{ S’no More? & Sweeping Reforms }

There comes a point of acceptance.

I have been griping about the snow in my spirit –and aloud– and I have been groaning about how –or if –we can maneuver through our long and perilous driveway.

Today, I just looked at the snow falling gently down from the sky and thought:

“Well, then. Let it come.”

I’m strangely content today. I told everyone it’s a day to stay in our pajamas.  I baked up those cookie dough balls from the freezer that have survived the nibblers. And right now I’m making a double batch of brownies.

Has my body entered a state of hibernation — one where I’m subconsciously adding layers of fat to sustain me until the snow melts?

Is my mind slightly sedated, which would explain my docile–or perhaps numb–outlook on life?

Yesterday, however, was a day of sweeping reforms.

Do you find that your best ideas come to you early in the morning

Or late at night?

Or, perhaps in the middle of the night?

That happened to me yesterday as my clock rang early and I sat in a dark room.

Inspiration drifted down to me like a gentle, welcome snowfall, telling me:

We are too distracted by devices. We need to corral our dependence on phones and tablets. We need to organize our use of technology and vary our interests. Everyone seems to default to devices when they don’t have anything to do.  This is not how we started out. This will not help us.

So yesterday was a day to roll out the new rules.  Phone and tablets will stay in a basket in the middle of the table. We will use them from 3:00 to 4:00. There will be exceptions, of course, but this will be our goal. Surprisingly, it seemed as if everyone was relieved instead of being upset.

I told everyone we will have a contest to name our hour of device-using-time.

“How about Happy Hour?” I heard someone say.

~~~

There’s something truly beautiful about this snow.

It’s a clean, firm covering over everything that has finally surrendered to winter.

It’s a white quilt on an already fattened landscape.

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We have received an average of one inch plus per day of snow this last month — February, 2019. [40 inches total in February and we are getting more today, March 1st.]

{ Seasonal Me }

After a sun-robbed

Bone-bitten

Blanket-wrapped

Winter —

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I’m always ready for an Early Spring.

groundhog day

I’m an April snow-be-gone

Window-hoisting

Clutter-banishing gal

But wait – did someone say “Garage Sale?”

Drinking vernal sun

Through white Nordic skin

I’m an impatient trail-trekker

Lake-walker

Eager for

Jean-jacketed

Picnics-at-parks.

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I’m a teacher-on-summer-recess

Swimming-lesson-spectator-mom

An eye-on-the-sky weather-watching

Clothesline-addicted

August-birthday-babe.

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School? Already?

Pondering plans

While I’m apple-picking

Pickle-packing

Toes-in-dirt

Garden-gathering until

First frosty flakes.

Goodnight, garden.

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I’m a dark morning errand runner

Defying slick roads

Stocking up for the Big Snow

I can hibernate awhile

With coffee

Cream

Eggs

Milk

Bread

Cream

And coffee.

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Swadddled in a snow blanket—

Waiting for Christmas,

Birthdays,

And Valentine chocolates to

Usher me to the edge of winter

Where I stand

Toes on edge

Ready to jump

Into an early Spring…

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(I had the idea to write this as I labored with dirt-encrusted toes in a 90 degree garden yesterday.  In retrospect, the scene was so unlike who I am in the winter. If you ever write a seasonal look at yourself — please let me know.  I’d like to read it! )

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/one-way/

Photo credits:
Winter Cabin:  Jonathan Mast
Pool: Jay Wennington
Apple tree:Kelly Sikkema
Coffee: Nathan Dumlao
Frostbitten Garden: Nick Cooper
Lady on cliff: Samuel Scrimshaw
Early Spring? Photo from Groundhog Day movie

{ It’s Weduation Season Again.}

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This is not from my era.

When I was growing up, high school graduates had modest open houses.

Small numbers of close friends and grownups trickled in to eat snacks, give gifts, and ask THE QUESTION:

“So, what will you be doing next year?”

Now — at least in our community — a graduation open house is more like a mini-wedding reception.

It differs from a wedding reception mainly because:

  • Only one person’s smile muscles get tired.
  • The food is cheaper.
  • There’s no honeymoon.

But the hubbub, the invitations, the gifts – all very reception-like.

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Our cake will not be this fancy or impressive.

With helpful volunteers and nice friends who lend out their coffee pots, we have survived three graduation extravaganzas.

Number Four is staring us in the face – and it’s at the end of May.

I’m actually a little behind already.

We’ve encountered a problem, which centers around the graduate’s photos and invitation.

Graduation photos sound so easy.

  • Take a bunch of photos.
  • Pick one where the graduate looks cool and smart.
  • Make a graduation open house invitation with it.
  • Send it off a month or more before the event.

But we put off taking his photos.  With summer and fall behind us, we thought a spring photo shoot would work.

Not in Minnesota.  Not in April.  Not when you get a foot of snow abruptly dumped on you.

  1. So, the snowy April photo shoot was COLD — about 9 degrees with windchill. The graduate’s face matched his blue shirt in most of the photos.
  2. More disturbing than that, his fists were tightly & painfully clenched, as he tried to retain warmth in his cool-looking, but thin shirt.
  3. Even worse than that, his fist-clenching was uneven, resulting in a protruding middle finger.

Someone said, “Oh, no one will notice the finger.”

I can name every single uncle that will not only notice, but will mention it every year for the rest of this kid’s life.

The invitations — with a new photo– will be embarassingly late, but they are on order.

© Lisa M. Luciano

 

Photo credits: 

https://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2012/06/08/graduation-red-letter-day/

http://www.fillyourheartediblememories.com/Graduation-Cap-Strips-p362.html

{ 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

 

 

 

 

 

{ Exiles & Horatio Alger }

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Yesterday at church, I ventured back near the microwave to chat with the kitchen help. I don’t do that very often.  It contributes to inefficient snack preparation and worse — the lack of coffee.

But I wanted to see a little bit of sunshine, brought back from the Floridian exiles. They had returned, with sun-tipped hair, looking healthy – especially among all of us who stayed put.

  • Mr. K’s sermon taught about Ezra, Nehemiah, and the return of the exiled Jews from Babylon.
  • And the amazing Cyrus. Cyrus was named by name, and, according to the historian Josephus, “Lion’s Den Daniel” was the one who told him that Cyrus’s pre-written history was in God’s Word.
  • This pagan king was used by God as a “shepherd” and as a fulfillment of God’s word. “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will.” Proverbs 21:1
  • God — certainly a weaver of times and people and details.  And He still is.

Back at home, it seemed too chilly to take a walk, so I opted for a long nap and storytime with two little boys holding flashlights and blankets.

We just finished my favorite Lamplighter book Tom Gillies.…so we started Horatio Alger’s Brave and Bold on the Kindle.

It’s definitely not spring yet.

© Lisa M. Luciano

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