Friday, February 25, 2011

Daydream Nonbeliever

All the snow-bunnies in central Oregon are hopping with delight at the latest snow, so I figured if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It was either that or spend another afternoon inside. Dislike of cabin fever won and inspired by the sun poking out from the clouds, I hauled out my snowshoes and headed for the forest out the back gate of the ranch.

It's been a couple of years since my last jaunt out there. For some reason, last year's snowshoeing just didn't happen until well into March, and then it was one afternoon's worth at much higher elevation than our own forest. After today, I'm going to head out on a regular basis. Really. I am.

There's something about having the forest all to yourself. The first quarter mile or so was all untracked, soft powder. About then I realized that my aerobic fitness is, well, bad. Have you ever felt your heart beating so hard it makes your ears pound? I wondered if this was a silly idea, but my heart soon settled down and the regular stops I made were nice for appreciating the all-aroundness of the trees.

It was also fun for setting up my camera for some timer shots. Goddy gave me one of those gorilla-pod things a couple of years ago and its very handy for hanging the camera from a tree. Though I do like the challenge of setting up a shot using a 'natural' tripod. Sticks, logs, big rocks and the hood of the car have all come in handy.

So much easier to hang the gizmo from a tree than try to arrange it on a snowy stump.

I noticed things that I've ridden past many times. These tree whatevers blend in when the snow is gone. Today they yoo-hooed as I plodded along.

Getting into a rhythm, I found myself daydreaming about things such as sleeping on the deck in the summer (not that we've ever done that, but on this cold, snowy day it had a certain appeal.) I thought about the fun times we're going to have with the family this summer and imagined our house full of laughter and games. In my daydreams we were all wearing strappy sun dresses or shorts.

Reality check!

And then my imagination took a bizarre twist. It played a little scene where a power line came down in the pens where my horses live and they were all electrocuted. Where in the heck did that come from? As I came to out of the daydream and looked at the snowy serenity all around, I realized I hadn't done this for quite some time. For me, this mind game is normal and happens when its just me and the wide open spaces. It comes from a place in my head that lets these wild imaginings happen, that lets me feel the emotion of it because the reality is that I'm safe and loved. In my imagination, I've escaped bear attacks, planned funerals, entertained mega-stars and been lowered off a cliff in a stretcher. Oh, wait. That last one really happened.

Wild imaginings notwithstanding, a walk in the woods is a grand way to spend an afternoon. Especially since the weather didn't look too promising for the next day...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Expanding Heart

Looking forward to the day when we can have Grandkid Camp at the ranch

Yesterday Goddy and I were discussing the phenomenon of bonding with grandchildren, the way the heart creates a new room for each precious life. We both felt tears prickling the first time we've held our granddaughters. 

We've been spending time this weekend with Evan and Crystal and Piper. She's seven weeks old and this is our first opportunity to hold her, so we're taking advantage of E & C's confidence and have kicked them out the door a couple of times so we can have sole charge of Piper. Funny how after just a few weeks the parents grab any opportunity to flee! 

They're working on figuring out a routine for Piper which I'm sure doesn't involve sleeping for hours in the arms of a doting grown-up. But such is the joy of being the old folks. You can bend the rules to fit. And we promise to keep candy to a minimum and only dole out cookies made with organic whole wheat flour, non-GMO sugar and real butter.

We all love having a great-grandmother around!

This is going to be an interesting journey. And one of the side roads will be observing the ways the grandkids display "family" traits even though they come from very different families. This is the joy of being paired with the present day patriarch  of the Godsiff family. 
Stripes and plaid - a meshing of culture or just what happened to be in the closet?
Having time to sit with our daughters-in-law and hear stories of their childhoods, and then listening to the girls' parents talk about their lives is creating a mosaic of lovely colors and background. The grandchildren give it its sparkle and glow.

 And my heart just keeps on making space for it all.