Mornings are my favorite.  When I write, that is.  What began as my first blog entry on April 5thhas now become my most reliable practice of self-soothing.  Mind you, I don’t always feel soothed to write some of the angsty things I have shared but getting it out of the old squirrel cage and onto “paper” is definitely therapeutic.  Some of my overall darkest days have been those when I haven’t written.  Hmmmm.  Doctor, do we see a pattern here?  Typically entire days don’t occur as dark.  As I shared, Monday wasn’t so bright.  Mostly I am “good” in the morning.  I like hearing the birds, I love sitting on my bed in Flame with my Mac serving as a portable heater warming my lap in the brisk morning air.  The dogs are outside playing.  We still have this dirt thing but in the morning I am not so daunted.  It’s just what is so.  We have acres and acres of dirt and soot and the dogs will get coated with it and we will have piles of towels to wash with no laundry facility in site.  Just don’t ask me about the dirt at the end of the day…
Mostly, mid-day’s are good too.  The sun shines, or it rains or the wind blows – which I must say is still a bit disturbing and these delicate plexiglass windows in Flame don’t seem like they can stand too much in the way of excessive stress and strain so I batten down the hatches and ride it out.  But days are good.  It’s when I start getting tired at the end of the day or whenever my mind says is the end of the day.  I began getting hoarse around 5:30pm last evening and still had two groups of fabulous authors to support.  I could hear the flatness in my voice, feel the fatigue in my system and just wanted to go to bed.  My peeps inspired me by their perseverance and commitment to their own writing so I had just enough gas to be with them on the calls.  Coaching authors is like the proverbial “you can lead a horse to water…” I can’t make them write.  Yet, write, they are.  They are engaged, finding their own voices and expressions – and they are sticking with the process.  It is remarkable.  They are remarkable. 
New goals should be clearly set and worked toward, as this is the beginning of a nine-year cycle. It is best not to dwell on the past at this time. This will be fairly easy for you to do because most of the problems and disappointments of the past will tend to disappear, leaving the way open for these new challenges. This is a great time; use it to its full advantage! It holds the promise of an exciting new adventure, with life taking on new challenges that pave the way for the next cycle of nine years in your life. This is a time to clarify your goals and to act on them. Hard work may be necessary to get a new venture moving.
From a reading, describing the end of 2011 and what’s to come… Hmmmm.   An exciting new adventure.  Yes, I can see that.  New challenges, check!  Clarifying my goals.  Yes.  Hard work.  Fer shure.
Most of the problems and disappointments from the past have disappeared - in a fiery maelstrom.  So, yes, it's true, I am not dwelling on thosethings.  Don’t even remember what they were.  And, most days, I am doing “well”.  And then there are those moments…  You know “those” moments?  The ones that take you to your knees, that leave you unsure if you will crack open on the spot and not “crack open” in the seemingly good way but in the way where your psyche may actually fold in on itself and you may just die right there?  Those moments.  I danced on the verge of a few of these moments yesterday. 
In this moment, I am forced to experience gratitude.  Forced you say?  How does that work?  Well, lemme tell you.  Yesterday, we had a visitor.  Previously a stranger, John was the deliverer of joy.  Joy came in the form of a community rallying around me – and us – by creating a gift so lovely and heart-filled that I can be nothing but grateful this morning even as I sit with cramps and fatigue that makes my eyes feel squinty. 
The weekend after the fire, I was supposed to be with my community of healing professionals at a training program created by Jesse and Sharla Jacobs of Rejuvenate Training.  Jesse and Sharla have dedicated their life work to empowering and teaching holistic practitioners and coaches a heart-centered way of marketing themselves as us healing types are often not so business savvy.  In fact, we prefer to give our services away out of love and due to the fact that we are expressing our passion.  That should be free, right?  Charge what we are worth, what???  How can you put a price on love? 
PTSD is alive and well and living in the suburbs.  On my way to our in-town mailbox, I spotted a smoke cloud.  My mind tried to make sense of it.  Was it merely clouds as there were many filling the sky?  Was it my imagination?  As I got closer, ironically I was leaving a message for Joleen my savior.  Once again I said “fuck”, and hung up mid-message.  I called 911, and they said the now ominous response, “crews are on the scene.”  Pushing further, panic building, I inquired, “Is it a house fire or a wild fire?”  The operator was kind and responded, “It’s a lightening strike”.   Tears now coming, I explained, “I just lost my house in a fire, seeing smoke freaks me out.”  Some kind response came back and we said goodbye.  The fear rose quickly to the surface.  Not again.  Not here.  Not now.  I realize there are fires burning elsewhere in Colorado and around the country.  There will certainly be even more this summer.  Yet, this close to home feels especially threatening.  Not here, please.  Please whoever you are up there in the sky or in the molecules or flitting on the wings of fairies or in our hearts.  Please whoever and wherever you are.  Please.  
It’s quiet here.  Dare I say peaceful?  I know houses don’t make much noise – especially mountain houses but it seems more silent than ever before.  The land is restored to an earlier state.  Different than it was in 1983 before the building began yet it restored to a raw place, pre-human dwelling place.  Grass is blooming in patches, birds are singing, bugs are crawling, small wildflowers are poking up in unlikely spots.  The hummingbirds have returned and we welcome them with small feeder on our Astroturf lawn.  I sit outside to write today, getting a later start due to lounging in bed until 7:30, taking out the trash (we have trash service again!), and a series of phone calls.  Jessica is on the way to help me create some order and “continue” with the inventory process.  The dreaded inventory feels just that, dreaded.  Yet with the help of friends, it is doable.  Alone, not so much. 
It promises to be a warm day and I am grateful (as always) to live 3000 feet above the early season heat Denver will experience today.  The shipping container will arrives later this morning and we will begin nesting there as well. More storage space for our small pile of detritus we have accumulated as well as the artifacts that lie in the elements, rusting even more on their newly scorched visages.  I discovered an artist in Evergreen who makes small sculptures out of found art and was drawn to an angel she made from a collection of who knows what.  I am creating a pile for her to commission an angel formed from what once was.   Right now, the pile sits next to the totem pole and obstructs the view off the back of Flame.  It needs to go somewhere else.  The twisted and molten memories beckon and clog my mind more than it deserves to be clogged. 
The time has come to turn your heart into a temple of fire – Rumi
Have I mentioned how much I love our trailer Flame?  I adore her.  I love her small dear space.  I love the coziness.  I love my drawers (yes, still talking about that!).  I love the little AstroTurf lawn we have adorned with plastic Adirondack chairs and solar lights.  I love her sweet silver silhouette which greets me as I pull in the driveway where she sits just to the right of the scorched totem pole.  I love her solitude.
We still haven’t worked out the space – but it’s only been 3 nights… The clutter gets to David yet I know we will find homes for things.  The most challenging issues are the dogs and the “home office” setup.  The two gigantic dog beds are staying although one takes up the entire kitchen floor and the other the dining/entrance area.  Dogs are happy though – and that’s all that matters.  We can move the beds out of the way during the day. 
Morning # 2, in Flame.  Last night was much much much better.  My obsessive search for dog beds paid off.  Before I talk about the payoff, lemme tell you about my obsessive search and another demonstration of a brain on stress.  As I mentioned yesterday, the dogs did not have a fun first night and therefore we did not have a fun first night either… Determined to create some comfort for dogs, I went seeking beds that wouldn’t take up the entire tiny floor space yet would create the right amount of comfort for our furry children.  Petsmart had a pair in lovely burnt orange – both weather proof and equipped with carrying handles!  Score!  That is until my baby Tigger settled in to one as I drove around town and I noticed the far from tranquil sound that the “weather proof” cover created.  Tramping through a pile of Christmas wrapping paper was the fine melody.  Out of the frying pan and into the fire, you might say. 
Here’s where the stress response kicks in.  Seemingly out of time to get to yet another dog supply store, I begin to obsess, the thoughts making hopeless circles in my already taxed mind.  Did I already remove the tag?  Should I return it?  Will it be ok?  But I like the orange material.  What if we put the “fleece” pads over it?  Will that work?  What will David think?  Will they take it back tomorrow?  Over and over these considerations rounded the corners of my brain with no solution in site.  In conversations with multiple friends, this was the only thing I could express.  The dog beds… what do I do about the dog beds.  I began to panic – a Niagara falls of tears dangerously close to the surface.  I knew fatigue was setting in as well bringing its own gifts to my stress cycle.  I was going under. 
I have always loved camping and have not done much of it in the last 9 years.  About that long ago, my brother and his small family were considering a move to Colorado (which they did, and then moved away again).  To make their trip most comfortable – and entice them to live in this fine State – David and I gave them our bedroom.  Not having a guest room at the time in our small home, we got adventurous and built a tent platform on our land.  I loved that week in the tent.  I loved sleeping in my sleeping bag all cuddled up hearing the sounds of nature – and it was nice to enjoy a fresh perspective on our property. 
Prior to buying our house in 2003, we had 10 acres of vacant land in Fairplay where over time we built a sweet camping spot.  We leveled a spot by hand, removed deadfall, built a lovely fire pit, created stone-lined pathways throughout.  It was our private paradise.  David carved a cool log bench using his chain saw.  Some of our greatest moments were spent on this gorgeous land at 11,000 feet bordering National forest.  In order to afford the renovations we wanted to do on our home, we sold the land in the fall of 2003 miraculously attracting some hearty buyers who bought even though snow was already on the ground.  In Fairplay, especially at 10,000 feet, once the snow falls it stays fallen. 
Many thoughts arise on this foggy Mother’s day morning.  Rather than indulge my typical considerations of being a childless woman, I send appreciation and love to all the mothers I know – and I celebrate my treasure box of friends who mother each other.  If I sang praises for each of the glorious women I have in my life I would never be able to remove my fingers from the keyboard.  So today, I will clamor on about two beloved momma friends and of course my own momma.  And, I will update you on the journey to our new mother ship, the sweet vessel Flame.
The plan: move out of Lynn’s (another mother I cherish yet the tale of our journey together needs it’s own platform) on Friday and spend the first night in Flame. 
Actuality: rain, snow and unseasonably cold temperatures which discouraged decision to stay a first night in lightly insulated aluminum cylinder.  Felt it wouldn’t be good for mental health which appeared to be strained after day of packing little belongings we have which still took all day and coupled with putting finishing touches of sparkle & shine to welcome the beloved McHeffey’s back to their magnificent abode. 
Today is the day.  By tonight, we will have moved into “Flame” – our chosen name for our 1967 Airstream Overlander 26’.   Mother Nature chose a socked in chilly morning for our maiden voyage back to our property… hmmm.  Good thing silver looks good against any setting.
The dogs are restless this morning, tearing up and down the living room, into the kitchen, out the front door into the mist and back again.  I wonder just how they will tear through a 26’ trailer… More w-a-l-k-s will be called for.  This younger one, the one I will call the “baby dog” until his last breaths (which actually better never come cause I don’t want to be in this world without him but we won’t go there now…) needs lots of activity.  And now, you might think otherwise as he has settled in on the leather love seat next to me – and I am next to David – as I write and David watches a video on steel shipping containers.  Why pack when we can educate ourselves about what is sure to be our first ‘outbuilding’ on the property and will serve as both David’s office and his workshop?  True to form, we will wait until the last minute.  Thankfully, Joleen is coming for 5 hours to help us clean and get out of Dodge.