Radiogurl a la Carte

Monday, Nov. 22, 2004
Waking In A Winter Wonderland

Made it just in the nick of time. I promised myself I wouldn't put up a diary entry after midnight again. Well, it's 11:53 right now. Chances are I will finish the entry after midnight, but at least I started it before.

At the risk of jinxing myself, I think I'm finally over the cold. I was beginning to wonder there for a while, but overall today, I'm good.

I think it's a high from knowing that I have most of my Christmas shopping done already this year - this from the quintessential procrastinator. If I buy Christmas gifts, I buy them either on Christmas Eve or in the after-Christmas sales. And no, the latter is NOT an exaggeration. I guess because I end up buying things for my kids all year around, I don't go whole-hog for Christmas. And there's also the monumentally broke thing, but let's not go there, shall we?

However, I decided this year to go shopping. I still have to get something for the grandbabies (and those are certainties, so no worries about letting them slide) and for Pipeboy, since he's part of the picture. I guess I have to get something for my dad and his new wife (or she will be on Christmas Day.) I don't know anything at all about the woman, have never met or spoken to her, just got her typed wedding itinerary by mail saying, "and then we'll turn around and the minister will say..."

My kids and I stared at each other and started a betting pool on how long the marriage lasts. My parents were married for nearly fifty years, primarily because my mother was a prime doormat for a man who defines the word bully. This woman outweighs him, and I'm guessing outclasses him. She walked out of an abusive marriage 29 years ago and chose to remain single all that time. She met my dad on the Internet in a Christian chatroom, I guess. They've met in person once.

I don't object to my father being happy. In fact, I'd be happy as a clam if he was happy so he'd quit whining to us kids about how he slaved over a hot microwave and had to take care of my mother for the last three years of her life. Just to set the record straight here: my mom had A.L.S. - more commonly known as Lou Gherig's disease. And for the last three years of her life she didn't even have the respite of escaping him for five minutes at a time. My brother was there when she died and he still seethes at the way my father treated her.

Took care of her? Only in the broad sense that he fed her, amid much screaming. And since my mother was incapable of speech before she died, guess who screamed at whom? A hospice nurse and other family members did the rest.

After my mom died, suddenly daddy dearest was everyone's bosom buddy and lifelong friend.

Ummm... no.

He's my father by law and I won't completely write him off, but I'll skirt every outer perimeter of writing him off. When a former minister asked my sister how she'd feel if my dad treated this wife better than he treated our mother, my sister told him she certainly HOPES that my dad treats this woman better than he treated our mother. I second that emotion. I hope they're very happy together and out of our hair. I just hope that I don't like the woman when I meet her because then I'll feel obligated to warn her. Darn it.

Ack. I'll shut down my raving lunatic mode. Y'all can come back. I'm safe now.

We are getting some pretty wintry conditions tonight. The weather service teased us with hints that we might see snow. I'm guessing now it won't snow here in town but my guess is that the snow line will be barely over the rooftops. And that's a trip - I've seen it like that once, where I could see the snow lines on the hills out of my window, and it looked quite literally like it was about even with the roof. I'm sure it was higher than that, but I can guarantee you that there wasn't more than 100' difference in elevation, and more likely 50' or less.

There was snow on the mountaintops south of here. We are situated about 3,400-3,500' in elevation in town (depending on what part of town.) The Pinal Mountains are 7,848' at the summit. As you can probably guess, that makes for a significant difference in climate. The peaks are covered with Ponderosa pine and brush. In wintertime, the snow at the top can be several feet deep. There are folks in town who have talked about building a ski resort atop the highest peaks. It's doable and if it ever happens, my guess is that it would do a booming business, if for no other reason that we're much closer to Phoenix than any of the state's other ski resorts.

Heck, our local officials might even get the four-lane divided highway into town that they've wanted forever. I am not sure if that's good or bad, myself. Growth is a two-edged sword, sad to say.

Hopefully tomorrow I will get the opportunity to snap some shots of the mountains, blanketed in snow and glistening in sunlight. I'll even settle for some pictures like I would've liked to have captured today, where there was a cap of snow at the uppermost peaks and clouds whispered around the base. Unfortunately, the biggest problem is finding 1) the time to take the pictures and 2) a good vantage point that doesn't require stopping in the middle of the road during rush-hour traffic.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )