Spring fever hit like Tigger on a pogo stick. Chemicals in my body usually bringing calm are mixed up like a tornado shooting to the moon. Walking before the sun rose over the hill was exhilarating, hearing the bird songs that had been absent all winter.
The creek burgeoning carrying tiny icebergs downstream, the snow beginning to glitter like diamonds after lap three when the golden orb appeared. Round and round, looking down at various prints in the snow.
Some like a coyote, then delicate like a bird. Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, possibly a fox! Though a lover of the outdoors, my skills at identifying each one are lacking. But they still tell a fascinating story.
A treat once again was to light another fire, but the March sun warms even more than the fire. The excitement of spring is hard to contain as more daylight wakes up something in me dormant all winter.
Bitter cold bites down hard as the wind howls. Not going out in it, the day yawned ahead boringly increasing cabin fever tenfold. The next morning sunshine splashed across the horizon, the day opening with excitement, inviting me out into it even as wind blew.
“I’m going out before breakfast,” I excitedly tell Samuel.
Donning the long winter coat over my bathrobe and new warm boots I dashed out into the air warmed by March sun hugging my chest as bitter wind slapped my back. But the low temps crept up my legs between coats. The snowy path had frozen making it rugged and slippery.
Back inside to change into clothes and to ask Samuel if he’d put on my ice trekkers. He had figured out how to use them the other day when confronting the same icy conditions, having to Google how. Using his manly muscles to stretch them onto my boots, with the addition of thick warm snow pants, the rest of the laps were safe, sturdy, and purely enjoyable.
At the walk’s end, the repose by the creek was short as the wind blew drying the sweat under my coat quickly turning it cold. Back on the patio, out of the wind, a fire was lit easily using a wax cake atop the kindling, warming me thoroughly through and through along with the sunshine. The hanging star under the wisteria captured my attention sparkling in the sun, a perfect photography subject while resting. A morning of entertainment and exhilaration was relished by inventing my own pleasures…
Winters can move very slow. There’s beauty in the pace of it. Yet how to pass the time later in the day when tired but needing to keep my hands busy?
A friend turned me on to Diamond Art, or Dot painting. But there’s no paint involved, just little plastic gems applied one by one. Monotonous, repeatable, and no need for brain power. Perfect.
Cory, my younger son, is decorating a wall in my grand-daughter’s bedroom with the theme of fantastical creatures. Knowing my walls are full, this gave an outlet to do some. They are fun, satisfying, and the price for kits is just right. Luckily there was an old frame lying around to paint that fit the unusual size. The little one below came framed.
Another grey day as my boots splatted onto the frozen path round and round. After several laps the frozen turf began to get soggy so a new path was made next to it. No birds out, no nothing except grey, grey, and more grey.
That makes it harder to stay upbeat, even though it’s an usually good winter as far as seasonal depression goes. The increased exercise must be the cure, because after going out my entire being feels refreshed, hopeful, and full of life!
Where before my brain felt as soggy as the path, coming inside there’s a whole new feeling of excitement. Though a month early a morning was spent child-like while working on Valentine Day cards for each of 5 grand-children. Since not comfortable going into stores to buy them, what better way to pass the time?
Glitter, glue, red paper, and other decorations are gathered to make a nice mess. A feeling of satisfaction filled me as all five bright red cards sparkle next to the candle warming light. Five dollars will be added to each before sending in early February.
Little creative pleasures continue to uplift my winter with fun and happy past-times.
Say good-bye to the old (me), say hello to the new. What can be done to make today fun? It isn’t set in stone that winters must depress me, though they often do threaten to sink my thoughts and spirit. This is one is different, something has unhooked from the rock shedding its need to stay stuck finding freedom.
A craft for my grand-daughter to do virtually since she is off from school all week. I miss her so much. She loved to spend the night, play house, and do crafts. So more crafting is in order. An easy project was found on-line, and the day was spent preparing her box of goodies to work on with me.
And then too, a craft project for my women friends, some of who professed not enjoying being together on-line, preferring the togetherness of sitting around a table. Who doesn’t? I miss that too, yet we find ways of joining anyway. Perhaps they will participate, but if not the others enjoy being together even if not in person.
The day passed so quickly, but still time to walk my heart out, the air frigid, the first breath settling me bringing a smile to my face. Oh the outdoors and its wonder… Make a day best you can.
And so the usual daily work goes on, which in the winter months could be harder but if the proper attitude is applied, can be fun. Samuel was dragging around blaming me for sitting like a wad watching the movie put on earlier.
“Don’t blame me,” I said, adding, “I always have movies on Call your friend, light the fire pit on the patio and have a beer together.”
And it’s true. People in movies have been closer companions than ones known in real time, closeness without the hurt or vulnerability. And like other choices of mine, it isn’t what others might think or say, it’s my opinion that counts. And if movies playing in the background give me pleasure while I putter at the sink, or do other activities then so be it.
Outside the cold day called, lap after lap up to ten. The drudgery of winter sluffed off as activity pumped blood and invigoration into my system. Coming indoors, evidence of Samuel getting off his duff doing something showed up in a clean bathroom sink and garbage dumped. It’s something.
He also is affected in winter, preferring warm, sunny days which activate him, and slowing down like a sloth in winder. But one doesn’t let the day make him or her. Make the day! And make our own fun… Life really is precious, so soak up every minute, cast away those returning doubts of self that threaten to destroy confidence.
Shoo away old habits that rear up trying to destroy good solid growth. Move to the light, move to the light…
Rising from the teens into the 30’s, the day dull but mild, a walk was much easier than the day prior. Snow made walking more like moving boots through knee deep water, a great work-out. But this day the snowy path was flattened.
Mild enough that a fire after 5 laps became my reward. The new patio fire pit is so much fun. The little wax square starts it without one scrap of paper, the teepee of wood going up in a rage of plumes warming me almost immediately. It must have captured my attention staring into the flames for almost two hours before coming in to the thaw the rest of my body.
What is it about flames that relax and mesmerize? The scent of woodsy smoke reminding me of camping trips to the Adirondacks. A finch came near-by to nibble at the feeder to keep me company until Samuel came out. He sits for a while, but it’s not long until he takes the mall and chops up more wood for my next fire.
I leave him as the fire settles down losing heat, and he stays until it turns to ash. It is refreshing to have an outdoor activity that has the power to take my chaotic insides calming them like a warm embrace.
And so we trudge on month to month limping along to keep our little group of women friends going. But the yearning to really be together continues even though seeing their smiling faces brings great comfort. Engaging with others is a necessary part of my life, less than most, but still enlivening and so needed.
It is hard to believe it has stretched out this many months with the real possibility of that many more before everyone receives both doses of vaccine. But we are doing it, and others seem to enjoy it as much as me.
Cory, my younger son, suggested doing a craft virtually. We once did crafts together, but our main pastime was cards. The craft idea might give us all a boost. So for the upcoming months during the cold winter it will be my quest to think of a craft then drop off supplies to each friend.
I felt pleasantly tired out after our virtual gathering. Tired and at peace…
Like any good mother-in-law living up to the negative label which that implies, I often have misgivings about how my son and wife run their lives and their children’s. Over time the error of my ways hit smack in the face regretting my own lack of growth early on and the problems that caused. Oh if only I’d grow up!
Many parts in me became stuck at the time trauma occurred. It has taken well into the golden years for growth to occur, but some parts remain stuck. That’s OK as long as maturity reigns. The child can be there to attend to, but not to take over.
Shane is such a dear man, very thoughtful, loving, and caring. To celebrate Samuel’s birthday he had us over for a roaring campfire while the grand-kids ran around the yard till twilight and we said our good-byes. An afternoon of peaceful fun and comradery as necessary as air but mostly snuffed out by the pandemic.
They seemed to enjoy my platter of appetizers with health kept in mind; gobs of sweet juicy grapes, baby carrots, home-made dip and cheeseball, olives, and plenty of whole wheat low salt crackers. It felt good to see them hover around the tray and enjoy it, rather than the last camp-fire where they shoveled down the chocolate candy bars meant for s’mores.
Guilty of supplying the s’more makings, this time felt much more thoughtful and HEALTHY! Coming home the outdoor Christmas lights welcomed us. Not a sight seen much because we don’t go out! A very pleasurable day that was so needed.