Wednesday, April 18

It's been rainy here in Boulder County, and the landscape is as green as it seems likely to get this year. I should have learned by now, though, not to make predictions based on so little experience of a place. After 26 years Nebraska and Kansas still surprise me. 78-year-old men sit in gas stations over bad coffee talking about the weather and shaking their heads. Certainly this is a piece of deep routine, but partially it is because the weather still surprises them too.

My Grandma Bearnes must have talked to me about the weather every time we ever spoke on the phone. If you are a person who takes an interest in things, who notices the substance of what is really going on, this variation is woven all through the stuff of your life. Here, Colorado seems at first glance to offer less variation, but it is possible I am just not calibrated yet. Or maybe that I do not take an interest in real things.

When I was back to the farm for Easter, we looked at some of the calendars she kept. The kind spiral-bound on a piece of heavy stock with the logo of some elevator or co-op. She started writing small simple notes in them some time in the mid or late 1960s. There's an entire box full of them, a life in brief sentences. Livestock, church business, friends and neighbors, children and children's children. Weather.