Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tired of winter

Today is the first day of Spring but our local temperature is in the 20's.

Yesterday it was cloudy all day and it snowed for several hours :-(

I am only 48 but I am developing a strong aversion to cold weather. My best friend is in her 60's and she is always asking me when we are going "cold camping" again. I am thinking my answer will be "Never" even though we camped out a few years ago when it was five below zero. That may eventually be worthy of another blog-post but I don't have time to describe the specific miseries here.

I like to think of myself as a serious outdoors-person so I have clothing and gear appropriate for almost any conditions. My slogan was, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes." At one time I was an obsessive gear-head with much more disposable income than I have now, so my wardrobe comprises such items as Patagonia heavy weight fleece pants, Primaloft insulated long underwear, boots rated at 65 below zero, and battery-powered socks. I just can't summon the energy to find and put on all of these layers for anything more strenuous than lying on the couch in front of the TV.

Anyhoo, today seems like one of those days where couch-lying is indicated. Here is a picture of our lovely spring weather.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

St Patrick's Day and other news

Well I don't know how well I have been doing in regard to the goal I set for myself in my last post, but I still feel that it is a worthy and important endeavor for me.

I find that I am feeling more energetic as the days lengthen and we see more daylight. It has been cloudy in Omaha recently, but we have seen a few sunny days. The snow that blanketed our yard has vanished at an almost miraculous rate and we are left with flat, dead grass in its place.

My husband and I have made several trips to Lake Manawa with our two doggies to get some much needed fresh air and exercise. We are eagerly awaiting the breakup of the ice there as this usually heralds the arrival of the annual bald eagle migration. At that lake I have seen as many as a dozen eagles out on the edge of the ice, dining on fish that have perished during the winter.

We saw a couple of eagles last Saturday but of course I did not have my camera. We visited again on Sunday and I got a picture of what I believe to be a red-tailed hawk. The raptors we have seen so far looked very "scruffy" with tattered and discolored feathers.

I am looking forward to Saint Patrick's Day as we are allowed to dress casually at work, and I have made cards for my employees and co-workers. It has been my habit to make mini-cards for every significant holiday and I wonder if there would be a lot of disappointed feelings if I ever quit doing this! I enjoy doing these cards and I hope that everyone appreciates them. Of course they like it more if I also bring treats of some kind, it seems that everyone likes to observe special occasions with food.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ms. Sparrow, Tear Down That Wall

I went to a memorial service today for a person to whom I was once very close, but from whom I had become alienated over the last few years. Her sudden death gave me a lot to think about.

I am a very introverted person, and prefer to keep most of my deepest feelings to myself. In the past I have opened myself up fully to at most two or three friends. In the end it was too frightening for me to sustain that level of intimacy, and I eventually erected emotional walls to "protect" myself from these people, even though I had no reason to believe that they would hurt or betray me.

Our existence as human beings can be very lonely at times. We both crave and fear true intimacy. We long to be emotionally "naked" with our loved ones but are too afraid to appear before them without the costumes and masks that keep us at a safe distance, lest we be rejected for some reason.

It is especially good for Christians to have someone to whom we are totally accountable for our thoughts and behavior. If we are unable to be completely open with another person, it is much more difficult to be honest with ourselves and with God.

I am setting a goal for myself to shed some of the protective layers within which I have hidden myself, at least in my two closest relationships. My fear of betrayal and pain has also kept me from experiencing the true love and joy that I need to survive. This is a price that I am no longer willing to pay.