Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I used to make a list when I traveled--everything I needed to pack went on the list, and I carefully ensured that everything on the list went in the bag.
Now I just toss things in and hope I remember everything I need...and assume that if I forgot something, I can probably get it or else it's just not that essential.
Tomorrow's trip involves packing both a bridesmaid dress and a preaching robe. And, presumably, some clothes for the other two days of the trip. And a computer. And wedding-appropriate shoes. And possibly a raincoat (Seattle's looking....wet.). I'm not certain yet whether I'll take the list or the hope-for-the-best approach, since I don't leave for another 12 hours and 36 minutes. I do know that I'm hoping to fit everything into carry-on luggage (yes, everything including some Christmas gifts that need to travel that direction anyway!). At $20 each way for a checked bag, it's just not so practical. Then again, I don't know how practical it is to try to fit a dress and a preaching robe and some christmas presents and clothes all into carry-on/personal-item sized bags either.
In any case...I'm leaving on a jet plane in the morning so I can be a part of Rachel's wedding. I'll also see some family while I'm there. And, in theory, I'll be back in time for youth group Sunday night.
Dear weather: please cooperate. Love Teri.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

how I know winter is really here

Every winter is full of firsts, just like every year and every other kind of adventure. The first frost, the first freeze, the first snow, the first falling-down-in-a-parking-lot, etc.

Tonight was the first night that the temperature gauge on my car engine went backwards, showing that even as I drove alone my car was getting colder rather than warming up.

It happens every year, and once winter really gets going it'll happen nearly every day (unless I let my car run for 10 minutes before getting into it...and even then it might happen anyway). But the first time it's always a bit of a shock. One minute there are two or three dots there (it's digital). I'll glance away and look back only to find there's just one dot left. Sometimes it happens at a stoplight--during the time I sit there, my car gets colder. Sometimes it happens while driving (as it did tonight) which is even more shocking somehow. I mean, the car is moving and still getting colder!

Intellectually, I understand how this happens. I realize it often has to do with how high the heater is turned on to defrost the windows. I know about the physics involved.

But it's still shocking when it actually happens.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


It's the first day, and I always forget.
Short as the non-cold season may be here,
it's long enough to forget
how it doesn't take much--
a dusting, really, along with a cold night/day.
The snow turns to ice,
and what looks sparkly and pretty
and maybe even crunchy, if you get lucky,
is actually slippery.
One wrong step,
one extra swing of an arm,
one slightly-off-balance-from-carrying-a-bag-of-groceries move,
and suddenly I'm down.
and a car is coming.
Quickly enough I'm up again, hoping no one saw,
wondering what the bruise will be like,
glad I didn't get run over...
and glad to have gotten the first parking lot slide of the year out of the way.