Red Hat and White Trees

Yesterday while I was taking photos of the fog-frozen trees, a friend snapped my picture. Normally, I don’t like my picture taken when I’m unaware, but I can see why this image intrigued her. I probably would have done the same if our positions were reversed because the contrast between the red hat (actually, red with black polka dots) and the the white background really is stunning.

The trees remained white for several days, and in fact, the frost grew thicker each day. This is odd for the lower elevations of Colorado. Frost tends not to hang around for very long because of the heat of the sun on even the coldest days. But the sun seems to be absent for now.

It’s interesting how people remember things differently. My brother remembers the years in our youth when snow lay on the ground all winter. I remember the year when we didn’t have to wear coats on Christmas because of the heat, but had to bundle up at Easter because of the snow. Mostly, though, I don’t remember much about the weather back then; the only reason I remember the year of the sun at Christmas and the snow at Easter is because I remember telling someone that’s what I liked about Colorado — the contrary weather.

Well, I am certainly getting contrary weather this year! Colorado advertises itself as a place that gets more than 300 days of sunshine a year, but this year (or this month, anyway) it’s fooling us with one dreary day — one dreary cold day — following another.

People did warn me at the beginning of this winter that February was the coldest month. (Where Jeff and I lived on the western slope, December or January were the coldest.) And yep. Here we are! At least, I hope this is the coldest month. By this weekend, we’ll be lucky to get above zero. Brrr!

I’m still hoping by next year, I’ll be more acclimated to the winters, but for now, I’m mostly staying inside, going out only when necessary. And when I do go out, as you can see from the photo, I bundle up.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Mixed Feelings

Today was a day of mixed feelings — happy, sad, shocked, sublime. I hadn’t been going anywhere or seeing anyone for a while, so when I found out the art guild was meeting today, I decided to attend. The town seems to be picking up the pieces of life, with various events that have been cancelled the past year being scheduled once again. For me, it mostly means coming up with another historic murder mystery scenario, but I have several months to think about it.

I was happy being around people, happy to do a project (we made small valentine banners), but I was shocked and oh, so saddened to hear about the death of one art guild member’s husband. My heart goes out to this friend. I’m just like everyone else when it comes to not knowing what to say, so I merely hugged her and said I was sorry. I also let her know I would be available if she ever needed anyone to talk to, which I think she appreciated, but I tend to think she’s still too shaken to be able to put her chaotic thoughts about her loss into words.

The sublime part of today (and the past couple of days) was the frozen fog. I don’t remember if I’d ever seen frozen fog before, though perhaps I did when I was young because the scene has a familiarity about it. I certainly hadn’t seen anything like it when I lived in the desert of California or the high plains of Colorado, so I enjoyed the whiteness. The white trees and shrubs, the white sky, the white . . . everything. It looks like snow, but it isn’t — we haven’t had snow for a couple of weeks. Apparently it’s cold enough (and yes, it is cold, though not as cold as it’s going to be this weekend; they’re talking about a high of zero on Sunday) to freeze the fog in the air and the moisture on the flora.

I’m still on hiatus from work, so it was nice seeing people, but it will be equally nice tomorrow when I stay inside and enjoy the frozen fog from the warmth of my rooms.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator