As dawn came sulking in on Thursday morning, I realized new snow had sifted down during the dark hours. I had been in the living room reading, a circle of cats around me, during the night, but there was no sound of wind to blow the snow against the windows. We had a few days of warmer temperatures and the old snow, too long with us, shriveled and receeded in sunken, grubby layers.
The deer have circled the dooryard, making fresh trails of pointy hoof prints in the new whiteness.
The photo above was taken late on Friday afternoon.
This was taken Saturday morning just as the sun opened one eye to the east. Sunrise was a pale peachy band of light quickly swallowed up in a grey sky. The foothills to the west have been swaddled in hovering gloom nearly all day.
I took this photo with the camera on the "night snapshot" setting which intensified a slight blue shadow and smoothed out the contours of the snowy yard. It was too cold on the west porch to fiddle with settings and try for a more realistically colored shot.
Back in the house I aimed the camera through the relatively clean window to record the clothespins bobbing on the line and the gnarled fingers of ice clutching the porch roof.
Raisin, the spoiled, beloved, bulemic cat-in-charge.
I have been researching special feline diet foods with the help of Heidi. Yesterday J. and I ventured into the Wind River Mercantile and I handed over the proceeds of several hours quilt making hoping to present something that her majesty will eat and keep down.
In addition to regular "pukey days" Raisin has taken the notion that whatever meat is on our plates is surely more appealing than whatever has been offered to her. As J. says, she prefers her steak medium done with sauce!
I've worked on quilt orders at home this week. Jemima keeps me company but gets easily bored. I love those plush brown paws curled over her nose.
The house we live in has been listed on the market for nearly a year. During that time we have had two or perhaps three rather lackluster showings. When the Baldwin Creek spec house finally was sold after months of delays, negotiations and head-banging frustrations, J. concluded that this was no time to continue in his trade of house building. During better financial times we talked of selling the house we live in and building a more modest one, a "keeper", on the lot across the small pond. We told each other rather complacently that we would have sufficient funds stashed away to live comfortably and J. would build another spec house or two at a less frantic pace than usual before succumbing to full retirement.
The downturn in real estate was slower to strike oil-rich Wyoming than in other areas of the country, but it appears to be entrenched, particularly for the upper/middle price range homes we have been building.
I have felt that we had few options beyond gritting our teeth, tightening our belts and staying put.
When J, prompted by son-in-law, began investigating attractive rural places where we might "retire" and put our funds to best use, I said, "Right! You're asking for a miracle--sales of land, a house, motor homes and equipment, in the dead of winter in a depressed economy."
I beleive I was wryly challenging God as well as J. I have to state that God has a sense of humor! J. sold two motor homes in less than 10 days. Tractors, equipment, and small trailers which have been lined up for months with "For Sale" signs have attracted buyers, and last week we endured 4 house viewings in 24 hours. [If God or anyone else thought that amusing, I, as chief house-cleaner-in residence did not!]
The upshot is that the two couples who each came back for a second viewing wanted the house and we have signed a contract with the first ones who offered.
So now we begin to skitter down the usually bumpy road of a sale closing. If everything goes smoothly [it usually doesn't!] we could be homeless in 30 days--if there are delays we might still be in the house 60 or even 90 days from now.
At what point does one pack all but two plates, two bowls and two mugs? The books--where will I find enough boxes for the books? How will I ever sort all the STUFF which was plonked in the storage shed nearly four years ago? At what point are we sure enough of our available funds to make an offer on property in the desired "new" location 1500 miles away?
Rhetorical questions all, and no doubt God is biding His time with an anwer we haven't guessed.
I think I would be wise to start packing. If there are delays the cats will enjoy climbing over and into boxes and helping me to haul half-forgotten belongings from the depths of closets. Daughter's suggestion is that we relegate most of our worldly goods to the dump. I don't think so!
Our family gatherings often turn to remembrances of what are fondly called "typical Whitehurst journeys"--replete with details of blown tires on over-loaded borrowed trailers, transmissions which gave out on the great plains, hysterical memories of the cafe in Nebraska where the waitress mixed up our orders and kept appearing with forgotten side dishes. Of such are the family chronicles written.
I count the vehicles which have to be driven across the country, all the bits and pieces that must go with us. I picture the cats, stowed in the motor home with mournful furry faces pressed to the windows. Shall we tie the horse to the bumper? Who will be rounded up to be part of this ludicrous convoy?
I daresay we will survive this upheaval one more time. Where ever and when ever we go, I can think of reaching the destination and hauling my battered armchair from the depths of a van, unearthing the mugs, the tea and the kettle, flopping in triumphant exhaustion while the cats prowl the corners of a different house and the old horse explores a strange and greener pasture.