I create handmade hats, scarves, decorative ornamental eggs, and other whimsical and colorful crafts for my own internet business: Flippin' Gypsy Designs. I am currently seasonally employed in the outdoor recreation field as a white water raft guide in the summer (Beaverbrook Outfitters) and a snow shoe guide and rental technician in the winter (Windham Mountain Resort). I moved to NY in 1997 and have lived in Jewett since 2000. My husband and I have four large and beautiful cats.
Joy! Excitement! Woke up this morning to a sparkling dusting of snow! Just enough to cover everything with a translucent layer of glittering frozen snowflake crystals. I feel inspired, so I bundle up and go outside before the sun crests the eastern hill. With the yard still in morning shadow, the thin snow has a frosty bluish tint. I take pictures of all sorts of things up; seed pods, freeze dried flowers, squirrel tracks in the snow, dark tree branches silhouetted against the bright sky. As the sunlight creeps into the valley the snow melts along its path, first snow: fleeting, delicate, and exquisite.
Driving up the near our house, full sun shining out across the valley, but the bottom of the hollow is still in shadow on this frosty morning. My husband asks “What is that animal up there?” Something dark brown is loping across the road from the creek toward the wooded hillside. At first I think it’s a groundhog, but no, it’s too big, and undulating like a running weasel. Mink? Definitely too large for that, and an otter wouldn’t be up here scampering into the forest. As we drive closer, even though it is quickly climbing the hill dodging trees, we get a better look at this large barrel chested weasel charging away from us. It turns to scramble up a rock outcrop and we get an excellent view in profile, seeing its stubby snout and wicked teeth. It’s a fisher! A fisher is here! They are rare and reclusive, so are not seen often. They are the largest weasel in North America and are deadly efficient predators. The only predator of porcupines! The last one I saw was years ago and several miles away. We are both excited to have seen this amazing powerful creature living here with us.
Another night laying in the hammock on the porch. It is easier for me to breath out here than in the closed house. I miss sleeping in the woods in my tent. This is a good compromise. Enjoy the warm nights while they last. Half asleep, warm cocoon, listening to the creek, and night critters quietly scurrying on the forest floor. A gentle breeze wafts through, tickling exposed skin. This warm pleasing zephyr tantalizes my imagination, reminds me of many other warm nights in the woods. There is something ephemeral in a warm night breeze, dreamlike, surreal, the edge of sleeping and waking, where anything is possible.
It is a warm night so I have my camping hammock set up on the porch to enjoy the fresh night air. I am half asleep, curled in my warm sleeping bag, when I notice a bright light emanating from behind the house, seeping silver shadows between the trees. I get up to look around the porch and see a full moon rising, just cresting the hill, brilliant in the clear fall sky. Peacefulness envelopes me while I stand at the railing gazing at the moon through the darkened forest.
Driving near Greenville, headed for home. We are traveling through rolling hills and flatland with the escarpment of the Catskill Mountains getting ever closer. They are a massive undulating solid dark blue black presence on the horizon. Here it’s a mostly cloudy day, struggling sunbeams overcome by cloud shadow on this overcast grey day. But over the mountains are roiling angry clouds, vengeful biting wind, dark grey mist of distant rain connecting sky and rock on the horizon. While we move along the highway, I watch the turmoil exploding over the Catskills, too cold for lightening, but impressive and dramatic, black and grey clouds letting loose on the mountaintops.
Driving home through the wide Schoharie valley, near sunset on a cloudy day. I am in the passenger seat watching the grey day end as the hidden sun slips ever closer toward the indistinct horizon. I have many thoughts buzzing through my mind turbulent and troubled, mirroring the gloomy sky. My surgery was just over a week ago. It is healing nicely, still a painful twinge or two every now and then. I am still trying to grasp the enormity of this situation, how it will effect the rest of my life. My husband has told me (and friends) repeatedly that I am the poster child for early detection. I didn’t want to go back and do the second mammogram, but it saved my life. They found my breast cancer in-situ, which means small and right where it started. I may need radiation and or hormone therapy, but I will be okay when this is all over. There will be risk of recurrence, but that is a future worry. As I sit and gaze out at the darkening evening, contemplating the grey world, trying to keep the thought process in my jangled brain more positive than not, something on the horizon silently slips aside. The burning bright blinding sun escapes its grey cloud bondage, bursting forth it’s divine light, immense shining silver sunbeams radiate in all directions, illuminating cloud edges with intense fiery shimmering light. My breath catches in my throat, an audible moan of visual pleasure escapes my lips. If I could catch this on a canvas, hold it in my hand; here in my mind’s eye, I can keep it with me forever.
Traveling home from a day trip to Verona, we stop at a rest area to use the facilities. An Amish farm stand it set up outside so we buy some gorgeous dark red tomatoes and brilliant crisp green beans; now, no need to stop at a store later. Inside there is a Starbucks, and we happen to have gift cards for their products. I decide to partake and order a decaffeinated coffee and start adding stuff to it so my husband asks if I just want a Frappuccino. No, I want to comfort of something hot to hold in my hands and feel the sweet warmth as in slides down my throat. The barista suggest a Latte. I don’t even know what it is. She explains it’s coffee with steamed milk. Sounds good. I take a tentative taste when it slips into my hand across the counter. Oh my goodness! Smooth, hot, velvety, luscious, milky, rich, steamy, so delicious it send a shiver down my spine. I may have found The One, my coffee soul mate! How could I have lived on this earth for 47 years and never have tasted this delightful creation before; decadent, indulgent, mouth watering, delectable, heavenly. I may never drink just plain coffee again!