Put Another Log on the Fire!

I don’t know when I’ve been so cold. My fingers seem to be extensions of  a wooden marionette’s hands, but the person pulling the strings is somewhat handicapped. Mittens or gloves won’t solve this problem. I need a hot tub or a bath. If the fixtures are within toe-reach,  I can put my wasteful water, environmental reservations on the back burner and keep the hot water coming.

That said, guilt is never far away. Although Custer County is 103 % of average snowfall to date and our heaviest snow falls in March and April, we have nothing to crow about. The monsoons missed us this past fall, so in terms of water retention, we are behind the curve and not likely to catch up. Global warming is alive and on-going in Southeast Colorado.


High wide and lonesome. The towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff off to the left.

The temperature was zero again this morning. Situated at 8,000 feet and caught on the Valley floor between the Wet Mountains to the east and the Sangre de Christos to the west, the cold settles on the terrain like a rain-soaked, frozen tarp.

You might know the Gustav Holst hymn, “In the Bleak Mid-Winter.” Based on a poem written by Christina Rossetti in 1872, the words are: In the bleak mid-winter, / Frosty wind made moan; / Earth stood still as iron, / Water like a stone; / Snow had fallen, snow on snow, / Snow on snow, in the bleak of winter long ago. How perfect: The frosty wind made moan. The wind moans and gusts. It’s the 40-50 mph gusts that get you.


Last evening I took some photos – hoping to catch the grim, overcast cold. This works.

It snowed here weeks ago, and still the snow stands. It refuses to melt or drift away. If you didn’t know better, you might think that the snow is white stucco. As for the ice, it is treacherous. No one walks in a straight line. Rather, hoping not to slip, we weave from bare ground to bare ground. Having reached the age of broken knees and hips, I move with the caution of an older woman. Not that I am an older woman, but I move with the caution of an older woman. (Bare-faced self-delusion.)

Reminiscing, I think of my youth in Upstate New York where the snow is commonly several feet high throughout a never-ending winter. Sledding, tobogganing and ice skating (unattended after school on farm ponds) ruled our days. I do not remember being cold. I do remember stashing my winter coat along side of the road before getting on the bus. The cool kids did not wear coats. Not that I was a cool kid, but I dressed the part.


Now I’m cold all the time. What has changed? Is it my metabolism? And to think, in my youth, we used to laugh at all the oldsters who went to Florida or Arizona in the winter. We thought them weak  – not deserving of living Upstate and braving the winter where men were men and women were just as tough if not tougher.

I think I’m through pretending to be tough. No body cares. Least of all me. I think I’m a lot like an old cat. Curled up by a blazing fire, the flames licking the glass and the cast-iron kettle steaming on top of the stove. My claws only come out when provoked, but aside from national politics, little provokes me. I’m in the zone. I read; I write; I feed the birds; I look forward to gardening in the spring.

Sitting two feet from the woodstove, I might as well be in Florida or Arizona.

20201jax sunray

I will close with a photo of Jackson, my newest grandson. Untended for the moment, he has taken his blanket and with his feet up on the  fireplace, he has curled up in a patch of sunlight. That could be me!

The apple never falls far from the tree.

                2019 12 pops & jax




About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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7 Responses to Put Another Log on the Fire!

  1. Caroline Vornberg says:

    Too sweet and funny! Loved it! Stsy in front of the fire !!

  2. Caroline Vornberg says:

    STAY!!! Where’s auto correct when you need it?

    • timeout2 says:

      I have to laugh. Stsy or Stay? Who’s to say? I like to think that I’m multi-lingual and every once in a while, I flaunt my fluency and use a foreign word or phrase. Thank you for reading, Caroline.

  3. H Brent Bruser says:

    Very nice. Just read this to Bar as we drive theCoast highway at Big Sur

    Sent from my iPhone


    • timeout2 says:

      Dear Brent, How dare you! When I’m frozen solid in Westcliffe, you have the audacity to write that you are driving south along the California Coast! Last spring Bar mindlessly sent pictures of Wally lying in a bed of spring flowers, and I (at that point still landlocked in ice) told her to keep her pleasures to herself. The same goes for you. I think that jealously is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. If one of you isn’t leading me astray, the other is. (Have a great trip!)

  4. Inge Munden says:

    Commiserating in front of the fire where there is light and warmth! Outside – not so much!
    Love your blog and always grateful you share it with us!

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