Perfect Moment Monday–Tasting the Spring

I cried during the closing ceremonies, and not because the USA Hockey Team lost to Canada in overtime.

I cried during Neil Young’s performance of “Long May You Run.” It’s not the first time I’ve cried during a song.

It was a combination of emotions. The way the Olympic games make me feel, the power of the athlete’s stories and performances, a year’s worth of sleep deprivation, and the end of February.

This time last year I was a couple weeks into recovering from childbirth, which for me was an unexpected emergency c-section. I was sore, exhausted, hormonal, depressed, and my boobs hurt from breastfeeding. My body felt completely foreign to me.

After a year, I am finally beginning to feel normal. Over the weekend, I put Oscar into his Ergo and took a walk around the block. I couldn’t get over how tired and out-of-shape a simple walk made me feel. But for the first time in years, I felt like doing something about it.

This morning I stepped outside on my way to work and there was something in the air. Maybe it was my revelation over the weekend, maybe it was the Neil Young song, maybe it was the fact that it’s March 1st. It was cold, the thermometer stood at 31 degrees, but the air had a strange liquid quality to it. There was dew on the windshield instead of ice. The air had a different smell to it. I thought of the end of the Sylvia Plath poem, “Wintering,” where she writes about bees waking up from their winter hibernation:

Winter is for women —-
The woman, still at her knitting,
At the cradle of Spanis walnut,
Her body a bulb in the cold
and too dumb to think.

Will the hive survive,
will the gladiolas
Succeed in banking their fires
To enter another year?

What will they taste of,
the Christmas roses?
The bees are flying.
They taste the spring.

My perfect moment is that this morning,  I could taste the spring. I could feel a lengthening and stretching in my body, a reaching toward the spring, toward the summer, toward the sun. There is still snow on the ground, still three more weeks of winter, and there will still be more snow and more frigid nights and mornings. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve decided to commit myself to running a 10k race this summer. There is one on Saturday, June 26, which is roughly sixteen weeks away. I can’t wait to run again.

We’ve been through
Some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do
In stormy weather
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
Have come
With your chrome heart shining
In the sun
Long may you run.

I Capture Perfect Moments.

For more perfect moments, visit Lori

Perfect Moment Monday–Olympic Snow Driving

Last night I watched the premier of Olympic Ski Cross. Because there aren’t enough sports that make me hold my breath and bite my nails while routing for the underdog and simultaneously hoping somebody bites it…hard. Cuz I’m twisted like that.

One of the favorites, Chris Del Bosco from Canada, was in bronze metal position toward the end of the final race. As he headed toward the last jump he should have checked his speed, which in skiing terms means going into a little snow plow to slow down. However, as he later said during an interview, “I didn’t want the bronze, so I went for it.” He took HUGE air, and then biffed it bad. It was fantastic. It’s what the Olympics are all about.

This is why I am not an Olympic athlete. While driving through the snow on my way to work this morning, I wasn’t content with bronze metal position. I was content with last place. In bad weather, I drive so slowly that everyone passes me, throwing a look at me as they fly by that says, loser. That’s ok, because they don’t give medals for coming in first place.

I just drove slowly, enjoyed the beautiful snow in the trees, and let myself have a perfect moment.

I Capture Perfect Moments.

For more perfect moments, visit Lori

Cozy, in a “we’re trapped” kind of way…

Since Monday Flagstaff has had between 30-40 inches of snow, including 21 inches last night alone. We are expecting another 3-5 feet by tomorrow night. The university, the public schools, the airport, and the interstate are all closed. I haven’t seen the snow plow all day.

It’s a good thing I stocked up on sunscreen and lemonade.

Extreme Winter Blizzard Storm Watch 2009!

I was chatting with a colleague on the phone Sunday night when she mentioned offhandedly that I might consider not coming in the next day, as she heard that the weather was going to be pretty bad. I went to and saw this at the top of the screen:

Blizzard Warning!

Now, we live in the mountains and we do get snow, but this was ridiculous. I mean, we live in Arizona, not North-freakin-Dakota. I checked again to make sure they didn’t have the wrong zip code. But no, it was really a blizzard warning. Apparently the Storm Watch had been upgraded to an Extreme Weather Alert, which had evolved into a Blizzard Warning. I’ve been a fan of long enough to know that a Watch is pretty interesting. We might get some weather. An Alert is even more fun. Could mean a Snow Day! But a Warning means the Serious Shit is coming and it’s time to go into full-on survival mode.

After making sure we had a enough Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, Ruffles, and baby wipes to weather the storm, I kicked back and prepared to enjoy a day at home, completely trapped and unable to reach the stack of papers in need of grading that I had left in my office seven miles away.

We did indeed get a blizzard. Here’s how the day went:

7:30 A.M.

I wake up and look outside. It hasn’t started snowing yet. Liars! Then I remember that they said 8:00. Then I remember that I have a 9-month-old and yet the house is strangely quiet. I peek over at his crib and see a lump. He’s asleep! Is he dead? I sneak over and listen to make sure he’s breathing, careful not to make any sudden movements. If he sees me, it’s all over. I crawl back under the covers and get, I think, about seven more minutes of sleep, which is wonderful.

9:00 A.M.

Darin gets up and brings up enough wood from the wood pile to last us awhile. Our house is heated by a wood-burning stove. If you’re tempted to feel sorry for me (everything I own smells like a camp fire), just wait, later on tonight we will be the lucky ones.

Oscar gets his first glimpse of the coming storm.

Yes, my child does own more than one pair of pajamas. And yes, I know it’s cold outside. I only had the door open for, like, a second. Later on, when we sent Oscar outside for more wood, I did put a sweater on him.

11:17 A.M.

I get an email saying that Northern Arizona University is closed. Snow Day!

1:00 P.M.

The snow begins to accumulate and it gets noticeably darker outside.

2:00 P.M.

Oscar gets a bath. Because the only thing scarier than being trapped in the house with a baby for two days? Being trapped with a stinky baby. Eeewww.

Please don’t look closely at our very ghetto sink.

3:30 P.M.

I decide to make a turkey dinner. We had Thanksgiving out of town, which is fun at the time, but depressing in its total lack of leftovers. I had a turkey on hand from before Thanksgiving when they were selling them for like, five cents a pound, so I threw the turkey in the oven for about four hours. It would mean eating late, around 7:30 or so, which is when Oscar goes to bed and we like to empty the contents of the refrigerator into our stomachs.

7:14 P.M.

I start peeling potatoes, thinking that I will pull the turkey out of the oven soon and want the side dishes to be ready.

7:17 P.M.

The power goes out. I almost pee my pants.

7:18 P.M.

The power comes back on. I sigh with relief.

7:19 P.M.

The power goes out.

7:20 P.M.

The power stays out.

7:21 P.M.

Darin begins gathering flashlights and candles while I keep peeling potatoes. The power will come back on. The power WILL come back on…

7:22 P.M.

The power doesn’t come back on.

8:00 P.M.

I decide to take the turkey out of the oven. At least we’ll have turkey for dinner. Turkey with a side of turkey! And for dessert? Turkey!

Here I am taking the turkey’s temperature. Because nobody wants food poisoning during a blizzard. The poor turkey looks like we are sacrificing it on an altar.

9:00 P.M.

Having determined that the power is not coming back on and that he doesn’t want to listen to any more of my charming anecdotes, Darin asks what I would like to do.

What else is there to do when you have no electricity and a lot of poultry to consume?

Don’t be fooled by the fact that I’m an English teacher. I’m not good at Scrabble. In fact, I suck. Darin beats me by at least a hundred points every time. That’s because I come up with words like cat and dog and he comes up with words like Quixotic (go ahead, look it up, I’ll wait).


The power is still out and I decide to go to bed. Luckily for us, our house is heated by a wood stove, so it’s toasty warm all night. The power doesn’t come back on until after 3:00 A.M.

9:00 A.M. The Next Morning

NAU is closed again, which is a good thing, considering this is what our driveway looks like: