Saturday, March 31, 2007


I'm going to be able to take pictures like these!


What has Cheri been up to? I found some answers about the woman who was brutally murdered. She was from Northern California, and had a lot of friends and family who miss her terribly. It helps a lot to know that.

It was this horrible incident, along with my sexual abuse of humans class, that spurred me on a three week rollercoaster ride with serial killers. I suppose I have some coming clean to do here. I have actually had an experience with someone who became a horrible murderer.

I wrote about a time when I was held down by boys in the school yard . I re-read it, and the boy who had the crush on me was actually my age. It was his brother and his brother’s friends who were a couple of years older. They held me down so the boy could kiss me.

His father was an extremely abusive individual. He got blamed for everything that went wrong at home. When he got to school, he undoubtedly displayed symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder. I remember he was disliked by other kids. I’m sure he had teachers who felt any and all beatings he received at recess were deserved.

When I was raped, I honestly didn’t know who the man was. The police determined it was someone I knew, not just because the way my mother insisted it, but because he kept asking me during and after the rape if I knew who he was. He insisted I not look at him, and I complied. I wonder, sometimes, if that is the ONLY reason I survived. If he thought I knew him, would he have killed me? I've often felt he wanted to kill me, he planned to kill me. I think I threw off the plan when I bent his fingers back.

I moved to Boise six months later, where I met my now ex-husband. I got pregnant with my daughter in July. Later that summer, my mother came to visit, and informed me that the detectives in Twin wanted me to come in and try to identify the guy who did it.

She said that a 12 year old girl had been raped at a park, and had been strangled and beaten, and the police were sure that he was the same guy who attacked me. She suffered brain damage, and couldn’t remember anything at all about that night.

All I could think about was the day they hauled me in to listen to tape recordings of guys they had questioned. The detective said I need to listen carefully. The first voice I heard, I thought for sure was him, so I said so. The detective looked at me and said, “No, that’s me instructing the person what to say.” I knew right then, I would never make a credible witness. By November, I knew no one would ever be brought to justice for attacking me.

After my divorce, I was sitting alone one night, watching tv – at night. The FBI Files came on, and the whole show was about a horrid triple homicide that had occurred in Alaska. The man convicted was the boy who kissed me in the schoolyard, so I thought, interesting! I’ll watch it. When they went through his list of previous crimes, they included a crime in Twin that he was THE suspect in. It was the rape, beating and strangulation of a 12 year old girl in the park.

Chills went down my spine. That was really the first moment when I was certain who had attacked me. It all made sense. Everything came together in my mind, and I didn’t sleep that night.

So the class and the recent murder really affected me. It affected me a lot more than it should have. At the end of class last week, I asked if the teacher knew about that case. He hadn’t (I don’t know how he didn’t) so I decided to try to do some research on it. I found a couple of books that talked about the case. One had just a small excerpt, and was not entirely accurate. The other was all about the murders, the trial, and the man who committed such an atrocity. I read it in a day, didn’t sleep last night, and am beginning to put things right in my mind again.

As I read the book, I kept trying to convince myself it probably wasn’t him. But I made timelines, noted his mo and there just isn’t any way it wasn’t him. Even his closing argument speech was convincing. The same kind of speech, the same ranting, the same stupid sounding crap. So, that’s where I’ve been for the past few weeks.

But I must move on. I will write my term paper, feel comfort in the fact that he is in prison for the rest of his life, with no option for parole. I will remove his image from my memory, just like I removed the song playing on mtv that morning. I will turn my thoughts to happier things.

My heart and thoughts go out to Kim’s family. Their love will hold her immortal. I didn’t know her, but I feel a kind of kinship with her. I don’t know why I got to survive and not her. I'm glad the guy who killed her won't go on to commit more crimes, but I don't know why he should get such an easy way out of it. I don’t know what the answers are, but I do know what questions need to be asked. A very wise person once said, sometimes the question is the answer! (I wonder if he ever wrote it down)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Did You Know Kimberly Ann Payton?

Find more artists like T.Jefferson Band at MySpace Music

In March of 2007 tragedy hit Twin Falls. A woman was murdered and found on a ledge under the Perrine Bridge. Our media did a horrible job covering the story, treating it like a National Enquirer story. They focused solely on the murderer and his subsequent suicide. I wanted to to know more about the woman who was murdered, and felt that I wasn't alone due the fact that this post was receiving a lot of traffic from all over the state. The following was my plea to readers.

Dear Visitor:

I’m still getting a lot of hits from people googling about Kim Ann Payton, and since I know so little about her, I’m going to ask you visitors: Did you know Kim Ann Payton? If you knew her, knew of her, knew anything about her: where was she from? What was she like? What were her goals and interests in life? What was her life like?

These are questions that haunt me. She was a woman who was murdered and dumped, then displayed like she had no meaning. She had to have had at least as much meaning as the man who killed her. He got a full, pictured obituary and LDS funeral. She didn’t even get a death notice! She deserves better.

If you do know anything at all about her, please leave a comment here, or e-mail me at I would really appreciate any information at all that could let me put this to rest. Apparently, I’m not the only one who is looking for answers.

Thank you in advance for any information you can give.

I continued to get a lot of traffic for this post, and a few people left comments. Some were as bewildered as I about how the media handled the incident. Some knew Kimberly Ann Payton and wrote that she was very much loved and missed. Those comments satisfied my need to know she had value in the lives of others, and I decided to let it go - Until I got a comment from Kim's sister, which prompted me to add the following to this post:
Update 1/13/2008: I have received a lot of traffic on this post, and some very
good comments. Today Kim's sister commented about her sister. Please take a
moment to read about Kimberly Ann Payton from someone who really knew her well,
and loved her dearly. I am so happy to know that she was well loved and sorely
missed. A lot of people had her on their minds and hearts over the holidays. I
hope they managed to find a little peace through the pain.

Since that time, regular traffic from people who knew and loved Kim has kept this post in the top ten most visited posts on my blog. To me, this post has become a kind of memorial to Kimberly Ann Payton. A place where people can come and read the comments left by others. I offered to post pictures and links that are important to her family.

The media had a picture of Kim, but nothing like these. She was so beautiful. Her death was truly a loss to this world. I hope to keep adding pictures and links for as long as the people who loved her send them to me. Keep checking back, and don't forget to check the comments. Her family regularly posts comments letting her know how much she is loved and missed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I've been googled so much, my sides hurt.

Oh, my! I really went and did it when I blogged about the unfortunate incident that took place last week. I have been googled about 100 times since then. I guess that would be one way to increase traffic on my site, but I’m not really looking for just traffic. It would be nice if the people who were here were here for me, but at least I know now that if I want to get one of my notorious opinions out there, this would be the way to do it.

I only wrote about the murder because I was so freaked out about it after watching videos about serial killers. This didn’t turn out to be one of those, but it could have if the person in question had walked further, much further, across the bridge. If he had gotten away with it, he probably would have escalated into a full fledged serial killer. For now, I think drugs were a huge factor. I would be surprised to learn otherwise.

I really have a lot of other things to write about. Like my B in intro to stats. It sucks. I am currently in a class where I am unable to show what I have learned by taking the test the teacher gives. I really don’t think I’m alone in this, but it goes that way sometimes.

I’ve been writing about my dreams in another blog, so I haven’t just NOT been writing, I just haven’t been writing here.

My ether friend found out that he has lymphoma in his lung. I am really sorry to hear that. He is such a nice guy, and he has yet to enjoy a lot of things he surely has coming. My guess is, that he is suffering this problem because of the incredible stress he has been going through. I love that he is finding so many people around him who are so willing and full of so much desire to help him. I don’t know how many people would converge upon me if I had found myself in his position.

I know he will be ok, however. He is a strong guy and has so many people praying for his return to health. Cancer sucks, and cancer treatment is sometimes worse than death, I understand. I hope he kicks this cancer’s butt, and in short order.

I did some gym climbing today. I really have lost everything. I was able to do some climbing, but it was much more difficult than I remember it being. I sweated up a storm for just two climbs. People kept telling me I have a really nice harness. It was a less expensive harness, just $45.00. It’s an ok harness, and one that I bought to wear until I get down to my real size!

Oh, and I have lost 15 pounds in the past two weeks. No one has noticed. I have, so I guess that’s all that matters. Once I lose the remaining 35 pounds, I’ll bet my climbing gets better. Tomorrow, I’m turning my hike into a run. That should help a little.

I am so tired. I am going to post this and pray that it isn't loaded with stupid typos.

Friday, March 16, 2007

CSI Twin Falls?

Nathan Jacobson was a possible suspect in the murder of Kim Ann Payton. They had interviewed him, and obtained warrants to search his vehicle and home, where they found blood. Today he is dead from an apparent suicide.

If he is, indeed, the killer, he took the coward’s way out. If this were an episode of Law and Order, or CSI, there would be more to it. I don’t know if there is. It is baffling how a young man could commit such a horrid crime, and then end his life so quietly. Perhaps his motive for the murder was obtuse and absurd. If he is the murderer, he died without telling anyone why had committed such a heinous act.

I don’t remember this kid at all. I don’t know if he attended Twin Falls school district or not. My kids don’t know him. His family had a home here, he committed suicide there, so I am sure we will be learning about this individual.

Ms. Payton is even more a mystery, it would seem. She had only been here about a month with her boyfriend, who was not a suspect in her murder. Twin Falls must be transforming into a big city. People used to know each other around here. (One argument against Twin Falls becoming a big city is the complete incompetence of our local news station. It used to be worth watching. Now, when we want the story as told by professionals, we turn the KTVB in Boise.)

I also have to wonder if Methamphetamines played a part in this. This drug problem is rampant here, and seems to be at the heart of nearly every violent death around here. What is this town coming to? What kind of a world do we live in?

I desperately cling to every ounce of good that I find in humanity. There is so little left.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fear Not, for I Am With You

One of the biggest reasons I never moved away from Twin Falls was the fear of being murdered once I got to the big city. The beautiful woman they found nude below the bridge moved to Twin Falls from California. It’s ironic.
Her name was Kim Ann Payton and she was 37. They aren’t releasing very much information about her as of yet. They are grasping for any information that might lead them to the person responsible for this. I hope when they catch him, they string him up by his toenails.

I thought I’d be unique today with Zach and go out across the bridge and hike to a couple of the hidden lakes there. Of course, I thought the drive would be ok. It wasn’t. It was really hard on my poor car (which has earned a complete tune-up after it got us back today), and we got stuck. I mean, we got really stuck! I was freaked, but I stayed calm enough to get us out of it.

I didn’t get us out alone, either. This was another incident where a higher power undoubtedly had a hand in. There just happened to be two rocks exactly the right size, and an abandoned plastic car part the perfect size. I jacked the car so that I could get the rocks under the tire, and lined the plastic in the appropriate place and got out of there. It was mystically magic. There is a god.

There has to be! I can be as skeptical as the next person, but I don’t need science to explain what happened today. And things like this happen with regularity for me. I have nothing to fear. I know that my path is being blazed and manicured for me. I was going to give these guys a few more months, but I don’t think I need to now.

That’s not to say I have the answers, I don’t. As an ether-friend told me recently, “sometimes, the question itself is the answer” and how I do have questions. I never intend to stop asking the questions.

My ether-friend has been under the weather as of late, and waiting for answers to some of his questions. I hope he is doing well. I’m checking to see if my guardian angel can send a message to his. He has a lot of friends about him now, and that should get him through these nail biting days of waiting, and a little trust in knowing god will do what is best.

I’m getting angle kisses on my eyebrow.

Monday, March 12, 2007

On Edge

The naked body of a woman was found Friday afternoon under the Perrine Bridge. A group of sight seers noticed what they believed was a deceased body and contacted the local authorities who said they could not find any clothing or identification of the person. She is 5’ to 5’5”, 115-130 lbs., 18-30 years old, with shoulder length brownish hair. They have been unable to match her to any missing persons reports in this area. An autopsy will be performed Monday.

I’ve been a little freaked out by this turn of events. I find it particularly coincidental that this would happen at a time when I am in a class that has focused intensely on serial killers over the past couple of weeks. I realize that is a huge leap, dead body to serial killer, but that is how it feels.

Taking all things into account, it might not be such a huge leap. She was found on the NW side of the canyon next to (not actually under) the bridge. Maybe people wouldn’t notice someone throwing a woman over the bridge in the middle of the night, but someone would definitely have noticed a naked woman walking to that spot. It would have been a long trek from either direction, and it was fairly cold Thursday night.

It also worth noting that the Perrine Bridge is the main avenue into Twin Falls. A person who is traveling I84 and wants to get to Nevada would take this path. How easy would it be to drop off unwanted cargo at the bridge? Apparently, it isn’t difficult at all.

But they want to rule out suicide. That’s the Jerome County Sheriffs department for you. There will be no CSI Jerome series on tv, that’s for sure. KMVT is something to be really proud of (I say sarcastically), they have broadcast video of men walking around the dead nude body looking for evidence. How dehumanizing can they be.

Friday night the Boise news station put out a missing person’s bulletin of a woman who was missing from Mountain home. She seemed to fit the description of the body found (although, how many women would?) Of course my mind went directly to the scenario where the killer dumps one body and picks up another. It was quite creepy.

The Mountain Home woman was found in Boise, safe. They are calling it a family matter, which I, of course, read as divorce, possibly fleeing an abusive situation. That’s the world we live in, I guess.

I couldn’t believe it when Megan decided to go visit her father’s family in Boise this week. She was very good at keeping in touch so I wouldn’t worry so much.

I worked off some of the stress by hiking the Dierkies lake trail with Zach. It is a workout when he goes. I might go again soon and try to do some bouldering while I’m there. I really need to try to get back into shape. I look and feel like I’ve done nothing for the past nine months but sit around and feel sorry for myself. I’m all done with that now, though. I’m going to get back to living again, while I still can.

Yes, Megan made it back ok. I was glad to see her.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What Makes Him So Special?

What type of person do you attract?
Your Result: You attract artsy people!

Those free spirited artists with great imaginations find you interesting. They are usually interesting themselves, so its not a bad thing, but they CAN be a bit wifty and choose odd goals. If you like life to always be a bit 'different' from the norm, but not too extreme in any one direction, these are the people for you. If you seek logical decision making skills and good money management, you may want to change something in the way you appear. Artsy people are fun for adventure and exploring, so, have fun!

You attract unstable people!
You attract models!
You attract geeks!
You attract Yuppies!
You attract rednecks!
What type of person do you attract?
Quizzes for MySpace

All silliness aside, I have done some soul searching. Has it done me any good?

I have fallen in love with six men in my lifetime. I married one of them, and divorced him eight years later. Two of them were young love affairs, hot, passionate, and doomed from the beginning. It is the three men I have loved since my divorce that have given me the greatest cause for concern.

I have spent a great deal of time and energy trying to figure out what each of these men has had in common. They all looked fairy similar, not overly masculine, dominant, and most were intelligent. The one thing they all had in common is that they crushed my poor heart.

They were all honest, as I put a high value on honesty. They were all self sufficient, and had the ability to get a decent paying job. None of them had to con their way through life. They all seem to have general a sense of right and wrong.

But what was it about these men that I was so attracted to? They all made me feel like I had to be someone else to get their love. Being me wasn’t enough. Being me was not acceptable.

Being me or not being me was not the problem. Wanting me to be only what they wanted was. The one thing that all of these men had in common was that they were selfish, rude, and inconsiderate.

I have recently learned that a good looking dominant male is only more desirable than and average looking, not dominant male if he is agreeable. A nice guy who is considerate, compassionate, giving and kind will beat out the disagreeable clod most of the time.

I guess I should say most of the time except in my case. I am still looking for that child inside me that wants the world to prove my mother was right about me, and that I have no value or validity after all. I need to heal her, and let her know she is valued and valid. I am valued and valid. I can be loved for who and what I am. I am not a leper. I don’t have any deep seeded psychological or personality disorders that prevent me from being liked.

I don’t need someone to support me. I don’t need someone to make children with. I would like to have someone who is kind, considerate, compassionate and giving. I want to give selflessly to someone who is willing to give selflessly. I want a friend I can trust implicitly with everything I am. I want to honor the trust given to me, to hold his deepest vulnerabilities and keep them safe. I would like to have a witness to my life, and what I have given to this existence.

Is that really so much to ask? Do you want to know something really strange? I have this strange feeling that the universe was just waiting for me to get it, and now that I do, I can have it. Ok, no scientific proof, so don’t tell those skeptic circle bloggers, ok?

I intend to do something fun for spring break. I don’t know what it is yet, but I promise to share whenever I figure it out.

Summer Grapes

This is my favorite charcoal drawing I have done to date. I was just trying to show students how to make a ball look 3D and when I was done, I had this. There really isn't anything I don't like about it. I had vowed to never take pages out of my sketchbook, but I do think I will make an exception for this one. It deserves a frame and an honored place among my favorite pieces of art.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Perfect Place to Study

I found the perfect place to study today. The day was warm and I was calm. At first I felt apprehensive, but it wasn’t long before I settled in and got to work. My attention didn’t wander, and I accomplished much.
It was not at all like the living room where I usually sit to read my boring textbooks, or work on meaningless math problems. There was no tv beckoning me to turn it on. “Oh, just for a minute. I can show you a world far beyond that of any you’ve seen. I can give you a kind of excitement like you’ve never had. I can make your heart beat faster, or more warmly. I can even make your heart skip a beat or two. I’m only a short diversion, I won’t keep you long, I promise. Just turn me on for a moment, and then I’ll let you get back to your studies.”

So I turn on the tv, and before I know it, the day is spent.

It was better than my room. It is quiet in my room, but I have a new mattress that is very comfortable. I’ll sit on it while I read, lean back against my feather pillows and nestle in among the blankets. It isn’t long before my bed begins to taunt me. “Close your eyes, they’re weary from looking at all of those words. I’ll hold you close, and keep you warm. I’ll be a break from the commotion that rattles in your head. I can put all of those confusing ideas and facts and put them in a safe place. I’ll take all of that agitation and anxiety and replace it with peace and calm. I’m just a temporary interruption. Just give me a few moments to refresh you, and you will be reading the book again very soon.”

But if I close my eyes, I will sleep, and before I know it, the day is spent.

It was safer than the library. The library is quiet enough. Until the books steal my attention. They sit so quietly on their shelves, and at first I am quite unaffected by the disturbance. Soon they’re calling to me, “come on! Just pick me up. You won’t even have to read all of me. Open my front cover and contemplate the first words. Turn my pages and inspect my perfect blocks of paragraphs. Remember the far away places and interesting people you’ve known in the books from your past. I can entertain you, but I promise I won’t imprison you between the words and lines of my story. Just one peek, then you can go back to your studies.”

Even one sentence can captivate me, and before I know it, the day is spent.

No this place was different. “I will warm you while you work.” The sun offered. “You will feel comfortable and happy while you sit in my view.”

So I sat beneath the sun, practicing.

“I will sweep the hair from your face,” said the breeze “so you can see the fine work you are doing.”

So I sat working, my undivided attention on division.

“We will keep you company” chirped the birds “We will be the chorus that frees your mind so you can learn.”

My mind never wandered while the concepts and numbers wrote their truths on my brain.

I concluded my studying. I folded the assignments into their cover, closed my book and headed home. When I got there, Megan was there. My heart jumped with joy because I now had the best diversion of all. A distraction freed by the knowledge that I didn’t have anything else I had to do.

I love the park. It is the perfect place to study.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I've Got the Googles!

That’s right! I have this cool stat counter that tells me who visits and how they found my blog. I have been getting googled - a lot - it turns out.

It started out innocently enough. Someone looked up “happy one month anniversary” and found the little thing I wrote about Dale a year ago. Then people were looking up “have you seen aliens” and found my Have you seen this alien” post that I put with the picture I drew of a special alien.

I have been googled four times over why a degree is important. A lot of people get my site with googling universe and synchronicity together. Someone googled “Enlightenment and Eddie Traversa”. Unfortunately, they got a page of journaling and probably never made it to the place where I wrote about him. Oh well.

Someone googled Shoshone falls anniversary and got to see some of my pictures of Shoshone falls! I hope they liked them. I got a hit on big foot! I’m glad I went back and rewrote that post so that it at least made a little sense. Someone else was googling Randy Hansen. I wonder if they read the post “Simpler times.” I liked it.

I even came up on an Oprah Winfrey + Blue October search! That’s way cool. Today someone was googling Dr. Wayne Dyer, and found my highway sign post. Someone googled “seal of authenticity on new laptop looks melted” and clicked on my site. I wonder what they thought. Some one looked up “I’m so tired I could sleep for a year” and found the “I’m so tired, I could sleep” post. That title was supposed to be more reflective of the song “I’m so lonesome, I could cry” but I’ll bet I’m the only one who knew that.

Someone wanted to know “does treatment help autism?” They found a post I wrote about whether treatment changes the individual. I recently got googled by someone looking for autistic adults. My page came up first on the search! Pretty cool! They clicked on the links to find my favorite autistic bloggers! They clicked back and forth four times! I hope they found what they were looking for. That makes me feel good, like my blog had a good purpose. I like my blog a lot, I’m sure that I am the only one who likes my blog as much as I do, but it really feels good to know I might have helped someone learn something they aren’t being exposed to through the media so much.

I get a lot of traffic from someone in China. There is no referring link, and I don’t know if that is because they are looking specifically at my blog from afar, or if search sites in China don’t come through as referring links. I kind of like the idea of having a foreign lurker. It ranks right up there with going in to put something into or taking something out of my safe deposit box. It’s so cloak and dagger!

Megan rarely visits my blog. In fact, she only visits when I tell her to when she’s here using my computer! So, Megan, if you happen to read this, it’s a hint!

Well, all of that aside, I think it’s cool my blog comes up so much on google searches. I used to have a really hard time finding my blog on google, and I was googling post titles. I don’t know what is different. It could be the stat counter. It could be the age of the blog. I don’t know, but I think it’s kind of cool.

So, I feel like a schoolgirl, hanging with her friends, and making a ruckus in class because

I’ve got the googles!

It Was a Dark and Dreary Night

And this is a dark and dreary post.

I made it to my Sexual Abuse of People class. I skipped my Careers class. No it’s not the beginning of the end! I have a very high A in my careers class and thought my time would be better spent studying for my Intro to Stats test coming up on Thursday. Some how, and I can’t figure out how it happened, my A turned into a B+. This is after turning in EVERY homework assignment and getting 100% on all of them. It is so frustrating. I work my butt off in that class. Grrrrrrr.

Anyway, last Monday we watched a video interview of Ted Bundy, I drove home in a state of terror. He seemed like just an ordinary guy, and a complete compilation of the guys I typically date/marry. I definitely intend to pay close attention to the next chapter in social psychology. It’s about intimate relationships. I might be better of just staying single

I went to see Zodiac with my neighbor this weekend. Right in line with this class, don’t you think? It was really long. It wasn’t really gory or anything, but it was freaky. It’s amazing so many of us careless girls make it through life. It must be easy pickins for the antisocial sexual deviants of the world.

I actually had a run in of my own with a serial rapist who did turn killer. He broke into my house and raped me when I was 19. He then cornered a 16 year old in the canyon that winds through town, raped her, and beat her. She lived, but she had serious problems after that. She suffered a serious brain injury. I think she was even in a coma for a while. He eventually moved to Alaska where he raped his little cousins in front of their mother, raped their mother, then killed them all, children first for the mother to see. I can’t imagine the horror of dying that way.

Oh, I also watched The Black Daliah this weekend. So I’m really into it. Is it possible that all of that horror had something to do with my foul mood today? No, I’ll bet it was The Break Up that did me in. Don’t bother with that movie, trust me. PS I did study my math while watching tv.

Tonight’s class was about the hillside strangler. He tried to convince (successfully in some cases) psychiatrists that he suffered from DID. He was found out in the end. I guess the one thing he had in common with Theodore Bundy was his ability to con. I don’t really fall pray to con artists. I can typically see through their acts in short order. They typically steer clear of me because I am not that gullible.

So what are the commonalities of the guys I like? I’m still working on that. The guy who raped me wasn’t a part of my life. He wasn’t invited, he broke in while I slept. He had been following me, stalking me, they think, but he wasn’t someone I had been seeing. He was a socially rejected individual. I didn’t like him in school any more than anyone else did.

I told you it was dark and dreary!

So how was your day?

Friday, March 02, 2007

What a Way to Go!

I always knew I would go like this. Not young, not old, and who knows how, but peacefully? I wonder if I will know how it happened? It is definitely a mystery!

You'll die Mysteriously...
You are a different sort of person and your death will be unexplainable.

'How will you die?' at

Melt Away

I love the snow that falls late in the winter. It retains all of the innocence with which it came, soft and white, forever fresh. It stays just a day, not long enough to become tarnished by the soot of life. It never overstays its welcome. It falls quietly and gently throughout the night, and melts away with the warmth of the new day. It honors the passing winter, and welcomes the spring that approaches.

The snow fell all through the night. The world seemed covered in a white blanket when I beheld it from my window this morning. I pulled my blankets close and snuggled deep into my bed. Joy penetrated my soul and resonated from side to side, from end to end, from front to back. The universe held me safe, and made me warm.