It is snowing today. The sky is grey and you can’t even see the base of the mountains because of the low-lying clouds and falling snow. I had to make a quick trip with the kids out to the bank and the post office. It was snowing pretty steadily when we left home, and as we drove through town I caught a whiff of wood smoke and saw bundled up kids walking home from school. It made me think about hot chocolate and fireplaces and coming in from outside with a frozen nose and hands.
The atmosphere at the bank was friendly and relaxed, as it usually is at our bank. The two tellers were in no hurry at all even as more people came in and lined up. One customer carried in a tiny puppy just to show it off (totally normal at our bank – people are in there with dogs and puppies more often than you might believe). As I waited for the teller to finish with my deposit, I found myself contemplating whether western bankers would be able to keep a job at an eastern bank or if they’d be let go because they were too slow at processing transactions. Not that I mind waiting at all – it’s just an observation based on my experiences with both. In addition to the customary lollipop (which people out here seem to call “suckers” – I am going to have to get used to that), the bank was also offering up cookies today. The kids each got an M&M cookie from the tray and we made our way back out into the cold.
Just as soon as it became our turn in line at the post office, my daughter dropped what was left of the cookie she was holding on the floor. I grabbed it up before she could, intending to trash it. Of course she instantly started screaming. Please don’t judge me because I gave it back to her. I did brush it off a little first. (I wonder what the lady who was standing behind us in line thought…) Anyway, we finished our business and got out of there. (B.U. – If you’re reading this, the key is in the mail now!) When we got to the car, the cookie was still in hand and looking pretty much untouched since its fall. Maybe I should have taken it from her then and just endured the protests. But I did not.
I found myself contemplating relaxed bank tellers and dropped cookies as I drove us home. Maybe I was a little too deep in thought, because I stopped at an intersection totally out of habit and not because I had a stop sign. The SUV going the other direction did have a stop sign and was waiting there dutifully for me to figure out what I was doing. I muttered something to myself about her having a stop sign and me not having one as I waved her on through, thinking that she was the one not paying attention. Then was the “DUH” moment when I realized that yes, I was the one WITHOUT the stop sign and SHE was the one WITH the stop sign. (Wait, didn’t I already say that? Oops.) I paid a little more attention to what I was doing after that, even as I felt rather sheepish and found myself contemplating the dumb mistakes that distracted drivers can make. Oh well.
Since my last post I have finally unpacked the last of the boxes and I have gotten some pictures up on the walls. To me, having my pictures up on the walls is what makes a place feel like home. I have heard some say that putting their curtains up does it for them, but for me it is the pictures. Blank walls just feel very impersonal. So, that’s it then. We’re all moved in. Of course, there are still some areas that need organizing, and we need to find some sort of bed that we can use for guests, but by and large it is done.
A couple weeks ago we were invited to visit some friends of ours who have been living and working on a ranch out of town. It was a rather cool and snowy day, so the views weren’t what they could have been, but I wanted to share some of the pictures I took anyway.
These few were taken on the drive up there…
They live decently far back into the mountains in bear country. We didn’t see any bears the day we were up there, but they had recently had a pretty close encounter with a 350-lb. grizzly. Of course, the guys were shooting guns and blowing stuff up while we were there (don’t worry, only rotten pumpkins and dead trees were harmed), which may have hurt our chances a bit. Apparently, exploding pumpkins are actually quite funny, as evidenced by the gales of laughter coming from our son and his friend (who were safely tucked away in the cab of the truck with the dog).
After our rather explosive field trip we said hello to the horses and had a quick tour of the barn. Then we headed inside for a delicious dinner of elk steaks and mashed potatoes. Here are a few more pictures I took outside their house. The mountain just behind their place was nearly obscured by the clouds/snow, but you can see a little bit of it.
And finally, a note on an 18-month-old’s creative ingenuity. Since we moved into the apartment, I bought some plastic place mats for the kids. Our daughter very quickly learned something interesting about her place mat. If she wants something on the table that is out of reach, she will push her place mat underneath it and pull it towards her until she can reach it. Even if this takes multiple tries she does not give up. She is very persistent. What this also means is that pretty much nothing on the table is out of her reach, even if she is strapped into her booster seat. I can’t turn my back on her for a minute or she’ll have pulled my plate over and be eating my food. Kids - they keep you on your toes, that’s for sure!
But, as you can see from the above, I also do a pretty good job of keeping myself on my toes.
Or off of them. Whatever. : )
“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’”
- Job 37: 5-6 (NIV)