Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

    This week my husband, daughter and I took a road trip to Chicago. It just so happened that our day of travel was the same day as a devastating storm came through the Chicago area! It was a normal December cold when we started north, but as we drove we noticed the trees were more and more getting covered with frosty ice. It would have been a glistening wonderland had it been sunny. Our daughter, visiting from Orlando Florida, was delighted to see snow and frost. At the time she was making plans to come here, the weather was unseasonably warm and there was no hint of snow or ice. 

        We became concerned with the possibility of getting stranded in Chicago. According to what we discovered on our smart phones, hundreds of flights in the Chicago area had gotten cancelled or postponed, and traffic was gridlocked in the city. We pulled off the road at about the halfway point and discussed whether we should turn around and go home. Once we decided to "proceed to the route", as Siri would say, it became a great adventure. 

Actually, the worst of the storm had passed through by the time we arrived. We spent a delightful afternoon in the Adler Planetarium.  This is what we saw when we looked out at Lake Michigan from the planetarium coffee shop.


Funny, when we got back home late Tuesday night, we saw that the front page of US News had a similar picture of breaking waves from the Shedd Auditorium, which is right next to the Adler.
For us, it turned out to be the perfect time to be in Chicago. Cold, cloudy, and windy with piles of slush on the curbs. Tons of people everywhere, bundled up and happy. Wouldn't want it any other way. 

One of the best moments for me was opening the curtain in our 6th floor historic hotel room and seeing this. Since I'm all about harmonious blends and other musings, I thought is was the perfect view. 

The coming year for me will be one of finding new harmonious blends in my art as well as my life. I look forward to the great adventure of a new year with anticipation and excitement!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cats and the Cabin

      One night in the late fall David and I decided to go out in the woods and choose some trees that we would later transplant. Actually it was early spring or late winter, too soon for the leaves to be on the trees, which meant it was too early to identify the species of tree.  But we set out with boots and jackets on into the woods. 

On this one day that we came out to pick trees, our cats followed us out into the woods. I don’t think they’d ever ventured out this far, but being the faithful pups that they are, they must’ve felt obligated to come with us. So we’re out in the woods with our cats looking at little beginnings of trees and guessing what species they are, when we realize we are not alone. Our neighbor’s big German Shepherd was out there too; he probably came out there all the time, but we never did, so he was a little concerned by the intrusion. The cats reacted to the stranger quite differently. One of them (the tree climbing one) went straight up the closest, tallest tree she could find in two seconds flat. The other one, the princess Bella, stood her ground and attempted to back off the dog with fierce growling. The dog was merely curious and kept trying to get closer, which only made Bella more adamant and vocal. 
  I was concerned whether it was safe to be out there with the dog, so called Becky, the dog’s owner. She immediately came out and called him home. Eventually Billie got herself down, and we finished our tree-picking project and returned home. 
Fast forward a year or so. David and I had been making trips back and forth into the woods to work on the cabin. Both cats see us coming and going and become very concerned. They would (or at least she, meaning Bella,) cry loudly, as we walked the path from the studio to the cabin. It was like a desperate plea for us to not endanger our lives. There is, after all, a huge German Shepherd on the loose out there! Of course,  we are not going to let the concerns of our cats dictate our lives, so we continued coming out to the cabin. 
By the fourth day of the cabin project, David and I were finishing details of our transformed rustic guest room in the woods. Toward evening we decided to build a fire in the fire pit and initiate our official opening of the cabin with a bottle of wine. It was then I heard the familiar and desperate wail, but now it was getting closer. Until that moment the cats would only sit on the edge of the path, safely far from the woods, where unknown beasts abide. But somehow in their little feline hearts something clicked that made it okay to venture out where their beloved people had gone. So, even though they were crying all the way, they came out. 

    When I heard the meows, I shined my light toward the sounds and, sure enough, saw the glowing reflective cat eyes coming our way! Neither Bella or Billie or I could contain our excitement at their arrival through the dark of night into this dangerous land. Or course, they were happy to join us around the camp fire, something more familiar to them, and be petted and praised for their bravery and courage.