Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Beautiful Nowhere

When we first moved into this house there was a very large, old wooden dog house located in a small fenced section of the yard.
In the fall LC and I spent an entire afternoon pulling the dog house apart, pulling nails out of the wood and then stacking the wood in the garage in anticipation of future projects.
The wood was old and worn and wonderfully weathered, and we both joked with each other as we were working, that most people use old barn lumber for rustic projects but we use old dog house wood.
Over the past few months we have made picture frames out of that dog house wood.  
We sanded and oiled some of it and used it as crown molding in the laundry room.  
We are working up to using some of it in the "cowboy bathroom" - the secondary bathroom that is directly off the laundry room.  
On top of that old dog house was a jumbled mess of mangled electrical wire and chicken wire.
And four little birds.  
Two were plastic and two were wood, and all were lovely and filled with character.
Not too long after we moved into the house we found an old and worn tree trunk laying in the back yard.
We pulled it into four separate pieces, wired each piece to the uprights of the fence, and after we had pulled the dog house apart we attached these little plastic and wooden birds to the top of them.
For the past few months they have been happily looking out over the yard.
I like them.................

I found this set of wind chimes in the front yard of a home here in Atomic City.
It is a lovely piece of property, filled with multiple trees and with views of the Lemhi mountain range to the north.
The deer love this property and we see them often, bedded down safely underneath those trees.
The couple who live here are.........I'm not even sure how to describe them.
The most charitable description would be unusual.
Which sounds condescending, but in truth I think that most people are unusual in one way or another including both LC and me.................
There have been so many walks, so many beautiful days, so many beautiful sunsets, that I am not really certain when these pictures were taken.
Sometime in the past couple of weeks as Kory and I wandered yet again throughout the small community of Atomic City.
I was nervous about getting a new dog so soon after losing Jamie.
Jamie was such a loving dog.  I knew her personality as well as I know some people's.  
Could read her face, knew her expressions, knew how to rub her ears in ways that she liked, knew how much she loved to walk with me, knew how much she loved to sleep beside us.
She was my constant companion for so many years.  And she would go anywhere with me because she trusted me unconditionally.
She was such an important part of my life for so long, and even as we drove towards Boise to pick up this hairy, four legged stranger who we had invited into our lives, I wondered if we were making a mistake.
We had seen pictures of her.  Had heard stories about her.  But had never met her.
All of that hesitation and all of those fears that we were going to over-complicate our lives and adversely impact a dog who had already lived through so much, turned out to be unfounded.
Kory has embraced us completely, and embraced her life in Idaho.
I am still so surprised that the three of us have blended almost seamlessly as a new family.
I miss Jamie every day.  But Kory has been an easy dog to fall in love with...................
As we stood on the back side of Atomic City I snapped these pictures of our tiny town.
Small homes.  Lived in homes and empty homes.  Sheds and silos.  A lot of empty fields.
All in front of me, and endless never-ending BLM land behind me.
As I stood in the middle of the snow covered gravel road, Kory waited patiently for me to snap my pictures.
I snapped one, moved my camera to the left, snapped another, and repeated the series once more.
Four pictures show the entirety of the town.
I found this on Youtube today.  It is a wonderfully creative advertisement for a new book entitled Guest House (that was actually published in 2010)
The question is raised in the short video "Why Atomic City?"  
The answer in the video: "Because it is in the center of beautiful nowhere"...................
Turning, I snapped this quick picture of the Big Butte on the right and Cedar Butte on the left.
Covered in snow and ice, the buttes looked beautiful, and I was again reminded that winter is my favorite time of year...............
I had been standing in one place for a long time, looking out over the silence of first the town and then the wide open public lands.
As was entirely normal, there was nobody else around but me and my new pup.
My patient dog was becoming impatient though, and it was time to get moving again.
We walked down the center of the road and (as we often do) alternated between wandering on the road and crossing over the ditch and picking up BLM land, just moving easily with each other.
Walking in each other's rhythm, stopping for momma to take pictures, stopping for puppy to sniff one track or another.
Eventually we arrived at the far end of town and I pulled on the leash and called Korys' name.
It was time to begin meandering our way towards the house...............
Kory and I have explored so many pieces of property in town, curious to find what we would find.
Many homes in Atomic City are cinder block (ours is cinder block covered with neglected, badly-in-need-of-painting, wood siding), and up until this day I had always been curious about this boarded up home but had never visited it.
As we approached, I pulled Kory off the road and into the snow, and began slowly wandering around this strange little abandoned property..............
This little, worn down but sweet little building, always interested me because it contained so many interesting things.
A hitching post in front.  A beautiful, rustic, run down but beautiful chicken coop.  Even a surprising little scooter that had gone unnoticed until this trip.
When I saw it, I was suddenly very glad that woman and dog had decided (yet again) to wander..............
Looking back at the red house hitching post chicken coop orange
What first grabbed my attention about this house was the tree.  
And how it stood silently beside a silent house.  
And how the silent tree, standing beside the silent house, looked against a back drop of silent land.
I saw this builidng the first day we moved into Atomic City and have always loved it............
Late in the day Kory and I walked again.
Without any pre-planning on my part, somehow every walk we take organically seems to take on a life of its own.
Unexpectedly takes on its own unique story.
One walk may be about the deer.  Another about the silos.  Another about the raceway.  Another about unexpected yard art.  Another about one intriguing piece of property or another.  Another about the snow or the ice.  Another about the mountains.
The story of this walk, was the sky.............
A sky as pure as water bathed the stars and brought them out..............Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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