Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘SNOW’


I DON’T WANT TO STAY HOME! Since October 31 I have been in training. Halloween brought inches of snow to our city. It melted and became ice. The ice covered the sidewalks and the alley making it hazardous for me to go out side. When it finally melted after about a week I totally enjoyed my freedom and went SHOPPING.

Another snowfall with more of the same results occurred in January, followed by more in February. Each snowfall brought more ice — more staying inside. It seemed that each storm brought more hazardous conditions for me, restricting my freedom.

Was I preparing for this pandemic? I wish I could say that I’m using my time well — cleaning the house — getting rid of the clutter. I’m not in the habit of telling tall tales. I HAVE NOT ACCOMPLISHED ANYTHING. Part of the reason I’m sure is grief for my husband’s passing. I seem to have no purpose in life. I KNOW I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT. I don’t have the desire to follow a restrictive eating program. Most of the time I’m eating healthy.

Because my weight is up — my knees are yelling. By suppertime, I have NO ENERGY to do anything. We have been restricted for almost a month. During that time I have possibly gone shopping once a week. My children are EXTREMELY unhappy when I wander outside. For many reasons — I live in Chicago, a hot spot for the virus. I’m in my seventies — more susceptible to catching the virus. Thankfully I don’t have Diabetes or Emphysema. My blood pressure is high enough to warrant medicine but not enough to be dangerous.

When I do venture out, I try to have a list that will cover all the stuff I need. I haven’t gone to Wal-Mart in over a month. I keep my shopping in stores that are close by. I try to go early, before the store gets busy. Thankfully the stores have been restocked. Most of the stuff I require is available. My daughter often asks me if what I needed was essential. Did I really need to go out into the scary world where the virus is waiting.

As the weather warms, I’m thinking of going out to the camper. They don’t have the virus out there and they REALLY DON’T WANT IT. Our governor is impressing us that we should keep driving to ESSENTISAL TRIPS. Going to the camper would not be essential except for my well being. All the buildings and stores are closed out there. Our camper is self sustaining with full bathroom facilities but I don’t want to run water until the chance of freezing is over.

Recently I read of a gentleman who passed at the age of one hundred. He was able to live by himself in his own home and DRIVE. Whatever age I reach, I want to have a quality of life and be able to be independent. My husband would have had a hard time dealing with this virus. He wouldn’t have minded having to stay in the house.


I knew my husband was a man of honor. This morning I opened the bible to Job 30. Normally I DON’T LIKE to open to Job. It usually alerts me to rough water. Today was different. “I wore my honesty like a garment.” Christian song early morning reminded me that I am loved. I am extremely fortunate in many ways. Our son moved home more than eight years ago to help his parents. I am not alone in the house. Yesterday it SNOWED. More than 3″. He took care of the steps and the sidewalk. I had started on the steps with a broom — only to quickly discover that there was too much snow on the steps already. I had planned to go to a Veteran ceremony but the snow changed my plans.

My husband enjoyed helping others. He was quick to give away stuff he was no longer using. I’m sure he is happy that the insulin he no longer needed has been given to a couple of people whose finances made getting insulin difficult. His clothes are also going to a couple of out reach places.

I have over 30 photo albums and piles of photos that never made it into an album. I found an album that I had put together using a photo service. I planned to send it to one of my husband’s sisters until I looked at it closely. I made the album when my husband and I returned from a trip back to his home in Maryland. We visited with three of his sisters, enjoyed a visit with his childhood friend and experienced more than a foot of snow arriving on the day we were scheduled to come back home. The pages are full of my memories of the trip. Since it was one of our last trips together, going through the pages with my notes — “A fellow at breakfast told stories of bear hunting. I was concerned that we would be in that area. The fellow told me not to worry. A note on one of the pages not only told the short story, but mentioned the bear hunting checkpoint sign.”

I’ve mentioned that I’m aware that I walk to a different drummer. I’m aware that I receive “help” from my “friends in high places.” I was wondering why I hadn’t noticed “help” from my husband. Sorrow does strange things. This morning I not only remembered my daughter needing a new battery in her car before she returned home. She had used her car with NO PROBLEMS taking her father back and forth to the doctors. She had moved her car in front of the house to make packing easier. She learned a new battery was needed when she planned to leave.

I’m an early riser, soon after my husband passed, I took my pens and books and calendars into the kitchen closing the door to not wake those who were sleeping downstairs. When I went to retrieve my pens they were gone. I remembered I had pens in a valentine box given to me by a dear friend. Opening the box, I found a red silk pouch containing a message. “This represents a: Life, b: Endurance, c: Hope, d: and Change.” It had a drawing of a butterfly and a personal note that I’ll keep private. It accompanied a butterfly magnetic pin. Last present and note I received from a special man.


I did my best. When my son started coughing, I did my best to NOT CATCH whatever he had that was causing the problem. I was already coughing — admittedly it was a different cough — dry. I knew the cause — it was the blood pressure medicine I was taking. A friend of mine told me it made her cough too. At first the dry cough wasn’t too bad. Then since my blood pressure wasn’t decreasing, my doctor doubled the dose. My cough also increased. I was coughing so much my back started hurting.

Then my husband started coughing. The cough sounded similar to our son’s. My husband has emphysema, which often evolves into pneumonia. I didn’t like his color, I didn’t like the way he sounded. He didn’t think he needed to go to the doctor. Thankfully I had a well being doctor’s appointment scheduled for that week. He wasn’t better so he accompanied me. Meanwhile I didn’t like the way my cough sounded. It was no longer dry. Thankfully my husband’s lungs were clear but the doctor prescribed medicine for him anyway. My lungs were also clear — I got a new prescription for blood pressure medicine. I picked up the new medicine. The pills for my husband immediately worked to improve his condition. Sadly I was correct about the sound of my cough. It deepened and intensified. The weather in our area became much colder and snow was predicted. I thought the cough was just a cold and if I took care of it, drank plenty of fluids, stayed inside, it would soon be gone. I WAS WRONG.

Each evening the news announced the status of the flu — increasing in intensity, more people, especially children were dying. Both my husband and myself had gotten a flu shot in October. Neither one of us was running a fever. We were confident we didn’t have the flu. Normally I don’t take cough syrup but I went through ALL of the cough syrup in the house, even stuff I had for our grandchildren. For many reasons, I didn’t want to go outside — below zero temperatures and snow didn’t beckon. Except for coming downstairs for food or to cook I stayed on the second floor where it was warmer. Our Christmas tree remained up. When I was feeling better, I didn’t take it down because it occupied the space my son’s chair rested in. I didn’t want him by the windows. Then the tree stayed up because I didn’t have the energy to take it down.

Nine days of snow. Thankfully our son did most of the shoveling. My husband was feeling better, at 5:30 AM I was woken my the sound of shoveling. My husband wasn’t in bed. When I looked outside, I saw the top of his coat, dealing with the fresh snow. Under normal conditions, my husband LOVES to use the snow blower on the whole block. These weren’t normal conditions. But he took pity on our neighbors and didn’t start the machine. Both myself and our son expressed our opinion on his being outside shoveling. Our neighbors took pity on us. A few times our walk was shoveled. Once our front stairs were included. When all was said and done, we had more than 10 inches of snow. Normally I sweep the stairs. This wasn’t a normal time.

My back still hurt. I decided that Tai Chi — the gentle stretching would help it. Other than that — most days I got in less than 3,000 steps. I tried to get more sleep. Coughing didn’t help. Except for one day between the snow storms, I hadn’t been outside. When another big storm was predicted we traveled to the store for supplies — milk, bread ,and vegetables. Finally a littler bit of my energy returned. Enough to take off the ornaments and lights. To take down our Christmas tree. It was February — time for the tree to come down. I even got the stuff together to prepare for income tax.

I hadn’t been outside except for the store run in 10 days. I walked to our accountant — 7000 steps when I returned. I couldn’t believe how tired I was. His office was close to our church, a distance I normally walked. Both my back and knees HURT.

Caught — I was outside cleaning up the yard before the rain came. Working on the icy steps, shoveling a tiny bit of snow off our cellar doors. My son caught me. He had warned me not to go outside when the back was icy. Now he told me to put the shovel down. He would take care of the snow.


I like snow — I like the frosting on the trees, and the houses. The air seems fresher, maybe because it has been washed by the snow. When I was younger, I enjoyed many activities outside — ice skating, cross country skiing. Even younger it included sledding, making snowman and forts. Snowball fights.

Sadly, now — for the most part, I just enjoy looking at it, staying inside where it is warm or if I’m really adventurous — wandering the neighborhood — camera in hand — taking photos. As I write this I’m thinking of a photo I took of a garage roof, where the snow reminded me of a nun’s veil.

After a day, the snow begins to darken, reflecting the life of the city. As much as I like the snow — I DISLIKE THE ICE. This year, so far, we have had less than an inch of snow on two separate occasions. Both times, the snow had just fallen, when the warmth of the city turned it into ice. I would love to stay inside and wait for the ice to melt. But our dog Robin, DOES NOT agree. It would be lovely if we could open the door to the back yard and leave her out to do her business. She does not think that is what a backyard is for. She has to be out in the neighborhood, looking for squirrels or the treasures they leave behind.

As I have gotten older, I pay more attention to the soles of my shoes and boots. They have to have a good tread that will navigate the snow and ice. I also pay more attention to where I am walking. I’ll chose the north side of a street because it gets more sun. I’ll change where I walk because I know the paths will have been shoveled. I’ll walk in the snow covered grass if it is safer. Or if I don’t have Robin with me, I might walk on the side of the street, close to the cars.

I don’t remember having these concerns when I was younger. Then I just dressed appropriately, kept warm and went out to play in the snow. Last night I stopped in a store and noticed a much younger woman with her hand in bandages. I asked if she tangled with the ice. Sadly she did and broke her wrist. Snow is predicted. This time they are actually talking inches. We have just experienced a very warm week. The ground will be warm. Hopefully I will stay upright, on two feet.



Time passes so quickly — minuets, hours, days, months, years quickly pass. Sometimes we notice the passage of time, especially when a birthday occurs and we notice we have added another year to our age. My last birthday a friend mentioned that I would notice the passage of time, and she was right.

Driving to meet my friend the other day, I watched a person on cross country skies in a park, gliding through the snow. It brought back wonderful memories. What I didn’t want to remember was my age at the time — my mantra for that year was “life begins at forty.” I still have my skies, but I don’t know if I would have the courage to put them on. My body isn’t as flexible as it was then and my weight is up. I don’t look forward to putting on skies to play in the snow. To be honest, I don’t look forward to snow either.

Looking back I remember other activities that have fallen by the wayside. I used to paint in oils. I haven’t had them out in years but they are waiting for me. I have tried watercolor — not as successfully and acrylics. I haven’t invested the time needed to become proficient — of course unless the paintings were good enough to sell, I don’t have wall space to display them.

Looking back — I was also involved in storytelling. I was a member of a guild and regularly attended storytelling events. Although I still tell stories to people who cross my path that need them, I don’t see myself becoming a professional storyteller. Because of that realization, I have parted with many of the books of fables and stories that I had hoped to use. The stories I tell are personal, they travel with me — I keep them in my pocket — always available.

Looking back — I have two sewing machines that were often in motion. I haven’t had the desire to sew anything in a few years but I’m not ready to say I have stopped. I haven’t had either my knitting needles or crochet hook out either. I still have yarn but haven’t seen anything that has inspired me.

If I’m honest, I have to admit that more has changed in my body than just age, and my flexibility and weight. My fingers don’t have the ability to work with small items, my eyes need stronger glasses and more light. When I start counting the negative changes that age and extra weight have caused in my life, I either see a person whose body is giving them more challenges than mine — cane, wheelchair or motorized scooter or a story of someone’s health challenges crosses my path. Often, that person is much younger than myself.

Time passes so quickly — it will soon be the anniversary of my father’s birthday and his passing. More than 20 years have gone by and thankfully he and others on the other side are still a part of my life.


I know that I’m not alone. Almost everyone that I speak to is in the same boat — too much snow — too much below zero temperatures — too much gray skies — too much — too much.

We have a four foot mountain of snow in our backyard. I climbed to the top the other day when I noticed that the cold temperatures had frozen it. Robin — all 25 pounds– enjoyed climbing to the top. I weigh more than 25 pounds, but the frozen temperatures made it possible for me too.

The Body, Mind, Spirit Exp. was this past weekend. Normally I really enjoy arriving early and staying late. Sadly, not this year. Snow — changed my plans — forecast starting Saturday afternoon. Not just a dusting but a formidable amount. AGAIN! I went to the Exp. on Saturday, visited with a couple of vendors, attended two workshops and headed home before the snow started. I did not want to be on the tollway and expressway in icy conditions. NOT THE DAY I HAD PLANNED. I suppose I could have ventured forth on Sunday, but after dealing with five inches of snow I really wasn’t up to it.

I stayed home and made bread pudding instead. I haven’t made bread pudding in years. COMFORT FOOD from my childhood. My husband has never eaten it, and not about to start now. More for me! I also found a coffee grinder and ground coffee beans that my daughter brought home from Costa Rica many years ago.

I know my friends in high places are around. Helping out when they can. A woman at the Exp. on Saturday shared how she is able to walk in the ice and snow. “MARCH”, she told me. “I have Parkinson’s and marching plants my feet firmly on the ground.”

Recently I opened the bible to Jeremiah 10:23. “You know O Lord, that man is not master of his ways; Man’s course is not within his choice nor is it for him to direct his step.”

That day I wandered to Costco. We actually had warmer temperatures, sunshine and blue skies. While I was talking to a friend, a worker in the delicatessen showed me cheese that was on sale. Cheese is not on my food plan right now, but it is Lent — no meat on Fridays. Cheese with nuts and cranberries came home with me. I found a book “Jesus Calling” which now includes a journal. After many trips to the store, the smaller book is now in my possession. I decided I could use my own notebook if I wanted to comment on the day’s writing, not buy the new one.

After all it is LENT, and I’m searching. I would have gone to church on Ash Wednesday, but we had more snow. I was going to walk — then I realized that ice is hiding under the snow. And I wonder why I’m depressed — feel blocked.

When I was at Costco I also found a new book by Dr. Wayne Dyer: “I Can See Clearly Now.” I have a habit of opening a book to a page at random to see if it speaks to me — it did. I don’t know if I will gain new knowledge. It might be another nudge — write — write –share! Even if you are grumbling about the weather.

Over the years, I often write down things that impress me on any piece of paper at hand. I recently found this, I don’t know the source — “A whisper — A Pebble — A knock on the head — When God wants your attention. ” Should I admit that I bumped my head hard enough this morning to almost knock myself out?

I watched Dr. Wayne Dyer’s new program this morning, he commented during a pledge break that his writing has helped many people, even saved a man’s life. I don’t think that I will ever write 40 books or be as successful as Dr. Dyer, but if my writing helps others to know that they are not alone — these rambles have served a purpose.

Just a Note: I released “Drips” to publish on 3/30. It was written on my father’s birthday — we had visited the Swedish Museum. Unplanned — Drips posted on my paternal grandmother’s birthday –she was born in Sweden.


We often lose our sense of wonder as we age. Children and dogs get very excited when they see snow. They can’t wait to get outside to play. Even if there is only a coating of snow — dogs roll in it and try to eat it. Kids kick it and try to throw it. Not enough snow for snow ball fights, or building snow men — that doesn’t stop them. Not enough snow for sledding or skiing — but the white stuff calls for play.

Unless you are an adult. Snow for us means work — shoveling or snow plow, scrapping off the cars, slick streets. We lose our sense of wonder.

Winter has come early this year. I’m hoping that it will also leave quickly. It is only December and the temperature is below zero. I’ll admit that we are spoiled. It has been a long time since we have had a sever winter. I didn’t miss the cold or the ice.

Since we now have a young dog, who has so much energy she needs to be walked, I’m hoping for dry sidewalks — no ice. As I write this, the temperature is at 3 degrees — too cold to take her or me for a walk. Many of the sidewalks have been salted, hurting her feet. She is still full of energy — doesn’t understand why we can’t go for a walk.

In desperation, I let her out into the back yard to play. She knows there are treasures under that snow. All she has to do is find them. So she digs — looking for —–? She doesn’t care that her paws get cold. She finds a frozen leaf and brings her treasure into the house so I can see what she found.

She reminds me that we need to have that kind of hope — digging through the ice and snow when our life seems frozen.

Holidays are here. My prayer for you — That you become aware of the ”help” that is available from Spirit. That you realize you are never alone and that you have a safe, and healthy 2014.

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