my home!

Nope, it’s because it has been a frosty winter wonderland for the past few weeks, bringing with it some sparky trees and fluffy soft snow.

I just love the way our world looks coated in a little frosting.

It almost makes me forget about the sub-zero temperatures and icy roads it produces. I mean, those elements are quite forgivable when they create for you a postcard worthy world.

Today the sun is shining and the frost has melted off the trees, but I spent a few moments this week trudging through the snow to capture those magical moments when things are sparkly and fresh so I could share them with you.

Because I think this is the way Christmas is supposed to look.

Now all we need is a one horse open sleigh to put these lazy, fluffy and hay fed horses to work!

In the spirit of the season I’d like to invite you to share with me your favorite winter photo from wherever you are. Post to my Facebook page, Husband and I will chose our favorite and you will win a signed copy of my new album “Nothing’s Forever” and a matted photo of one of my favorite snowy scenes.

I’ll pick the winner on Sunday (because I love Sundays) so share away! I can’t wait to see your world!

Merry Almost Christmas!

I wish you were here with us to make snow angles and frost sugar cookies.

Love, peace and snowmen.

Jessie

Magic frost…

A glorious weekend settled in here at the ranch, confirming my theory that  everything’s better with frosting. So it was my delight to wake up and find that on Saturday morning  everything was frosted.

Finally.


This is my favorite winter weather phenomenon, but with the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve been enjoying I haven’t seen much of it lately.  So on Saturday I couldn’t wait to get out in it. I was like a kid on Christmas, hurrying up with my chores, eating my breakfast fast, chugging down my coffee and changing out of my stretchy pants as soon as I jumped out of bed…all very unlikely activities for a lazy Saturday woman like me.

But I couldn’t help it, I went to bed in a land of gold and brown and woke up to a winter wonderland outside my window.

So I had to get out there and become that kid in the beanie with the ball on the top that you see in those classic winter paintings in museums. I felt like that kid. I looked like that kid.

I was that kid.

So I had to get a little closer, to touch it, notice its sparkle, to exist in it…

kick it off of the grass, let it fall on my head, get down close,

brush it off of the horses’ backs, see it on the cat’s whiskers,

the dogs’ noses.

Oh, it’s amazing what a little coating of white can do to a landscape. It turns an ordinary scene into a winter fairytale. It puts a little magic in the old red barn,

softening its rusty nails

and stray wires.

The old boards and windows welcome those out in this fog to peek in and explore…

come in and stay warm.

And the landscape turns mysterious as I climb to the top of the nearest hill to catch a glimpse of our new world, only to be welcomed with a limited view.

A view that turns me curious and sends me over the next hill and then the next to see what might be there…as if overnight, given the dark and the fog, the rocks took their chance to move and switch places,

the trees held hands and grew taller,

the dry brown flowers bloomed,

and the wire fences repaired themselves.

I couldn’t help it, I kept walking, because anything is possible in this kind of quiet, in this kind of weather. It’s a new season! And it could last for weeks, for days, or only a few hours. So I couldn’t wait. I needed to see what the bittersweet looked like coated in white…

And if the bull berries looked just as delicious…

And as I walked along the pink road that gently rolled into the low hanging cloud I was living under I held my breath and disappeared into the quiet calm.

With frost hanging on my eyelashes, coating the hair that had escaped from my wool cap, I let out a sigh and wished, just for a moment, that the sun would wait…

Because there was so much more to see over that hill, so much quiet to take in, so many ordinary things wearing new clothes and looking fabulous…and I wanted to stay out there and forever live in that painting.

A painting that with the warmth of the sun,

was sure to sparkle and shine, a contrast of vibrant blue and white and beautiful…

only to melt away,

leaving us waiting for winter’s the next inspiration…

Where are the words for this?

You know that saying,  “When it rains it pours?” Or how about the other one, “Bad things happen in threes?” I’ve used these before to describe overwhelming events in people’s lives and in my own. I have said these phrases out loud to declare war on an unpredictable life, to show my exasperation at a world that sometimes just keeps piling on the crap…and then held my breath and watched my back for the next small catastrophe, because that’s life sometimes, you know?

But as I mill around my little home this morning, shuffling through the kitchen in my furry boots and pajama pants, listening to the pug snore and my husband’s breath move in an out as he lay, still sleeping, in the bedroom just a few steps away, in the calm of the morning of what is probably going to go down in my book as one of the bigger, most exciting days of our lives, the day our house gets set on its foundation, I am finding myself overwhelmed…but in the best way possible.

Part of our new house waits to be put on the foundation...

And do you know what’s even better? Just thirty miles away in my hometown, I imagine my big sister is having the same sort of feelings (or at least she will be when she wakes up this morning). Because today she and her husband and Little Man are going to be meeting their brand new home too…and moving in!

And just a little further east, oh, about 370 miles, my little sister is having her own moment as she prepares to welcome friends and family to her neck of the woods to celebrate four and a half years of hard work and studying and how it has paid off. Yup, she’s graduating from COLLEGE tomorrow! And I can’t wait to give her a big hug of congratulations and toast her efforts.

We have much to toast about.

But oh, it’s been a crazy week here of preparing and running and signing paperwork and getting everything in order and calling in the neighbors and family and friends to help us hammer and nail and prepare the foundation in the middle of a frozen winter and on into the night.

Husband has been dangling off of ladders busting out his “on a mission” face.

And down the road my big sister has been packing up all of Little Man’s toys and cups and putting her shoe collection in boxes, eager to finally have a larger countertop and a few more cupboards and floor space for Little Man to crawl around on.

In Fargo, Little Sister has been planning the rest of her life while planning her party and eagerly calling the ranch to check in on her mother who, in the middle of all of this, is armpit-deep in her first Christmas rush as a new retail store owner, and she’s doing great.

And Pops? Well, as a married father of three girls he’s had some practice with matters like these.  When the women in his life are reaching as far as they can reach, he makes sure he’s there too, to help give them a boost and let them step on his knee if they need to.

Yes, in the days leading up to a holiday that will find my big sister settled into her new home, my little sister a career woman, my mother with a glass of wine to toast the end of the rush and my pops leaned back in his easy chair, outside a quiet frost has been hanging over the ranch for days. It has been coating the fences and buildings and oak trees in a white sparkle, as if it is setting the stage, painting the landscape for a perfect photograph of a Christmas gift delivered to us today…


And in all of the hustle and bustle it is all I can do to not stop and lay down in its sparkle, to shake the branches and watch the frost fly, to take a quiet walk through the hills to really appreciate this mid-December weather that has held on for us to get the last-minute details done.

So as the sun is making its way up the horizon line, husband is awake now and working his way out the door, bundling up and loading tools in his pickup for a trip over the hill. Little Man is probably waking Big Sister with a giggle, Little Sister is brewing the coffee and Momma and Pops are loading up the car to go see her and celebrate. I will be on the road soon to do the same.

But right now today is the day.

Today is the day.

Because yes, life has a way of piling it on indeed, but sometimes it does so in a the best way possible.

And what do we say when that happens? Where are the words written for when dreams are coming true? Where is the phrase we use to declare our overwhelming excitement and happiness?

Where are the words for that?