Old Man Winter

When I moved to Cuchara full time, in the late fall, I wasn’t sure if I could stomach a Colorado winter. The most snow I had ever experienced was 2-3 inches perhaps once of twice a year. I had never driven in snow. I had no experience with a harsh winter. I vowed to my Texas friends to return if winter got to be too rough, or too cold!

My first experience with snowfall came just a few weeks after I moved into my new log cabin. A total of 22 inches of snow fell in one night. In the morning, when I took the dog outside to potty, the snow was twice as tall as my pup and I was at a loss as to what to do.

My fireplace had not been maintained by the previous owners and after a couple of fires that smoked up the house, (even with the flu open, mind you), I gave up until the chimney sweep made it to my house. I learned after that the flu was too small for the chimney and without cracking the windows to let in more air, my chimney would suck up all the oxygen in the room, and it would start to smoke. It took two months for me to get the right system in place for a nice crackling fire to work in the fireplace in the main living area.

However, I wasn’t ready to give up the ship. I liked the snow. I began to look forward to days when it would snow. It gave me the excuse to curl up with a good book, and a toasty fire. It allowed me the luxury of staying in my jammies, if I wanted to, and watch the flakes fall on my deck and the ski runs at the mountain park.

With the help of some very dear, generous friends, I was able to cut my own Christmas tree. The caveat was I had to make it to the top of Cordova pass in winter, in deep snow. It was a baptism of sorts to test out my cars ability in snow, plowed snow at that, but still a challenge for this first time rookie. It was a blast, and I do hope I get the chance again next year. You will never know how a fresh cut tree will stay fresh when cut live and brought home the same day. When I took the tree down a week after New Years, it was still fresh and green!

I make a run to Colorado Springs once a month and this month when I left I drove through what I started calling, ice fog. The locals call it hoar-ice, or freezing fog, but it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. It was like driving through a snow globe, with hand blown glass trees. It was beautiful!

So far, I have stayed on and I’m committed to be a “rounder” as we locals are called who live here full time. It’s been an adventure of a lifetime, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but in our little piece of paradise right here in the Cuchara Valley!

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