Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Living Notes 4

Time has slipped by, and I have neglected to update this blog for many months. I cannot write what I do not have, sorry.

Change is the only constant factor life brings. The old saying "If you don't like the weather, just wait will change," is a good one, because it applies so universally to living and to life.

I note, first, that we are preparing to move north to Utah County, to the city. Should be within weeks. More about that when it actually takes place.

In addition, things I have noted have changed slightly about my physical disposition. A lot of numbness and lack of sense data from my body have returned some function. I can feel with my arms and legs now. The skin of my scalp and face have become somewhat more sensitive. Some of these things have drawbacks as well, as I learned from standing in the cold wind, and feeling the chill for the first time in a long time.

It has been a long, cold winter here in Hideaway Valley. I cannot recall the last winter that we had deep snow for such a length of time. I think I would like to comment more on that subject, but this is enough for now.

Thanks to my friends who have waited through the quiet spell. I will try to do better.


Anonymous said...

We love hearing from you, Jim, whenever and whatever you have to tell us about!

Love, Mary

Patricia said...

Hi Jim!

How much snow? We've had a heap down here in San Juan County. Deep snow--for here--has blanketed the snow for going on two months--very unusual here. The overall depth was around two feet--probably only a fraction of what Snail Hollow received--but we had five-foot drifts in the front yard banking up against the house.

I'll be up in Utah County next week, but it sounds like you're still a piece away from moving up there. No matter--sooner or later, the stars will fall into place and I'll catch up with you.

Thanks for taking time to post an update. Glad to hear of your improvements.

Jim Cobabe said...

Hi Patricia!

Sounds as though you have more snow than in Snail Hollow. Snowstorms have been following the south track this winter. We got a lot in December but not much since then. Cumulative amounts to more than a foot of old stuff. I am sure more is coming...

Patricia said...


This week the robins returned, but to a world where the ground is still 98% covered with snow. I wonder what they'll eat? We're only just beginning to see patches of ground appear around the bases of trees and the edges of the house.

It's been some winter here, cold and with snow that just wouldn't quit, and then when it did quit, it wouldn't go away! This week's weather promises snow-melting temperatures, though. Looking forward to it, and to getting back out hiking. Because of the snow depths, I haven't been out since Dec. 21.

Patricia said...

Valentine's Day hugs, Jim.

Patricia said...

Happy Birthday to us, Jim!

Still can't get over how we happen to have the same b-day.

To celebrate, and because I needed a challenge, I went down into the canyon today--a long, hard haul, as the snow lies quite deep yet and its crust--strong enough to support me three days ago--had softened, so I was falling through on the way down and the way back up. Snow bowls had formed around trees, where the snow close to the tree's trunk had melted off, but the sides of the bowls dished upward about three feet high. Negotiating some of those was tricky, too.

There was a golden eagle down there, screeching.

The snow on the trail in the canyon bottom was stable; I could walk on it without having to pull my legs out of 20-inch deep footprints. Sleet began falling when I was walking along that point in the trail. Ice has melted off the creek somewhat, so the water was flowing in the creek, making lovely noises. The sleet turned into a lovely snow as I labored up the ATV trail out. At one point, I was exhausted. I'd been out long enough that the crust had softened even more and I was falling through about every second or third step. So I stopped beneath a protective overhang and sat on a rock there that makes a perfect chair and watched the falling snow thicken, seeming to pull down the sky with it. At one point, a grey squirrel bolted past me within three feet of where I sat. The snowflakes dropped heavily; I could hear them hitting the crust of the two-month-old snowpack. Meanwhile, melting snow and ice was drip-drip-dripping from the pinyon pines, junipers, and oaks.

Getting out was absolutely the hardest part. On some of the steepest parts of the trail, the drifts ran around three feet high and I fell through with every step. At one point, I was so bogged down, the last time I broke through I simply rolled out of the hole then crawled on my hands and knees up a drift-accentuated incline, making faster progress that way than by walking upright like a human being. The old "thin ice" trick where you distribute your weight, softening the effects of your presence.

Oh, it was a good test--the best I've had in a long time. Exhausting, but wow. Good clean snow to eat when thirsty. Some catkins had fluffed out on the coyote willows growing along a spring. But they were the only botanical flourish I saw. Everything else is barely stirring down deep in the trunk.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Jim C.