Well, the worst is over - I hope. The good news, we all made it. The better news is I feel a whole new level of confidence that despite the massive limitations of the tiny trailer as a snow worthy home, it will be doable!
On day 1 I expressed some real concern about the logistics of all of this. And, yes - and I mean YES, this trailer is one leaky box when it comes to letting cold air in!!!
But our "warm" zone held out well enough demonstrating either small miracles or the dynamics of air and heat I don't fully understand. Either way, it is done for now.
Here is the update to the same location as yesterday's pic about the grayness of the day. Now, it is the whiteness. Better, but still kinda spooky in its blending of sky and land.
Day 3 brought with it a lot of snow - at least for here. But snow feels better than just ice and at some point there was I think an insulating effect.
Here are some pictures from that day:
On day 3 and 4 something did happen within me also. The biggest fear when this started was how could I be directed into a situation in which it just wasn't safe? The last two winters I've headed to lower elevations specifically to avoid this kind of thing.
But there were also the small miracles that preceded the storm The owner of the property refitting the electrical to accommodate two heaters plus a heater for the well pump. The gift of the parabolic heater when combined with the one I had made all the difference in the world for keeping things warm - well warm enough.
And a few more just between us, here.
It was and is okay. So the real question is why do I keep doubting and more importantly putting my self in these situations?
I know, but that doesn't seem to be enough to change it.
When the sun came out as you can see in the above pictures, it was a sight of endless beauty. Pictures just don't do justice to the brightness, the vastness, and beauty that is panoramic in a scope I can't fully capture.
Courage comes when things are dark and grey. Hope when the light shines and color returns to the life around you.
It is hard to have one without the other and make it through this life. The tests for both are always unique to the individual. But what we share in is both the struggle and success. That is universal. That is what we can give each other.
Technically, in the spirit of keeping honest, I am writing this on day 3 of this "experience" and I've got to tell you, the next blog is going to be even more "oh my god" kind of sharing.
But, here is what day 2 was like.
Yes that is ice and yes that is INSIDE of my trailer on the roof vent - the drip drip drip alerted me to the fact I have ice on the inside of my trailer. It's in/on all the windows, but you can see it here best.
So, I am officially living inside an "ice box." Just what I always wished for my self!
Okay, even though it looks bad, it is still warm enough in the safe zone which is the 3 square feet me, the cat, and the dog huddle into with the heaters I showed you yesterday are pointed at us.
So the above sequence about sums up the grey day feeling that was happening on day 2. The only variation was after what I will only assume was the sun setting (it's been so long since i've seen it so it is still real?) was black, everywhere.
So here is my last whine (for today). Ice is everywhere which you will see in very cool ways below. But there is no real sun/heat relief in the near future so I am wondering if the ice will ever melt so I can LEAVE the tiny box. Claustrophobia is setting in....
Luckily, I'm not new to snow or storms so I did stock up with some food - but forgot the dog food...
Though Freedom seems to have some kind of fascination with eating snow and eating what is below the snow???
The pictures below are just a few. The wind was too much to keep gloves off so I could take pictures and while I yet again walked farther from home than I "should" have to get some, I hope you enjoy, they are cool!!!
That is it for day 2. What can you expect from day 3 - well it's just after 9am and 17 degrees with several inches of snow and more to fall until some time after midnight.... i don't think I am ever leaving here...
In the last post I admitted I've not been honest about what all goes on around here. Today is an example of the truth vs. just not posting.
It is cold out. It is cold in. It is supposed to be cold for the next few months. The current storm won't break for the next few days.
This is what it looked like yesterday - as the storm was blowing in. I was having some kind of aha moment when the rainbow came out - I like to think it's a sign when that happens.
This is what it looks like today. There's not a lot of snow, but everything is coated in ice. This is the "peak" high for today. The official temp is 21 degrees. The real temp is well below that. The wind chill is some place I can't consider right now.
Weirdly, for a dog with almost NO hair, he never seems to get cold. I think he has a really high body temperature because he doesn't seem to want to go in and never whines. I always quit before he's ready.
I've had the day to do a lot of thinking because the only safe zone is in front of my two heaters:
Thank you Sherry for yours on the left - LIFE SAVER - literally I am beginning to think.
Here's the honest part. This is one of the first times on this trip I am more than a little concerned about what I am doing. I still wouldn't trade it - but it is cold, I mean really really cold inside. And no, we won't die from it unless maybe the electricity goes out, yea - exactly.
The engine barely turned over from the cold, there is so much ice on the windows I couldn't scrape it off and I don't want to even think about the ice on the roads if we did have to make a run for it.
This is what my outside window looks like. The battle is to keep cold out and heat in - but we're barely keeping up and the "cold" part of the next 24 hours of thiss 72 hour + marathon is still in front of us.
I am only writing this because I've learned friends and family don't read it and I don't want to freak them out!
As my friend shared her misery's with me earlier, whining is just all part of the coping with all of this until it passes. Check with me in May....
That tiny black line in the distance is the cows next door. Clearly they have it a lot worse than me. They don't have shelter or anything to even break the endless wind - translated into wind chill factor - which is brutal!!!
Why I walked the 1/2 mile to get the picture as they then ran away from me.... I don't know. But at some point I committed much like this crazy journey I am on. Challenging the boundaries of my discomfort to see who and what I really am and want can get tiresome. But, it seems I like the challenge, even when it is freakin' stupid on days like today.
See you tomorrow for day 2 of this miserable Cold Challenge I am on!!!
On my walk this morning I was listening to a podcast about kids today and the digital age. What I found interesting is that while the forms of how the younger generation communicates change, the content is still the same. Kids worry about what others will think of them, who likes who, and their social status is now gossiped about online instead of in lines at school.
The same type of conversation came up when I was touring the petroglyphs at the Abo Ruins near here in Mountainair. The symbols may have been sacred in their story telling or maybe they were just bored kids talking about what they knew in their day to day life.
There are two parts of every story. The story itself and the form in which we tell it. The forms keep changing as our technology does.
But the actual story itself does not really change. People are still people and we are still having many of the same issues we did thousands of years ago.
Last year I made a video promising to tell a more authentic story. I did not keep that promise.
I've been thinking a lot about that lately. Which story we choose to tell both our self and the world around us. In my case they are two very different stories. My public version is not really my personal version. I'll be honest, even I can't keep what I tell to one person or the next straight...
And more so, what makes a compelling story? It is what we have in common that really connects us. It is when others dare to do what we only dream about that intrigues us. It is the witness of success and failure that often inspires us.
And most importantly, the story we tell our self is the one that becomes true for us. Often the most compelling story is not the most constructive story in how we are creating our life both now and in the future.
I find my self often telling my story to the degree that the other person is comfortable. But that isn't the story I want to live in or inspire with.
I'm getting ready to write up what this story has been like for me these last years. And while the question of the form is still uncertain, the content I hope will be both compelling and constructive for me as I write it and anyone else who will read it.
Plus, there is nothing better than a good story then or now!
Yesterday I made it to Alburquerque and back. Not a big deal for most, but both scary and ironic for me. The quest? Supplies and the coffee I like and can only get in "real" cities. The lesson? Fear is still hanging around me, life is a series of roads we travel, and relief I have several more months of my ice-cream version of coffee to enjoy each morning!
The fear is my Bronco is making another noise it shouldn't... and my concern was breaking down and worse, not having cell service since I traveled through the back roads and winding canyons. In one store a very nice woman was trying to share her story with me and I could barely pay attention as it was focused on the mantra "please let my car start and get me home." An example of how we let fear rule our minds and we miss the moment life had offered us to be of service.
The next observation was the series of roads I was traveling to get where I wanted to go and back. As I walked the dirt path to my truck, this is the first road I turn out onto. Dirt, gravel, and surrounded by almost nothing.
Next was a road with some newer asphalt on it - but nothing on the sides but what you see above. A step up you might say.
Then a "real" road that took me almost all the way to Alburquerque - and lastly to I-40, the main freeway that is the last leg of the journey into "civilization" once again.
The point? What kind of road are you on? One less traveled or one that is heavy with traffic and congestion? One taking you to almost nothing? Or one taking you to the center of things.
We are all in our hearts and spirits, seekers and travelers. The roads we choose often best represent where we are in our personal journeys. There is no right or wrong road to be on and in the very end, we do all end up in the same place.
But it was really interesting to see the progression as I drove yesterday to the city and back. There was a sense of huge relief to yes, not only be restocked with my morning coffee supplies, but to the wide and expansive landscape that for now best suits my spirits needs.
The irony is, while my inside space has continued to get smaller, my outside space has gotten bigger and wider.
I can't take a 360 degree picture, but it is the same all around, nothing but open space and big sky... and me in my tiny trailer. I'm like a tiny white dot on the horizon and I love it.
I'm still trying to recover from my quest - yet more stuff has been brought inside where there is still NO space for it. But, at 5am I am happy to report, the coffee is on!
There is something interesting happening with me. I hesitate to share now that I know kids are reading - this isn't about girl goats or my female cat Lilith!
But as life is now less about the crisis and I am settling down a bit, I am beginning to feel the need to express the feminine side of me a bit more.
Part of what is making this something I am thinking about is how in this town, as in the ranch I just left, there was and is very little that is "feminine" about either. Being a woman and the energy of the feminine are not the same thing.
It is even appearing in how I see the stuff laying on the ground - even my art is changing!
The truth is, survival mode is all about the masculine - and by that I mean it is an active, dynamic state of being. Food, shelter, and safety of both myself and my animals are always my top priority. Attaining them feel very much to me like a masculine role.
But is also feels like as I let go of my need to be in control of everything I think I need and move into the more receptive, trusting, and allowing state of being (which is really the only way to receive effortlessly) - I am finding I want to also stop wearing my black, stained, and very frumpy sweat pants. And start at least wearing things that don't have a history map of tears and stains on them!
I even unpacked my grandmothers china - a very pretty pink set of dishes - I've been carting around for 2.5 years now and have not unpacked to use.
There are a lot of women like me. We've been on our own for most of our lives and have had to take care of everything. Either because I didn't have money or just like to fix things, I've been the mechanic, plumber, contractor as well as the cook, cleaner, and comforter of the sick in my own life.
In Mountainair I've met more intelligent, tall, powerful women in one place than I think I have ever come across - which is also making me more aware of how I appear to others. The good and the not so good.
This idea of being feminine is very confusing for both men and women. Southern California confused it with a distorted sense of beauty that we see on the big and little screen that is looking more like a clown than not. Soft is often confused with weak. Allowing with being a door mat. Beauty with selling out.
It's just something I've been thinking about. Something I know I have avoided. But if things are ever going to change from trying to control my life versus surrendering it to something that might know more about what I need than I do, this is something that I've got to think about.
And honestly, it feels good this time or maybe at this age. It's still a question I can't answer, but I do know it is something I want to think about - what does it mean to you to be feminine?
Perspective is everything and yes, most of us know that. So what? But is is always a good exercise to test one's perspective and see just what you are actually looking at.
These last few months I have been working on a website for the town of Mountainair, New Mexico. The Mountainair Wire is it's name and it has been really fun to bring my perspective to you as creatively as I can!
What has been "interesting" is the feedback on my perspective. Art is always subjective and we are all seeing the world in our own way, but WOW, it is SO interesting to get a glimpse into what others see when you both think you are looking at the same thing!
So look at the picture below, what do you see in it?
Do you see what is old and broken? Or do you see what time creates with the wood, wind, and weather? Do you see empty spaces or what the objects are within the frame?
Do you see old barbed wire that is rusted and distorted? Or, do you see a symbol of hope and love?
Do you feel like you are being kept out or invited in?
Is one a lonely number or is it a courageous and adventurous number?
Perspective is everything and the last few days I have been reminded that my perspective is my own and it is okay for it to end there. I've stopped trying to change others or make them wrong for not agreeing with me. The next lesson is to not feel wrong or stupid because others don't agree with me.
And yes, knowing that is one thing - but KNOWING it when you are putting yourself out into the public eye is another level that is a bit harder to hold on to.
So, what do YOU see in these pictures?
There has been a shift in the air. The weather is turning cold. The winds have decided to return. And I am no longer plotting my next move. I hate to write this out loud and jinx it - but it finally feels like I can plan on staying here a while. Okay, so don't say anything when my next post is I have to move, again...
It's been hard to know what to share and not share. The honest version is, I've felt a little embaressed by how crazy it has all been. And, much of the time everything was so boring and mundane there just wasn't much to write about. This journey for me has been an internal one and so the external manifestations have not been a very great witness to my progress...
But that kind of thinking assumes what anyone else thinks but me has value - and in the end, it doesn't. We miss a lot of life when we make decisions based on what others will think about us. Freedom is my goal and to have that I can't factor in anything but my own perpective.
There is so much more good than bad. This journey has been way harder than I ever could imagine and if I would do it over? I'd say yes, but much differently.
This morning I saw the start of the rainbow you see above. It is directly over the town of Mountainair here in New Mexico and it sums up about where I am. At the beginning of what feels like for now, the end of a rainbow, but also its beginning.
I wish I could share with you just how big the sky is here! This morning it is filled with clouds and what you see above is the small patch of blue that is still visible as Freedom and I walked this morning.
There are so many different ways to live and when I left California in search of the right one for me, I wasn't sure what it was going to be. Truthfully, I still don't know. My mom would tell me growing up and much beyond, I was just learning more about what I didn't want. Ain't that the truth!
But that is the journey of life - what kind of life do you want to live? The one you should? Or the one you want? You may never find the perfect fit for what you think you want, but I've come to learn the grander plan will take over and teach, show, and find for you what you need. Even when that place is a real trailer park in west Texas.
I don't know what is next and I am both very excited and totally terrified 'cause truthfully - I'm still living way too far out on the ledge for any level of comfort. But so far "life" has provided in one way or another and we are all still safe and sheltered.
I didn't plan the picture above, but the idea of "Freedom Road" has long been with me as I've traveled the road in search of freedom and now with a dog named Freedom - and there he is, on the road!
What I do know is I want to be better at taking you with me on this journey. While living it kinda sucks a lot of the time, if I wasn't I sure would find it a whole lot more interesting!
Hopefully someday soon I will be able to get the camera's and equipment I need to really capture the landscape - but for now I will do what I can to share it one picture and video and word at a time! See you soon here in the center of New Mexico!
I am happy to report I am officially moved, back online, and ready to begin the public part of the journey again! I also would like to extend my appreciation for those of you who contacted me to make sure I was okay. I was very touched that you would check up on me and feel blessed to have your prayers along the way.
So... it's been about six weeks since I've written and it feels a lot longer. But a lot has happened and as has been the way of this journey - the crisis has calmed and the outcome is all good.
This is my new spot! I'm not far from where I was - but too far for Fred to find me and Freedom! We are both very pleased and excited to be able to walk out the trailer door without fear of dog attack!
The picture above was taken from the windmill tower below. I'd like to say I climbed to the top....but on the left you can see the telephone pole is lower than the tower and I got chicken! So it's only a little way up!
The windmill used to pull water up to fill the cows water bowl (or swimming pool) below. Right now there are no cows but it's a little cold to swim and the water a little murky to dive into.... or wade, it's only two feet deep! But, if the electricity goes out, I've got two to get water from and the world's best filter to clean it up and drink!
The property I am on is still owned by the original homestead family. Their grandfather lived where I am so it feels kinda cool to be a part of a legacy. The family is incredibly nice, normal, and solid... a welcome change from the ranch.
The big concern is the cold this winter, but I am yet again, winterizing and have back up places to go if the temperature drops too low. Think warm thoughts 'cause the consensus is this winter is going to be bad...
That's my short update. You have NO idea how happy I am to be on my own and back online! The calm of this place and the connection of the internet are two pieces of the life puzzle that really make the difference between sanity and crazy!
Sadly, I will not be able to show you the baby goats growing up, so here is one last parting shot until we can find new farm animals to meet!
I did see an owl this morning that I think I scared and it pooped on me...something did... and it was from above. In some cultures I've heard bird poop is good luck, so I'm going with that!
See you soon from out here on the prairie range!
Welcome to my Journey!
I'm inviting you to join me on my journey as I seek to find a new way of being in an old set of systems. It's hard, but worth it!