Where have you been, Leslie?

I’ve been focusing on my truck driving business paperwork during December.  The end of 2013 is just days away.  I had to make a choice.  Get in some crafting time, catch up on my blog reading and commenting, or get my paperwork finished and over before 2014 begins.  I chose to complete the task that is the most dreaded by me.  The paperwork necessary for tax time.  The worst of it is over.  I have a day or two remaining of sorting out the days we were home this year versus the days out away from home in our truck driving business.

I am only popping in here, briefly, to allay any fears of my going into another state of depression.  Last winter was a really bad one for me.  Knowing that I will be leaving  home again for long periods of time and not be able to do anything in the way of crafting has been the hardest to deal with.  For those of you that don’t have the advantage of traveling cross country and long to be able to just get away and see what is over the next hill believe that being a truck driver is the best job in the world to  have.  Honestly, it does have moments of breathtaking beauty.  Mostly it is monotonous and bone wearying.

Stress, in major high doses, doesn’t help either.  Both in the truck driving and the tax preparation involved.  The holidays don’t help either.  Preparation for Thanksgiving, followed closely by Christmas, and then the New Year makes this woman one cranky person.  The cranky quotient  amps up to mental and emotional shut down as the pressure mounts.  Along with that the added stress of knowing this cycle will resume shortly after the first of the year.  No time is allowed for creativity nor pure joy in a normal life.

I have fully retired from the truck driving life and a new one begins in 2014.  It is time to get my old life sorted and boxed up.  Clear the path of obstacles and prepare for the new life that awaits me.  A life filled with creativity, sharing, teaching, and just doing the things that I truly love to do.

Last Saturday, December 21st, we were to leave for Colorado and have Christmas with some of our kids.  The evening of the 20th drizzling rain began to fall in Oklahoma, followed by plummeting temperatures.  Saturday morning arrived to a frozen world outside my door.  We had a rental car ready to be picked up, the question was….would we be able to get the car?  Frozen streets, businesses closed, no one answering phones at the rental agency to see if we could even get the car.  Just before noon we were able to get out of the house and make the careful trek to the car lot.

This is the world that greeted us that Saturday morning.  The grass in our yard was frozen in capsules of ice.

Grass encaplsulated in ice

Grass encapsulated in ice

Icicles in frozen streams from the hood of my car to the tires.

Icicles freezing my tires

Icicles freezing my tires

A 1/2 inch thick sheet of ice covering the hood of my car.  Checking the oil of my car would have been impossible.

Hood of my car frozen solid

Hood of my car frozen solid

A close up view of the ice sheet joined at the hood edge and top of the headlights.

Headlight obscured by the ice

Headlight obscured by the ice

The tree outside my house laden with ice.

Our frozen tree

Our frozen tree

Our tree was not the only one frozen.  A Christmas Tree lot located near the rental car agency is a sadly beautiful sight.  Once these trees thaw they will be a total loss financially for the seller of Christmas magic.

Frozen Christmas Tree top

Frozen Christmas Tree top

Frozen Christmas Trees

Frozen Christmas Trees

The local news channels were begging people to stay home and off the roads on Saturday.  The route we would be traveling to Colorado was very slick and hazardous.  Sunday would dawn warmer and would make traveling easier so we waited it out.  Once we left Sunday mid morning the only area of concern was in Kansas.  Salina, Kansas is near the I-70 route we would be taking west.  Salina received five inches of snow overnight which made traveling difficult.  We had to get off the highway for gas and encountered a side road that had not been cleared.  We got stuck in the snow.  A band of hearty souls came to the aid of many motorists, including us, to free us from the grip of ice and snow.

Good  Samaritans to our aid

Good Samaritans to our aid

We arrived, safely, in Colorado.  Christmas morning dawned bright and cold.  Joe began his ritual of cooking the feast in an unfamiliar kitchen.  At our daughter’s house he and I had plenty of room to work around each other as he went about the task of making his stuffing.

Preparing Christmas dinner

Preparing Christmas dinner

A “Christmas Toast” was held in front of the Christmas Tree by father and daughter.  The toast officiated by Bogie the Boxer.

Christmas Toast

Christmas Toast

A delight to this grandmother.  Watching her grandson’s captivated gaze at the Christmas Village display at his Aunt Loreli’s home.

 

A child exploring a tableau

A child exploring a tableau

Christmas is magical with children.  A child’s first bike, a little imagination, and a squirt gun to defeat the enemies of his world.  Oh, and it is also important to be singing “Jingle Bells” as he pedals his bike while fighting foes.

 

A new bike for Christmas

A new bike for Christmas

We are back home now, in Oklahoma.  I will do another vanishing act for a little while to finish my paperwork in preparation for the New Year.  I had purchased a supply of corrugated cardboard sheets from my local box seller.  I didn’t buy all of this cardboard, this was taken in the store.  I have projects planned and will be in full creative mode.

 

Cardboard sheets

Cardboard sheets

Watch for storage posts and/or videos that will be created out of this cardboard.  There will also be tags, greeting cards, scrapbook layouts, and some mini albums created in 2014.  Full steam ahead!

Leslie

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tina
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 15:03:36

    can’t wait…wishing u and Joe a belated merry Christmas!!! and a wonderful 2014!!

    Reply

  2. gardenpinks
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 15:42:06

    Fantastic photos Leslie – that happened here a few years ago, when the wind blew through the trees and the ice covered branches blew against each other it sounded like skeletons dancing 🙂 We have a photo somewhere of a rose that was about to open at the beginning of January and we laid it under a sheet of ice in the garden!! It was a very strange event.
    I finished my house project and it is on my blog now; my sister was delighted with it
    Have a happy New Year and looking forward to all your forthcoming projects.
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xxx

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 07, 2014 @ 08:54:45

      Your little island is getting hammered, according to the news in the States. High winds, rain, ocean waves towering over the beaches, and plummeting temperatures all over. Even in the milder areas of your island the cold has tightened its grip. Hope you and Rod are staying warm!

      Sorry to have taken so long to respond to your comment. It has been almost two weeks! Seems your Christmas went well and your house shadow box creation was a smashing success. I’m very happy for you. Especially after all the hard work you did on that beautiful project.

      Love you my friend – Leslie

      Reply

  3. Maureen Mathis
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 16:42:43

    I’m so glad your trip wasn’t cancelled because of the winter storm. We’ve left our Christmas decorations up so that Kelley can see them when she returns from Guatemala tomorrow. From her few texts and short phone calls, I think she’s had a great time on her mission trip. Kevin left last Friday for ski trips in Taos and then Keystone, so he won’t be back until the 6th or 7th. We hope he stays for a few days before returning to Austin to join his friends as they return for the start of another semester.

    Glad the tax work is done. Your accountant is going to have a heart attack when you deliver the papers this week! So get some nitroglycerin ready! I hope Joe gets to be home for awhile before heading out on the road again. Tell him I say hi!

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 07, 2014 @ 09:02:32

      I hope your Christmas, although delayed, was a great one. I’m relieved to hear that Kelley’s mission to South America went better this time than her last one. Kevin seems to be finding his way in college while making life long friendships as well. Kind of an odd way to see your Christmas, Shannon being the remaining child at home. Won’t be long before she is off on her adventures. I think that is the most difficult part of parenting. Watching your little ones grow up and go away :/ Anyway, I hope you and Charlie had a wonderful Christmas together and he wasn’t called away to the hospital.

      Joe will be leaving Wednesday. The tax man will have to wait for a little while longer. I have to hold off for the 1099 forms to arrive then I will present the mess to him! Good riddance to the paperwork for another year :/

      Love you my friend – Leslie

      Reply

  4. Jack Flacco
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 18:02:25

    My gosh! I thought we had it rough, and here you are with the freezing rain as well. Where I live, about an hour north of Toronto, we get hit pretty bad with the freezing rain. All around us, the townships lost power. But us? We managed to escape the brunt of the ice storms effects (power outages). Most of the folks in Toronto lost their power leaving them in the dark for several days. What a terrible feeling that must have been for them! I think I’ll write about it in my next Freedom Friday post, but we’ll see!

    In the meantime, I really love your kitchen. The center island is so awesome. That’s something I’ve always wanted, and yours looks amazing!

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 07, 2014 @ 09:07:15

      Jack, I never give Canada much thought in the weather department….except when your blasts of cold air make their way down here – LOL. I have been under the delusion that Canada is under a thick blanket of snow from mid November until late May. I’m glad to hear that you and your family escaped the power outages during the Christmas holidays. I feel bad for anyone that loses power due to a storm.

      You and me both would like to have that center kitchen I showed in my post. That is in my daughter’s home and I am just so beyond jealous of her 😀 I have a “one butt” kitchen. Only one butt can maneuver in my kitchen. Add another one and things get a bit dicey near the stove and oven, LOL.

      Leslie

      Reply

  5. Tracy :)
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 22:20:13

    As beautiful as ice storms are, it is best to stay indoors. So happy you made it safely.
    Congrats on retiring in 2014!!! Just some advice, I thought I would get so much more creative when I retired this year, but figured I had so much time now that I was retired, I created less.
    Love your daughter’s kitchen and even more so that your hubby enjoys cooking 😉

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Jan 07, 2014 @ 09:12:08

      Tracy, I’m with you on the staying indoors during really foul weather. I see the pictures of your neighborhood and the things you do outside and I have to tell you….Girlfriend you are made of sturdier stuff than me.

      I’m looking forward to no longer living out of a suitcase, sleeping in hotel rooms, and having my world fly passed me at 70 mph. Not to mention the grease and broken down trucks that go along with it all.

      I hope you and Wayne have fully recovered from the bout of flu you both were stricken with.

      Hugs to you my friend – Leslie

      Reply

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