Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gathering White Stuff And Confidence Too

The snow continues to mound here at the Alaska-Canadian border having gathered to the rather impressive depth of 200 + inches and up until today, it's all powder. The willow, scrub maple and alder are heavily buried. Deep holes and treacherous trenches beneath fallen trees are completely filled in. With the temperature beginning to climb towards 30° the snow pack will turn to pristine white cement everywhere, the kind that vanishes somewhere around the first of June. Until then, the going's going to be great.

I've been thinking today about my mother and a very dear friend who died two days ago. The two were similar personalities; strong, resourceful, quasi-adventurous, extremely smart. Both were fine conversationalists who read everything.

Thursa Revenaugh, Mom, learned to create happiness with what she had. If that fell shy she'd make the necessary changes, either in circumstance or attitude, so that life felt right. It didn't take a lot. She fed herself with the simplest things; tap dance shoes at 65, all the doors and windows open wide with Hoagy Carmichael tuned up. She encouraged the Morning Glories to climb above the neighbor's cement wall, the new wall, built higher than the sunset. Every sunrise she'd read, sip her coffee and count the number of humming birds that visited her side of the concrete. Though her keen intelligence clouded with death pending, she chose to celebrate, Valentine's chocolate smeared on her lips and chin. She was a tough, resourceful cookie.

The years shared with Jane were our early parenting years, the seasons we watched our kids becoming people. She and her toddler Seth were an active part of everything we did as a family; birthday adventures, skinny-dipping expeditions, going to the public pool for swimming lessons, ice cream parties at Porcupine Pete's, a whole gold pan full of different flavors and ten spoons. We shared a deep love for reading aloud to our kids and Jane enthusiastically critiqued all of Micah's first manuscripts.
Jane left Alaska long ago and I don't know enough of what came down through the years but she died earlier this week from pneumonia via heavy smoking and chronic depression; soul sickness, the contemporary variety, the kind that seeps into one's deepest holes, filling the lungs, blood and bones then turns to cement. I hope there was some secret delight to see her out, some glad memory, sweet like chocolate.

I'm taking them both snowshoeing with me tomorrow, fond memories combined with the happy tramping of four dogs, (our two and Merrick and Joe's pups, grand-kids with tails).  We're looking for individual snow flakes, winter's four leaf clover. That and a confidence boost over the wall. When we get back, there's a roof or two to shovel. Winter builds confidence just staying out from under.


  1. I so adore your writing and the person you are.

    1. Thanks so much for responding, Michelle. Your praise makes my ears burn. The sensuous penning you create is always a treat.

  2. Sorry to read that you lost a friend.


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