Simple Celebrations

The weeks seem to be flying by! I can’t believe it’s already time to reflect on celebrations.

Weather has kept me close to home this week. There has not been a lot of contact with the outside world. I celebrate when the world comes to my mailbox. Slowly the Christmas cards arrive and I eagerly read what friends and family have been doing during this past year. In my youth, I thought the yearly letters were stupid. I guess I’ve grown wiser and now I appreciate this little bit of contact with those we rarely see.

The Outback has been a gem in the ice, snow, slush of the weather we’ve had. It has safely and securely taken us to our destinations this past week. Unfortunately, the shiny white became a gritty brown mess. We celebrated that we had one day above freezing so my husband could remove the dirt and salt from this round of weather. The sad fact is it did not last long, however we may be in the forties next week. That alone is a celebration, warmer temperatures!

I have worked my way through most of the soup recipes I tagged when the weatherman predicted snowy cold weather. There was only one mishap with a cilantro and Italian parsley confusion. All recipes were tasty and may some day reappear in the soup bowl.

As our temperatures begin to warm (slightly), I celebrate that we made it through this round of inclement weather with no power loss or damage. I’m crossing my fingers to hope this run of luck continues.

Simple celebrations make for a happy heart. I hope your heart was happy this week too.

Celebrating Weather

One day it is sixty-five degrees and the next day there is sleet and a difference of forty degrees on the thermometer. Fortunately the weather people had been predicting this for at least ten days, so no one should have been caught unaware.

I was supposed to be in a school during the initial stage of this weather system, so I celebrate that we were able to rearrange the calendar. I did not have to battle the elements, but could enjoy them from my warm home.

I dug out my 1,000 Soup Recipes cookbook and jotted ingredients needed for six different soups to try during this cold snap. Is there anything more satisfying than a steaming bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich? Mmmmmm! All ingredients are waiting for their turn in the soup pot.

A snow blower is a cause for celebration when there is six to eight inches of snow on the driveway. I know that my neighbors celebrated when they looked out their window to see my husband blowing their driveways clean. We even scored a plate of cookies from one neighbor!

The temperatures have plummeted to single digits and minus zero wind chills. This cold snap prompted me to dig out my comfy pajamas I received last year from American Airlines as I traveled first class to Tokyo, then on to Singapore. (We cashed in airline miles to allow this luxury). Just the sight of the pajamas brought back memories of a wonderful winter trip that celebrated my brother-in-law’s retirement.

Today the temperatures are still frigid, but the sun is shining which makes the snow sparkle like diamonds. The first snow is always a a joy, so I celebrate this snowfall.

Wonder if it is this chilly in Paris today?

Wonder if it is this chilly in Paris today?

The table is ready and waiting for some frosty guests.

The table is ready and waiting for some frosty guests.

So what have you celebrated this week?

Nick of Time

I needed to get going, the day was only going to get hotter. So with the sun shining brightly, I stepped outside and the humidity hit me like a wet wall. I had second thoughts about riding my bike, but I pedaled on.

Speed is never my goal as I ride and today was not a day to pick up the pace. As long as I was moving there was a breeze to counteract the heat and humidity.

My eyes scanned left and right to notice the new blossoms of the wildflowers. The cows in the pastures stopped their munching to gaze at me with quizzical eyes.

Almost half way through the ride, I noticed it’s not quite as hot. When I began the journey back I discovered why it had cooled slightly. The sky in the west was no longer bright blue, now it was a deep steel blue. It looked like rain was headed my way and I was six miles from home. I tried to pick up the pace. Pedaling was a priority now, coasting was a luxury I could not afford as the sky darkened.

Two miles from home, I turned south. That sky was lighter, however, my relief was short lived. Deep blue flooded the sky as far as the eye could see. The end of this ride had a couple of inclines, so now my legs burned from the constant pedaling.

Every breath wracked my chest as I huffed and puffed my way to the crest of the final hill. Was that thunder or trucks rumbling? Lightning flashed above my head as if responding to my mental question. I pedaled faster to reach the summit because it is all down hill from that point.

Scenery of that final mile blurred as I continued to pedal. Raindrops gave my shirt a polka-dot pattern. I flew down my street and up the driveway. The garage was open. My husband  raced the rain to finish mowing the yard.

I made it into the garage in the nick of time. The wind shook the trees. Thunder rumbled, as I safely watched the rain pour down from under cover of the patio. That was a close one!

One of the downspouts was plugged up, so we had a curtain of rain.

One of the downspouts was plugged up, so we had a curtain of rain.

Secret Addiction #5

I have an addiction that only is revealed in the winter when it snows. You might be thinking it’s some thing normal like constructing snowmen, creating snow angels, or engaging in fierce battles with snow balls. But you are not even close to guessing.

Picture in your mind a snowy day, the main streets have been plowed, so you need to get out to pick up a few groceries. You made it to the store, you have parked, and are about to head into the store when you notice a chunk of snow and ice wedged between the tire and the car. What do you do? Ignore it or remove it? I have to nudge  it. (Okay, it’s more like a kick than a nudge.) There is some quirky satisfaction I get from seeing and hearing that chunk fall. THUNK! Once I do one tire, I must check the other three and make that clump fall. Only then can I go into the store to purchase my groceries.

However, as I am walking past the other vehicles, I notice so many cars with icebergs hanging on for dear life. My foot twitches with the desire to “kick the clump,” but I resist (most of the time). I know I should not touch other people’s cars, but sometimes the urge is too great and I sneak a quick kick in when no one is looking.

So the next time you get into your car, check your clump. If it has fallen you may wonder, was the clump kicker here or did it melt and fall on its own?

Too Long #3

You came quietly in the wee hours of the morning.


You brought your best dress,

the one that sparkled.

front tree

You set a beautiful table.


But your friends,

Cold and Wind came to spoil the party.

table 2

You are too heavy for Nandina.


You stayed too long.

It’s time to pack,

Sun is coming to take you away.

trees 2

Please come back

when you can’t stay so long.

Just Enough

Snow, what does that simple four letter word bring to your mind? Does it make you giddy with excitement as you  plan your ventures out into the fluffy white matter? Or does it fill you with dread as you plan your day knowing that driving will be hazardous? Do you savor the sense of coziness as your family settles in for the duration? Snow, it has an effect on everyone.

I woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago and discovered it had snowed in the night. It was the perfect snow. It was beautiful, but it didn’t last long as the temperatures rose. It was gone shortly after lunch. It was just enough of a taste to remind you of the beauty of snow without all the tiresomeness of lingering dirty snow. It inspired this poem.

Just Enough

In the dark,

the flakes

drifted and settled

as they nestled

into every nook and cranny.

snow 1Morning sun slowly revealed

the painted landscape

created in the night.

Look quickly!

Drip! Drip! Drip!

The frozen crystals

slip away.

It was a short visit,

                                                                                           just enough

                                                                                          to let us remain friends.table