{ Spring Might Be Here.}

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Washing, drying and storing mittens is a sure way to bring snow back to Minnesota.  I might be sabotaging myself.

I live in Minnesota.  I find it too bold and presumptuous to announce:

Spring is here!

Better to hesitantly whimper: “Spring might be here soon.”

Or,

Spring is [perhaps] peeking around the corner?

If one is too aggressive in their assertions, spring might tiptoe away.

I don’t want to jinx it.

Google weather isn’t from Minnesota, so it confidently announced a 67 degree high today.

So, with a hopeful heart, I lugged a laundry load out to the clothesline.

While clipping wet garments to the rope, I thought of my son’s words:

“We have a dryer.  Why do you put clothes on the clothesline?”

In an age when you can tell a disk to buy laundry detergent, clothesline use might seem strange.

  • But it gets me outside.
  • I like the fragrance that the wind leaves on the clothes.
  • The garments return fresh (if a little stiff.)

Aside from saving money, what is it about clotheslines, bread-making or homesteading that bestows joy on some of us?

© Lisa M. Luciano

 

“Come back again and wake me up at about half past May.”

– Toad, from Frog & Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel.

 

 “Flowers appear on the earth and the season of singing has come.”

– Song of Solomon 2:12

 

 

 

 

 

{ Yesterday at Church…}

“Everyone from church is in Florida,” my children announced yesterday morning, as our slush-encrusted van dutifully hauled us to church.

 

There were several brave souls who apparently got left in Minnesota.

They were there, filling up rows and singing hymns with us.

The lively verse that begins: “I sing the mighty power of God, who filled the earth with food…” set my stomach growling, because it was also potluck Sunday, and Melanie’s aromatic chicken drummies were calling my name from the kitchen.

Hearing about Jonah put me and my stomach back on track.

  • There are several historical accounts of people having been swallowed by sea creatures – and surviving.
  • The culture Jonah ran from (Ninevah & the ancient Assyrians) happened to worship a merman-like fish god. That’s ironic.
  • I marveled at Jonah’s selfishness – not going, not doing what God clearly asked. If God clearly tells you something, you should do it, right? God’s words to me are in His book. Do I listen?

And Jonah’s pity-party at the end of the book. The account of Jonah is so…me.

Other highlights:

  • The potluck was grand. I avoided its desserts, but made up for that later at home.
  • I had meaningful conversations with a few friends, learning something new about two of them.
  • Free day-old bread on the back table is a happy thing.
  • Vivian brought us our weekly 4 dozen blushed brown farm eggs.
  • Simon’s family brought a new outdoor game that will go viral — at least at church graduation open houses.

Looking back, it was a pretty good day to not be in Florida.

© Lisa M. Luciano

Photo credits:

{ Not a Bucket List }

I was inspired to create the “opposite of a bucket list” by Ordinary Stardust.

Here’s 6 for starters:

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Have a daily 9-5 office job.

One summer, I worked inside an office, typing at a desk.  Constantly on the verge of drowsiness, I’d regularly exit for breaks — a strategy to wake myself up.

Sing in a choir.

I am too prone to laughter. I got in trouble in 5th grade for giggling at silly boys, who were trying to make us laugh.  Even now, in church, singing hymns with my funny husband, it can be a problem. Just telling myself, “Don’t laugh, it’s not funny,” can start the giggles bubbling up.

Join the political scene.

I care about the issues, but don’t see a point in the ceremonial, political song- and-dance. It seems like a game, with its rhetoric and rules.  I try to educate myself, and participate when pressed. I vote, attend caucuses and local meetings.  But, I would never want to be up there on the podium.

Travel with tours.

I’m too independent.  I’d rather peek into forgotten hovels and investigate forbidden stairways than be led like a sheep through Rome.

Live in a big city.

I lived in Hong Kong for a year, and it was fascinating.  But, it had its drawbacks. It’s hard to explain the constant drain of people looking at you and being close to you all the time. Perhaps I will rethink this someday, but for now, I will leave it as is.

Be Cold.

Maybe I’m choosing this one because it’s January and I live in Minnesota.  But, I have been truly cold – it happened just after I had a baby.  Long story short, I lost a lot of blood, was airlifted to the University of Minnesota hospital and was given a few blood transfusions. Warm, dryer-toasted blankets were piled upon me, but still I was shivering.  I thought, “Hell isn’t hot.  It’s cold.”

 

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊

 

 

 

{ Turkey Bowl XVIII }

My husband — the Commish — started an annual tradition after we moved out to the country.  Every year, he heads up a football tournament on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

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After a quick massage, the Commish does some pre-game stretching exercises.

It’s called The Turkey Bowl.

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He hosts 10 teams, divided up into two main brackets: The Gold Division and The Top Gun Division.

The tournament support team is busy in the kitchen, where the oven is bursting with muffins, cookies and hot sandwiches.

IMG_20171125_094939When the first vehicle turns into our long driveway, someone gives a shout.

The young, the old, the underdogs and the superstars arrive around 9:00 a.m. through sleet, snow or sunshine.

Clad in tights-under-shorts, the brave warriors place their snack offerings in the spacious garage and head out to the field.

The Commmish has it all planned as written on the huge white board.

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At 11:30 they break and The Commish will give his annual speech and designate someone to give a blessing on the tournament.

Turkey Bowl XVIII has begun.

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The Commish is 58 years old.

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(c) Lisa M. Luciano

Word Prompt of the Day: underdog

{ Mo’s Jump–as told to me by 13-year old Massimo. }

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This isn’t Mo.  But it looks authentic to the story.

When I arrived at the northern Minnesota cabin, my uncle’s home looked calm and inviting.

I had no idea that 24 hours later I would be jumping off a cliff into a lake.

Later, I heard about the jumping rock while devouring a hearty plate of spaghetti. I didn’t determine to do it then. I looked forward to seeing the rock, and possibly watching somebody else jump off.

After a solid night’s sleep, morning activities, and more food, we piled into the boat and sped across the lake.

We arrived at the rock, which stood three stories high above the sparkling waters.

I stood there at the top. It seemed like half an hour before I got my courage up.

After I decided to jump, I ran and leaped into the air. When I landed in the water, my hands stung. But otherwise, nothing hurt.

When I swam back to the boat, smiling Julia let down a rope and I climbed up. Grandma and Uncle Nick said, “Congratulations!”

It was too windy to talk on the ride home. I was left to my own thoughts.

“If I had the chance, I might do it again. Then again, I might not.”

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This is the amazing Mo.

 

“There is a big difference in life between a jump and a fall. A jump is about courage and faith, something the world is in short supply of these days. A fall is –just a fall.” 

--Ian Morgan Cron

“They say: Think twice before you jump. I say: Jump first and then think as much as you want!--Osho

“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch. 

--Jean-Luc Godard