Zen Musings

Fall is fading. Winter will be here soon. Mornings I can feel her frosty breath tickling the back of my neck. It's a time for finishing things as another year draws to a close. And a time for new beginnings. 2011 was a pivotal year in many ways. Makes me curious what 2012 holds in store.

In spite of a heavy winter that was late to leave the Sierras, I got to take both planned eight-day backpack trips in the Sierra. Plus a few shorter ones. I suppose if I meandered down to Lake Isabella, I could still go backpacking, at least until winter gets here in earnest.

Mammoth Mountain opened last week with at least a few runs. The beta is that coverage isn't bad. So, skiing is an option once again. That's the wonder of the Eastern Sierra. It truly is nature's unparalleled playground. Shortly after I moved here, the woman who was the county Social Services Director told me I'd come to Mammoth Lakes for a reason and to never lose my sense of awe. Marilyn would be proud of me, since I never have. It's a rare day that goes by that I'm not grateful to live here, snow, hundred mile an hour winds and all.

Gratitude aside, I have to admit I'd kill for a Trader Joe's or a Whole Foods close by. I truly get tired of the one grocery store in town. Sometimes I have to gird myself to go in there. And after the tourists converge on Mammoth Mountain, shopping on weekends simply isn't an option. Lines extend down the aisles and it can take half an hour to go through a checkout stand. So, I find myself shopping at odd hours: like ten P.M. on a week night. Or even later than that. It's amazing. The later I shop, the drunker the other supermarket patrons look. Since I'm in charge of the county's Alcohol and Drug Program in addition to Mental Health, I try to keep a very low profile during these noctural shopping expeditions.

One of the challenges of being a therapist in an uber small town is running into clients outside of the office. Despite my very best efforts, someone usually tries to flag me down to talk no matter where I find myself. And so it goes. I suppose I should feel flattered. And I do have to admit, I'd feel much worse if they ran like hell when they saw me!

Back to winter and reflections on the year that's rapidly passing. There are so many things I'd like to get done this winter. Like cleaning out the desk drawers in my study. And making some sort of sense out of my husband's electronic shop. (Good luck with that one. Haven't told him about that project just yet!) Who knows? Maybe there will even be the wherewithal to clean out my closets. It's a closely guarded secret,  but I still have clothes from thirty years ago. Maybe even forty. They all still fit and occasionally I'll pull something out and let it see the light of day again.

I'm looking forward to a good writing year. The last book in my Transformation Series will be published. And I hope to have a good start at the next series. Maybe a few more short stories will show up, too. In fact, there's one I'm working on right now that needs an ending. It will come to me. They always seem to in unusual ways.

It's cozy in my house tonight. Fire is buring cheerily in the woodstove. Wolves are curled up in three separate corners. Tomorrow is a free day for me. Wonder how I'll use it?

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