Winter Driving Tips from a Wild Rider!

I love winter driving, especially in snowstorms! The snow makes beautiful patterns as it streaks across the windshield and the challenge of keeping the car on the road gets my adrenaline pumping similar to skiing down a mountain. I learned to drive during long snowy Wisconsin winters. This was back in the day when the snow fell in November and didn’t melt until spring. Monster ruts formed along with black ice which would hide under a shroud of fresh snow like a cursed demon, sending unsuspecting drivers fish-tailing or spinning in circles. Of course we all had rear-wheel drive cars back then.

I decided to share what I learned since most people on the road during our last Colorado snowstorm sucked at winter driving! Continue reading

What’s Up with Susie?

"Susie is such a nice Christmas name. Did you know it was originally Hebrew?"

As I perused today’s newspaper, it occurred to me that I have one of the most cliché names for Christmas. According to Wikipedia, “A cliché or cliche is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.” The name “Susie” is cropping up in holiday advertising everywhere! “A toy for Susie” was on Santa’s list in a print ad along with “an iPod for Timmy.” What could be causing the sudden overuse of my name? Continue reading

Cutting Up at Christmas

One of my favorite  holiday traditions is illustrating a family Christmas card. Over the years it has often included skiing and snowboarding off cliffs and roof tops. Some represented traditional themes like baking cookies together as a family and others illustrated what my family had been up to in the past year; a brag letter without the GPA!

This year I found myself drawn, (no pun intended) to a card I created two years ago. I knew it would be time-consuming and a huge challenge, but hey, that’s just how I roll.

As I began my first prototype – and there were many – I realized how much this year’s card resembled the basics of writing a story. Continue reading

The Christmas Wish – 250 Word Flash Fiction

As Carol scrawled her signature inside the Thomas Kincade Christmas card, a chill sent a shiver like the touch of a cold fingertip along her spine. She buttoned her cardigan and folded the greeting card. While studying the picture of the artist’s painting, Carol smiled at the warm glow emanating like amber from the windows of the cottage nestled in the snow. She imagined the home filled with friends and family. Lifting her gaze through the window above her desk, dense fog and ice had collected on the gnarled oak trees and shimmered in the moonlight. Her heart ached with the familiar sense of loss. “I miss you, John.” She looked around her dreary home once filled with life, regretting her decision to skip decorating this year. What was the point?

She slipped the card into the envelope as a single tear slid down her soft wrinkled cheek. “I wish…” Her shoulders slumped and Carol sobbed.

A flickering light reflected in the window caught her attention. She spun around and a warm roaring fire glowed in the gas fireplace. Silent Night began playing on the radio.

“What the…?” Carol sprung from her chair and as she approached the hearth she heard the doorbell. She wiped the tears from her face, turned the brass knob, and opened the front door.

“Surprise Grandma!” Carol’s three grandchildren, her daughter, and son-in-law stood in the snow on the front doorstep.

“I’m glad you’re here too, John,” Carol thought as she looked up and smiled.

Is there someone you wish you could visit during the holidays?


Thomas Kincade photo of painting by

How Patsy Ramsey Ruined My Life!

It all started when I decided to attend the Historic Boulder Homes for the Holidays Tour. Up until then, my required holiday decorations consisted of one fresh poinsettia and one Christmas tree. Little did I know that purchasing a ticket in 1994 to support Historic Boulder would ruin my life forever.

The tour included several homes located on “The Hill” in Boulder. As I trudged up the snowy path to a gingerbread-like house, I noticed a pretty black-haired lady walk up beside me. Being fairly outgoing, I said, “I love this wreath!”

“Why thank you very much!” she said. Then she flashed me a broad smile. I realized this must be the owner. As I entered, my breath was taken away by the all the fresh magnolia and pine swags above picture frames and mirrors with a large one draped over the stairway. Others graced long buffets and table tops. The scent of fresh flowers mixed with evergreens raised my spirits, but unbeknownst to me it was the first enticement in turning toward the dark side. I laudably gasped and said to her, “This is the most beautiful home I’ve ever seen. I only wish my mother was here in time for the tour. She would really enjoy this,” I said with tears in my eyes.

“Bring her over when she comes to town!” she replied, “I’m Patsy Ramsey by the way.” Continue reading

A New Friend for Christmas – 100 Word Flash

The enormous wet snowflakes fell like confetti as she hurried along the crowded sidewalk. Closing her eyes, she inhaled the rich scent of chocolate and then saw the vendor spray whipped cream on top of a cup while young children waited patiently in line. Continue reading

A Christmas Tail

034 Our Bichon Frise, Avalanche, had not been well for months. Her incessantly wagging tail now lay motionless on the floor. I took our eleven-year-old dog to a compassionate veterinarian who diagnosed her with malignant tumors.

“You’ll know when it’s time,” he said. I fought back tears while feeling an enormous lump grow in my throat.

Continue reading