Tough times

It's been quiet around here because life has been intervening.

Yes, we are in the area affected by the Colorado flooding, but our personal household is dry and has utilities, and even when the roads have been closed in all directions away from where we are, we have had access to groceries and other essentials. Much of my life is currently following its normal rhythms, although with a few differences. A group of us get together regularly to write. This is one of the places. We use the basement. It is, miraculously, not flooded, although close to the river.


We are very concerned about everyone still stranded or lost or with their houses swept away by, surrounded by, or filled with water. We await news about friends, especially those with sheep and those I've met through plein air painting connections over the years, who tend to live in more beautiful and more vulnerable places than the one we're in.

This past weekend was the memorial service for one of my longest-term and dearest friends, Ginny Cross. Ginny and I didn't get together all that often—for dinner and conversation every few months—but every time we did get together mattered. Miss you more than words allow, Ginny, and I'll remember your birthday for you tomorrow, with sadness mixed with joy that you were part of my life. And, as I told you shortly before you left this plane, your friends, including me, will be publishing your novel. It should have been published when you were here to see that happen, but we'll carry on. I'm doing the layout and design, and it will be an honor.

Map with Ginny's Trail

Thanks to our mutual friend Cherrie for the photo. I didn't have any.

Early this morning my cousin Christie Ehmann died. She was three months younger than me, and despite the fact that her family lived in Colorado and mine lived in Illinois, we four girl cousins grew up together, often visiting and traveling as a "clump." Since I've lived in Colorado, we've been a couple of miles apart. When I first moved to Colorado, we happened to be in the grocery store together and suddenly there were two fully grown-up women in the produce section picking up heads of lettuce and flinging water at each other and laughing like a couple of ten-year-olds. Again, our times together weren't frequent but they were vitally important, and I thought we'd have a lot more of them. The family became aware of Christie's diagnosis with inflammatory breast cancer three weeks ago tomorrow, and already she's gone.

This was 2008: cousins and aunts, in age order for both generations, from left to right:


Me, Christie (spirit left this manifestation this morning), my aunt Ginny (died three years ago), my mother (died this May), my sister Meg, and my cousin Colleen. I'm so glad we took that trip. (You'll notice they're all more put-together than I am. This is an eternal truth, something to count on in the shifting sands of life.)

More soon. Teaching has been wonderful, and the ongoing Shetland project is giving me a strong and blessed pull forward. As are family members and friends, human and canine.

One day at a time.

May all beings be happy.

May all beings be safe.

May all beings be free from suffering.


5 thoughts on “Tough times”

  1. Oh Deb, so sorry to read this. You really have had a very trying year. Our loved ones always seem gone too soon….I am glad you have the Shetland project to pull you forward.

    I disagree with your statement above re the rest being more “put together” than you. I was going to comment that you look terrific in that photo – and quite put together!

    Much empathy and hugs from CT.

  2. I love what you wrote about your friend: that every visit *mattered*. I feel that way whenever I visit with my friend Reeny. We don’t get together often but when we do, it’s always special and it always matters. I’m going to share that thought with her the next time I see her. She’ll appreciate it. I hope you are feeling stronger/better as time passes.

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