Steel Grey

The poem was inspired earlier by a photo at

Her photo took me back to the steel grey days I had as a child in Ohio and Illinois. She is quite the photographer. What an eye.

In tropical South Texas we don’t get a lot of winter. Today, it is cold, the moon is full, and I am nostalgic. So I wrote a poem, and took a picture of the full moon outside.

Steel grey, light and dark
Winter in the north
Breath alive in steam and ice
Winter in the north
Crunch of snow and slip of ice
Winter in the north
Layers of warmth to keep things nice
Dry heat static shocks us twice
Winter in the north

Today I am grateful I am in the Tropical S. Texas Winter. I don’t suffer static shocks from shuffling across the carpet. I don’t get ice on my scarf from breathing in freezing temps. I have only had to scrape ice off my windshield twice in the last 25 years. I’ve never been stuck in a snow drift here.

The city shuts down if we have freezing precipitation. It’s a bit funny, but so are Texans when they are in freezing anything. You would have to get to Amarillo to find any salt trucks or snow plows in our state. But Amarillo is just shy of the New Mexico border and a good 12 hours north from me. I think Amarillo might be North of Oklahoma City. Just saying.

I do miss seasons, and I’m grateful I get to see snow when I travel.

My closets are not full of coats. Just one that I take with me whenever I must go north of Dallas in January. That is just fine.


Brave ventures and new books

South Texas had a bit of wonky weather this week, and it was not acceptable. I had no time for the freeways to be shut down, school cancellations, or appointment rescheduling. So what to do?

Should I curl up on the couch and say “oh well?” Or do I get up and say “hell no”.

There is a fine line between bravery and foolhardiness. I had to make the decision on if I was going to bet on the weatherman who is less than 50% correct in the summer, let alone in this crazy winter we are having.

When I left the house Tuesday morning, the trees were hanging down with the weight of….wait for it…..Ice. Lots of ice, everywhere, but the street looked reasonable. I checked the traffic cams, no significant closures, and the high temp for Tuesday was supposed to be 50 degrees. I headed out.


It’s been many years since I’ve driven in freezing rain, but it went reasonably well. Only two bridges were shut down between Houston and Austin, and getting around them was pretty reasonable, as there was very little traffic.

The weird weather demonstrated it’s fickle self in a little town called Bastrop, Tx. On the south side of the Colorado river the trees looked like they did at home, ice laden and bowing down low. Once I got through town, and about 3 miles north of the Colorado River, it was dry, clear, and there was NO ice anywhere.

My trip paid off, as I was on time for my lunch appointment, my 2:30 went really well, and I found a new book to keep me company.

I started the Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I fell in love with it from the very first page. I didn’t know they had made a movie out of it, but once I’m done with the book I will watch it. I’ve never read anything from such an interesting point of view. It’s entrancing, and the characters are so relatable.

My mistake was tying to read it in a restaurant while having dinner Tuesday night. I forgot it was Mardi Gras. Austin doesn’t have a big festival or anything, but I was in the middle of some serious party peeps, and I had to return to the hotel to enjoy my book.

If you haven’t picked up The Book Thief, I highly recommend it.

If you have, I’d love to hear your comments!


It’s been an outstanding week. I’m quite grateful that I braved the weather, and I’m delighted in the story that I’m fully immersed in for the duration.