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Archive for the ‘snow’ Category

april showers

lace is overrated

So we’re up to the third snowstorm in oh, a week and a half.  I’m looking out my window at the dropping dusk and watching the too-familiar white lace build up on my favorite maple tree.

It’s pretty.  It is.  I love winter. But — can I just be a little frustrated?  I would have loved it twice or three times as much in November, when the days were darkening and everything was so brown and dead I lit five or more candles on the kitchen table where I was working and nursed cup after cup of hot tea.  November.  December.  Sure, January or February too, though by that time the winter had gotten itself going and we at least had some snow to look at.  But April?  April 22, no less; Earth Day, when schoolchildren everywhere are supposed to go out and plant a tree or a flower, or even a few seeds!

Yeah.  Instead, we had a lowering day going to rain with snow spitting in, and then just flat-out snow.  It’s supposed to get as much as nine inches of wet, slushy, mess.  Last week the weather forecaster called it a “slop storm” — that was for the second one.  Now we’re on to the third.  Anyone who knows me knows I like snow, but everything has a time and a place.  It’s just plain depressing to look out at the tail-end of April and see fresh snow (maybe that should be the “back-end”?).

So I’m carrying my laundry up the stairs, thinking about how I’ll have to go out in the slush in a few minutes and wondering just what exactly I’m annoyed about anyway.  I mean, a month ago this snow wouldn’t have been such an issue (it also wouldn’t have been as wet, but that’s another thing).  Snow in the end of March, at least at the latitudes where I grew up and now live, is…par for the course. Business as usual.  Even into the beginning of April, sure.  But I have expectations.  I expect that somewhere in April, the mysterious alchemy of Spring will start creeping up AND NOT STOP.  That’s probably part of the problem right there.  Just as I start to see grass, whomp! another snowstorm.  Delayed gratification?  Or dashed hopes?  Something.

But I was thinking too, why do I like snow in the first place?  It’s pretty.  Most of the time, too, the weather is crisp and invigorating.  Snowy days make me want to go play outside, then come in and curl up with a blanket and a book, some hot tea, and maybe a candle or some Christmas lights.  (Got the Christmas lights — still.  Don’t judge.)  I still have books, candles, tea, blankets, and a comfy beanbag.  I didn’t ditch those when March blew out the door.  I don’t particularly want to go play in the squishy mess outside, but I can skip straight to the snuggling anytime.  So why the annoyance with this late spring snow?

Back in March, when I went to the Christian women’s conference, one of the workshops was about how to fight disappointment.  The speaker’s main point was if you don’t make unrealistic expectations (and, incidentally, also forget to tell other people about them), you will have less disappointment in your life.  I don’t actually think it is *that* unrealistic to expect sunny (sunnier?) days and the beginnings of spring in April — we actually did have it last year.  But it is unrealistic, in my admittedly not vast life experience to expect spring in Maine or Minnesota to just sweep over the land without a few hiccups along the way.  So this is more along the lines of a large belch (or snow vomit?), rather than a hiccup.  I should still stop complaining.  At least I’m not looking out from the underside of a bridge or something, right?

But the other reason I thought that I might be longing for spring so much, aside from the months of winter we’ve just had, is that this year, spring to me has a lot more riding on it than balmy weather and a profusion of lilacs.  Those are wonderful on their own, I will be the first to admit, but Kent also reminded me that I am the first to complain about the heat and humidity of summer.  (No, I don’t like most of Minnesota’s weather, actually.  Yes, we aren’t planning on living here much longer that we have to, why do you ask?)  No, the reason(s) I’m really looking forward to spring are more — careerish than sun-tannish.

I finally have my ESL license (got the e-mail the same day I found out my grandfather died — not surprised it didn’t get a lot of media attention…), so this spring/summer is when I’ll hopefully land a full-time job for next year! Four (more) years of cleaning toilets done!  (Then I can complain about grading…)  So my hopes are riding on what spring will bring to me financially, after six years of living very close to disaster — a chance to actually MAKE a budget and then, of course, stick to it, because it will include space to, say, buy new running shoes or go out to eat once in a while.  Not that we didn’t do those things, these last years — we did.  But we’ve also run up a bunch of credit card debt in the process.  It will feel a lot better to me to say, “I can save up for this pair of shoes — that is in the budget”, rather than “I need a new pair of shoes but I have no money; I guess I’ll have to add that to the card.”

So spring to me means sunshine, flowers, a chance to go OUTSIDE without burying my face in my scarf/collar/hair, training for a marathon, hiking, and all the other wonderfulness that spring means to those of us who live in the cold and frozen northlands.  But this year, I guess I just want spring to come so I can feel secure.  Given that reason, I guess it doesn’t really matter that there’s another helping of slush piling up outside.  The job will come when it comes.  Just like spring.

Hey, at least I’m not under a bridge…

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cold

 

“cold”

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wrap them in peace and shroud them in snow

let pine boughs and windsong whisper of rest

blinding tears freeze on twenty small mounds

so leave them in quiet in a black silent night

.

grief is the darkness fallen at Christmas

our season of joy is heartsick and pain

where is the light of Bethlehem’s star?

where is the song of the angels this night?

.

wrap Him in cloths and lay Him in hay

angels and shepherds whisper of glory

Light of all heaven to shine in our darkness

death touched the Child on that silent night

.

darkness and grief have fallen at Christmas

a Babe took our sorrows and carries our hearts

a cross is the light shining into our darkness

we cling to His peace for our dark, silent night

 

for the children, teachers, and parents of Sandy Hook Elementary

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snowflake

 

“something beginning with ‘s'”

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under

 

“under”

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Photo A Day: Dec. 9

snowfall

 

“out and about”

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So I ran my first race this morning – the Turkey Day 5K!  There were over 20,000 people running, they said, and lots of people dressed up in turkey hats, costumes, etc.  Some people were wearing other costumes; I saw a Pilgrim couple and a Native American couple (dressed up, that is; they didn’t look Native American to me!), a candy corn, a Hulk, and some other leftover Hallowe’en costumes.  Most everyone else was wearing the orange shirt we got.  I wore what I usually wear to jog – it was 50 degrees and sunny, and at one point I was wishing I actually wore my shorts.

I started near the front, probably thirty seconds to a minute after the start time, and it was weird because I had to run short steps because there were so many people crowded in.  I wove around and tried to get where I could run my stride.  I think I was actually running pretty fast because about halfway through I was suddenly super tired.  I’ve been running 5K the whole time, especially the last couple months it’s been at least that if not more, but my time has been just around 10-11 minute miles.  (I did get a 9:11 minute mile one day that was 28 degrees and I was COLD!)  So today I actually had to stop at the 2-mile marker and walk a little (I had a stitch too), and again at the 2.5-mile marker, just for a second.  Even with that, they said 32:20 when I crossed the finish line!

Kent and I hung around for another 20 minutes or so, looking for the one guy dressed up as a turkey.  He had started at the back of the pack and Lifetime Fitness (the sponsor of the race) was going to donate $1 to Second Harvest Heartland (our local food shelf) for every person he passed.  I saw a lot of turkeys, but I wasn’t sure which one he was.

Then we went to Kent’s cousins’ house for Thanksgiving dinner.  I brought roasted winter veggies (parsnip, carrot, acorn squash, sweet potato and purple potato, red onion, turnip, etc.) and apple crisp with crystallized ginger and cranberries.  I was sort of good but not really…who can pass up pecan pie and stuffing?  Not me!  🙂  We sang some Christmas carols and played some games.  During the afternoon it clouded over and got cold and snowed about an inch!  All the evergreen trees had beautiful white frosting…I do love winter!

All told, it’s been a lovely Thanksgiving day — I am especially thankful for my warm house and for my body that is getting more in shape every day (well maybe except today)!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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