Welcome! Grab a cup of tea, and enjoy browsing some of the photos and stories. As the 'teawife,' it is my duty to watch and listen and be a supportive friend, and a loving mum and wife. I should post more often, but sticking my nose into everyone's business keeps me busy! Kathy the teawife

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Back in the U.S.A.

Three months have passed since my transatlantic move from the south of England to the foothills of Colorado. Furniture was packed up on one end and shipped to the other, with most items arriving unscathed. Whether I can claim that my mind and body weathered the journey as well is still unknown! 

Currently, I'm here in Colorado, with my dog Sophie, experiencing the wonders of Colorado and wishing I could share it all with my family, who are strewn in all corners of the world. My 18-year-old son left for Lancaster University in England to study biochemistry, and my husband is working and 'commuting' from Moscow. I realize our family life is not the norm, but these are the consequences of choosing an expat life. Our son straddles both the UK and US worlds and seamlessly moves from one to the other. I'm just very very grateful for Skype, which keeps me connected with both son and husband! Looking forward to having them both in Colorado at Christmas. 

I have had some other visitors while living in Colorado, including a family of raccoons scrounging around the bird feeders on the balcony AND a bear! I encountered the bear in our driveway as Sophie and I returned from a walk. Bear had come up our flagstone steps from the lake. Perhaps it was interested in our peach tree, which was heavily laden with ripe fruit. Sophie growled at bear, my heart stopped, bear looked at us, and then turned tail and ran back down the steps. Whew! Bear eventually swam the length of the lake to get away; I didn't know my dog was so frightening! 

Fortunately, I enjoyed a long summer with my son before left for school. While he was here, northern Colorado experienced one of the worst floods of its history. The damage to local infrastructure was horrendous. 

You can see some of the photos, which I posted on my Teawife Facebook page, taken from our neighborhood during the flood.

I'm slowly starting to settle into my life in Colorado, and I'm trying to document my experiences through photos and words. This is the first autumn I've spent in Colorado, and I've been enjoying all the changes that come, from golden and russet leaves to early snows that temporarily blanket the landscape in white.

For example, last week, we had a cold system blow through, and our area had the first hard freeze of the season. Having freezing weather in the Front Range of Colorado is not unusual, of course. Because we have freezing temps every morning once it's winter, the weathermen only warns us of a hard freeze once. A meteorologist the other day explained that once we have one hard killing frost, everything is dead, and there is no reason for the weather service to continue to issue warnings! This is not Texas, where I grew up. 

The extreme temperatures of Colorado, along with its plentiful days of sunlight, are unique to a mountainous region. While living in England, it was common in the autumn to have 24-hour temperature ranges of 44 to 54 degrees. In Colorado, the autumn averages 34 to 64, but the spread can be even wider, with a hard freeze in the morning and bright sunshine in the afternoon. My friend the sun greets me almost every morning in Colorado; in England, the weather

The frost also affected tree leaves in such a strange way. In England, the leaves color and gradually drop to the ground (unless there is a big gale). In Colorado, we had beautifully colored gold, rust, red and yellow leaves on trees until the hard frost when they promptly fell off! Some leaves are still 'sticking' around, but the image of the leaves suddenly dropping to the ground reminded me of the Whomping Willow tree of Harry Potter fame. During autumn, it would violently 'poof', and all the leaves would fall off. 

A couple of days later, Loveland had its first snow of the season. This is what fall is like in Colorado! You can see more frost and October snow photos on my Teawife Facebook page.