Jessica Juice and Joy

The Stamp House

As far back as I can remember, snippets of verse pop into my head. Sometimes I actually write them down (on whatever is handy – grocery receipts, envelopes, iPhone notepad). Sometimes I actually write a complete (“complete”) poem and do something with it. “The Stamp House” came to me on a Saturday morning, and I knew I had to “complete” this idea. Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, the ‘Mama” in this poem.
The Stamp House

The clicking spin of the black plastic wheel inside the green box
I watch from tiptoes
Each slot a number
Pale green stamps inch out

Each trip the same
Mama gathers the stamps
Collects the curved rolls

Saturdays (especially rainy)
She’d lick them in rows
In a gray paper booklet

Drapes for the kitchen and long hall
A hand mixer with three settings
(Think of the cakes!)
A record player, a clock, a wok

By the time I got a new bedspread
(blue-grey with tiny white flowers with
matching curtains, plus porcelain lamps with
wee white flowers etched against the blue…
grown-girl bedding at last all my own)
The Stamp Houses were closing

Shutting down one by one
Green stamps replaced by plastic bags
Rotary wheels removed
Along with manual cash registers
And five cent gum

I suppose I circled my choice in the catalog
And we bought my livid blue beauty
Drove to an unknown town with the last Stamp House
I loved those matching curtains (floor-length)
Blowing in the spring breeze
That bedspread with piping and ruffles skimming the carpet
The lamps’ white shades casting soft shadows on my blue made bed

Mama had leftover stamps
(she tried to spend them all)
A few rippled pages remain
Tucked away in a drawer
In a filing shelf of my memory

–Jessica Vance, May 2015

Jessica Juice and Joy Life in Colorado

This Wind Though

It’s the last day of National Poetry Month, and the wind has been howling here in Boulder for three days. It’s been an obnoxious wind making me wonder if it’s worth it to live here. In honor of the wind and National Poetry Month, I’ll share a draft of a poem I wrote on a windy day a couple of months ago.

This Wind Though

I live in a place where the wind has a name
and grows wild
whistling tunes through the door
tossing mats swings or bins to the side
shaking bird feeders and tangling chimes

This wind means to snatch your hat
and laugh as it carries it,
watching you chase with your arms reaching

It will slap
right in the eye
with hair turned to a sharp whip

This wind can shatter your car glass
leave you stunned
while you lean into it to stay on your feet,
dipping like an embrace you don’t want to give

This wind though

This wind

Is the one you love
bringing warmth overnight
shoving aside the freeze,
dragging in air 35 degrees warmer
(From where?
where does your wind find this air?
how does your wind convince the warmth to follow and obey?)

This wind though

Is the wind that sways the aspen leaves
those beloved shimmering ovals of gray green
that mesmerize and cast love spells on visitors
this is the wind that makes love to those trees, the quaking trees

This wind though

Too is the one that bends the grasses in a way that breaks your heart,
the grasses set against that blue blue sky
in a way that makes you want to run through the field,
lie down and cry tears that belong to the world

This wind with its name
that swirls around your mouth
that forms on your tongue and lips like a kiss
the name said just for the pleasure of saying it
hearing it

Shin ook

Chin ook


–Copyright 2014, Jessica Vance, all rights reserved

Life in Colorado

I’m fatter, I mean, I’m flattered!

There are no fat people in Colorado. Okay, so that’s not true, but in Boulder, they are few and far between. In fact, the only super overweight folks I’ve seen were scientists at the NCAR cafeteria, and those two men ordered gigantic breakfast burrito platters that would clearly feed me, David, the boys, and possibly a couple of guests. I am betting those burrito-eating scientists aren’t from around these parts. I’ve seen some plump men and women here and there, but it’s rare. In fact, Boulder is the skinniest city in America!

So with all these fit, lean Boulderites, where does that leave me? Well, I’ve crowned myself The Fattest Person in Boulder. Okay, okay, I know I’m not the fattest, but the point I’m making is that I am really one of the few plump people here. Even if I hadn’t recently gained 10 lbs and can’t fit into most of my clothes, I’d still be one of the bigger people in Boulder County.

Good thing Boulder has so many trails, and good thing I like to hike. Once I acclimate to the cooler weather (really, not be such a wimp about going out in the cold!), I hope to join the ranks of The Super Lean and Fit. It’s hard not to want to get outside when there are hike and bike trails every where and such beautiful scenery.

Here’s one of those stunning scenery shots. This is from the Sawhill Ponds Trail.

Sawhill Ponds View of Flatirons
View of Flatirons from Sawhill Ponds Trail
Life in Colorado

Greetings from Colorado

Yes, it’s been a long while since we updated our family site. We plan to keep this site updated more often to share photos and stories of our new life in Boulder, Colorado. Check back often as each of us takes a turn to share a tidbit from life in Boulder.

For now, enjoy this photo from our family portrait session in October 2012. Notice anything funny?

Photo by Lindsay Stites. Click here to see the rest of the pictures. All photos taken in our fabulous yard in Austin, Texas.

The below pictures are to wet your whistle on how amazingly beautiful it is here in Boulder. I hope you don’t get sick of us posting stunning scenery.
View of the Indian Peaks from Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat

This is Boulder Creek all frozen and winter-like.

This is Elijah and Joshua on our ascent up Mount Sanitas. If one wants to be a true Boulderite, one must hike Mount Sanitas.

Eager for more pictures? No worries. We’ve got you covered here.

Want more stories? Leave a comment on what you want to hear about. We’ve got some posts planned, but we want to share what you all want to know about.


Happy New Year from Familyvance

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