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The Other End of the Rainbow

Sunset in the Sangres

Sunset in the Sangres

To realize Universal reality, we need only open ourselves to our innate, insatiable curiosity to seek the broader knowledge of many things – then to embrace the adventure. Then we will know ourselves as children of the Universe. Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

… You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should … Max Ehrmann (Desiderata)

If, as I suggested last week, adaptability is a pot of gold at one end of the rainbow [http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/adaptability-a-pot-of-gold], then surely curiosity must be the gold at the other end. Or, heck, perhaps curiosity stirs the pot …

Gregge Tiffen’s words above struck a chord this morning as I began my day, curious about the direction of this week’s post.  What, I wondered, was the common thread among the week’s experiences that ranged from lots of time for quiet reflection to a few profound interactions with others?

What does the writer/social activist in the midst of revising her next book have in common with the woman whose daughter collapsed and was given a five percent chance of survival? What does the mystical writer have in common with a friend spending hours at her elderly mother’s bedside? What do I have in common with each of them and with the seasoned professional evaluating where to take her career and life next?

We are each on a quest. Beyond caring about results (we do!) we are curious to know what we’ll discover along the way. Each of us in our own individual way is using curiosity as a force: energy to move us forward (hopefully, more gently than not) on our own path, at our own pace.

But, curiosity does not operate alone. Perhaps more important than the thread of curiosity itself, I realized that curiosity operates within the context of our beliefs (duh! blinding flash of the obvious!).

When those beliefs are centered in gratitude and love, curiosity calls forth the commitment and courage necessary for us to step into action. While curiosity and love may not clear every obstacle (what fun would that be anyway?), with loving curiosity, obstacles become mere challenges and opportunities along the way.

With loving curiosity, we can embrace our childlike nature, knowing without a doubt that we are indeed children of the universe, and despite appearances to the contrary, a benevolent universe that is unfolding just as it should.

The Heart Rock Collection Grows!

The Heart Rock Collection Grows!

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Independence - Reflections 2019

July 4th - The Crestone Schooner Rides Again!

July 4th - The Crestone Schooner Rides Again!

Dependency is a basic violation of Universal law. The Universe operates on independence. The Universe operates on individuality. It operates on separation in every shape and form. … The minute you become dependent upon anyone in any way you no longer have any power to move forward in your own pattern, in your own blueprint, and on your own behalf. You come to a halt. Gregge Tiffen (Finding Freedom: The Meaning of Independence - July, 2007)

 Earlier this week, I had the good fortune to attend a web presentation by my friend, author Rivera Sun, on the history of nonviolence in the American revolutionary period. Although I’d read a few snippets about this hidden aspect of U.S. history, I was amazed at the acts of nonviolent resistance that were carefully organized and executed over the decade preceding the Declaration of Independence in 1776. And, the role of women in that phase of the American Revolution is a story in itself.

 Underneath the historical facts that Rivera shared, I saw clearly how divinely guided and in tune with the Universe and its laws these colonists were. They understood freedom for the inside job that it is – moment to moment, day to day. And, they took action aligned with their desire to be free of the constraints imposed by the King.  They understood Universal law and followed it. When she posts the webinar, I’ll share the link. Meanwhile, here’s an excellent essay she wrote on the topic - http://www.riverasun.com/the-nonviolent-history-of-american-independence

 Rivera’s thoughtful, informative presentation expanded the context for what’s become my annual musing about independence.

 If you reflect on Gregge’s quote, you may discover the source underneath feeling stuck, frustrated, or impotent. You may discover a deeper source of the pervasive angst in society. If you dig deep with a commitment to your own independence, you may discover that breaking the bonds of dependence requires vigilance, courage, and commitment. Independence requires practice. Freedom isn’t a free ride. It’s not for the faint-hearted. And, it is our divine birthright.

As the 243rd  July 4th approaches here in the U.S. I wonder if we/I really know what freedom is. Do we understand what the source of our freedom is?  Do we/I know the importance of exercising our independence? Do we/I even know how?

 Observing the political landscape, I hear demands for freedom. I notice the fear that someone who is ‘different’ will take our freedom away is rampant.  We’ve lost our understanding that the source of freedom and independence is not man or government. Rather, freedom is our gift from the Universe.

 And, we’ve created and continue to support dependence upon our systems of government, education, business, as well as in our personal relationships. We give life to these systems and to other people when we depend on them as our source. We’ve become dependent on jobs, clients, government agencies and circumstances for our happiness and our well-being. We expect others to ‘be there’ for us, and we may be dependent on them needing us as well.  In doing so, we abdicate our freedom, our power to choose, and to express our authentic selves.

 It’s no wonder that the level of frustration, angst, and fear has reached revolutionary proportions. We aren’t being true to our nature. We desperately want to find our way back. Many people revolt, lashing out at the ‘powers that be’ as if they are the source. Others wisely recognize that change starts within and that individual responsibility is key to the exercise of freedom.

 We restore our independence by identifying dependencies we’ve allowed to creep in: awareness by awareness, step by step, choice by choice. We learn from experience and commitment that our independence is mostly an inside job, made more challenging in a culture that fosters dependence as a means to control.  Yet, in the final analysis we and we alone are the authors of our own freedom.

 NOTE – This post was originally posted on 7-7-2016, and, updated a bit, it still seems apropos today as I reflect on the sad state of governance and on our misunderstanding of the true source of our independence.

July 4th Crestone Style!

July 4th Crestone Style!

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It's Time To Reclaim Our Personal Power

Spring Snow in the ‘Hood

Spring Snow in the ‘Hood

There is nothing impotent about the human mind. Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

Let that sink in for a moment … or two. There is n o t h I n g impotent about the human mind! That includes you, me, each and every one of us humans on the planet.

It seems though that over time (a very, very long time) we have forgotten that we were given this power by design and by a benevolent (I believe) Universe. Our ‘forgetfulness’ is not accidental. Though that’s a story for another time, let’s just say that individuals created institutions (both secular and not) that have chipped away at this fundamental truth through the ages. After all, much better for ‘them’ if we think ‘they’ hold the power. Much better for ‘them’ if we come to rely on their power, rather than the potent power we each have.

That’s where my thoughts about this week’s story of corruption involving dozens of wealthy individuals and several so-called ‘ivy-league’ universities took me. As I reflected more on this and other current events, I sensed (more than saw) a pattern: people with power derived outside of themselves (money, position, etc.) fear losing that power. They will do ANYthing to retain it (cheat, lie, got to war … just to name a few). 

They have no sense of the personal power of the mind or its (and, thus their) connection to an infinite, powerful Universe with which they co-create.

When we believe that power is external to us fear is a prime motivator. One need only read a bit of history to see where that path has taken and is taking us.

When we understand the power of the human mind, the personal power that we have each been given as humans on planet Earth, a different motivator emerges: love.  We come to view the world from a kinder, gentler perspective, one grounded in compassion, care, cooperation, collaboration. We listen to inner guidance rather than being led by fear-mongering ‘leaders’.

Reclaiming this power and learning to use it is not just our right, it is our responsibility. We each have to do this in our unique way, in our own time, at our pace. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula. Our job, yours and mine, is to embrace our personal power and, then to take the next step – wherever that leads.

This isn’t a new idea. Indeed it’s as old as time. I’ve written about this power directly and indirectly in most every blog post for almost six years. But the context today feels different. We are in the midst of massive breakdowns of systems we may have thought were solid forever. Daily we are making choices about how to respond. We are waking up, taking blinders off, and, sometimes, seeing a side of humanity that’s not so pretty.

Humanity and the planet, indeed our own learning throughout time, invite us to step up and step in anew, embracing the power we’ve been given not grasping for power sourced outside ourselves.

I’m in (even if I don’t know what that looks like from one day to the next). What about you?

Cool Hand Luke Loves to Follow His Own Path

Cool Hand Luke Loves to Follow His Own Path

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Conviction, Conviction, Conviction

Cool Hand Luke says ‘A run in the snow is always a good aim!’

Cool Hand Luke says ‘A run in the snow is always a good aim!’

To take each step in the direction of your goals, you will need these three things:

  1. A conviction in yourself and in your uniqueness as an independent individual.

  2. A conviction in your cause, and that Life is better than you are experiencing it. And,

  3. A conviction in your outcome as worthy and powerful. Gregge Tiffen (Life: The Staircase of Many Steps – January, 2008)

 According to many experts, this is the week that people tend to veer off the track of the ambitious goals and resolutions made to start the new year.  You can find seemingly endless advice about avoiding the pitfalls and staying on track. So, in the spirit of the week, I’ll add my perspective – short and sweet:

 Your conviction is the key.

 As Gregge suggests, you need conviction in yourself, your cause, your outcome to provide the incentive to move toward your goal step by step. If your conviction isn’t present and strong, your opportunity is to grow it. Otherwise, you fall prey to the world and its distractions, finding yourself in overwhelm and feeling like a victim.

You can evaluate your conviction with questions such as:

  • When I look in the mirror, do I love and appreciate the person looking back at me? Do I know and value her/his uniqueness? Do I live fully into my individuality (or does the world determine my choices)?

  • Do I accept myself as the cause of how my life unfolds, not as blame, but as a sense of taking full responsibility? Do I appreciate the events in my life as opportunities presented for my benefit and my learning (yep, including the ones that ‘suck’)? Can I dance with the paradox of loving the life I have while knowing that as I learn and grow my experience of life can only get better?

  • How deeply do I care about what I’m aiming for? Does it consistently inspire and call me forth into action? Is it worthy and powerful, not as the world measures worth and power, but by measures of my understanding of my worth and my power.

As these questions unfolded, I notice areas that invite me to reflect and explore more deeply. Doing so is one of my aims this week. What about you?

And, for me, a gentle walk in the snow woods keeps the world in perspective.

And, for me, a gentle walk in the snow woods keeps the world in perspective.

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The Political IS Personal

The Dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park on our Welcome Spring hike to the Zigurat

The Dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park on our Welcome Spring hike to the Zigurat

We are in a constant battle by trying to stay alive as a mental individual who is capable of thinking, while our society is basically trying to keep us from thinking by overloading our circuits. This keeps us from identifying our target areas and computing the information that is important to us individually. That is dangerous and that is what is going on. Whatever causes us to shut down is our enemy. Gregge Tiffen (The Collected Works of Gregge Tiffen: Earth and Second Earth)

I’m taking a turn toward politics in this post, something that I rarely do directly. Yet politics as a force in our culture is never far from my thinking. Political decisions at every level of government create policies that impact every area of our daily lives. These policies either empower us or not. Sadly, mostly they do not.  

This morning I woke with chilling clarity about the current blatant attacks on education, on people who are educated, in short on those who dare think for themselves. Perhaps triggered by yesterday’s story about the University of Wisconsin proposing to end degree programs in several liberal arts/humanities areas of study in order to teach things that lead to a “clear career path”, I saw a tapestry of current attacks piling on to long running ones on teachers, public schools, so-called ‘intellectuals’ (I call them people who think!), and more.

I saw clearly the weaving together of dark, dense threads to smother the independent thinking and acting that, I believe, was envisioned by our nation’s founders (both fathers AND mothers!). Some threads scream ‘fake’ news in one direction. while manufacturing such news in another. Threads that tear down from within federal departments charged with education, diplomacy, environmental protection, and justice. These are the areas with the potential to empower (and, yes, it’s debatable how good a job they’ve done up to now) individuals and build a free and just society.  Other threads build up departments that aim for ‘power over’ – homeland security, military, and police as examples.

These attacks (and I use words of war intentionally – especially after last week’s post http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/bucking-the-culture-aint-easy) are not new, nor is my awareness of and concern about them.  Yet today, I’m taking them personally. These actions attack the freedom of individuals to think, learn and grow as we each choose (and as we are designed to do in the grand scheme of things universal). They are aimed at numbing, shutting down, and directing our minds to do someone else’s bidding. And, they are right there with all the other noise screaming for our attention.

Political decisions ARE personal in their impact. And, no impact is greater than distracting our mind from its most important task: learning what it/what we each came here to learn.

Yes, we need to pay attention and be involved in those matters that we most care about. But even more, we need to be vigilant, alert, and discerning in directing our attention, our minds to what is important to each of us on our unique learning sojourn. Focus. Discover. Focus again.

Cool Hand Luke takes a look at the landscape from the Zigurat

Cool Hand Luke takes a look at the landscape from the Zigurat

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Influencers Revisited

Cool Hand Luke Skywalker & A Hike to the Zigurat - Influencers That Remind Me of My Path

Cool Hand Luke Skywalker & A Hike to the Zigurat - Influencers That Remind Me of My Path

The degree that you allow someone or something to affect your thinking and therefore your life is the degree to which you are influenced. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: One Original Thought – September, 2011)

On its surface, Gregge’s quote seems simple, obvious, and perhaps, even superficial. That’s the way with truth ‘simple but not easy’ and always, in all ways inviting us to be aware right now, in the present moment.  

When I first shared about influencers in a post (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/influencers), I wrote about the people who’ve most influenced me in life. I found a common thread among them: they did not follow the pack. Each in their own way lived life on their terms.  They didn’t choose a path that the world suggested was what they should do. 

And, that is what we are each here to do: discover and follow our individual path, despite the pulls and prompts of family, friends, gurus, politicians, corporations and many other things competing to influence us.  To do so demands that we sharpen our awareness of external influences and that we make choices that affirm our path.

Stop for a moment. Inquire and notice who or what is influencing you right now?   Then explore. Are those influences supporting you, blocking you, or thwarting you in what you are aiming to accomplish? Did you consciously choose to allow it, or did it creep in without you choosing?

Our challenge is to be mindful and at choice about who and what we allow to affect us.

I love being under the influence of the visual and audible beauty of a mountain stream ... 

I love being under the influence of the visual and audible beauty of a mountain stream ... 

As I’ve aimed to rise to that challenge, I’ve worked at being able to stay informed of news events without getting caught up in the drama and negative pull that so many in the media tend to project.  I’ve explored various media and observed how each impact me. When I overload or discover that I’m influenced in ways that go beyond being informed, I stop and turn to nature (including Cool Hand Luke) to remind me to be at choice.

This week as I’ve experienced a number of breakdowns – appliances stopping in the middle of a project, repair folks not responding to my calls – I’ve aimed to simply handle what needed to be handled, to take the next step, and to let it go. Rather than relying on the world, I’m engaging my trust in the unfolding of life to influence and guide me.  Simple, but not always easy.

In the midst of those, a friend called to tell me about something that they want to change in our community.  As I listened to the concern and noticed the intensity with which it was being shared, I was grateful for the awareness that I could choose whether to engage AND whether the conversation would influence me after the call ended.  I chose ‘no’ on both.

I’ve also experienced calls to ‘come out and play’.  A frequent guest at the Dragonfly House who’s in town for a house sitting gig elsewhere invited me to lunch at a time when I was thinking about emailing him to inquire if he would house-sit for me later in the fall.  That’s an influence to say ‘yes’ to!

This week I invite you to notice external influences and to make conscious choices about who and what you allow in – moment by moment, day to day, and beyond.

... and the influence of the profound beauty of nature ...

... and the influence of the profound beauty of nature ...

...   and the sound of music from amazing artists (Yes, that IS Carlos Nakai!)

... and the sound of music from amazing artists (Yes, that IS Carlos Nakai!)

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Claiming Independence and Individuality

Individuality & Independence at Crestone's July 4th parade.

Individuality & Independence at Crestone's July 4th parade.

Dependency is a basic violation of Universal law. The Universe operates on independence. The Universe operates on individuality. It operates on separation in every shape and form. … The minute you become dependent upon anyone in any way you no longer have any power to move forward in your own pattern, in your own blueprint, and on your own behalf. You come to a halt. Gregge Tiffen (Finding Freedom: The Meaning of Independence, July, 2007)

Reflect on this for a few moments and you may come to discover a key to why we so often feel stuck and experience the frustration that accompanies that ‘stuck-ness’.

Another Independence Day has come and gone here in the USA, the 241th since a small band of visionary revolutionaries, some of whom had deep mystical understanding, declared independence and set a course for a new nation.  We’ve celebrated our freedom once again. But I’ve come to wonder if we/I really know what freedom is. Do we/I know the importance of exercising our independence? Do we/I even know how?

As I observe the political landscape, I see and hear demands for freedom. Fear that someone who is ‘different from me’ will take our freedom away is rampant.  It seems we have lost our understanding that the source of freedom and independence is not man or government. Rather, free will is our gift from the Universe. Independence is Universal law.  Dependence is a violation of that law.

And yet we have created and continue to support dependence in our systems of government, education, business. We give life to these systems when we depend on them as our source. We’ve become dependent on bosses, clients, government agencies and circumstances for our happiness and well-being.  And, in doing so, we give away our freedom, our power to choose.

When I’m deeply honest with myself, I can see dependence imbedded in personal relationships and friendships as well.  We expect others to ‘be there’ for us and we may even be dependent on them needing us as well.

It’s no wonder that the level of frustration, angst, and fear has reached revolutionary proportions. We aren’t being true to our nature. We desperately want to find our way back. So we revolt. Many lash out at the ‘powers that be’ as if they are the source. Others wisely recognize that change starts within and that responsibility is key to the exercise of freedom.

A first step in taking responsibility is the recognition that the tyranny of dependence is in part self-imposed. From that awareness we are in a position to declare our own, personal independence. I’ve discovered that ‘unlearning dependence’ requires the willingness and self-honesty to look inside to what motivates my action. When I help out a neighbor am I simply using the opportunity as expression of my best self or do I have a hidden (mostly to me) agenda to fill an unmet need?

We restore our independence by our willingness to look honestly step by step and choice by choice. We learn from experience and commitment that our independence is mostly an inside job. That job is made more challenging in a culture that fosters dependence as a means to control.  Yet, in the final analysis we and we alone are the authors of our own freedom.

NOTE – this post was originally written and posted on 7-7-2016.  It still seems apropos today as I reflect on the sad state of governance not just in the United States but in many corners of the world.  http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/breaking-the-chains-of-dependence

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Light In The Darkness

A New Day Dawns ... 

A New Day Dawns ... 

The Universe did not send you here to match you up with the puzzle of society. What you do with you is your contribution. … Picture what it would be like if you were at your ultimate advancement. The power vibrating from you at that point boggles the mind. It would be like a bright light in a dark room. The world as we know it today is a dark room.  Gregge Tiffen (Pleasure Is Short, Wisdom Is Infinite – May, 2008)

This quote was written in response to a question about how to contribute to the world almost a decade ago and, it rings especially true for me today. That’s the way of Universal truths. They don’t change. And, the ways in which we can apply them are infinite.

I’ve grappled with the question ‘what does the market need/want?’ throughout the 30+ years I’ve been in business. It’s ‘the’ question that comes early in every marketing ‘how to’.  No matter how the question is posed, to this day it stops me cold.  I literally freeze when I think about defining my ‘target market’ and what ‘they’ need/want? Heck, it’s a full time job knowing what I need/want. In the many courses I’ve taken over these years, I’ve guessed, faked answers or simply ignored the question.

Instead, I’ve put most of my attention on finding ways to express me in the best ways I can whether coaching, or writing, or welcoming guests to my bed & breakfast.  I want to learn to be in the world on my terms, not the world’s. That’s the only path I see to be true to me. And, if I’m not true to me, then there’s little chance I will offer any light in the darkness.

I’m not sure what my “ultimate advancement” would be like. But, when my feet hit the floor each day, using my energy to be the best expression of me I can be seems like a path worth following. And, one that puts at least a little beam of light on the path with each step I take.

Imagine the light that could be brought to this world …

Nature Doesn't Ask What The Market Needs, Yet Harmony Abounds ...

Nature Doesn't Ask What The Market Needs, Yet Harmony Abounds ...

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Dream A Little Dream

Yes. That IS snow.

Yes. That IS snow.

We are here to dream our part of the Original Dream. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: A Taste of Devotion - April, 2010)

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. Mahatma Gandhi

What do you dream of that you know comes from deep inside? Do you notice when you are following that dream that you are Gandhi’s very definition of happiness – your thoughts, words, and deeds are in harmony? Isn’t that where happiness lives? Isn’t that how humanity thrives?

We are individual entities, each an integral part of the greater whole that unfolds moment to moment, day to day. We were granted free will as a part of our sojourn. Moment to moment we have the power to choose.  You and I and every human on the planet is included (those with whom we resonate AND those who see and experience things differently than we do).

The Dream knows none of the artificial barriers humankind has created. There are no walls or fences or boundaries of any kind. Ethnicity, wealth and other measures of man matter not in The Dream. Our access is limited only by our individual commitment and willingness to be aware. EveryONE is a thread in the fabric of The Dream.

The Dream is available to one and all that we might each discover our part, write the script, and play it with aplomb. Our part is our dream. Our part is that in which we experience our thoughts, words, and deeds to be in perfect alignment. Life is just that simple.  

We make it complex in our efforts to control that over which we have no control. One another and the future are prime examples. What others think, say, do is none of my business. Manipulating life’s events toward a guaranteed outcome is both exhausting and futile. 

I find comfort in remembering that The Dream exists. My curiosity is peaked and I want to expand my awareness of my dream as a part of it.  I imagine the hit song Dream a Little Dream of Me (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYek278jx2U) as a love song from the Universe calling us to The Dream and inviting us to (re)discover our part.   

What lies within – deep, yet within reach – that is ready to emerge and to play its part?

Green ... the promise of Spring!

Green ... the promise of Spring!

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Power From The Source

Symbols abound when you walk in love and wonder.

Symbols abound when you walk in love and wonder.

To expect the Power of our Potent Force to be handed to us by some physical person, situation or experience is to deny acceptance of our own Universal Power. … If we refuse to take our proper and rightful place, it will be filled by someone or something to exert power over us. Whether we like it or not, we will have to live with the realization that we have abdicated our throne. We will have turned our potent forces over to the negative forces of the world that will use that power to keep us in bondage. We must never forget that a rightful force unused will, by the law of its own character, become a force misused.  Gregge Tiffen [Deserve Success and You Will Command It – March, 2008]

As I observe politics these days and make choices about my participation, I’m aiming to do so from my position of power. Not from anger. Not from fear. Not from impotence. Even though, from time to time, I find myself feeling them. At those times, I’m aiming to remember to go within to remind myself that true power, Universal Power, comes, not from man and the world’s systems but from Universal Source.

As I seek to understand what I observe, I wonder where and how ‘we the people’ have abdicated that Power. It seems that we must have done so to find ourselves where we are: divided in oh so many ways and continuing to believe that by force (the antithesis of power) we can control. History tells us otherwise. The illusion of control is just that, a fleeting illusion.

Force and its allies are not characteristics of the Universe.  Power and its allies (abundance, beauty, harmony, joy, peace, love, light, life) are.

While the political science major (yes, I was) in me is fascinated by current events, the ‘me’ that I’ve come to be cares more about the learning opportunities these events present. As messy as the world seems there must be gazillions. Or, as the optimist digging in a pile of manure said when asked ‘why’, “with all this sh__ there must be a pony in here somewhere”.

In the midst of all the behaviors, words, bills, policies that I find troubling – what might I learn? How do I navigate this world from my Power?

I sense we have vast opportunities to do just that: participate knowing the Source of our true Power. From that awareness and with each of us participating in our own unique ways, a different world is possible.

I’m looking for the pony. What about you?

Snow and ice cover Cottonwood Creek today after a snow ...

Snow and ice cover Cottonwood Creek today after a snow ...

What a difference a day makes!

What a difference a day makes!

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