awaiting snow quiet

Yesterday my flight to Albuquerque was to arrive eight hours ahead of my friend’s flight. She still works; I don’t. So she was to work a full day. Plus, Delta Airlines had some months ago changed my flight departure to three hours earlier than what I had booked. I knew I would have time to wait.

View above Tuscaloosa, Alabama

So I made arrangements to meet a long-time, dear friend for lunch in Santa Fe. We would each travel about an hour to Santa Fe to meet. I was so looking forward to seeing her. It had been a number of years since we last enjoyed each other’s company.

It was not to be. Not long after I landed, she called. There was a blizzard in Santa Fe and it was not safe for me to drive up to the higher elevation of Santa Fe. She wasn’t sure that she could get back home. It was a huge disappointment for each of us.

Now what? I clearly had a lot of time on my hands. I decided to drive north toward Santa Fe just to see some snow. I got about fifteen miles up the interstate before I turned back.

Bernalillo, NM

With around seven hours to wait for my friend, I shopped a bit, had coffee at Starbucks. Twice. Freddy’s for custard – until it was too dark for me to be out and about. Instead, I stayed nearby the airport.

Then my friend’s plane was delayed. And delayed again. Then it tried to taxi away from the gate, but it ran out of power and was towed back to the gate. I was now in the airport cell phone lot awaiting updates; running my engine off and on to keep warm. I conversed all the while with my sister. She was good company, especially during the time it looked like the flight would be canceled. Eventually an airplane jumpstart battery was ferried to the gate. That did it!

Last ditch effort to jump-start the engine.

Two hours later she landed. My wait had lasted ten hours! It was worth it because now two best friends could begin to enjoy quiet snow time. A quick trip to the hotel, and an even quicker trip to sleep. A new day was soon to begin.

Hotel Andaluz

A snow-quiet day awaited.

high country quiet

I’m headed to a quiet place. Northern New Mexico. Taos, to be specific. Less than 6,000 people call this home, making it more town than city.

Nestled beneath the Sangre de Christo mountains, it is a quiet place. Winter makes it all the more so by a covering of snow. We are anticipating several snow-days. Shh…

There’s a scientific reason for the snow quiet. Snow is made of ice crystals, which have space between them. These open spaces absorb sound waves, creating that serene quiet that happens right after a snowstorm.

When the author and poet, May Sarton, visited New Mexico for the first time, she described the high plateau of northern New Mexico, as leopard land. “I saw it first in December, 1940, the high plateau among the red and purple mountains, the foothills covered with piñons, tawny earth dotted with these small dark pines so it looked like a leopard skin–the leopard land.” I’ve always liked thinking about this description.

Departing in the rain, by the time I arrive in Albuquerque, those rain drops will be replaced by snow drops

The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, its white
rhertoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
The silence
is immense,
and the heavens still hold
a million candles; nowhere
the familiar things:
stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect
and nightly turn from. Trees
flitters like castles
of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain — not a singled
answer has been found —
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one. First Snow,
Mary Oliver

Grab your hat and gloves, and come along. Traveling mercies.

solo return

Tuesday night I returned from my Seattle Christmas journey. This trip was not what I expected, but it was what I was given. Courage, grace, and love.

I arrived in Seattle to an icy and ice-covered city. People were walking in the middle of streets because the sidewalks were covered by ice.

The minute I walked into my son and his family’s home, I was wrapped in Christmas joy. In the meantime Evan was wrapping pipes, checking friends’ homes, and making sure the water system provided at least a low level of operation.

Not to mention keeping the home warm-ish.

Christmas Eve we live- streamed the church service from St. Mark’s Cathedral. Service programs were printed and we five attended church on the big screen, from the couch. We sang hymns and prayed prayers as we gathered in community.

Four days of festive meals, gifting, story-telling and laughter.

A field trip to visit the newly remodeled Adobe company headquarters for play and awe.

An unexpected twist in travel, we all rose to the occasion, embracing each other in the midst.

Special Sunshine Crepe to send me on my journey home

Hartsfield-Jackson airport was all decked out as I landed.

Two hours later, as we turned into the driveway…..a gift from my next door neighbor.

Traveling Mercies, indeed.

sleigh ride update

The winter storm came through Lakemont and caused enough concern for things at home, that a difficult conversation was in order and a hard choice to be made. In the end, only one of us took the sleigh to Seattle.

He stayed behind in order to take care of our home, and the homes of neighbors as well. Glory was retrieved from her lodging, and the two of them settled in for a deep freeze and night winds.

Warmth by the wood stove is key when hunkering down.

At the time my flight took off, Seattle’s airport had just re-opened. The storm had shut it down completely. That introduced uncertainty. Well, nothing I could do about the ability to land in five hours. I did wonder, though, where I might end up if Seattle closed again.

Best to sit back and enjoy my meal. And chat with a seat mate who unexpectedly had found an available seat for a flight home.

The scenes 34,000’ below were filled with wonder. My phone reported -56 degrees outside.

Wynne, Arkansas. Northwest of Memphis.
Veteran’s Memorial Lake, near Arkansas, Kansas
Salida, Colorado
South of Denver International Airport

The remarkable thing in the midst of country-wide air travel delays and cancellations, is that my flight departed and arrived, on time. Safely.

Scenes from the drive to my Seattle family’s home.

Home away from home.

Christmas Eve Blessings.

riding on santa’s sleigh

I’m catching a ride on the sleigh tomorrow, as Santa heads to the North Pole for his big ride. I’ll drop off in Seattle for my Christmas celebration.

Annual Christmas light show, Tiger, GA

Do you remember believing? I surely do, especially after my mom read me the “Dear Virginia” letter. I had wavered a bit, but that letter brought me back. I was certain it had been written just to me.

I’ve since been through the times my own children and grandchildren had their time of believing. Magical and mystical times. Believing in someone unseen – if you dismiss department store and Salvation Army individuals wearing red hats and jingling bells.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Believing in someone you can’t actually see.

We are headed to Seattle to spend Christmas with our Seattle son and his precious family. The massive storm across the country doesn’t make things easy or convenient. So many will have their plans disrupted. I selfishly hope I’m not among them.

Glory has already traveled to her Christmas lodging at the vet’s cat lodge.

In anticipation of iced-over roads up here in the mountains, chains are on the tires, awaiting a 5:00am departure to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport.

Come along. Traveling mercies.

one hour

While I’ve been in Arizona, I’ve gotten up each morning to see the sunrise. Before I go to bed I check to see what time the sun will rise the next morning. I set an alarm so as not to miss. I’m blown away by the sun rises and sun sets here in Arizona.

Today I roused my reluctant sister to “rise and shine”, because the sun surely intended to do so.

We drove off at 6:45am, just enough time to get to our viewing destination and watch for the beauty to come.

For the next half-hour I stood outside the car and watched with awe and glee.

Good morning God,
This is your day,
I am your child
Please show me your way.

Next stop – Starbucks.

Pajama day at Starbucks

Waiting for my order, I struck up a conversation with a young woman who was wearing an E R jacket, and scrubs with her name followed by RN, BSN. Since I have a granddaughter who is also an E R nurse with those same initials, I struck up a conversation with her. She told me to honor my granddaughter as the work she does is hard, tough. I assured her I do!

We drifted apart as we waited for our orders. I grabbed a gift card and loaded it. I walked over to her and told her how I manage Starbucks cards for my four grandkids, especially “my” nurse. I handed the just-loaded card to her.

With smiles and hugs, we gathered our drinks and went on our way.

7:45. ONE hour. Awe and joy.

“Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”
~Immanuel Kant,


I am surrounded in this place by my Arizona family. I’m blessed that so many family members live here, and even more importantly, want to be with me when I’m in town.

I have a home with my sister while I’m here. She’s willing to get up early to drive me to the Sunrise,…

even when chased by a street cleaner while I have wondered off, astounded by the view.

Two days ago we drove south to Tucson where my brother and his family live. The two of us always choose the “back way”. No interstate, just two lanes, and views!

We hung out at all afternoon with my brother and sister-in-law in their beautiful place at the base of the Catalina mountains, gazing skyward toward the light show.

Sun Dog, parhelion

On the way to dinner we had quite a sky show.

Dinner for 10!

El Minuto Cafe

My sister and I stayed nearby and my early morning walk rewarded me with an Arizona sky to begin the day.

Tucson at dawn

After breakfast my sister and I headed back north. We had the luxury of time to wander. Time to repeatedly stop for a short walk, or to just gaze while inhaling the perfect crispness of desert air in November.


My Phoenix nephew and his wife joined us for dinner upon our return. After dinner, “…day was done, gone the sun”.

Today, even more family. A favorite cousin and some of her kids and grandkids live here, so five of us gathered for a lunch of tacos and conversation. It was so joyous to reunite, and it may be that I’ll start coming more often for the conversations like we enjoyed over lunch.

Another sunset view to close this delightfully delicious day.

“We grow accustomed to the Dark –
When light is put away –“. Emily Dickinson, We grow accustomed to the Dark


I’m home from my recent travel to Texas. Visits with my sons in the past ten days have brought the feeling of cherish to light in my heart. Being in their presence reminded me that I don’t just love them, I cherish them.


Of course I cherish many more than my two sons. They were just the conduit for my heart to open wide enough to recognize cherish.

I’ve been thinking about cherish now that it popped into my heart and reminded me of the feeling. I know in my heart that cherish is a special love and care for someone. I just haven’t known it out loud.

Cherish is also to care for tenderly. And oh how I do so for my “formerly wild” kitty, Glory.

I looked to scripture today to see if I might glean something deeper about cherish.

“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands”. Isaiah 49:16. Oh, isn’t that lovely? How could one not feel cherished?

In Jeremiah we hear, “The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness.” Loving kindness. Cherish.

So what to make of this afternoon’s contemplation?

I’ve certainly deepened my sense of being cherished by God.

And, too, I want – and intend – to develop the habit of telling those whom I cherish, I cherish YOU.

i’m on a roll

I’m traveling once again.

This past weekend one of my sons came for a visit. Today I’m going to visit my other son. I’ll have seen both of my sons within just days of each other. Lots of joy for me.

Looks like a good day to take a seat in my chair in the sky.

“I’m travellin’ light…”

Just now in my head I heard Brandi Carlile singing “I’m travellin’ light”, a Dirks Bentley song. Today I am travellin’ light, ready to soar once again.

A small send off from “my club”.
Adding some zip in my oldering body for navigating ATL

Come along!

Traveling mercies.

off campus activity

After my visit with my granddaughter, I went on a road trip with my best friend. We journeyed to Bastrop, Texas, a small town surrounded by The Lost Pine Forest. If I understand it correctly, the Loblolly Pines around Bastrop were once a part of a much larger community of loblolly pines. The lost pines were separated during a possible geological event, such as a moving glacier, from their East Texas cousins about 80 miles to the east.

I’m not actually certain we saw any loblolly pines. I just felt the need to understand the loblolly pine forest history a bit, given it’s central to the description of Bastrop.

We filled up at Perico’s Mexican Cafe for the 2 1/2 hour drive west, northwest.

Driving west out of Houston we gradually gained some beauty with the skies growing blue, and the grass taking on shades of green.

Colorado River

Turning north we arrived in time for sunset.

The reason for the journey was because my friend was the preacher and celebrant for Sunday services at Calvary Episcopal Church in Bastrop.

It’s such a beautiful church…

…with such a warm welcome.

The music and worship were exquisite…and of course the sermon was off the chart!

The reverse slog home was pretty much that – a slog. We had beautiful scenes at the start of the drive to send us on our way.

Sunset tonight as we each pack up for separate travel early tomorrow morning.

Traveling mercies.