Monday, September 22, 2014

Warmth Of Summer - Cold Of Winter

These pictures were taken about a week ago, during a long early evening walk with Kory on BLM land right outside of town.
Yesterday we walked a long way out onto BLM land, and the colorful signs of fall that are only just beginning to touch our small community, are fully visible on public land.
But only a week ago the world was completely filled with green.
This place looks so completely different from what it looked like this time last year.
By the time we arrived in Idaho the last week of July in 2013, Atomic City was everything it was anticipated to be.
Hot.  Unbearably hot.  And whatever green spring had brought, had already long disappeared for the year.
The world out on the endless acres and square miles of public lands behind town was endlessly beige.
This year we had rain and a surprisingly cool August.
And the fall out from all of that rain has been this unexpected gift of growth and life and green all around us.
I didn't know  that it could rain so much here, but I was glad to learn that it could.
It looked beautiful, and little by little this place is beginning to feel less alien, less foreign, more welcoming to us.
Does it feel like home yet?
But after four years of moving from one state to another for one reason or another, the feeling of home may take some time.
It's hard to stop moving when you have moved so much.
It's hard even to slow down.
Days are still very warm.  Evenings are cool.
Skies have been mostly clear so far in September, and this place is lovely....................
Feeling sluggish and unambitious I had planned on only taking Kory to the Hay Bale Field.
The place close to the silos where my dog could run and play and continually jump up onto and off the long rows of hay bales that stand abandoned in a field.
My dog spent an entire winter ecstatically playing on these hay bales.
They are located in a large, partially fenced area that is the closest open spot to the house.
Only five minutes walk from the house, it seemed to be a good place on this early evening for an unambitious woman to let her dog loose.
Freeing my pup from the bondage of her leash, she immediately began to run.
Slowly wandering through the field I realized for the first time this summer just how deep the grass and weeds had gotten because of the rain.
So completely different from what I was used to.................
After tentatively seeking out open patches of ground and finding myself in knee deep grass I began to feel increasingly creeped out.
It was still early September and still very warm.  
The grass was so deep that I could not see where I was stepping, and in rattlesnake country that is not a good thing.
Making the instant decision to head back out onto the open trail, I realized that the Hay Bale Field would have to wait for another couple of months.  
Instead, we would walk the trail, turn right at the trail intersection and follow another trail that ran parallel to the back of town.
KORY!  Come on Babe!
My happy-go-lucky dog was happy to oblige, and I was happy to watch her as she easily caught up with me and then sprinted by me....................
It has been a week or more since Kory has run away from us while in the yard and then eagerly wandered through town, and even longer since she has sprinted away from me while out on BLM land and headed for town to roam as she pleases.
Luck?  An internalized message that finally makes sense to her?
I don't know.
We still have low spots in the fence that are located at various points, but LC (although his back is again recovering) has not yet fixed whatever needs to be fixed.
All I know is that my dog has stayed close while in the yard and within calling distance while out on BLM land, and I do hope that continues.
She has become a very loyal and very loving dog.
A dog who jumps onto the kitchen table and barks protectively whenever anyone comes to the front door.  
A dog who is friendly and enthusiastic around neighbors when we greet them on the street.
Kory increasingly is becoming a loved and valued member of our family................
As I walked the trail and walked the perimeter around the back side of town I watched my pup closely.
Like a small child she ventures away from me to explore, turns to look back at me periodically to judge my progress and make sure that I am still in view, and then happily goes back to exploring................
At the end of the trail I clipped Kory back on leash and we picked up one more short trail that led directly to the gravel back road of town.
Quickly covering the length of town I turned once again, weaving our way back towards the house.
As we passed these three old trucks I was momentarily focused on the site of them - their lines, their age, their condition - and as I have done so many times before I found myself wondering again what the story was behind them.
Some windows were left open.  A hood is missing.  They have weathered well in this dry desert climate.
They have wonderful color and wonderful shapes (the International in particular), and I actually really like these things a lot.
They have sat motionless and silent and seemingly forgotten for the entire time that we have lived in Atomic City, and I don't know for how long before that.
I would part them out.  Or sell them for scrap.  Or do my darndest to get one or more of them up and running again.
I would donate them to one of those charities that takes old vehicles.
Or to someone who was struggling to find a way to work every day.
What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness...............John Steinbeck

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