Thank You

To all you who responded to my Hole in the Floor post, I want you to know your comments and support are very helpful, and you are all appreciated. I am not alone, as I’ve recently heard, 3/4 of Bend’s homes have some snow/ice dam damage.  There are many in the same situation that I’m in.

Most of you asked about my next move.  I did put money down on a small house in Bend’s east side that I was pretty excited about – was being the operative word in this case.  I’m not sure now.  There’s one training certificate related to my pending loan that needs a signature – which has been refused.  The only thing I can do is keep the faith and know things will all work out for everyone’s very best.

What was, isn’t any more:

Several evenings ago the sky was red with flashing lights from emergency vehicles.  The home two houses up from me was on fire and flames rising high into the sky.  The damages to the home are sizable but repairable.  Then “bam,” the house next to the burned house had a major explosion resulting in, apparent, substantial damage. What happened to Skyline Dr. and its back-road quietude?  I feel deeply for the neighbors and their losses.  This week has made up for many years of relatively uneventful living in the mountains.

Even though as I write it’s cold, snowing, and blowing like crazy, I’m imagining warmth and some comfort ahead. My love to all.

The first this spring.
Late Summer

Fort Snow

If you’ve ever been to Fort Rock in the Central Oregon Desert, you’ll remember that it is formed of jagged lava rock that has taken the shape of a crescent.  It’s dry and desolate, to me.  So now, I seem to be existing in a near replica which I have named Fort Snow.  (Not dry but maybe a little desolate.) The photos attached will tell you the story of the enormous snow load I am dealing with and some of the havoc it has raised. The inside has some significant damage caused by snow melt that crept silently down beams, under flooring, and into the main crawl space under the kitchen .  It’s not the end of the world, but just one more thing to deal with as I pack to move and try to find a place to live.  What a time for Bend to come up with an unprecedented snow dump.

Here’s the story behind my pictorial essay: lots of snow, piles so high I don’t have to think about anyone looking in my windows – or me looking out, tractor heading down towards my front door, Fort Snow forming, dogs going crazy with fun, and at last a fond farewell to my 1990 Subaru Legacy.  She’s off to become a KLCC radio program.

Out my front window.  Huge chunks from ice dams, too heavy to lift.
Out my front window. Huge chunks from ice dams, too heavy to lift.
Saving the roof, Josh was careful with the roof - did a great job.
Saving the roof, Josh and Richard were so  careful with the roof – did a great job.
I can still see the roof…but not much else.

By the way, it’s my 78th birthday, and I so appreciate the many, many birthday wishes that showed up on m Facebook page this morning.  I really needed that kind of support today, and it helped me to remember who we all are – just a bunch of good friends and family who know how to reach out to one another.

Kind and generous neighbor at work - headed toward the front door.
Kind and generous neighbor at work – headed toward the front door.
Fort Snow, West wall.
Fort Snow, West wall.
Isabella and Josh's dog Dusty.  Played hard all day.
Isabella and Josh’s dog Dusty. Played hard all day.
Subaru.  Can't you tell?
Subaru. Can’t you tell?
It took an act of congress to get her out of the snow.
It took an act of congress to get her out of the snow.
She's on her way over the pass to Eugene buried in her favorite stuff, snow.
She’s on her way over the pass – to Eugene – buried in her favorite stuff, snow.

 

It Doesn’t Get Better

Just as I put the last piece of wood in the wood stove this morning, I looked out the window toward the road and noticed two little ski hats bobbing above the snow berm in front of my house.  It was my granddaughters who were enjoying a “snow day”  and out touring the neighborhood. (The temperature is 8 degrees.)  They turned into my driveway, came to the door and ask, “Do you need wood hauled grandma?”  This is life at its best.

They live two houses away from me, are the sweetest, funniest, most beautiful girls and have been a joy since their birth.  As babies they crawled around my floor, as toddlers were, well toddlers needing constant care and companionship, and have been a consistent presence in my life for almost fourteen years.  Ellie will be fourteen in March. We can only dream of how our little ones will merge their personalities and abilities into the different phases of their lives, but never I could have known one day they’d come to my door asking if they could help me – haul wood.  They are two reasons I am not looking forward to my move away from my neighborhood, but then in six years or so they might be leaving too.

Granddaughters hauling wood for grandma
Granddaughters hauling wood for grandma
Blurry Ellie
Blurry Ellie
Hi Grandma
Hi Grandma

Less than an hour later my oldest son, plow and all, comes to blow out my driveway.  What a family!

My oldest son in his John Deere.
My oldest son in his John Deere.

Christmas Day, 2016

It’s Christmas morning and 5 degrees above zero.  The mountains pink and inviting reflected in the sunrise.

Sunrise
Sunrise

Wishing us all a day of peace, joy, and understanding.

Peace Throughout the World
Peace Throughout the World

 

Oh Christmas Tree…Your Branches are so Lovely

This year Christmas decorating took back stage to the cleaning/showing routine I’ve fallen in to.  Our house remains UNsold, although it showed last week for the 31st time.  No greens or reds or Christmas colors can be found inside, but that which nature is offering OUTSIDE cannot be outdone.  Yesterday as the sun was setting I discovered just outside my window a beautiful flocked tree with tiny lights nestled amongst its branches.

This morning as the sun came up over the ridge, there is was more flocking and my tree                 gleamed  brilliant with new light.img_5469 img_5490

Today is Christmas Eve
Today is Christmas Eve

BLESSINGS TO ALL ON THIS CHRISTMAS EVE DAY.

Family Having a Merry Early Christmas

Ms. Santa Paws
Ms. Santa Paws

 

December 19th was our family Christmas. Santa DogClaws and Mrs. Paws were there, along with the Skjersaa boys, wives, and kids.

Santa Claws
Santa Claws
Dad Skjersaa
Dad Skjersaa
Kid One
Kid One
Wife One
Wife One
Granddaughters One and Two. Kid One's beautiful, fun, funny girls.
Granddaughters One and Two. Kid One’s beautiful, fun, funny girls.
img_5458-1
Judy and Flora

 

Kid Two and Wife
Kid Two and Wife

 

 

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving 2016

I posted this poem last Fall, but it’s one of my favorites:

“Slowly,

She celebrated the sacrament of letting go.

Then orange, yellow and red, Finally she let go of her brown.

Shedding her last leaf she watched its journey to the ground.

She stood in silence wearing the color of emptiness

Her branches wondering how do you give shadow with so much gone.

She stood empty and silent stripped bare leaning against the winter sky.

She began her vigil of trust

                                                              And then the sacrament of waiting began.”

Winter is the season I “wait” for each year, anticipating the peace, surprise, and absolute beauty of snow all around, on the ground, in the trees, flakes falling through the cold skies.  Thanksgiving in the past marked the first day of skiing on the mountain.  It still does for the younger part of my family, but now, a bit older and a whole lot more cautious, I’m blessed with “slow beauty”  – or cross country skiing.  Isabella and I venture out daily, she wearing bear feet and I my skis, to feel the blessing of all that is in and all around.  I’m thankful for the quiet of winter and “trust” that the snows are here to stay.  A fire in the wood stove, holiday lights inside and out, a blanket and a good book to end the day is what I have?  (Just read “Lab Girl” – so good and funny – and now “Boys in the Boat” – well written.)  Thank you all for being but, yet, one more blessing that I can give thanks for.

Wishing everyone a Thanksgiving filled with love, kindness, wellbeing, and warmth – the warmth part is for those who prefer  temperatures that would melt snow. 

 

Isabella

 

The young ones on the mountain
The younger ones ski on the mountain on Thanksgiving
Slow Beauty
Slow Beauty

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Terance Olaf Skjersaa II, November 12th

Wow! Forty-nine years ago this amazing being, finally, hit planet Earth – wide eyed, curious, and late. (Those of us who love him run on a different time schedule  – Terry time.) He was to be a Halloween baby, but instead he kind of waited for his dad’s birthday.  Happy Birthday to “big” Terry, too.  Nevertheless, he, young Terry, genuinely enjoys the festivities of Halloween.  Last year he was the flagger we all got to know during the long and short waits of our 2+ year road project.  This year our neighborhood has been crawling with Bend Broadband technicians. Yep, that’s him, although he claims to know little about computers, etc.  Hope BBB doesn’t catch on to him.

Flagger, 2015
Our beloved flagger on the pipeline project-and his favorite witch.
Terry and Rene
Bend Broadband out trick-or-treating. 2016
Terry, Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday