I’m sitting at the south window of our bedroom looking out at sun dappled woods. The pale winter sky peaks through a mix of intricate gray lace and pine green plumes.
This is my darkest month. I have always struggled with the cold dark days of February. The odd thing about my trouble is that I love the winter. I love all the seasons in their turn. It doesn’t seem logical that I would struggle emotionally through any of them. I love the steel gray of the low sky that comes with the Southeast Texas winter. The long shadows that stretch across the land and the colored leaves which cling to trees till spring ones push them off at last.
I have promised myself I will do all the things needed to not let the bottom fall out of my emotions. What are all the things? Seeking sunlight at every opportunity. Lighting candles everywhere. Soaking in a hot tub of bath water in the evenings. Getting fully dressed even when staying in for the day. Riding with him when he goes on cow business. Making time for friends. Making time for Duchesses. Making myself see the beauty around me.
I have set myself a real challenge. This Valentine weekend, I plan to have both Duchesses spend two nights. We may go to a birthday party Saturday I’ve been invited to or we may stay here and have the tea party I had already planned. It will depend on how well we all sleep Friday night for the most part.
Thinking about the weekend, making plans, gathering supplies, making ready has been a very good way to keep the gloomies at bay. Looking forward to all the love and affection exchanged between the three of us is a perfect way to keep my heart up.
Most importantly, I am trusting in the Lord to comfort me as He always has. Rock helps me get through this. I have him and some others who pray specifically for my difficult days of winter.
This year they don’t seem so dark after all…………………
I had a sign on my icebox for a long while a long while back. I still keep the saying close at hand, though for some reason other things crowded it from the icebox front.
What really important thing are you forgetting to do?
I ask that question on many different levels. Did I pay the fuel card bills? Did I ask him to check the propane tank level? Did I ask the Lord forgiveness for my recent failures of character? Did I put water in the dog’s bowl? Am I sure I checked all the supply levels for baking Christmas cookies?
From trivial to profound and back to trivial.
One question that haunts me was asked me on the day we buried Mother. What are you going to do with the rest ofyour life? At the time, all I could think of was raising the children. At ages 10 (nearly 11) and 12, things were just taking off. And my father was still living and needed assistance. The Butler sale launched that year as well. The question didn’t mean much for a long time.
A few years later, the children were grown and Daddy and his mother and his father, too. From September 2003 through April 2007, there was a lot of leaving for us. We also lost a dear friend during that time. And Hurricane Rita blew through. We got down to just having our jobs and the cows for the most part.
Eventually, the children married and finally a couple of duchesses came along to add glitter sparkle to our lives. Figuratively and literally!
Still, there are some long days of not much going on. I have been retired just past a year. He is still working. The duchesses are too far to come and go on a regular basis. I have some hobbies I have dabbled in through the years. I am so accustomed to not having time to really dig deep on them, I still just dabble.
I am forgetting to dig deep.
I love to plan things. Have my tidy little lists of things. I passed that trait on to our son. I have notebooks of lists. I have spent my idle hours for thirty years making lists. What do I list? I have a list of plants I want for the jungle garden. I have lists of household supplies I use so I can try to make a more efficient shopping list. I have lists of my favorite foods. I have a list of songs I like. I have a list of books to read and authors whose works I want to read. I have a list of topics for essays to write. I spend more time and energy on my lists instead of attending the things on the lists.
I love to sort things. An offshoot of listing or the listing is an offshoot of sorting. I will sort and reorganize my closets and pantries several times through the year. I haul off stuff to the Salvation Army or bag it up for some of the teen girls at church or a friend I know would love it. I pass through the thrift store and get some more things and then go through the sifting process again. I thought for a while I was off my rocker.
When I look around my house, I see the results of the process. I have several areas that show my love of tropical things. I have book cases full of a full range of topics. I have lovely dishes to use every day. The walls have several original pieces of amateur art. Some is my even my own work. I have a modest collection of evening bags of which I plan to start using for everyday as soon as I can get my load of things I think I need to haul around with me pared down to fit. I hear several of my besties reading this and cackling with laughter over that remark. And he just rolled his eyes. One of the things I get called is bag lady. I still consider it a lofty goal to achieve. Maybe beyond my scope. Nevertheless……..
I am getting better though. I have been taking the time to read. And yesterday, I took time to watch one of the movies on my movies to watch list. I put in a new flower bed this summer. I have the photos on the table and have begun the sorting process to make a photo album. (This is from the days of film style cameras.) I have a number of digital photos I want to print and put in the album eventually. I make time to spend with my friends and my family. I am terrible at calling to check on folks. I hate talking on the phone. I would rather see someone face to face. I text painfully slow. (I did learn how to talk to text and my phone seems to understand my accent.) I go with him to check the cows most times.
Nothing profound. Just ordinary living. Working on not forgetting the really important things. Time with him, time with the offspring, time with friends, time with my own creative muse. Mundane things in a quiet house on a dusty dead end lane in the boondocks of Southeast Texas.