I have two nice big kitchen windows, so I often get to see some pretty great sunrises in the early hours while I pushing the "on" button of my coffee maker. The other day I looked out the windows and saw this golden light. I grabbed my phone and ran out to try to capture it. The first is the view of my garage/back yard area, and the second is the tree at the corner of my house.
A few days ago, Molly and Sophie were discussing hair length. Apparently, Molly would like to have long flowing locks, like her sisters. This inspired Sophie to create a chart that would indicate approximate hair length for Molly at 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 years of age. I think she was trying to show Molly why long hair was not going to be happening any time soon.
Everyone here in Wyoming talks about how cruel the winters are here, and how early they come in the year. Maybe we brought a little bit of the deep south with us, though, because we've had a run of very mild weather. These pictures were taken before the most recent snowfall, but even now, the snow has melted and we are back to simple windbreakers or cardigans and sunny blue skies. We keep saying to ourselves, "This is the last nice weekend we're going to get, so we have to get out and enjoy it." Thus a spontaneous trip to Curt Gowdy park.
We woke up to a world of white yesterday morning, and lo and behold, it continued to snow during the first half of the day, so Molly was able to actually watch her first snowfall. It was really pretty.
And of course, a morning like that requires snow-related books read in front of the fireplace...
A snow-themed collage...
And making paper snowflakes with coffee filters:
And then of course there's the guilty pleasure of which I did not take a picture: a big bowl of popcorn, warm apple cider, and a blanket on the couch watching a movie with Molly. SUPER cozy.
It is truly amazing how different Halloween here is compared to Valdosta, on several levels. First, and most obvious, is the weather. Sophie and Molly have never had to bundle up to trick or treat. Second, the community activites, on and off base, were so abundant we couldn't keep up with them all. Before the actual night of Trick or Treat, there were many opportunities for kids to get all dressed up and attend parties, the Goblin Walk, library crafts, museum crafts, and "trick or treat off the street" events. On the 31st, a drive around Cheyenne just for the mundane purposes of grocery shopping revealed that everyone gets into the spirit here - adult grocery shoppers in full costume, workers handing out candy - there was even a gorilla on the sidewalk of a busy street bouncing around with a big Little Ceasar's Pizza sign.
Sadly, I did not get good pictures on Halloween night. Things were crazy and I didn't take time to make sure that my camera was on the right setting for the lighting. I am, however, going to post the fuzzy pictures anyway because the whole point is capturing the memories - and the photos, fuzzy or not, accomplish that just fine. Here's something no photo can capture, though: this is the first Halloween in years, perhaps in my adult life, that has embodied what I hold to be the essence of the season and holiday. And I'm so glad Sophie and Molly got to experience it. I want them to remember the smell and feel of the brisk night air, crunching along the sidewalk through fallen leaves, watching the light fade away and moon getting brighter, warm apple cider and cake donuts, lots of laughing, yelling kids in costumes running every which way, and adults laughing and shouting greetings because most of them know each other. Walking along a long row of big old brick houses with large trees in between still dropping yellow leaves. (And some of these houses are reported to be HAUNTED!) It was an awesome setting for trick or treat.
One element of the night that is completely new for us though? Security guards patrolling the sidewalks. Every now and then you'd look ahead and see two young men dressed in their military uniforms and hats strolling along and at first think, "Well that is simply NOT creative thinking for costumes!" and then you realize they're not dressed up for Halloween. Here on base, the security forces drive and walk around to make sure that everyone is safe, which actually is a nice feeling. Considering the kinds of things that can and do happen on the 31st.
Our house was a designated "safe house" for the night, which means we supplied these security forces folks with hot drinks and a WC while they make their rounds. We were also ready to receive lost children or adults and be a point of communication. There were a number of these houses in the multiple base neighborhoods. If only it could be like that in all communities.
Our front door:
Our friend Claude came over to hand out candy while Matt and I went out with the girls. Claude's family is not here in Cheyenne so he pooled his candy with ours and enjoyed the night with us. It's a good thing he brought his bags of candy, too: there was more traffic than we ever imagined.
Molly was not too shy to show her candy stash off to one of the security forces guys. She walked right up to them and said, "Hey guys! I want to show you something!" One of them sauntered over to humor her. He was really sweet to patiently listen while she said, "I've got 3 of these, and 2 of these, and I have 7 of these, and look! I have 5 of these...."
It was pretty funny.
A good Halloween.
This was on display at the Wyoming State Museum downtown. Pretty incredible to think of what this land must have been like 170+ years ago.
Take a look at this scene from Dances with Wolves - although not filmed in Cheyenne (it was done in South Dakota), this is what the land around Cheyenne looks like.
I find myself snapping pictures (does one actually "snap" pictures anymore?) at the cottonwoods these days because they are such a pretty yellow. Lit up by a late sun with a dark grey sky behind them, the leaves are especially beautiful. It's very hard to capture it with my camera and skills, but I'm sure there are folks out there getting really wonderful representations on film. (film?) Today, the day before Halloween, the leaves have mostly succumbed to the rigorous Wyoming winds. But I'll post a few of my better pictures here.
The picture above is taken from my front porch.
The above is Matt's office building.