Where I Live Now and Why

A video that tells part of the story.

I’m extremely proud to be a small part of the team that created this Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce video. Created by the talented folks at Voortex Productions, this promotional movie combines ground and aerial footage, narrative, and original music to show and tell what Wenatchee is all about. Watch it and you’ll see why I made the move here from the dying Arizona town I lived in.

We are Wenatchee from Voortex Productions on Vimeo.

All of the aerial footage was shot from my helicopter. It required quite a bit of tricky flying. Because the videographer sat in the seat behind me shooting out the door, certain shots — such as the downtown flight — required me to fly sideways at about 30 knots. The final reveal from behind Saddle Rock required a smooth vertical climb with gentle but noticeable wind currents in the canyon behind the peak.

The air-to-air footage of Miss Veedol was challenging but fun. It required me to keep up with the plane as it flew around Wenatchee, putting the videographer in the position he wanted: above, below, in front of, behind. I’m amazed by how well the shots that day came out and tickled that my property in Malaga can be seen behind the plane in one long sequence.

Many thanks to the folks at Voortex Productions for giving me the opportunity to prove how great aerial video can make a production even better than it might otherwise be. I especially appreciate their understanding of the safety and performance aspects of the helicopter, enabling us to keep the ship light so these shots were possible.

Shoveling Snow Time-Lapse

I shovel snow for the first time in 16 years.

It snowed last night. Finally.

Yeah, we did have some minor snowfall way back at the end of November or beginning of December, but it wasn’t much. I bought a snow shovel at the local Habitat for Humanity shop for $5 but was better off just sweeping that snow away.

But last night we had the real thing. About four inches of the stuff, slightly wet but otherwise powdery. I saw it in the dark when I woke up and let Penny out. She ran to the edge of the porch, saw the white stuff on the walk and in the yard, and turned tail, running back into the house, obviously afraid. It was 30 minutes later, after she’d finished most of her breakfast and really had to go that she stepped out into it. That’s when I got an idea of how deep it was — she sank in up to her little body and wound up doing her business under the porch.

I walked out, still in my slippers, and stuck a forefinger in the fresh snow on the walkway. My finger was buried before I touched the ground.

At least four inches. Whoa!

I waited eagerly for the sun to rise. I was actually looking forward to using that new shovel.

Those of you in winter wonderlands who have had snow dumped on you all season probably think I’m nuts. I’m not. I grew up in the New York Metro area where the weather was a bit colder in winter than where I am now — and a lot colder than where I lived in Arizona for 15+ years. I didn’t realize how much I missed the snow until I got here, prepped for winter sports, and then waited for the snow to fall.

It didn’t.

Until last night.

Anyway, at about 8 AM, I donned my winter pants and jacket and boots and fashioned my Buff into a balaclava. Then I pulled on my ski gloves and went out to do a chore most people hate: shoveling snow. Of course, I created a time-lapse:

I don’t have to shovel the driveway, which is quite long. The man who owns the house I’m living in right now has arranged for snow plow service if the snow gets too deep. Right now, I don’t think it’s too deep at all — my Jeep has big, gnarly tires that won’t even notice the snow. Besides, temperatures later this week are expected to rise above freezing — heck, it’s already 31°F outside right now — so I don’t expect the snow to linger.

Maybe that’s why I was in such a hurry to get out there and shovel? I didn’t want to miss my opportunity.

Besides, once it starts melting, I suspect it’ll be a lot heavier and harder to move.

November Full-Day Time-Lapse

A recent time-lapse from my home in Malaga.

I love time-lapse photography. Although there’s nothing terribly special about this 2-minute compilation, it’s my first effort at a full-day time-lapse movie shot from my new home in Malaga, WA. The view looks northwest, toward East Wenatchee (center) and Wenatchee (left).

The formula: one shot every 10 seconds compiled at 30 frames per second. This was shot on November 3, 2013.

It’s interesting to note that because there are tall cliffs south of my property, in the wintertime, I don’t get direct sunlight on my home until late morning. I suspect that’ll get even later as the days get shorter. In the summer, however, I get nearly a full day of direct sunlight — perfect for gardening!

The Woman Scorned Playlist

I’ll let these ladies sing it for me.

A while back, I got into a conversation on Twitter with @flymaine about the pop artist, Adele. I’d heard the name but didn’t really know much about her. @flymaine provided a link to her music video, Rolling in the Deep, on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch:

I watched the video and listened to the lyrics. Could she possibly be singing about an unfaithful partner? I tracked down the lyrics and read them. And when I got to this, I cried:

The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can’t help feeling
We could have had it all

This is what has been going on in my head since the reality of my situation hit me: While he’d been bouncing from one dead-end job to the next, with periods of unemployment in between, I’d been working my ass off to achieve a goal for both of us — a goal he helped me set for our future. While he was dealing with (and complaining about) the nine-to-five grind, I was doing my best to make us financially independent and get us a great place to go and work and play together every summer. But when it came time to join me as he’d promised he’d do, he made excuses to stay behind. And then, while I was gone this year — my best year ever — he dumped me for a woman he’d known less than a month.

We could have had it all — we almost had it all — but now it’s all gone. It’s still hard to believe.

The rest of the song pretty much covers what comes after the pain: the anger. I have that, too. Hell, it was almost as if she wrote this song with my situation in mind.

Or are there that many women out there who have been burned by men they loved?

And that got me thinking about the Scorned Woman Playlist. A list of songs that express what I’m thinking and feeling about my situation. I bought Adele’s song from iTunes and added it to a new playlist.

I already had another song for the playlist: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Hit ‘Em Up Style. I bought it about two years ago, back before I ever thought something like this could happen to me. The only video I could find was this live performance. It rocks:

This one is a lot more fun — and definitely more upbeat — but these lyrics still make me cry every time I hear them:

There goes the dreams we used to say
There goes the time we went away
There goes the love I had but you cheated on me
And that’s worth that now

There goes the house we made a home
There goes you’ll never leave me alone
There goes the lies you told
This is what you owe

“There goes the house we made a home” — that line hits hardest right now. As I pack and store and discard the things I added to our house to help make it a home, the place we made together is disappearing before my eyes. Every day it’s less like the place I spent the past 15 years of my life. Less like the place I worked so hard to get paid off by the time I was 50 and he was 55 — so we wouldn’t have to be slaves to nine-to-five jobs to pay a mortgage. So we could go into a sort of semi-retirement while we were still young and have some fun. Together.

In this song, the woman scorned gets revenge with a credit card. I wish it was that easy.

@flymaine also suggested Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats, but I’m not a big fan of country music. And her other suggestion, KT Tunstall’s Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, doesn’t quite say it like the two I’ve got.

Any other suggestions? Remember the theme: a woman scorned. Use the comment link to share your suggestions; I’ll add the ones that I think fit to this blog post.