Notes on a Winter’s evening


It’s 0 degrees and snowing in the year 2015. I crack open the cold beer that I was going to drink last night.

Because the week was long, and the snow fall heavy, I passed out before I ever got to drink. Worried about the trains, I cancelled my usual plans for the evening. Exhausted from a week’s work I feel asleep before I even finished dinner. The truth is that I had a lot that I wanted to write about.

Maybe writing makes me tired.


It’s 2008. I am in my yurt, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. I have set gnocchi to boil on the single electric burner I call a stove. In the silence of the snow, the engine of his truck grinds to a halt. He walks through the door and plops down on my futon praying aloud, “Please let her finish cooking before the power goes out.” I drain the steaming water, and an instant later the telltale click occurs in tandem with my space heater and table lamp shutting off.

“Thank you,” he says.

Two feet of snow blanketed the roof that night.


In the morning, the ring of an axe and the crack of splitting wood resound through the air as I approach my friend’s house. I’m (probably) wearing my snow boots, a fleece skirt, and army fatigues over a buckskin bra. They live a short walk down the trail from me, and they have a real wood stove which they were running at full blast to melt down snow for hot tea and drinking water.

I didn’t mind the cold back then…I loved being able to stop by a friend’s unannounced.


It’s 2012. And the power is out in Olympia Washington. I sit in my friend the Coyote’s den as it fills up with smoke from the fire place. Outside someone under the guise of a wise man is cooking a hearty meal on the charcoal grill. Inside is filled with cackles of laughter as we fill a scrabble board with made up words. It seems that few here go by their legal name.


It’s 2013 and I am contemplating the pursuit of a certain peak in Utah. The last person I saw was a black bear, and the snow is up to my shins on the main trail. I sit recessed into a clearing, heating up dinner and drying out my shoes. The sun sets, and the night is growing colder. Several deer visit me, but I drive them away. Eventually I decide that my fully lofted down sleeping bag is not warm enough, and that no, I’m not really prepared to be in bear country. I roll up camp and hike down the mountain underneath the cover of starlight.



It’s 2015, January. The wind outside is wicked, and my fingers are bright red from the cold despite the fact that my heater is on. I am out of beer, and ready to fall asleep.




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