Snow in November Snow in March

Home in Rocky Point Oregon: current temperature 36 Degrees F  high 43 low 25 partly sunny

snow flurries on Klamath Lake Winter is long in this part of Oregon.  The snows start in earnest in November, with a few skiffs sometimes showing up in October.  The snow can be deep, and while we can get down to zero F for a week or so, the winters aren’t nearly as bad as places like Minnesota or the Dakotas.  Still, they are long. I love winter at Christmas time.  I love winter in January when I can enjoy it and then take off for California.  I love winter in February least of all, and ever since I moved from California to snow country in Northern Idaho back in the early 70’s I have done everything possible to get out of winter in February. 

But winter in March is different.  Even though it is cold and the snow is really tiresome by now, it feels different.  The days are getting longer, just a bit, but it isn’t dark any more at 4:30 in the afternoon.  When it snows, it is usually a bit wetter, and there are patches of blue amid the fluff of snowy clouds. The air feels different.  And the birds are back.  snowgees

Early in the morning I can hear them down by the lake, but they are out on the water in places we can’t get to yet with the snow and ice all around.  Still, we walked down there this morning to get the mail.  Gingerly picking our way through the re-frozen slush in the driveway and hoping our boots didn’t crash through the crusty snow banks down by the water.  When I went in to town yesterday, in the midst of a blustery snow storm, I saw open water along the edges of the lake, and saw that the swans had returned.  I only had the iPad with me, and there was traffic and snow, so it was a quick photo, but it still made me really feel the difference between the deepening winter feeling of December and the promise of winter eventually ending.  Maybe not in March, but still eventually it will end.

There is an aerial survey of the birds in Klamath Basin that is updated regularly, and even back on January 30, we had almost 44,000 tundra swans in the refuge complex.  I love the swans especially, and the snow geese, they look like flapping sheets in the wind when they fly in unison and rise and fall over the landscape.

Horse Fever horses in Ocala will always bring back great memories of sharing this with BelI  am still having a bit of trouble writing about Florida.  My friend Bel, in my life for 19 years, passed away while I was there.  I was with her when she passed, probably the hardest thing I have ever done, and yet a gift I will always be grateful for. If you read my blog in the past, you know about Bel and my visits to her, my worries over her access to health care, some of her life difficulties.  This is our happy fun travel blog, how in the world do I talk about this here?  I guess I just can’t.  Up close family, up close friends, real words coming out of real mouths with sound, seem to be the only appropriate way for the moment.  I didn’t plan to say anything at all when I started this blog, and yet some of you are those real friends with real words who were there for me on the phone and on Facebook, of all places, as I was going through it.  So I needed to acknowledge that somehow after all and thank you.  Enough for now.

visiting Deb in San Antonio (15)On the way home from Florida I was so happy to have almost three full days in San Antonio with my daughter Deborah.  She took off work on Thursday and Friday and we spent our time together driving around to places she loved in her new home, seeing where she worked, eating great Texas food that her sweetie prepared for us.  I ate ribs and cole slaw and Texas beans and cheese bread and brisket and omigosh…the heartburn!  I am not used to eating like that, but it sure was fun to let go for a few days in spite of the heartburn.

IMG_3481 We checked out some quilt shops and picked out fabrics for the quilt I will make for her someday, we wandered off to Palmetto State Park and Lyndon B Johnson State Park, and spent a night in lovely Fredericksburg.  It was cool and breezy while I was there, but the sun was brilliant and gorgeous.  South Texas is a great place this time of year, even though the blue bonnets have yet to burst.  The grasses are greening up, and did I mention that sunshine?  Ahhhh.  It was so healing to be with Deborah, who knew and loved Bel, to have her to talk with about it.  I was blessed by two daughters on this trip actually, with Deanna re-routing a Tampa load to go through Ocala, where she met me for a long breakfast full of big hugs. Daughter Melody stayed with me on the phone a lot and son John called a few times as well, and of course Mo and Maryruth and my long time friend Laura from Coeur d Alene, a respiratory RN.  It was wonderful to have so much support and understanding.

It was good to get back home.  I did a deep clean on the house before I left, and Mo was away at her brother’s while I was gone, so we came home to a cozy, clean, wonderful home.  Mo beat me home by a day, so when I returned the house was still sparkly but was WARM with a nice big fire going.  Snow still on the ground, but sunshine and blue skies were wonderful.  And silence.  The nights are so dark and starry under the hot tub and the silence is just so SILENT!  No street lights, no traffic, no trains, all the stuff of towns and cities are absent here in the forest. 

We are settling in, enjoying home a bit before we decide just when to wander off to the cottage in Grants Pass and maybe get some beach time. Here at home I have a big quilt to finish binding, and fabric to play with, soil survey work waiting and all sorts of “retirement” projects that I still have yet to get to after three years as a retiree.  I am never, never bored.  Ever.

St Paddy's around home-002

Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

16 thoughts on “Snow in November Snow in March”

  1. There is nothing more fulfilling that spending time with a loved one than when it is near the end of their life. I was able to help my mom care for my dad for the last three weeks of his life. That was five years ago. If I hadn't gone to help I would have regretted it.

    You must have been a very dear friend to Bel. So sorry to hear she is gone.



  2. I know the trip to Florida was very hard on you, I am sorry There is nothing quite like support from family and friends during such a stressful time. I am glad you enjoyed the visits


  3. I can understand your feelings about talking about Bel in real time with real people. Know that I am sorry for your loss. Spending time with your daughter certainly must have been a well needed lift to your spirits.


  4. I know how much your loss must hurt and am glad that you have so many people surrounding you who care. So nice that you got to see your daughters too. That's always healing to the spirit. Take care and you and Mo stay warm and cozy.


  5. I'm glad you wrote about your friend and your last time together. I'm sorry she is now lost to you except in memories. I bet you have so many wonderful times to look back on but they are never quite the same and for a while even the best memories can hurt.

    Personally I think our Blogs should be more like journals. They are a segment of our lives. You have a wonderful family so nice to see you enjoying time with them. How special they are. Every memory is precious.



  6. When I saw your comments on my blog posts, I knew you had to have a post up so I came running over to get news of Bel, so I am glad you mentioned her passing. Sad times, but you'll be glad you were there at the end of her life as you were throughout it. I'm happy that you were able to spend time with Deborah after your sad days in Florida … therapeutic to be sure, and now you are home where familiar things around you will start to ease the pain of your loss … slowly, but surely.

    Beautiful words about snow and your feelings about it as the months change. Love the birds in flight.


  7. Sorry for your loss. Having your daughters afterwards was the best pick up. Your pictures are wonderful for the renewed spring life.


  8. I am deeply sorry about your loss of Bel. These are difficult times for you, but so many never get to know real love. Thank goodness you were there to help her make her journey with her best friend at her side. How perfect. I hope your memories sustain you through this sad time. Keep talking about her, and the happy times you shared.


  9. I have always written my blog as more of a journal although it did start out as a travel blog. I think this is a fine place to get our feelings out whether they be happy, sad, glad, or mad. When we lost our dogs I could have maybe made a passing comment about it but they were an important part of our life & my heart wrote about their passing. I think writing from the heart is a healthy way to express emotions with readers & friends. I come across blogs that are written strictly like cold newspaper articles reporting blow by blow what a person did all day, where they went & who they met. But nothing about how that person felt about anything that day. Needless to say, those kinds of blogs do not hold my interest. Maybe you should just sit down & simply write a story about Bel. As hard as it may seem, you will feel better in the end for doing that. And your story may help someone else out here through a difficult time in their lives as well. We Blogger folks have a great opportunity to help others through our writings. And I may add, our photos as well. You have some nice one's again. Like the header photo for sure plus the Swans & the Horses. Keep your feelings in your writing & keep your photographer's eye on the beauty surrounding you. Your writings & photography will help people more than you know………..AL:))


  10. Another quick note. Al says it all so much better than I can.

    Thought I'd let you know we are heading out to Hawaii in a couple of days. We arrive in Honolulu Thursday morning to be exact. I've set up a separate Blog called Hawaii 2013 which you can find here should you want to follow this New Zealand couple abroad. Most of our time in Hawaii will be on Big Island including a few days on a coffee plantation.



  11. So very sorry about your friend. In some ways just writing down a memory can be therapeutic…and it's a lovely way to honor your friend. Good healing to your heart and your sorrow.


  12. So very sorry about your friend. In some ways just writing down a memory can be therapeutic…and it's a lovely way to honor your friend. Good healing to your heart and your sorrow.Nina


  13. Wanting to be with a best friend comes easy, but some times the circumstances are so hard to endure. You were there when Bel needed you most. You are a strong woman, and I admire you.


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