March 24

Im sorry, friends but this is going to be a short post tonight. I’m angry. Angry that it was so cold again today. I sat in my family room tonight wrapped in my robe with my feet under pillows, listening to the sound of my furnace running constantly. My hands never warmed up. It’s not right. Its just not right. I refuse to turn up the heat when it’s almost the end of March. I want to be outside. I want to open my windows. I want to complain about having to mow the lawn. At this point, I can’t imagine ever wanting to turn on the air conditioner. I long for 80 degrees and sunshine heating up my house.

So with that off my chest, let me say that I am thankful I have a working furnace and a way to keep warm. I know what I’m complaining about is minor in the grand scheme of things. I’m also thankful it’s supposed to get to 60 degrees by Sunday. That’s something to look forward to. It’s a start.

March 10

It’s Spring Break at my school. I just wished it actually coincided with spring. I think we actually have more snow on the ground now than we did at Christmas break. Oh, well. The weather did turn a bit for the better today. I think we actually got close to 50 degrees, which felt amazing. I spent the afternoon with my daughter, riding around in her new little Miata convertible. She wanted to put the top down, but I nixed that. It may have seemed warm, but 50 degrees in the form of fast wind feels a whole lot cooler on the face. We did roll the windows down for a little while before stopping for ice cream. That was delightful. Until we both felt sick afterwards. Unfortunately, my kids have adopted my eating habits, which are basically eat whatever sounds good at the moment. It could be green beans and apples or it could be popcorn and Skittles. Today when I got home at lunch, she was eating chocolate mug cake. Since I had that last night, I know how filling it is. I settled for an avocado with basil olive oil and leftover edamame. When we added ice cream later, it was a bit much.

At any rate, the break from work and the bitter winter was a good switch. So I followed that up with cleaning the growing mess in my basement and upstairs office. Both places had become a dumping ground. The office was filled with stacks of papers that had been periodically moved from the kitchen when the mail piled up and visitors were coming. After sifting through and filling a garbage bag, I can now see the office floor again. And I can also see the new carpet in the basement after putting away the Fall and Christmas decorations that got left in a heap. In the process, I unearthed items I had forgotten about–a whole tote full of clothes and shoes. And the cover I bought for my grill but never put on before the snow fell. And some exercise DVDs. (Those I left in the basement. I’m not that motivated yet.) It felt good to clear away the clutter. It felt like a spring thing to do. I’m glad I took the time to get some of the organizing done that I clearly need to do. And I’m also thankful I took some time to enjoy the warmer weather with my daughter; that was a treat.

Feb 6

I’m seriously tired of the cold. The snow. And the wind. I’m trying really hard to find some good things in this miserable weather. I was talking with a co-worker the other day about winter. We agreed that it isn’t that we hate it. After all, there is still fun to be had in winter. I do like sledding and ice skating, snowmobiling and skiing. It’s just that with this particular winter, it has been too cold to be outside much at all. Going from my car to my office requires a sprint because the wind is brutal. By the time I get to my office door, I look like I’ve been sobbing. My eyes have watered up, my face is chapped. And I don’t think my feet have been completely warm since October.

Yes, this winter has been challenging. However, I did actually note a few things on my quick jaunts outside today. Have you noticed how when the sun reflects just right on the snow, it sparkles likes glitter? I love that. It seems magical. And there’s a tree in my yard that hasn’t lost all of the berries. They’re hanging like small little ornaments. It attracts birds, and a cardinal sitting on a branch against the white snow is a sight that’s always lovely to me. I’m also fortunate enough to work on a campus that has a park-like setting. There is a pond that attracts a large amount of geese, which typically roam the grounds at will. The buildings are separated by a creek and a large stone bridge and two smaller footbridges connect the sides. There are groves of trees and landscaping that includes a large amount of flowering bushes and native plants. In all seasons, it’s truly a beautiful place to come to on a daily basis. Of course, when something becomes the norm, it’s easy to forget how unique it may really be. Yet there are times I’m reminded. Like today when I was crossing the bridge and a bunny hopped towards me. Or the other night, when I was on that same bridge and the lamps reflected off the frozen creek and outlined the trees and rocks and nature, and the stillness of the setting somehow seemed alive.

As much as I’m counting down the days until Spring (42), I am thankful for the nature around me. Winter can beautiful, even the miserably cold ones.

Day Six: Cold

Today was bitterly cold. At 7:30 am the Weather Channel app on my phone said the local weather was -18 degrees with a wind chill of -44.  Visions of  Jack London’s man risking himself and his dog on the Yukon Trail came to mind every time I thought of heading outside. Thankfully, I didn’t have to. All local schools closed for the day, including the one where I work. I spent my day finishing up some of the items on my forever growing to-do list, such as swapping out light fixtures and painting walls. I also enjoyed the fire in the fireplace and baked brownies while listening to the wind whipping around my front door. I did feel a little guilty knowing that others weren’t as lucky as I. Getting a day off of work for bad weather is a perk not given to most, so I truly am grateful for it.