Good-bye winter?

Good-bye winter! Spring comes today.

It’s been a long winter in Wisconsin. My kids had 8 days off of school for inclement weather. The average is 2-3. We’ve had heavy snowfall followed by subzero temperatures multiple times this winter. The salt doesn’t melt the snow on the very cold days. Some towns ran out of salt. The roads were horrible for an extended period of time.

A lot of people died on our roads this winter. A couple of weeks ago there was fatal pile up on the highway that involved 131 cars. It wasn’t even snowing that day. There weren’t any warnings or advisories in that area. It just happened to be very windy and blew snow across the highway causing white out conditions.

There were some days that school wasn’t called off when it should’ve been because we used up so many snow days. What are we to do when we live in a climate that has the potential for nasty weather half the year? We drink! Which pretty much makes our roads hazardous year round. We lock ourselves indoors chronically depressed from the lack of sunshine and stormy weather that cancels our plans.

Okay, I will try to be more positive. Winter is beautiful. I had to share some pictures of the big snow this year. I was able to go out cross country skiing a couple of times. It was a great year for winter sports such as snowmobiling. Most years we don’t get this much snow.

Do I think that winter is over because the calendar says that it is spring? Probably not. Last year we got a huge blizzard in April. That is what I hate about spring (besides seasonal allergies). It fails to deliver. Spring is my least favorite season. I like summer best followed by fall then winter. At least with winter, we know what we are getting.

The trick is to try to enjoy every season while it is happening. That is sometimes easier said than done. The first few warm days gives me a feeling of false hope. But it won’t be too much longer. Last week we had a day in the 50’s. People started putting on shorts and were driving around with their windows open. But I know we will probably get more snow in April or May.

I can’t wait for the first run outside in this new year. It won’t be too much longer. I have to keep telling myself that at the end of a long grueling winter. The days are getting longer. The birds are coming back. The bugs will soon follow. But I won’t complain, winter makes me enjoy summer more. You need a few dark days to enjoy the light.

Good-bye winter!?!!

 

Biking the rat race

This morning I thought I would go for a bike ride at first light. My kids already left for school and I thought that maybe for once working out wouldn’t conflict with work.

It wasn’t my best idea. I got caught up in the rat race of people rushing to get to work and school.

I had to slow down for the neighboring school’s buses. I counted 4 buses on my(?) route. Several passed me before stopping in front of me to pick up kids.

What would I do if I can’t unhook my shoes from the pedals?

I slowed down for a bus stop, then had to speed up because there were dogs out.

Interval training at its best.

Everyone that wasn’t on the road seemed to be letting their dogs out for the morning. Will they chase me??

I learned several things…First, the neighboring school district has nicer buses than ours. Second, I now know the garbage pick up schedule.

If I did fall off my bike surely everyone and their neighbor would see me….school children, moms holding hands of children waiting for the bus, and people taking out the trash. Maybe I would fall in a dumpster. Maybe I would get hit by a car, garbage truck, or bus.

There were wild turkeys grazing on the side of the road. I couldn’t hug the shoulder. I couldn’t hug the middle of my lane as the cars whizzed past..

Biking kind of makes me feel stressed out..

Why do I even do this anymore?

That’s right, I spent a lot of money on the bike.

It was a cool and windy day…soon it will come to an end and my bike will be put away for the winter…then next spring I will start all over again…but I probably won’t be biking the rat race anymore… I mean, I didn’t even get a participation award..

19. If I could live anywhere…

Day 19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

It is that time of year again…the time of year when the old year is coming to an end like the falling of the leaves….and a new year with new opportunities is almost upon us..

It is at this time of year that I reflect…. What do I truly want?

If I could pick any place in the world that I wanted to live, it would be Tahiti. I have images in my mind of forever lounging in the sunshine on a sandy beach.

But, would that be what I truly want??

I have never lived in a warm climate. We get a total of 2 months out of the year that lounging in the sunshine on the beach is really possible. If we are really lucky, we get 3 months of warmth and beach weather.

Would I miss the change of the seasons? Would I get bored spending every single sunny day on the beach? Would I take it for granted?

Summer is my favorite season.

Would I miss cuddling in a warm blanket on a cool fall evening? Would I miss breathing in the crisp cool refreshing autumn air? Would I miss the beauty of the leaves changing color?

Would I miss waking on Christmas morning to fresh fallen snow? Would I miss the excitement of the first big snowfall? Would I miss seeing icicles glisten like crystals on barren trees?  There is something special about the roaring wind that whistles through the cracks in our very foundation that ushers in the winter snow….The appreciation of warmth inside when the house cracks from temperatures of 30 below.

Spring is my least favorite season..Every time there is a glimmer of hope, it seems like we are dragged back into the dark, desolate winter again. But would I miss the expectation of the arrival of summer if it is always summer? Would I get sick of something that I love because I have too much of it? Would it still be as special??

Although I would like to say that I want to live in forever summer, I don’t think that I really want to live anywhere but here…

Would I be happy away from friends and family to live in sunshine and warmth? Maybe for a few months out of the year, but not forever…

Maybe, just maybe, in the darkest loneliest days of winter I will pack my bags and live for a short time in forever summer…That sounds perfect to me!

Summer, don’t leave me too!

The Canadian geese are flying south. Just like that a light switch was turned off. Summer is ending.

I always have a hard time this time of year. It’s not that I don’t like the changing of the seasons. It’s just that I live for summer. I love the warm weather and sunshine.

Now all of my kids are back in school. I had to say good-bye to my oldest child for the first time when I sent her off to college. It wasn’t just like saying good-bye to a child, it was saying good-bye to a friend. Over the past few years, the active parenting ended and a friendship began. I hope it will be like that with all of my children.

Out of all of the people living on this Earth, my daughter Angel is the most like me. She looks just like me. She has my mannerisms. We have very similar personalities, viewpoints, morals, and taste. We are both firstborns. We relate on all levels. Sometimes I think that she is an unjaded version of me. She is what I could’ve been. People have asked before if she is my clone. It was hard to let go.

My son Alex takes after my side of the family in everything but looks. Because of this, I understand him. Arabella is completely alien to me. We have nothing in common. To be totally honest, this has been a struggle for me. Sometimes we clash instead of click. It just doesn’t seem fair!

The morning after dropping off Angel at college, my husband went away on a week long sailing trip with friends. He will be back home tonight. This has made things more stressful for me at home and at work.

At first, I was fine. It seems like it takes me a few days to process my emotions.

Monday the anxiety and worry hit me hard. It probably didn’t help that I checked my phone before going to bed and noticed that Alex was not at his friend’s house that he was staying overnight at. Apparently they got bored and decided to aimlessly drive around much to my disappointment since I was the one filling up the tank with gas.

I couldn’t sleep at all that night. I waited until Alex got back to his friend’s house on my phone. Then I still couldn’t sleep because I stirred up the demon of my relationship with my dad. I didn’t realize that it upset me as much as it did. Of course, it is probably not wise to stir up painful moments in my life when I am feeling so emotional about my daughter leaving. My anxiety was through the roof and it kept me from sleeping most of the night.

The next morning I felt exhausted and depressed. I had to man the office by myself all day. Work was very busy and I didn’t feel like doing it. When I feel that way, I want to give up everything. I want to quit running. I want to stop blogging. I want to curl up in a ball and totally shut down. I will never do that though, somehow my mind beats out my heart every time. I don’t let myself shut down or even relax.

I will never give up this blog without telling people I am leaving. I am one of the least impulsive people I know. I am cold and calculating. I am schedule and routine. I am all or nothing. I overthink and underfeel. Like it or not, that is how I am. Yet somehow I can still manage to be fun.

Change has always been difficult for me, even if it is for the better. I have accepted that my daughter left home. It has to be a good thing for me because it is good for her.

Now I just have to accept that summer is over. This weekend we are shutting down the cabin for the season. The water will soon be too cold to swim in. By next month, we will be taking the sailboat out of water. The first few flurries will start to fall. My long outdoor runs will have to take place indoors on a treadmill.

Summer, please don’t leave me too!!

But I can’t look at it that way!

I have to be happy that my daughter is starting the future of her dreams. I still have other kids at home to bond with. I am married to a wonderful, adventurous man.

I have to look forward to crisp autumn days. Cool evenings spent in my hot tub gazing at the stars. Bonfires with friends. Photographing the beauty of the trees changing color. Reading cold psychological thrillers wrapped in a warm blanket. And having plenty of time to write…

Puzzling failure

I should’ve known when I opened the box and saw the glue that it wasn’t going to be easy.

I have one of those high strung intense type A personalities. So, yes, I find that I have a hard time taking it easy or relaxing. There is always something to clean or laundry to do. I have to actively seek out ways in which I can try to relax. Over the winter months, I try to relax by doing puzzles. It was something that I would do with my grandma years ago. 

This winter I did two puzzles. Well, that is not completely true. The first puzzle was moderately difficult just because 75% of the puzzle was green in some shade or another. I just wanted my second puzzle to be easier and more relaxing. When I opened the second puzzle, I found glue and instructions to hang the puzzle on the wall like a picture. That was puzzling to me. It looked easy. I dismissed it as tacky and started working on the outside edge. After having difficulty with the outside edge, I searched the box two more times without finding any extra pieces. It was a brand new puzzle, so there weren’t any missing. I finally had to rework the edge. 

After getting 75% done with the puzzle and wasting countless hours that I could have spent cleaning, I found out that the edge was still put together wrong. There were many pieces that matched in shape and design but weren’t right. I still was not finding a perfect fit in many edge and inside pieces throughout the puzzle. I came to the realization that I would have to take apart what I had already done and completely rework the puzzle.

In an impulsive fit of rage, I took my arm and swept the puzzle onto the floor. A jumble of obscenities and puzzle pieces flew across the room in an angry roar. Then I started throwing puzzle pieces into the box, which I threw into the garbage, which I threw into the dumpster that I took to the curb before I changed my mind. I felt like a complete and total failure.

I tried to commiserate with other puzzle friends. One friend is working on a puzzle that he separated into different containers based on puzzle piece shape. He works for a half an hour every night to find one piece. 

Oh, what a failure I am!

Then today I realized that I am not a failure. The puzzle failed me! It was supposed to bring me relaxation but failed to deliver. 

I did learn a few valuable lessons. First, never judge a puzzle by its box. Second, if you find glue inside the puzzle box it means that the puzzle is so difficult that you might want to hang it next to your diploma on the wall.

I am done doing puzzles for this winter. But I did find a few puzzle pieces while doing my spring cleaning today. 

Taking the sails out of the wind

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The dark days are now upon us. Night time lights go on at mid day. It is dark when I wake and after supper at night. I feel sleepy and unmotivated. My body and heart yearn for hibernation. My head tells me to work harder, there is nothing outside tearing me away. My body lags.

For Paul, it is a sad day. The day that the sailboat comes out of the water for the season.

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I decided to share some pictures of our days in the sun.

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We had many adventures this year rescuing a stranded boater, unexpected strong storms while sailing overnight for our anniversary, and our goodbyes to some best friends while sailing.

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This year brought a new sport of sail racing. I can’t wait to see what adventures next year will bring.