It is cold in the basement.
The damp air smells of seventy year old digging, wet with the years of rain seeping under the shorter-than-should-be door that opens the packed mud entry.
I wondered about that entry as I headed down the deck stairs and wound around and under the deck braces until I could duck my head through the midget door. The area is about five feet long. One side holds two makeshift, wooden, whitewashed shelves, added long after the room came to be. Over the last weeks I have piled those little shelves with the stuff of homemaking…paintbrushes and trays, screwdrivers and mollies, small piles of sandpaper and containers of screws. The other side of the entry is a short cement wall that grows with each step until it meets up with almost-normal-height basement door. It’s an odd little place, hard to maneuver and harder to understand. Its almost as though the builder More >
In the city early mornings are loud.
Garbage trucks beat the traffic in the predawn hours and then commuters barrage the streets with a cacophony of engine and muffler tones. Trains slow and stop in the city limits, picking up product and person before they rumble off under the sound of a mournful wailing complaint.
The dogs are confused. Trading the sound of an eagle’s call for a firetruck’s siren was not in their plan. They raise noses and ears to the city life, first barking, then howling before they seek refuge inside where the noise is muffled. They trot to their beds and drop a sigh as they drop their bodies on the soft pillow. They are just not sure how to act.
I am not sure either.
Mountain quiet is a memory now. In its place is city sound, with all its bustling and running and push and panic. My heart, used to the tender beat of the sunrise, pounded with the rush of More >
The floors have that worn out comfortable feeling. Ancient hard wood, they are red around the edges and sort of a dirty brown grey in high traffic areas. If one were to look at them in comparison with the new, they would look worthless. However, in their circumstance, they fit beautifully.
The house is old. Really old.
It was built sometime in the 1940’s. It is drafty. The hallway is wide and the doors are narrow. The kitchen cabinets are thin and the stove doesn’t belong, for it was not in the original kitchen plan. It sits sort of in the middle of the room, conspicuous and out of sorts for its surroundings.
The laundry is huge, but the hall bathroom shower is miniscule. There is an upstairs, but there are no stairs to climb to it. There are two windows missing, but he gates are all in great working order and complete the six foot fence.
We painted. Or I should say Patty More >
It was icy wind. The kind that cuts through small openings in leather jackets and slices the skin. It circled my hair and slid its cold down my back before exiting and cutting through my sweater and reminding me that winter is indeed here.
I stood there on my flat rock, staring at the stars before turning around to see the tree twinkling through the livingroom window. The specks of white light laying among the furry branches reminded me that the holiday will soon come…and go.
It has been a year since I came here. I closed my eyes against the wind’s attack and pulled my coat tight around me. Memories of January past flitted across my mind. Broken, lonely and unsure of my heart, I had moved into this place of refuge. Its stunningly beautiful here. The house glorious in its own right, sits among some of the prettiest mountains in Northern California. Sugar pines tower over More >
The seasons are changing.
The morning cold accosts my senses. My skin prickles and my bones involuntarily brace themselves. It forces them to stand at attention, to barrage themselves against the assault of discomfort. I hate being cold.
The days still give me a reprieve, warming me with simple sunshine that tells me Winter has not descended just yet. But then the evening comes, earlier and earlier, as if to say, ‘batten down, girl. It won’t be long now.’ I grieve this last Summer anew with each hurried sunset.
I stood on my deck thinking it was much later than it was. Somehow I lost Summer entirely this year. The early dusk fooled me into thinking I had been studying much longer than I had. I answered a text thinking someone was finishing their day only to notice the early hour and wonder again how I could have walked past all those long days of summer only to find Fall More >